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Elsinore. A Room in the Castle.
Enter Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman''.
Gent. She is importunate; indeed, distract:
What would she have ? Gent. She speaks much of her father; says, she
hears, There's tricks i' the world ; and hems, and beats her
heart; Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt, That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection; they aim at it', And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts; Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield
them, Indeed would make one think, there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
Hor. "Twere good she were spoken with’, for she
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
10 Enter Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman.) The folio omits the “Gentleman," and gives all the quartos assign to him to Horatio, and what Horatio says to the Queen-no doubt to avoid the employment of another actor. We have restored the ancient, more convenient, and, as it seems to us, more natural distribution of the dialogue.
1- they ajm at it,] The folio has “ aim ” for yarn of the quartos ; and yarn may possibly be right, though not very likely to be so. Three lines lower, the folio substitutes would for "might.”
2 Hor. 'Twere good, she were spoken with.) This advice seems to come properly from Horatio, as it is given in the quartos, and the Queen's reply ought to commence at the order, “ Let her come in.” In the quartos these latter words are, however, erroneously made the end of what Horatio says. The desire to employ few actors, in all probability, led to this confusion of the dialogue.
sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA*.
From another one ?
And his sandal shoon.
[Singing He is dead and gone ; At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia,
Pray you, mark.
3 It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.] It deserves notice that this and the three preceding lines are marked by inverted commas in all the quartos, not for the purpose of showing that the passage was a quotation, but apparently to enforce it as an axiom. Such was not a very unusual practice.
with Ophelia.] The stage-direction in the quarto, 1603, is curiously minute : “ Enter Ophelia, playing on a lute, and her hair down, singing." She therefore accompanied herself in her fragments of ballads.
50, ho !] These interjections are left out in the folio.
6 Larded with sweet flowers ;] So the quarto, 1603, and the folio; the other quartos interpolate all after “larded.”
Which bewept to the grave did not go',
With true-love showers.
King. How do you, pretty lady?
Oph. Well, God’ild you®! They say, the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord! we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table !
King. Conceit upon her father.
Oph. Pray you, let's have no words of this; but when they ask you what it means, say you this :
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
To be your Valentine :
And dupp'd the chamber door ;
Never departed more.
King. Pretty Ophelia !
Alack, and fie for shame!
By cock, they are to blame.
You promis'd me to wed :
? Which bewept to the grave did not go,] The quarto, 1603, and the folio have “grave,” the other quartos ground; but all authorities read "did not go," which Pope considered an error, and which may possibly be so.
& Well, God'ild you !) i. e. God yield or reward you. See Vol. iii. Pp. 62 and 94.
9 He answers.] These words are in the quartos, 1604, &c. In the folio the king afterwards asks, “ How long hath she been this?" instead of “ thus” of the quartos. VOL. VII.
So would I ha done, by yonder sun,
bed. K’ing. How long hath she been thus ?
Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be patient; but I cannot choose but weep, to think, they would lay him' i'the cold ground. My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies : good night, good night.
[Exit. King. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
2 And now,
they would lay him-] The folio," they should lay him.”
behold,] These words are from the quartos, 1604, &c. 3 In hugger-mugger to inter him :) The meaning is, “ We have done but imprudently or unwisely to inter him secretly:" the expression “in huggermugger" is of most frequent occurrence in writers of the time.
• Freds on his wonder,] So the quartos : the folio, “ Keeps on his wonder," the compositor having caught the word from a subsequent part of the line.
Will nothing stick our persons to arraign
[A noise within. Queen.
Alack! what noise is this?
Enter a Gentleman.
Save yourself, my lord;
Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry! 0! this is counter, you false Danish dogs. King. The doors are broke.
[Noise within. Enter LAERTES, armed ; Danes following. Laer. Where is this king? — Sirs, stand you all
without. Dan. No, let's come in. Laer.
pray you give me leave.
s Alack ! what noise is this?] Only in the folios. “Attend,” just afterwards, is only in the quartos, 1604, &c.
6 Overpeering of his list,] i. e. swelling over his boundary.
? – IMPETUOUS haste,] So the quarto, 1611, the undated quarto, that of 1637, and the second folio. The reading of the quarto, 1604, and of the first folio, is impitious, probably a misprint.
*0! this is counter,] To hunt “counter" is to hunt contrary to the proper course. See Vol. ii. p. 153, and Vol. iv. p. 354.