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A combination, and a form, indeed,
his wholesome brother.) So the quartos: the folio, breath: and in this speech the readings of the earlier copies are generally to be preferred.
4 And BATTEN on this moor ?] To "batten" is to feed or fatten, probably from the Saxon batan, to bait.
5 To serve in such a difference.] This passage, from “ Sense, sure, you have,” is only in the quartos, 1604, &c.
at HOODMAN-BLIND ?] This should seem to have been the old name of Windman's buff, or bough! It is often mentioned.
? Could not so mope.) This passage, from “ Eyes without feeling," also is wanting in the folios.
8 If thou canst mutine-] To “mutine” was formerly used for to mutiny, not merely in verse, but in prose. In “King John," Vol. iv. p. 31, we have seen Shakespeare employ“ mutines" for mutineers : so also in Act v. sc. 2, of this play.
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
O Hamlet! speak no more!
Nay, but to live
O, speak to me no more!
A murderer, and a villain ;
Ham. A king of shreds and patches.-
. And reason PANDERS will.] So the folio ; excepting that it misprints "And” A8: the quartos, 1604, &c. have pardons for “panders.”
· Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul ;] The quartos, 1604, &c. “Thou turn’st my very eyes into my soul;” and in the next line they have “griered spots,” for “grained spots" of the folio.
: - an ENSEAMED bed ;) The word “enseamed” was not uncommon, from " seam,” grease. See Vol. vi. p. 58. The quarto without date has “incestuous bed,” and it was followed by the quartos, 1611 and 1637.
a vice of kings :) The vice was the fool, clown, or jester of the older drama, and was frequently dressed in party-coloured clothes : hence Hamlet just afterwards calls the usurper “ a king of shreds and patches.”
* Enter Ghost.] “ Enter the Ghost in his night-gown,” is the stage-direction in the quarto, 1603, affording proof that at that date, and in this scene, the spirit was not appareled as when it had before appeared on the platform. This is important, because it completely explains Hamlet's exclamation in this scene, “My father, in his habit as he lived.” See the Introduction. In the other quartos and in the folios it is only “ Enter Ghost.” VOL. VII.
You heavenly guards ! - What would you, gracious
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Ghost. Do not forget. This visitation
How is it with you, lady?
you do bend your eye on vacancy,
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Do you see nothing there?
5 And with th' incorporal air-] The folio misprints it, “And with their corporal air.” Our reading is that of the quarto, 1604, and of all editions until the folio, 1623. Southern detected and corrected the error in his folio, 1685.
like life in excrements,] In the “ Winter's Tale,” Vol. iii. p. 518, a beard is called an “excrement.” Compare also “Macbeth," A. v. sc. 5, where the hero speaks of his " fell of hair” _“ as life were in 't.”
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
No, nothing but ourselves. Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it steals
away! My father, in his habit as he liv'd! Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal !
[Exit Ghost. Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain : This bodily creation ecstasy Is
very cunning in.
Confess yourself to heaven;
, Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg, Yea, curb' and woo, for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
Ecstasy !] This word is not in any of the quartos. * Lay not that flattering unction-1 The folio imperfectly reads "a flattering unction.” The whole scene is unusually ill printed there.
• To make them ranker.] So the quartos ; and in the preceding line, "on the weeds," instead of " or the weeds” of the folio. 1 Yea, curb) i. e, bend and truckle, from the Fr. courber.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
[Pointing to POLONIUS.
What shall I do?
his mouse ;
2 That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits, devil,] This passage, down to " That aptly is put on,” is not in the folio. Our punctuation is that recommended to us by the Rev. Dr. Morehead, of Easington, and it seems to remove part of the difficulty felt by the commentators, and makes the sense, “that monster, custom, who is a devil, devouring all sense of habits, is still an angel in this respect,” &c.
3 — the next more easy :] These lines, down to “With wondrous potency," are also wanting in the folio.
* And master the devil,] “Master" is the reading of the undated quarto, of the quarto, 1611, and of that of 1637, so that we need not resort to any conjectural emendation such as Malone introduced. 5 One word more, good lady.) These words are from the quartos.
Let the bloat king-] The folio, “ Let the blunt king.” Modern editors have availed themselves of nearly all these improvements from the quartos, without acknowledgment, and as if the folio contained them.