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And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses”,
Queen. Be thou assur’d, if words be made of breath,
Ham. I must to England; you know that.
a pair of reechy kisses,] “Reechy” is properly smoky. See Vol. ii. p. 235, and Vol. vi. 178: in the latter instance it seems to mean dirty from perspiration, and here it is rather used for heated or sweltering. It is an adjective formed from reek, smoke or vapour.
- a PADDOCK, from a bat, a GiB] A “paddock” is a toad: see this Vol. p. 99. A “ gib” is a cat, and we generally meet with them in combination, as in “ Henry IV.” part i. Vol. iv. p. 232, “ I am as melancholy as a gib-cat.”
9 When in one line two crafts directly meet.] This and the eight preceding lines are only in the quartos.
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.-
[Exeunt severally; Hamlet dragging in Polonius'.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN?.
[Excunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!
King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
10 Who was in life a foolish-] The quarto, 1604, has, “ Who was in life a most foolish,” &c. Boswell tells us that “ the quarto ” (he does not say which) reads,“ in ’s life :" he seems to have consulted only the undated quarto.
Hamlet DRAGGING in Polonius.] The folio has " tugging in," and the quarto, 1603, “ Exit Hamlet with the dead body.” The other quartos have merely Exit.
2 Enter King, Queen, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.] In the folio it is only “ Enter King," the Queen even not being mentioned. Our stage-direction is from the quarto, 1604: that of 1603 has “Enter the King and Lordes."
3 Bestow this place on us a little while.] This line is omitted in the folio, because it does not appear that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern came on the stage. In the next line the quartos read, “ Ah! my own lord.”
He whips his rapier out, and cries “, “ A rat! a rat!"
O heavy deed!
Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill’d;
King. O, Gertrude! come away.
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Friends both, go join you with some farther aid.
[Exeunt Ros. and Guil. Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends; And let them know, both what we mean to do,
• He whips his rapier out, and crics,] The quartos read merely,“ Whips out his rapier, cries,” &c. In the next line, they have this for “his,” of the folio.
And what's untimely done: so, haply, slander',-
Another Room in the Same.
Enter HAMLET. Ham. Safely stowed.—[Ros. &c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet !] But soft®!—what noise ? who calls on Hamlet? O! here they come.
Enter RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the dead
body? Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
Ros. Tell us where 'tis; that we may take it thence, And bear it to the chapel.
Ham. Do not believe it.
Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son of a king ?
- so, haply, slander,] These words are of Theobald's introducing, in order to make the sense complete : no part of the passage down to “ And hit the woundless air,” is to be found in the folio, and it was perhaps omitted, because without some addition, like that of Theobald, it was unintelligible.
6 But soft !) These words are from the quartos. It is to be remarked, that in the quarto, 1603, this scene is wanting, excepting that what Hamlet says about a sponge is introduced in an earlier scene between Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern,
Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord ?
Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end : he keeps them, like an ape', in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed, to be last swallowed: when he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.
Ros. I understand you not, my lord.
Ham. I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king.
Ham. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing
Guil. A thing, my lord !
Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after
Another Room in the Same.
Enter King, attended. King. I have sent to seek him, and to find the body. How dangerous is it, that this man goes loose ! Yet must not we put the strong law on him : He's lov'd of the distracted multitude, Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
i — like an ape ;) So the folio ; and that it is the true reading (and not apple, as in the quartos, 1604, &c.) we have the evidence of the quarto, 1603, which has " he doth keep you as an ape doth nuts." Farmer and Ritson conjectured that we ought to read,“ like an ape an apple."
* Hide fox, and all after.] This is supposed to refer to the boyish game of Au hid, and Sir T. Hanmer expressly tells us that it was sometimes called "Hide fox, and all after."