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And whatsoever fhall befal to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves; fo fare ye well.
Upon the platform 'twixt eleven and twelve
I'll vifit you.

All. Our duty to your Honour.

[Exeunt. Ham. Your loves, as mine to you, Farewel. My father's Spirit in arms all is not well. I doubt fome foul play.


Would, the night were

'Till then fit ftill, my foul. Foul deeds will rife, Tho' all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.


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Changes to an Apartment in Polonius's Houfe.
Enter Laertes and Ophelia.

Lacr. M And, fifter, as the winds give benefit,

Y neceffaries are imbark'd, farewel.

And Convoy is affiftant, do not fleep,
But let me hear from you.

Oph. Do you doubt that?

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour, Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood;

A violet in the youth of primy nature,

Forward, not permanent, tho' fweet, not lasting:
The perfume, and fuppliance of a minute:
No more..


The perfume, and futpliance. It is plain that perfume is necefof a minute: Thus the fary to exemplify the idea of quarto: the folio has it,

Saveet, not lafting,
The fappliance of a minute.

fweet, not lafting. With the word fuppliance I am not fatisfied, and yet dare hardly offer what I


Opb. No more but fo?

Laer. Think it no more:

For Nature, crefcent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but, as this Temple waxes,
The inward fervice of the mind and foul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
2 And now no foil, nor cautel, doth befmerch
The virtue of his will: but you must fear,
His Greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own:
For he himself is subject to his Birth;
He may not, as unvalued perfons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
3 The fanity and health of the whole State :
And therefore muft his choice be, circumfcrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he's dead. Then, if he fays, he loves you,
It fits your wisdom fo far to believe it,

As he in his peculiar act and place

May give his Saying deed; which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.

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For by virtue is meant the fimpli-
city of his will, not virtuous will:
and both this and befmerch refer
only to foil, and to the foil of
craft and infincerity. WARB.

Virtue feems here to comprise
both excellence and power, and
may be explained the pure ef-

3 The SANCTITY and health of

the whole State:] What has the fanctity of the ftate to do with the prince's difproportioned marriage? We fhould read with the old quarto SAFETY.

WARBURTON. Hanmer reads very righily, sanity. San&tity is elsewhere printed for fanity, in the old edition of this play.


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Then weigh, what lofs your Honour
may fuftain,
If with too credent ear you lift his fongs;
Or lofe your heart, or your chafte treasure open
To his unmafter'd importunity.

Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;


And keep within the rear of

your affection, Out of the shot and danger of defire. The charieft maid is prodigal enough, If the unmask her beauty to the moon :Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes; The canker galls the Infants of the Spring, Too oft before their buttons be difclos'd; And in the morn and liquid dew of youth Contagious blaftments are most imminent. Be wary then, beft fafety lies in fear; Youth to itself rebels, though none else near. Opb. I fhall th' effects of this good leffon keep As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, Do not, as fome ungracious pastors do,

Shew me the steep and thorny way to heav'n; 5 Whilft, like a puft and careless libertine,

4-keep within the rear, &c.] That is, do not advance fo far as your affection would lead


5 Whilft, LIKE a puft and carelefs libertine.] This reading gives us a ft nfe to this effect, Do not you be like an ungracious preacher, who is like a carelefs libertine. And there we find, that he who is fo like a carelets libertine, is the careless libertine himself. This could not come from Shakespear. The old quarto reads,

Whiles a puft and recklefs li bertine, which directs us to the right reading,


Whilft HE, a puft and reckless libertine.

The first impreffion of thefe plays being taken from the play-houfe cop es, and thofe, for the better direction of the actors, being written as they were pronounced, thefe circumftances have occaf oned innumerable errors. So a for be every where,

'a was a goodly King, "A was a man take him for all in all.

I warn't it will, for I warrant. This fhould be well attended to in correcting Shakespear. WARBURTON.

The emendation is not amifs, but the reafon for it is very inconclufive;

Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
Andrecks not his own read.
Laer. Oh, fear me not.



I ftay too long;

Enter Polonius.


-but here my father comes:

A double bleffing is a double grace;

Occafion fmiles upon a fecond leave.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard for shame; The wind fits in the fhoulder of your fail,

And you are staid for. There;

My Bleffing with you;

[Laying his hand on Laertes's head.

And these few precepts in thy memory

See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;

The friends thou haft, and their adoption try'd,
Grapple them to thy foul with hooks of steel,

7 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of Entrance to a quarrel, but being in,

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Bear't that th' opposer may beware of thee.
Give ev'ry man thine ear; but few thy voice.
Take each man's cenfure; but referve thy judgment.
Coftly thy habit as thy purfe can buy,

But not expreft in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are most select and generous, chief in That.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For Loan oft lofes both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of Husbandry.
This above all; to thine own self be true;
* And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be falfe to any man.

And it must follow, as the NIGHT the Day.] The fenfe here requires, that the fimilitude fhould give an image not of two. effects of different natures, that follow one another alternately, but of a cafe and effect, where the effect follows the cause by a phyfical neceffity. For the affertion is. Be true to thyfelf, and then thou must neceffarily be true to others. Truth to himself then was the caufe, truth to others, the effect. To illuftrate this neceffity, the fpeaker employs a fimilitude: But no fimilitude can illuftrate it but what prefents an image of a caufe and effect; and fuch a caufe as that, where the effect follows by a phyfical, not a moral neceffity: for if only, by a moral neceffity the thing illuftrating would not be more certain than the thing il luftrated; which would be a great

abfurdity. This being premifed, let us fee what the text says,

And it must follow as the night the Day.

In this we are fo far from being prefented with an effe& following a caufe by a phyfical neceffity, that there is no cause at all: but only two different effects, proceeding from two different causes, and fucceeding one another alternately. Shakespear, therefore, without queftion wrote,

And it must follow as the

LIGHT the Day.

As much as to fay, Truth to thy self, and truth to others, are infeparable, the latter depending neceffarily on the former, as light depends upon the day! where it is to be obferved, that day is ufed figuratively for the Sun. The ignorance of which, I fuppofe, contributed to mislead the editors. WARBURTON.


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