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Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Enter Queen and Horatio.
Hor. She is importunate; indeed, distract;
What would she have?
9. Rightly to be great,
Is, not to stir without, &c.] But then, honour is an argument, or subject of debate, sufficiently great, and when honour is at stake, we must find cause of quarrel in a straw. I a plot.] A piece, or portion.
2- continent.] Continent, in our author, means that which comprehends or encloses.
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. Queen. 'Twere good, she were spoken with; for
she may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds: Let her come in.
Exit HORATIO. To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is, Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:? So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA.
3 Spurns enviously at straws ;] Envy is much oftener put by our poet (and those of his time) for direct aversion, than for malignity conceived at the sight of another's excellence or happiness.
to collection ;] i. e. to deduce consequences from such premises; or, as Mr. M. Mason observes, " endeavour to collect some meaning from them.”
5 they aim at it,] To aim is to guess.
6 Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. ] i. e. though her meaning cannot be certainly collected, yet there is enough to put a mischievous interpretation to it.
? to some great amiss:] Shakspeare is not singular in his use of this word as a substantive. Each toy is, each trifle.
Oph. How should I your true love know*
From another one?
And his sandal shoon.' [Singing. Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song? Oph. Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
He is dead and gone, lady, [Sings.
He is dead and gone;
At his heels a stone. 0, ho!
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia,
Pray you, mark.
Enter King. Queen. Alas, look here, my lord.
Larded" all with sweet flowers;
With true-love showers.
8 How should I your true love, &c.] There is no part of this play in its representation on the stage, more pathetick than this scene; which, I suppose, proceeds from the utter insensibility Opiselia has to her own misfortunes.
A great sensib:'ty, or none at all, seems to produce the same effect. In the latter the audience supply what she wants, and with the foriner they sympathize. SIR J. REYNOLDS. 9 By his cockle hat and staff,
And his sandal shoon.] This is the description of a pilgrim. While this kind of devotion was in favour, love-intrigues were carried on under that mask. Hence the old ballads and novels made pilgrimages the subjects of their plots. The cockle-shell hat was one of the essential badges of this vocation : for the chief places of devotion being beyond sea, or on the coasts, the pilgrims were accustomed to put cockle-shells upon their hats, to denote the intention or performance of their devotion,
King. How do you, pretty lady?
Oph. Well, God’ield 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, let us have no words of this; but when they ask you, what it means, say you this:
Good morrow, 'tis Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
To be your Valentine :
Then up he rose, and don'd his clothes, 4
And dupp'd the chamber door ;5
Never departed more.
By Gis, and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fye for shame!
By cock, they are to blame.
? Larded ;] The expression is taken from cookery. 2 Well, God’ield you !] i. e. Heaven reward you !
the owl was a baker's daughter.] This was a legendary story.-Our Saviour being refused bread by the daughter of a baker, is described as punishing her by turning her into an owl.
*_ dou'd his clothes,] To don, is to do on, to put on, as doff is to do off, put off.
And dupp'd the chamber door;] To dup, is to do up; to lift the latch.
* By Gis,] Probably the contraction of some Saint's name.
7- by Saint Charity,] Saint Charity is a saint among the Roman Catholicks.
8 By cock,] This is a corruption of the sacred name.
Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.
King. 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 should 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.
Exit HORATIO. O! this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death: And now behold, O Gertrude, Gertrude, When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions! First, her father slain; Next, your son gone; and he most violent author Of his own just remove: The people muddied, Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whis
pers, For good Polonius' death; and we have done but
greenly, In hugger-mugger to inter him:' Poor Ophelia
9- but greenly,] But unskilfully; with greenness ; that is, without maturity of judgment.
' In hugger-mugger to inter him:] All the modern editions that I have consulted, give it:
In private to inter him;-That the words now replaced are better, I do not undertake to prove; it is sufficient that they are Shakspeare's : if phraseology is to be changed as words grow uncouth by disuse, or gross by vul.