Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Francisco on bis poft. Enter to bim BERNARDO.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BER. Who's there?
Fran.

Nay, answer me: * stand, and unfold
Yourself.

BER. Long live the king !3
FRAN.

Bernardo
BER.

He.
Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.
Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve ;* get thee to bed,

Francisco.
Fran. For this relief, much thanks : 'tis bitter

cold,
And I am sick at heart.

Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
FRAN,

Not a mouse stirring.

[ocr errors]

2

-me:) i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. Steevens.

} Long live the king!] This sentence appears to have been the watch-word. Malone.

4 'Tis now struck twelve;] I strongly suspect that the true reading is now ftruck &c. So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. sc. i: " But new ftruck nine." STEEVENS,

Ber. Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch,* bid them make haste.

[ocr errors]

4 The rivals of my watch,] Rivals for partners.

WARBURTON. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1636 :

Tullia. Aruns, associate him.

Aruns. A rival with my brother,” &c. Again, in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1637:

• And make thee rival in those governments.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. v:

-having made use of himn in the wars against Pompe presently deny'd him rivality." STEEVENS,

By rivals the speaker certainly means partners (according to Dr. Warburton's explanation,) or those whom he expected to watch with him. Marcellus had watched with him before ; whether as a centinel, a volunteer, or from mere curiosity, we do not learn: but, which ever it was, it seems evident that his station was on the same spot with Bernardo, and that there is no other centinel by them relieved. Possibly Marcellus was an officer, whose business it was to visit each watch, and perhaps to continue with it some time. Horatio, as it appears, watches out of curiosity. But in Act II. sc. i. to Hamlet's question,-" Hold you the watch to-night?” Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo, all answer," We do, my honour'd lord.” The folio indeed, readaboth, which one may with greater propriety refer to Marcellus and Bernardo. If we did not find the latter gentleman in such good company, we might have taken him to have been like Francisco whom he relieves, an honeft but common foldier. The strange indiscriminate use of Italian and Roman names in this and other plays, makes it obvious that the author was very little conversant in even the rudiments of either language. Ritson.

Rival is constantly used by Shakspeare for a partner or associate,
In Bullokar's English Expositor, Svo. 1616, it is defined, “ One that
fueth for the same thing with another;" and hence Shakspeare, with
his usual licence, always uses it in the sense of one engaged in the
Jame employment or office with another. Competitor, which is explained
by Bullokar by the very same words which he has employed in the
definition of rival, is in like manner (as Mr. M. Mason has ob-
served,) always used by Shakspeare for associate. See Vol. III,,
p. 221, n. 5.
Mr. Warner would read and point thus:

If you do meet Horatio, and Marcellus
The rival of my watch, -

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

1

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

Fran. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who

is there?
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar.

And liegemen to the Dane.
Fran. Give you good night.
Mar.

O, farewell, honest soldier:
Who hath reliev'd you?
Fran.

Bernardo hạth my place.
Give you good night

[Exit Francisco.
MAR.
Holla! Bernardo!

Say,
What, is Horatio there?
Hor.

A piece of him.

[ocr errors]

BER.

because Horatio is a gentleman of no profession, and because, as
he conceived, there was but one person on each watch. But there
is no need of change. Horatio is certainly not an officer, but
Hamlet's fellow student at Wittenberg: but as he accompanied
Marcellus and Bernardo on the watch from a motive of curiosity,
our poet considers him very properly as an associate with them.
Horatio himself says to Hamlet in a subsequent scene,

This to me
“ In dreadful secrecy impart they did,
“ And I with them the third night kept the watch."

MALONE. s Hor. A piece of bim.] But why a piece? He says this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.

WARBURTON, A piece of him, is, I believe, no more than a cant expression. It is used, however, on a serious occasion in Pericles: “ Take in your arms this piece of your dead

STEEVENS.

queen."

Ber. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good Mar

cellus. Hor. What,has this thing appear'd again to

night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.

MAR. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy;
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us :
Therefore I have entreated him along,
With us to watch the minutes of this night ;
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.

Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
BER.

Sit down awhile;
And let us once again affail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,

6 Hor. What, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1604. STEEVENS. These words are in the folio given to Marcellus. MALONE.

7 - the minutes of this night;} This seems to have been an expression common in Shakspeare's time. I find it in one of Ford's plays, The Fancies chaste and noble, Act V:

“ I promise ere the minutes of the night.Steevens.

approve our eyes,] Add a new testimony to that of our eyes. JOHNSON. So, in King Lear:

this approves her letter, “ That she would soon be here." See Vol. XII. p. 413, n. 7. STEVENS.

He may approve our eyes,] He may make good the testimony of our eyes; be assured by his own experience of the truth of that which we have related, in consequence of having been eye-witnesses to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, signified to make good, or establish, and is so defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of bard Engliß words, 8vo, 1604. So, in King Lear:

“ Good king, that must approve the common faw!
• Thou out of heaven's benediction com'ft
" To the warnı sun." MALONE.

What we two nights have seen.
Hor.

Well, sit we down, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

Ber. Last night of all, When yon same star, that's westward from the

pole, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, The bell then beating one, — Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it

comes again!

Enter Ghost.

Ber. In the same figure, like the king that's

dead. Mar. Thou are a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.” Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho

ratio. Hor. Most like:—it harrows me with fear, and

wonder.

9 What we two nights have seen.] This line is by Sir T. Hanmer given to Marcellus, but without necessity. JOHNSON.

2 Thou art a scholar, Speak to it, Horatio.] It has always been a vul. gar notion that fpirits and supernatural beings can only be spoken to with propriety or effect by persons of learning. Thus, Toby in The Night-walker, by Beaumont and Fletcher, says:

- It grows still longer,
“ 'Tis steeple-high now; and it fails away,

nurse.
“ Let's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,

And that will daunt the devil." In like manner the honest butler in Mr. Addison's Drummer, recommends the fteward to speak Latin to the ghost in that play.

Reed. it harrows me &c.] To harrow is to conquer, to subdue.

3

« ПредишнаНапред »