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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.
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia, —
Pray you, mark,
[Sings. Enter King. Queen. Alas, look here, my lord.
Larded all with sweet flowers ;
With true-love showers.
• 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 Ophelia has to her own misfortunes.
A great sensibility, or none at all, seems to produce the same effect. In the latter the audience supply what she wants, and with the former 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,
he rose, and don'd his clothes,
Never departed more.
By Gis, and by Saint Charity,?
Alack, and sye for shame!
By cock, they are to blame.
Larded ;] The expression is taken from cookery. ? 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.
don'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. by Saint Charity,] Saint Charity is
the Roman Catholicks.
* By cock,] This is a corruption of the sacred name.
Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
[He answers. ]
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
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
Divided from herself, and her fair judgment;
dear Gertrude, this, Like to a murdering piece, in many places Gives me superfluous death. (A Noise within. Queen.
Alack! what noise is this?
Enter a Gentleman.
King. Attend. Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door: What is the matter? Gent.
Save yourself, my lord; The ocean, overpeering of his list,* Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste, Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O’erbears your officers! The rabble call him, lord;
garity, the history of every language will be lost; we shall no longer have the words of any author; and, as these alterations will be ften unskilfully made, we shall in time have very little of his meaning. Johnson.
· Like to a murdering piece,] The small cannon, which are, or were used in the forecastle, half-deck, or steerage of a ship of war, were within this century called murdering-pieces.
my Switzers?] In many of our old plays, the guards attendant on Kings are called Switzers, and that without any regard to the country where the scene lies, because the Swiss in the time of our poet, as at present, were hired to fight the battles of other nations.
* The ocean, overpeering of his list,] The lists are the barriers which the spectators of a tournament must not pass. In this place, it signifies boundary, i. e. the shore.
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs.
King. The doors are broke. [Noise within.
Enter Laertes, armed; Danes following. Laer. Where is this king ?-Sirs, stand you all
without. Dan. No, let's come in. Laer.
pray you, give me leave. Dan. We will, we will.
[They retire without the Door. Laer. I thank you :-keep the door.-0 thou
Give me my father.
Calmly, good Laertes.
claims me bastard; Cries, cuckold, to my father; brands the harlot Even here, between the chaste unsmirched browo Of my true mother. King What is the cause, Laertes,
, That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person; There's such divinity doth hedge a king, That treason can but peep to what it would, Acts little of his will. --Tell me, Laertes,
So, this is counter,-) Hounds run counter when they trace the trail backwards.
unsmirched brow,] i. e. clean, not defiled,