« PreviousContinue »
Wyll ye breke promyse that is dette.
Strength. In faythe I care not
Euery mā. I had went surer I sholde haue founde
Euery mā. Yet I pray the for the loue of the trinyte Loke in my graue ones petyously.
Dyscrecon. Nay so nye I wyll not come
Euery mā. O all thynge fayleth saue god alone
o wyttes. Euery man of the nowe my leve I take I wyll folowe the other for here I the forsake.
Euery mà. Alas than may I waylo and wepe For I take you for my beste frende.
o wyttes. I wyll no lenger the kepe Nowe forwell and there an ende.
Euery mā. 0 Jhesu helpe all hath forsaken me.
Good dedes. Nay euery man I wyll byde with the
Euery mā. Gramercy good dedes now may I true frēdes se
Knowlege. Ye euery man whan you to deth do go
But not yet for no maner of daunger.
Euery mā. Gramercy knowlege with all my herte
Howe they that I loued best do forsake me
Good dedes. All erthly thynges is but vanyte
Euery mà. Haue mercy on me god moste myghty
Good dedes. Fere not I wyll speke for the.
and neuer come agayne. Euery mā. In to thy handes lordes my soule I comende Receyue it lorde that it be not loste As thou me broughtest so me defende And saue me fro the fendes boste That I may appere with that blessyd hoste That shall be saued at the dome In manus tuas of myghtes moste For euer comendo spiritum meum.
knowlege. Nowe hath he suffered that we shall endure The good dedes shall make all sure Nowe hath he made endynge Me thynke that I here aungels synge And maketh grete ioye and melodye Where euery mannes soule shall receyued be.
Unto the whiche all
shall come That lyueth well after the daye of dome.
Doctoure. This memory all men may haue in mynde Ye herers take it a worthe olde and yonge
And forsake pryde for he deceyues you in the ende
a Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the Sygne of the George by Rycharde Pynson
prynter unto the Kynges noble grace.
| The variations between this and the later copies by Skot are sometimes important—more than mere literal changes. The old non-punctuation is exactly observed in what precedes.
Art. XVIII.-Remarks on the conduct of Hamlet towards
The conduct of Hamlet towards Ophelia has been so generally condemned by the readers of Shakespeare as useless and wanton cruelty, that to attempt any extenuation of it may appear presumptuous; yet the hope of success in such a cause will, I trust, afford an excuse for the following remarks, even should the reasons adduced not be deemed sufficient to warrant the conclusion. The idea originally suggested itself while reading an old history of Denmark, abridged from Saxo Grammaticus; and the story, as there related, tends to prove, if proof were wanting, how the basest materials were purified and turned to gold by the poet's magic touch.
In referring to the play, act ii., scene 2, we shall find the first arrangement for this interview between Hamlet and Ophelia made by Polonius, and proposed by him to the King, who has scarcely acceded to it before Hamlet enters, reading, the Queen and Polonius even continuing their discourse after he has made his appearance, probably concluding, from his apparent insanity, that their words will pass unnoted. But let us remember that Hamlet was more than a match for the crafty and crooked policy of the court of Denmark, as we find more particularly in the latter part of the play, when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are “hoist with their own petar Hamlet having declared that “ he would delve a yard below their mines, and blow them at the moon ”—may he not, therefore, on the present occasion, have assumed a studious aspect, in order to seem as if he heeded them not, when, in reality, he had overheard that part of the conversation which immediately preceded his appearance? This conclusion gains strength when we read what immediately follows; for, on Polonius saying,
“Do you know me?" he replies, “ Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.” And that this word was used in a figurative sense, perhaps somewhat as we should now apply the word ferret, or as a dealer in baits, is evident from Johnson's quotation from Carew, a writer contemporary with our author—“I could well play the fishmonger,” which seems to indicate that Hamlet was aware of Polonius's being engaged in some underhand policy; and that he knew Ophelia was to play her part in it is evident from the caution which follows respecting her, which the old man loses sight of in his joy at hearing his daughter alluded to. At the conclusion of this scene, we find Polonius speaking, apparently not aside, but openly, of “suddenly contriving the means of meeting between Hamlet and his daughter," still under the common, but very erroneous impression that deranged persons neither hear nor understand what is uttered in their presence.
In the next scene, when Polonius, in a pompous speech, announces the arrival of the players, Hamlet exclaims, quoting the old song, “0, Jephthah, Judge of Israel,' what a treasure hadst thou !
“ Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ?
“ Ham. Why, One fair daughter and no more; The which he loved passing well.'
“ Pol. Still on my daughter.
“ Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.
“ Ham. Nay, that follows not."
Is not the interpretation of this passage, that it follows not that
you are like Jephthah, in loving your daughter but in your shameful sacrifice of her; and afterwards Hamlet, by saying that “the first row of the pious chanson will show further,” makes us anxiously turn to it for an explanation of