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The bold winds speechless 64, and the orb below
As hush as death: anon the dreadful thunder
Doth rend the region: So, after Pyrrhus' pause,
A roused vengeance sets him new a work;
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour, forgd for proof eterne
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
Now falls on Priam.
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
In general synod, take away your power ;
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends!
Pol. This is too long.

Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard. 'Pr’ythee, say on :-He's for a jig65, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps :-say on: come to Hecuba. 1 Play. But who, ah woe! had seen the mobled 66

queen64 • Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth.'

Venus and Adonis. 65 · He's for a jig or a tale of bawdry. Giga, in Italian, was a fiddle, or crowd; gigaro, a fiddler, or minstrel. Hence a jig (first written gigge, though pronounced with g soft, after the Italian), was a ballad, or ditty, sung to the fiddle. Frottola, a countrie gigge, or round, or country song or wanton verse. As these itinerant minstrels proceeded, they made it a kind of farcical dialogue; and at length it came to signify a short merry interlude: Farce, the jigg at the end of an enterlude, wherein some pretie knaverie is acted. There are several of the old ballads and dialogues called Jigs in the Harleian Collection. Thas also in The Fatal Contract, by Hemings :

we'll hear your jigg, How is your ballad titled.' 66 The folio reads inobled, an evident error of the press; for mobled, which means muffled. The queen is represented with 'a clout upon her head and a blanket wrapt round her, caught up in the alarm of fear.' We have the word in Ogilby's Fables :

Mobbled dine days in my considering cap.' And in Shirley's Gentleman of Venice:

• The moon doth mobble up herself.'

Ham. The mobled queen?
Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good.
1 Play. Run barefoot up and down, threat'ning

the flames With bisson 67 rheum; a clout upon that head, Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe, About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins, A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up; Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd, 'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pro

nounc'd: But if the gods themselves did see her then, When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs ; The instant burst of clamour that she made (Unless things mortal move them not at all), Would have made milch 68 the burning eye of heaven, And passion in the gods.

Pol. Look, whether he has not turn’d his colour, and has tears in's eyes 69.—'Pr’ythee, no more.

67 Bisson is blind; bisen, A. S. Bisson rheum is therefore blinding tears. In Coriolanus we have, · Bisson conspecuities.'

68 · Would have made milch the burning eye of heaven.' By a hardy poetical licence this expression means, 'Would have filled with tears the burning eye of heaven. We have 'Lemosus, milch-hearted,' in Huloet's and in Lyttleton's Dictionaries; and Eliot renders lemosi 'those that weepe lightly. It is remarkable that, in old Italian, lattuoso is used for luttuoso, in the same metaphorical manner. To have made passion in the Gods' would have been to move them to sympathy or compassion.

68 • The plays of Shakspeare, by their own power, must have given a different turn to acting, and almost new-created the performers of his age. Mysteries, moralities, and interludes afforded no materials for art to work on, no discriminations of character, or varieties of appropriated language. From tragedies like Cambyses, Tamburlaine, and Jeronymo, nature was wholly banished; and the comedies of Gammer Gurton, Comon Condycyons, and The Old Wives Tale, might have had justice done to them by the lowest order of human beings.

'Sanctius his animal, mentisque capacius altæ, was wanting when the dramas of Shakspeare made their first appearance ;

Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.—Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed ? Do you hear, let them be. well used; for they are the abstract, and brief chronicles, of the time: After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live.

Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping ? Use them after your own honour and dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. Pol. Come, sirs.

[Exit POLONIUS, with some of the Players. Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play tomorrow.-Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the murder of Gonzago ?

1 Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. We'll have it to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in't ? could you not?

1 Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. Very well.—Follow that lord; and look you mock him not. [Exit Player.] My good friends [To Ros, and Guil.] I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore. Ros. Good my lord !


and to these we were certainly indebted for the excellent actors who could never have improved so long as their sensibilities were unawakened, their memories burthened only by pedantic or puritanical declamation, and their manners vulgarised by pleasantry of as low an origin.'--Steevens. VOL. X.

Y .

Ham. Ay, so, good bye to you:--Now I am alone.
( what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous, that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That from her working, all his visage wann'd70;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing !
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue 71 for passion,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed,
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John a-dreams72, unpregnant of my cause,

70 The folio reads warmd, which reading Steevens contended for: he was probably moved by a spirit of opposition; for surely no one can doubt, who considers the context, that wann'd is the poet's word. Indeed I question whether his visage warmd, for his face suffused, would have entered into the mind of a writer, or the comprehension of a reader or auditor in Shakspeare's time.

71 i. e. the hint or prompt word, a technical phrase among players; it is the word or sign given by the prompter for a player to enter on his part, to begin to speak or act. “A prompter (says Florio), one who keepes the booke for the plaiers, and teacheth them, or schollers their kue,' i. e. their part; and this will explain why it is used in other places, as in Othello, for part :

· Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it

Without a prompter.' 72 John a dreams, or John a droynes, was a common term for any dreaming or droning simpleton. There is a story told of one John a droynes, a Suffolk simpleton, who played the Devil in a

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And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damn'd defeat 73 was made. Am I a coward ?
Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i'the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
Why, I should take it: for it cannot be,
But I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless 74

Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave;
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd 75,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing like a very drab,
A scullion!

stage play, in the Hundred Merry Tales. And there is another foolish character of that name in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra. Unpregnant is not quickened or properly impressed with.

73 Defeat here signifies destruction. It was frequently used in the sense of undo or take away by our old writers. Thus Chapman in his Revenge for Honour :

· That he might meantime make a sure defeat

On our good aged father's life.' 74 Kindless is unnatural. 75 The first folio reads thus :

'Ob vengeance!
Who? What an ass am I? I sure this is most brave,

That I the sonne of the Deere murthered.' The quarto of 1604 omits. Oh vengeance,' and reads, ' a deere murthered. The quarto of 1603, 'that I the son of my dear father.'

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