Imagini ale paginilor


[ocr errors]

The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood : so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd up about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of $ queen, at once despatch'd 8 :
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin”,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unaneļd ';
* Quarto, possess.

† First folio, bak'd. First folio, and.
Quarto, unanused; first folio, unnanel'd.
at once DESPATCH'D:] Despatch’d, for bereft.

WARBURTON. 9 Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, &c.] The very words of this part of the speech are taken (as I have been informed by a gentleman of undoubted veracity) from an old Legend of Saints, where a man, who was accidentally drowned, is introduced as making the same complaint. Steevens.

1 Unhousel'd, disappointed, unaneld ;] Unhousel'd is 'without having received the sacrament.'

Disappointed, as Dr. Johnson observes, " is the same as unappointed, and may be properly explained unprepared. A man well furnished with things necessary for an enterprise, was said to be well appointed."

This explanation of disappointed may be countenanced by a quotation of Mr. Upton's from Measure for Measure :

“Therefore your best appointment make with speed." Isabella, as Mr. Malone remarks, is the speaker, and her brother, who was condemned to die, the person addressed.

Unaneld is “ without extreme unction.'

I shall now subjoin as many notes as are necessary for the support of the first and third of these explanations. I administer the bark only, not supposing any reader will be found who is desirous to swallow the whole tree.

In the Textus Roffensis, we meet with two of these words“The monks offering themselves to perform all priestly functions of houseling, and aveyling." Aveyling is misprinted for aneyling.

Steevens. See Mort d'Arthur, p. iii. c. 175: “So when he was houseled and aneled, and had all that a Christian man ought to have," &c.


No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head :
0, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible ?!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be

The subsequent extract from a very scarce and curious copy of Fabian's Chronicle, printed by Pynson, 1516, seems to remove every possibility of doubt concerning the true signification of the words unhousel'd and unaneld. The historian, speaking of Pope Innocent's having laid the whole kingdom of England under an interdict, has these words : “ Of the manner of this interdiccion of this lande have I seen dyverse opynyons, as some ther be that saye that the lande was interdyted thorwly and the churchis and housys of relygyon closyd, that no where was used mase, nor dyvyne servyce, by whiche reason none of the VII sacramentis all this terme should be mynystred or occupyed, nor chyld crystened, nor man confessed nor marryed; but it was not so strayght. For there were dyverse placys in Englond, which were occupyed with dyvyne servyce all that season by lycence purchased than or before, also chyldren were chrystenyd throughe all the lande and men houselyd and anelyd." Fol. 14, Septima Pars Johannis.

The Anglo-Saxon noun-substantives husel (the eucharist), and ele (oil), are plainly the roots of these last-quoted compound adjectives.- For the meaning of the affix an to the last, I quote Spelman's Gloss. in loco : "Quin et dictionibus (an) adjungitur, siquidem vel majoris notationis gratia, vel ad singulare aliquid, vel unicum demonstrandum.” Hence anelyd should seem to signify oiled or anointed by way of eminence, i. e. having received extreme unction. For the confirmation of the sense given here, there is the strongest internal evidence in the passage. The historian is speaking of the VII sacraments, and he expressly names five of them, viz. baptism, marriage, auricular confession, the eucharist, and extreme unction.

The antiquary is desired to consult the edition of Fabian, printed by Pynson, 1516, hecause there are others, and I remember to have seen one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, with a continuation to the end of Queen Mary, London, 1559, in which the language is much modernized. Brand.

20, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible !) It was ingeniously hinted to me by a very learned lady, that this line seems to belong to Hamlet, in whose mouth it is a proper and natural exclamation; and who, according to the practice of the stage, may be supposed to interrupt so long a speech. Johnson.

A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And ’gins to pale his uneffectual fire * :
Adieu, adieu, adieu *! remember me". [Erit.
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What

else ? And shall I couple hell?–O fye-Hold, hold, my


* First folio, Adieu, adieu, Hamlet.


- a couch for LUXURY -] i. e. for lewdness. So, in K. Lear: To't luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.” Steevens. See Troilus and Cressida, Act V. Sc. II. Malone. 4 — pale his uneffectual fire ;] i. e. shining without heat.

WAR BURTON. To pale is a verb used by Lady Elizabeth Carew, in her Tragedy of Mariam, 1613:

Death can pale as well

“ A cheek of roses, as a cheek less bright.” Again, in Urry's Chaucer, p. 368 : “ The sterre paleth her white cheres by the flambes of the sonne," &c.

Uneffectual fire, I believe, rather means, fire that is no longer seen when the light of morning approaches. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

like a glow-worm,
“ The which hath fire in darkness, none in light."

STBEVENS. 5 Adieu, adieu, adieu ! &c.] The folio reads

“ Adieu, adieu, Hamlet, remember me.” Steevens. 6-O fye !) These words (which hurt the measure, and from that circumstance, and their almost ludicrous turn, may be suspected as an interpolation,) are found only in the two earliest quartos.

“O fye!" however, might have been the marginal reprehension of some scrupulous reader, to whom the MS. had been communicated before it found its way to the press. Steevens.

This line in Mr. Malone's first folio is thus :



And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly * up!-Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe?. Remember thee?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes nt, by heaven.
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain !
My tables *, -meet it is, I set it down,
* Quarto, swiftly.

+ First folio, yes, yes.
| First folio, My tables, my tables.
And shall I couple hell ? oh fie: hold my

heart." The ludicrous words, as Mr. Steevens chooses to term them, are found in a subsequent speech of Hamlet, Act II. Sc. II. near the close :

“ Fye upon't! foh! about my brains." So also, p. 202: “ Fye on't! oh fye! 'tis an unweeded garden." Boswell.

Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while MEMORY HOLDS A SEAT
IN THIS DISTRACTED GLobe.] So, in our poet's 1220 Sonnet :

“ Which shall above that idle rank remain,
“ Beyond all dates, even to eternity;
“ Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
Have faculty by nature to subsist.” Malone.

- this distracted globe," i. e. in this head confused with thought. Steevens.

8 Yea, from the TABLE OF MY MEMORY —] This expression is used by Sir Philip Sidney in his Defence of Poesie. So, in Golding's Translation of Abraham's Sacrifice, by Beza :

“ Let not this trew and noble storie part
“Out of the mind and tables of your heart.” Malone.

- from the table of my memory I'll wipe away, &c.” This phrase will remind the reader of Chæria's exclamation in the Eunuch of Terence ;—“O faciem pulchram! deleo omnes dehinc ex animo mulieres." STEEVENS.

9 My TABLES,-meet it is, I set it down,] This is a ridicule on the practice of the time. Hall says, in his character of the


That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain; At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark:

[Writing. So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word '; It is, Adieu, adieu! remember me.

Hypocrite, “ He will ever sit where he may be seene best, and in the midst of the sermon pulles out his tables in haste, as if he feared to loose that note,” &c. Farmer.

No ridicule on the practice of the time could with propriety be introduced on this occasion. Hamlet avails himself of the same caution observed by the Doctor in the fifth Act of Macbeth : “I will set down whatever comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.”

Dr. Farmer's remark, however, as to the frequent use of table-books, may be supported by many instances. So, in the Induction to The Malcontent, 1604: “ I tell you I am one that hath seen this play often, and give them intelligence for their action : I have most of the jests of it here in my table-book.Again, in Love's Sacrifice, 1633 :

“ You are one loves courtship :
You had some change of words ; 'twere no lost labour

“ To stuff your table-books.Again, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602 : Balurdo draws out his writing-tables and writes

Retort and obtuse, good words, very good words." Again, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609 : “Let your tables befriend your memory; write,” &c.

STEEVENS. See also The Second Part of Henry IV.:

“And therefore will he wipe his tables clean,

“ And keep no tell-tale to his memory," York is here speaking of the King. Table-books in the time of our author appear to have been used by all ranks of people. In the church they were filled with short notes of the sermon, and at the theatre with the sparkling sentences of the play. Malone.

I am in possession of three of these table-books : one printed in 1604, the date of the first edition of Hamlet : “ Writing Tables, with a Kalendar for xxiiii. Yeares, &c. The Tables made by Robert Triplet. London. Imprinted for the Companie of Stationers, 1604.” Boswell.

Now to my word;] Hamlet alludes to the watch-word given every day in military service, which at this time he says is, Adieu, adieu! remember me. So, in The Devil's Charter, a tragedy, 1607 :

"Now to my watch-word." STEEVENS.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »