Abbildungen der Seite


FRAN. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there?

HOR. Friends to this ground.

[blocks in formation]

fined "One that sueth for the same thing with another;" and hence Shakspeare, with his usual licence, always uses it in the same sense of one engaged in the same 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 observed,) always used by Shakspeare for associate. See Vol. IV. p. 233, n. 6. Mr. Warner would read and point thus:

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

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



This to me

"In dreadful secrecy impart they did,

“ And I with them the third night kept the watch."



A piece of him."

BER. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Mar


HOR. What, has this thing appear'd again tonight?

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. A piece of him,] But why a piece? He says this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.


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


"Take in

dead queen."


' Hor. What, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1604. STEEvens. These words are in the folio given to Marcellus. MALONE. the minutes of this night;] This seems to have been an expression common in Shakspeare's time. I found it in one of Ford's plays, The Fancies chaste and noble, Act V: "I promise ere the minutes of the night."



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. XVII. p. 12, n. 4. STEEVENS.

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 eyewitnesses to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, signified to

Sit down awhile;

HOR. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.'


[ocr errors]

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 art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio."

make good, or establish, and is so defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard English Words, 8vo. 1604. So, in King



"Good king that must approve the common saw!
"Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
"To the warm sun.' MALONE.

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

Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.] It has always been a vulgar notion that spirits 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,

[merged small][ocr errors]

It grows still longer,

"'Tis steeple-high now; and it sails away, nurse.
"Let's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,
"And that will daunt the devil."

BER. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho


HOR. Most like:-it harrows me3 with fear, and


BER. It would be spoke to.


Speak to it, Horatio.

HOR. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of


Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee,


MAR. It is offended.


See! it stalks away.

HOR. Stay; speak: speak I charge thee, speak.

[Exit Ghost.

MAR. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

BER. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and look pale:

Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you of it?

HOR. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.

In like manner the honest Butler in Mr. Addison's Drummer, recommends the Steward to speak Latin to the Ghost in that play. REED.


it harrows me &c.] To harrow is to conquer, to subdue. The word is of Saxon origin. So, in the old black letter romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys:

"He swore by him that harrowed hell.”

Milton has adopted this phrase in his Comus :

"Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear."


Is it not like the king?


HOR. As thou art to thyself:

Such was the

very armour he had on, When he the ambitious Norway combated; So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle, He smote the sledded5 Polack on the ice." 'Tis strange.

---an angry parle,] This is one of the affected words introduced by Lyly. So, in The Two wise Men, and all the rest Fools, 1619:



that you told me at our last parle." STEEvens. --sledded-] A sled, or sledge, is a carriage without wheels, made use of in the cold countries. So, in Tamburlaine, or the Scythian Shepherd, 1590:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

upon an ivory sled

"Thou shalt be drawn among the frozen poles."


• He smote the sledded Polack on the ice.] Pole-ax in the common editions. He speaks of a Prince of Poland whom he slew in battle. He uses the word Polack again, Act II. sc. iv.


Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland: Polaque, French. As in F. Davison's translation of Passeratius's epitaph on Henry III. of France, published by Camden:

"Whether thy chance or choice thee hither brings, "Stay, passenger, and wail the hap of kings. "This little stone a great king's heart doth hold, "Who rul'd the fickle French and Polacks bold: "Whom, with a mighty warlike host attended, "With trait'rous knife a cowled monster ended. "So frail are even the highest earthly things! "Go, passenger, and wail the hap of kings." JOHNSON. Again, in The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, &c. 1612:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

All the old copies have Polax. Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read-Polack; but the corrupted word shows, I think, that Shakspeare wrote-Polacks. MALONE.

With Polack for Polander, the transcriber, or printer, might

« ZurückWeiter »