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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.1


Sit down awhile;

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.2
Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Hor. Most like :-it harrows me3 with fear, and wonder.

witnesses to it. To approve, in Shakspeare's age, signified to make good, or establish, and is so defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard English Words, 8vo. 1604. So, in King Lear: "Good king that must approve the common saw! "Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st

"To the warm sun." Malone.

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

2 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,


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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."

In like manner the honest butler, in Mr. Addison's Drummer, recommends the steward to speak Latin to the ghost in that play. Reed.

3 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, harrowed with grief and fear!" Steevens.

Ber. It would be spoke to.


Speak to it, Horatio.

Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of buried Denmark

Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak. Mar. It is offended.


See! it stalks away.

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

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

[Exit Ghost.

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.


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 frowned he once, when, in an angry parle,4

He smote the sledded" Polack on the ice."


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:

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upon an ivory sled

"Thou shalt be drawn among the frozen poles." Steevens. 6 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. Pope.

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.

'Tis strange.

Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not; But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land?
And why such daily casti of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war;

Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week:

"So frail are even the highest earthly things!

"Go, passenger, and wail the hap of kings." Johnson. jump at this dead hour,] So, the 4to. 1604. The folio just. Steevens.


The correction was probably made by the author. Johnson. Jump and just were synonymous in the time of Shakspeare. Ben Jonson speaks of verses made on jump names, i. e. names that suit exactly. Nash says" and jumpe imitating a verse in As in præsenti." So, in Chapman's May Day, 1611:

"Your appointment was jumpe at three, with me." Again, in M. Kyffin's translation of the Andria of Terence, 1588:

"Comes he this day so jump in the very time of this. marriage?" Steevens.

In what particular thought to work,] i. e. What particular train of thinking to follow. Steevens.


gross and scope ] General thoughts, and tendency at large. Johnson.

1— daily cast] The quartos read-cost. Steevens.

2 Why such impress of shipwrights,] Judge Barrington, Ob. servations on the more ancient statutes, p. 300, having observed that Shakspeare gives English manners to every country where his scene lies, infers from this passage, that in the time even of queen Elizabeth, shipwrights as well as seamen were forced to serve. Whalley.

Impress signifies only the act of retaining shipwrights by giving them what was called prest money (from prêt, Fr.) for holding themselves in readiness to be employed. Thus, Chapman, in his version of the second book of Homer's Odyssey:

"I, from the people straight, will press for you

"Free voluntaries;

See Mr. Douce's note on King Lear, Act IV, sc. vi. Steevens.

What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day;
Who is 't, that can inform me?

That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which, our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law, and heraldry,3

Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Which he stood seiz'd of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same co-mart,
And carriage of the article design'd,*


by law, and heraldry,] Mr. Upton says, that Shakspeare sometimes expresses one thing by two substantives, and that law and heraldry means, by the herald law. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV:

"Where rather I expect victorious life,

"Than death and honour."

i. e. honourable death. Steevens.

Puttenham, in his Art of Poesie, speaks of The Figure of Twynnes: "horses and barbes, for barbed horses, venim and dartes, for venimous dartes," &c. Farmer.

law, and heraldry,] That is, according to the forms of law and heraldry. When the right of property was to be determined by combat, the rules of heraldry were to be attended to, as well as those of law. M. Mason.

i. e. to be well ratified by the rules of law, and the forms prescribed jure feciali; such as proclamation, &c. Malone.

4 as, by the same co-mart,

And carriage of the article design'd,] Co-mart signifies a bargain, and carrying of the article, the covenant entered into to confirm that bargain. Hence we see the common reading [covenant] makes a tautology. Warburton.

Thus the quarto, 1604. The folio reads-as by the same covenant for which the late editions have given us-as by that


Co-mart is, I suppose, a joint bargain, a word perhaps of our poet's coinage. A mart signifying a great fair or market, he

His fell to Hamlet: now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimprov'd mettle hot and full,


Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprize

That hath a stomach in 't:7 which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,

And terms compulsatory, those 'foresaid lands
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,

Is the main motive of our preparations;

The source of this our watch; and the chief head

Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

would not have scrupled to have written-to mart, in the sense of to make a bargain. In the preceding speech we find mart used for bargain or purchase. Malone.

He has not scrupled so to write in Cymbeline, Act I, sc. vii:

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"As in a Romish stew," &c. Steevens.

And carriage of the article design'd,] Carriage is import: design'd is formed, drawn up between them. Johnson.

Cawdrey, in his Alphabetical Table, 1604, defines the verb design thus: "To marke out or appoint for any purpose." See also Minsheu's Dict. 1617: "To designe or shew by a token.” Designed is yet used in this sense in Scotland. The old copies have deseigne. The correction was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.

5 Of unimproved &c.] Full of unimproved mettle, is full of spirit not regulated or guided by knowledge or experience. Johnson.

6 Shark'd up a list &c.] I believe, to shark up means to pick up without distinction, as the shark-fish collects his prey. The quartos read lawless, instead of landless. Steevens.

7 That hath a stomach in 't :] Stomach, in the time of our author, was used for constancy, resolution. Johnson.

8 And terms compulsatory,] Thus the quarto, 1604. The folio-compulsative. Steevens.

9— romage-] Tumultuous hurry. Johnson.

Commonly written-rummage. I am not, however, certain that the word romage has been properly explained. The follow-, ing passage in Hackluyt's Voyages, 1599, Vol. III, Ppp 3, seems indicative of a different meaning: " the ships growne foule unroomaged, and scarcely able to beare any saile," &c. Again Vol. III, 88, ". – the mariners were romaging their shippes," &c. Romage, on shipboard, must have signified a scrupulous examination into the state of the vessel and its stores. Respecting

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