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living in the water. They may be seen dimpling the surface of almost any pool on a sunny day, as they glide with rapidity and ease in mazy circles, diving down when disturbed and carrying with them a bright little bubble of air. The form of each is surrounded with an iridescent luminous ring. Perhaps the ephemere, which fling off their pupa-case very soon, assume a new form, and exist but for a brief interval, may be meant.
Robert Paterson suggests that it is the Gyrinus natator, or water-flea, one of the nimble, frolicsome
diminutives of nature.' See Troilus and Cressida, V, i, 38. In Antony and Cleopatra, V, ii, 59, the term is used for an
insect we should now call a flesh-fly. 95. It is indifferent cold, etc. If not suggested by, this passage much resembles :
'Natio comoeda est, rides? majore cachinno
- Juvenal's Satira, x, 100-104.
- FRANCIS HODGSON, M.A. Perhaps the character of Osric is not unindebted to Terence, whose Gnatho, the parasite, describes himself as one who sets himself among men:
• Sed his ultro arrideo, et eorum ingenia admiror simul; Quicquid dicunt laudo; id rursum si
negant, laudo id
· For gain
To say, unsay, swear, and forswear at pleasure.'-COLMAN. 102. Remember [thy courtesy), as in Love's Labour's Lost, V, i, 103 :
“Remember thy courtesy, I do beseech thee; apparel thine head.'
member thy courtesy," which thus implied, “ Complete your courtesy, and replace your hat”'-Dr C. M. Ingleby's Still
Lion, p. 75. 104-137. Of all this matter, only line 132 occurs in folio 1623, and
to it is added the words, .at his weapon.' 112. Yaw. This is a sea-term signifying that a ship does not
answer her helm, but moves unsteadily and untrustworthily. 145. Responsive—answerable, suitable. 151. German. In quarto 1603 the phrase is cousin-german. Chaucer has in the Canterbury Tales:
* Eke Plato sayth, whoso can him rede
-Prologue, 743, 744. Shakespeare, to bring it close home, uses cousin-german ; and now german or germáne has supplanted it entirely, and
has passed into our current speech. 153. Barbary horses. Called by Beaumont and Fletcher dainty
Barbaries' in The Wildgoose Chase. These horses, from which the English word 'barb’ is derived, were highly
prized in Western Europe before the Arabian steed was 159. He hath laid on twelve for nine. This means, 'not that he
has laid twelve to nine, but that he has wagered for nine out of twelve. In a dozen passes six hits each would place them on a par, and Osric calls Laertes' excess the number of hits that he makes above his own half. This the king bets shall not exceed three, rendering the total amount nine'
Quarterly Review, March 1847. 175. Lapwing. It was thought that the young lapwing was in such
haste to be hatched that it ran out of the shell with a piece of it sticking on its head, and there was a proverb that ‘far from her nest the lapwing cries away'—Comedy of Errors, IV, ii, 23. See also Measure for Measure, T, iv, 32. Ham
let regards Osric as “forward and insincere. 201. Gain-giving-presentiment, foreboding. E. Forsyth proposed
‘pain-giving. 257. Union—'a great faire and oriente pearle,' of fine spherical
form. See, 'our dainties and delicates here, at Rome, have devised this name for them and call them Uniones, as a man would say Singulars, and by themselves alone'-Holland's Pliny's Natural History, ix, 35. Cleopatra, as Pliny tells in the above-noted chapter, to win a bet from Antony, dis. solved in vinegar and swallowed a pearl of the value of £80,729. In Shakespeare's own time, Sir Thomas Gresham, who had laid a wager, in 1571, that he would give a costlier dinner than the Spanish ambassador could, powdered a pearl valued at £15,000 and drank it off in a glass of wine to the health of Queen Elizabeth. Hence Thomas Heywood says:
• Here fifteen thousand pounds at onc clap goes
Unto his queene and mistress-pledge it, lords.' 315. Temper'd—compounded, mixed. See Cymbeline, V, v, 250;
As You Like It, I, ii, 11. 322. Mules-persons engaged in the dumb show of the piece. 323. Fell sergeant, death, etc. See Joshua Sylvester's translation of
The Divine Weekes and Works of Guillaume de Sallustius du
And, death, dread sergeant of th' Eternal Judge,
The idea here expressed appears to have taken hold of Shake. speare's mind, hence we have:
"When that fell arrest
328. An antique Roman. Compare in Julius Cæsar Titinius' say.
By your leave, gods—this is a Roman's part;
-V v, 80. Almost all the great men of Roman history died a violent death, and in a large majority of cases it was self-inflicted. Decimus Brutus and Cicero were almost the only distinguished 'antique' Romans who consented to live after the hope of living to any good purpose was lost, without laying hands on themselves. A few of the most famous of these were Cato (Uticensis), Cneius Pompeius, Livius Drusus Clodianus, Metellus Scipio Petreius, Marcus Brutus, Caius Cassius, Quinctilius Varus, Labeo, Dolabella, and Antony the trium
See note in Julius Cæsar, V, v. 347. Flights of angels. Malone thought that in writing these words
Shakespeare had in mind the last words of Essex in his prayer on the scaffold, 'And when my soul and body shall part, send Thy blessed angels to be near unto me, which may convey it to the joys of heaven.' But Hamlet is a somewhat earlier play than Malone supposed. It must have been the last words of Horatio that were in the last thoughts of Essex, or else they were so familiar to him for personal reasons as to shape his last expressions unconsciously to
himself'—Gerald Massey's Shakespeare's Sonnets, p. 487. 369. Casual—accidental, unintended, happening by chance. “If such
a thing as this is, shall perchance befalle to him at any time, as humane things are casuall'—R. Bernard's Terence, in Eng.
lish, 1598, p. 226, 1667. 382. Four captains, etc. The monument of Sir Francis Vere in
Westminster Abbey, 1608, finely exemplifies these lines, and
show that at that time this was the customary mode of burial
for a soldier of rank. 388. Take up the bodies ... here shows much amiss. Joseph
Hunter objects to the conclusion of this tragedy, that it exhibits a “pandering to the corrupt English taste in tragedy,' that the audience loves 'a clear stage.
• We start,' he says, 'with a ghost of a murdered king; then there die, the succeeding King, the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius and his two children, Laertes and Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guilden
Of the conspicuous characters only Horatio is left alive'-New Illustrations of Shakespeare, vol. ii, p. 207. But a distinguished Shakespearian critic defends the poet from this opprobrium by thus explaining the morale of the catastrophe: “The horrible harvest of death in the fifth act shows that aimless weakness, even though clad in the finest garb of intellectual keenness, spreads around it far more misery than the most inconsiderate violence'-F. Kreyssig's Vorlesungen
über Shakespeare, p. 263, 390. Bid the soldiers shoot. 'Hamlet has gained the haven for
which he had longed so often, yet without bringing guilt on himself by his death; no fear that his sleep should have “bad dreams in it now. Those whom he loved, his mother, Laertes, Ophelia, have all died guiltless or forgiven. Late, and under the strong compulsion of approaching death, he has done, and well done, the inevitable task from which his gentle nature shrank. Why then any further thought in the awful presence of death, of crimes, conspiracies, vengeance? Think that he has been slain in battle like his sea-king forefathers, and let the booming cannon be his mourners '-Rev. C. E. Moberly, M.A., Rugby Hamlet,
p. 137. Ib. A dead march. Might we not almost fancy that the following
lines were written as an epilogue for Hamlet, to the music of this dead march?
* Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
APP E N D I X.
HAMLET asks the gravedigger (V, i, 130) 'How long hast thou been a grave-maker ?'. He answers: 'Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day that our last King Hamlet o'ercame Fortinbras.' Hamlet questions again: 'How long is that since ?' And is retorted to thus : 'Cannot you tell that ? every fool can tell that: it was the ery day that young Hamlet was born-he that is mad and sent to England.' Further on, this privileged person says: 'I have been sexton here, man and boy, thirty years' (148); and referring to Yorick's skull, tells that it has lain in the earth three and twenty years' (159). Hamlet's thoughts then rush back to the time when he ‘knew him,' etc. These quotations seem to make it certain that Hamlet is thirty years of age. To readers of the play who have time to note, mark, reflect on, and consider each statement—the inference is plain. But the Drama is an illusion. It represents life in an 'abridgment,' and must be performed under definite conditions, one main feature of which is the actor's per. sonality. Any very obvious discrepancy between what is seen and said so far destroys the pleasure of the abstract and brief chronicle.' The author, by his art, must conserve the probability of his representation and must avoid any jarring between the real and the ideal. Shakespeare knew this, and therefore he guards against an occurrence of that sort. So, unless we accept Mr H. Wyatt's fine suggestion of faint for fat, or Herr Plewe's conjecture of hot for the same word, in the expression, 'He's fat and scant of breath' (V, ii, 273), he anticipates the actual in Burbadge's performance of the part, and brings in a saving-clause regarding it. Nevertheless, the whole upbuilding of the character as he is brought before us gradually in the play, is such as to induce an idea of youthful manliness. He is first spoken of as 'young Hamlet' (I, i, 167), as 'intent in going back to school in Witten. berg' (I, ii, 113). Laertes advises Ophelia to 'hold' his favour,' as