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you the crosse which our Saviour Jesus Christe sufered his most payneful deathe upon, that you shall upholde, maynteyne, and kepe to your power all soch articles as shal be heare declared unto you, and receve in the presence of me your maister, and these the rest of the maisters my brethren heare with me at this tyme."
STEEVENS. 892. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. ] i. e, receive it to yourself; take it under your own roof; as much as to say, Keep it secret. Alluding to the laws of hospitality.
WARBURTON. 906. – denote] The old copies concur in reading to note.
The alteration, which seems nécessary, is Theobald's.
Steevens, It we read “ Nor by pronouncing," the passage as it stands in the folio, though embarrassed, is still intelligible, provided the punctuation be changed.
That you, at such time seeing me, never shall
Mr. Theobald did not go so far back into the context as he ought, before he made this alteration; else he would have perceived that it must destroy the sense of the passage. The connexion of which is :“ Here, swear, as before, never, so help you mercy! how strange or odd soe'er I bear myself, to note that you know aught of me."
Henley. 907. --This do you swear, &c.] The folio reads, this not to do.
Line 1. The
HE quartos read, Enter old Polonius with his man or two.
STEevens. 8. Danskers- -] Danske (in Warner's Albion's England) is the ancient name of Denmark.
STEEVENS. 27. -drinking, fencing, swearing,] I suppose, by fencing is meant a too diligent frequentation of the fencing-school, a resort of violent and lawless young
JOHNSON. 36. A savageness) Savageness, for wildness.
WARBURTON. 37. Of general assault.] i.e. such as youth in general is liable to:
43. And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant :] So the folio. The quarto reads,-a fetch of wit.
STEEVENS. 47. ---prenominate crimes,] i.e. crimes already named,
STEEVENS. 75. -in yourself. ] Hanmer reads, e'en yourself, and is followed by Dr. Warburton; but perhaps, in yourself means, in your own person, not by spies.
JOHNSON. 84. -his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle ;] I believe gyved to be nothing more than a false print. Down-gyved means hanging down like the loose cinc. ture which confines the fetters round the ancles, Gyre always signifies a circle formed by a top, or any other body when put into motion. STEEVENS.
-foredoes itself, ] To foredo is to destroy. So, in Othello : • That either makes me, or foredoes me quite."
STEE VENS. I had not quoted him :-] The old quarto reads coted.
To quote on this occasion undoubtedly means to observe.
To lack discretion.-] This is not the remark of a weak man. The vice of age is too much sus
picion. Men long accustomed to the wiles of life cast commonly beyond themselves, let their cunning go further than reason can attend it. This is always the fault of a little mind, made artful by long commerce with the world.
JOHNSON. The quartos read, By heaven it is as proper, &c.
STEEVENS. 126. This must be known ; which, being kept close,
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.] i.e. This must be made known to the king, for (being kept secret) the hiding Hamlet's love might occasion more mischief to us from him and the queen, than the uttering or revealing of it will occasion hate and resentment from Hamlet.
JOHNSON. 143, -and humour] Thus the folio. The quartos ead, haviour.
STEEVENS. 145. Whether ought, &c.] This line is omitted in the folio.
Steevens. 150. To shew us so much gentry-] Gentry, for complaisance.
WARBURTON, 152. For the supply, &c.] That the hope which your arrival has raised may be completed by the de. sired effect.
JOHNSON. 160. -in the full bent,] The full bent is the utmost extremity of exertion. The allusion is to a bow bent as far as it will go. So afterwards in this play: They fool me to top of my bent,”
178. -the trail of policy~] The trail is the course of an animal pursued by the scent.
Johnson. 183. -the fruit-] The desert after the meat.
JOHNSON. 198. -borne in hand-] i. l. deceived, imposed
STEEVENS. 204. -annual fee.] Fee in this place signifies reward, recompence. So, in All's Well that Ends Well:
“ -Not helping death's my fee; “ But if I help, what do you promise me?" The word is commonly used in Scotland, for wages, as we say lawyer's fue, physician's fee.
STEEVENS. Mr. Reed hath restored the reading of the folio. The author of The REMARKS explains it thus, “the king gave his nephew a feud or fee (in land) of that yearly value.”
EDITOR. 2 16. -at night we'll feast-] The king's intemperance is never suffered to be forgotten. JOHNSON.
219. My liege, and madam, to expostulate] The strokes of humour in this speech are admirable. Polonius's character is that of a weak, pedant, minister of state. His declamation is a fine satire on the impertinent oratory then in vogue, which placed reason in the formality of method, and wit in the gingle and play of words. With what art is he made to pride himself in his wit :
That he is mad, 'tis true : 'tis true, 'tis pity: