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Laer. My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
Yet now I must confefs, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again tow❜rd France: And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon. King. Have you your father's leave? what fays Poloniu's?
Pol. He hath, my lord, by labour fome petition, Wrung from me my flow leave; and, at the laft, Upon his will I feal'd my bard confent.
I do befeech you, give him leave to go.
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes, time be thine; And thy best Graces fpend it at thy Will.
um; tho' what he could mean by the head's being NATIVE to the heart, I cannot conceive. The mouth indeed of an honest man might, perhaps, in fome fenfe, be faid to be native, that is, allied to the heart. But the fpeaker is here talking not of a moral, but a phyfical alliance. And the force of what is faid is fupported only by that diftinction. I fuppofe, then, that Shakespear wrote,
The BLOOD is not more native to the heart,
Than to the Throne of Den
mark is thy father. This makes the fentiment juft and pertinent. As the blood is formed and fuftained by the labour of the heart, the mouth fupplied by the office of the hand, fo is the throne of Denmark by your father, &c. The expreffion too of the blood's being native of the beart, is extremely fine. For the heart is the labo
ratory where that vital liquor is digefted, diftributed, and (when weakened and debilitated) again refored to the vigour neceffary for the difcharge of its functions.
Part of this emendation I have received, but cannot difcern why the bead is not as much native to the heart, as the blood, that is, natural and congenial to it, born with it, and co operating with it. The relation is likewife by this reading better preferved, the Counsellor being to the King as the bead to the heart.
7 Take thy fair hour, Laertes, time be thine, And thy fair graces; Spend it at thy will. This is the pointing in both Mr. Pope's editions; but the Poet's meaning is loft by it, and the clofe of the fentence miferably flatten'd, The pointing, I have restored, is that of the beft copies; and the fenfe, this: "You have my leave to
But now, my coufin Hamlet, and my fon
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.
Thou know'ft, 'tis common: all, that live, must die;
I rather think this line is in want of emendation, I read, Time is thine,
And my beft graces; Spend it at thy will. Ham. A little more than kin, and lefs than kind.] The King had called him, coufin Hamlet, therefore Hamlet replies,
A little more than kin,i. e. A little more than cousin ; because, by marrying his mother, he was become the King's fon-in-law; So far is eafy. But what means the latter part,
and lefs than kind? The King, in the prefent reading, gives no occafion for this reflection, which is fufficient to fhew it to be faulty, and that we fhould read and point the firft line thus,
But now, my coufin Hamlet.
i. e. But now let us turn to you,
coufin Hamlet. Kind my fon, (or
A little more than kin, and lefs
than kind.] It is not unreasonable to fuppofe that this was a proverbial expreffion, known in former times for a relation fo confufed and blended, that it was hard to define it.
Kind is the Teutonick word for Child. Hamlet therefore answers with propriety, to the titles of cousin and fon, which the King had given him, that he was fomewhat more than coufin, and less than fon.
9 too much i' th' Sun.] He perhaps alludes to the proverb, Out of heaven's bleffing into the warm fun.
Queen. If it be,
Why feems it fo particular with thee?
Ham, Seems, Madam? nay, it is; I know not feems & 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor cuftomary fuits of folemn Black, Nor windy fufpiration of forc'd breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected 'haviour of the vifage, Together with all forms, moods, fhews of grief, That can denote me truly. These indeed feem, For they are actions that a man might play; But I have That within, which paffeth fhew: Thefe, but the trappings, and the fuits of woe. King. 'Tis fweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give thefe mourning duties to your father:
To 'do obfequious forrow. But to perfevere
-your father loft a father; That father, his; and the fur
vivor bound. Thus Mr. Pepe judiciously corrected the faulty copies. On which the editor Mr. Theobald thus difcants; This fuppofed refinement is from Mr. Pope, but all the editions elfe, that I have met with, old and modern, read,
That father loft, lost his;The reduplication of which word bere gives an energy and an ele gance WHICH IS MUCH EASIER TO BE CONCEIVED THAN EX
PLAINED IN TERMS. I believe fo: For when explained in terms
Of impious ftubbornnefs, unmanly grief.
A heart unfortify'd, a mind impatient;
As of a father: for let the world take note,
You are the moft immediate to our Throne;
Than that which dearest father bears his fon,
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Queen. Let not thy mother lofe her prayers, Hamlet;
-a will most incorrect-] Incorrect, for untutor❜d.
WARBURTON. 5 To Reafon moft abfurd;—] Reafon, for experience. WARB. Reafon is here ufed in its com mon sense, for the faculty by which we form conclufions from arguments.
6 And with no less nobility of love,] Nobility, for MagniWARBURTON. Nobility is rather generosity. 7 Do I impart tow'rd you-] Impart, for profefs. WARB
I believe impart is, impart myfelf, communicate whatever I can bestow.
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
Ham. Oh, that this too too folid flesh would melt, Thaw, and refolve itself into a dew!
, Or that the Everlasting had not fixt
So excellent a King, that was, to this,