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There with fantastic garlands did she come,
With cherry lips ami cheeks of damask roses,
JSewly dropt iloWa no... > , r.inc.; (he made!
Of mines that grew by, and to 'em spoke
She faw me, and straight sought the flood: I sav'd her
And set her fase to land: when presently
She slipt away, ami to the city made
With such a cry, and swiftness, that, believe me,
She left me far behind' her : three or four
I faw from far off cross her: one of them
I knew to be your brother,' where she staid, &r.
Mr. Seurard very justly observes upon this passage, the Aurora of iGuida has not more strokes of the fame hand which drew his Jfarehus and Ariadne,,than the sweet description of this pretty toiaiden's love-distraction has to the like distraction of Ophelia in IJamkf, that of Ophelia, ending in her death, is like the Ariadne, more moving; but theimages here, like those in Aurora, are more numerous and equally exquisite in grace ami beauty. May we not then pronounce, that either this is Shake[pear's, or that Fletcher has here equall'd him in his very bell manner r Mr. Warburton peremptorily assures us, " the first act only of the Two Noble Kinsmen, was wrote by Skakijptar, but in his worst planner." M 3
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
A C T V. SCENE I.
Hamlet's Reflection on YorickV Skull:
Grave. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue, he pour'd a flaggon of Rhenish on ray head once: this fame fkull, Sir, was Sir Yorick's skull, the King's jester. 'Ham. This? . Grave. Even that.
Ham. Alas, poor Torkll I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of insinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath' borne me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination is it? my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kils'd, 1 know not how oft; where be your gibes now, your ;ests, your songs, your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table in a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? quite chap-faU'n? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour, to this complexion she must come; make her laugh at that.
* - .-t . ." .
t f ScENX Scene- II. A spotless Virgin buried,
(38) Lay her i'th'earth,
This is mere madness, "And thus awhile the sit will work on him;
Anon as patient as the female dove,
'(39) When sirst her golden couplets are difclos'd,
llis silence will sit drooping.
Providence direSIs cur Aflions.
(4.0) And that should teach us, Tliere's a divinity thai shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how w c will.
(38) Lay her, &cJ An ingenious gentleman observed to me, he thought it an oversight in Sf.aicff.ca- to refuse Ophriia all tin rights of burial, as if she had drowned herself, when it is plain the was drowned by mere accident: the priest fays, " her death was doubtful, and that it would profane the service of the dead to sing a requiem in like manner to her as to peace-]arlid smth. Ophelia was distracted, and not dying a natural death, but inch a one. as was in some measure doubtful, I think, Shahjpear may be justified; it is plain however, La'rtes thought it a very unfair manner of proceeding with his sister.
(39) When, &C.1 Golden couplets means, her tvMyoung ones, fer doves seldom lay more than two eggs, and the young ones when first difclos'd or hatch'd, are covered with a kind of yellow down: when they arefi'fi batch'cl, the semale broods over them more carefully and sedulously than ever, as then they require most fostering. This will shew the exact beauty of the comparison.
(40) And, fcc] This is a noble sentiment and worthy of Sbakt fpcar: 111 the Maid's Tragedy, there is the fame thought, t ut very meanly exprest;
M 4 Uut A Health.
(41) Gire me the cup,
But they that are above
(41) Ghvvk, &t.] There is in the beginning of tht play a passage like this:
.No jircund health that Dmnari drinks to-day.
Sbaktsfxar keeps up the characters of the people where his scene lies, and therefore dwells much on the Danish drinking: ia another place he tells us:
The King doth wake to-night, and,takes his rouse,
A custom, as Hamlrt observes in the subsequent lines, greatly to the discredit of their nation, aad more honour'd in the breach than the observance.
Central General - Observations.
THE original story on which this play is built, may Tae found in Saxo Grammaticui the Danish historian. From thence Bellcforeft adopted it in his collection of novels, in seven volumes, which he began in 1564, and continued to publish through succeeding years. From this work, The Hyftor'.e of Hamliert, quarto, bl.4. was translated. I have hitherto met with no earlier edition of the play than one in the year 1604,. though it must have been performed before .that time,, as I have seen a copy of Speght's edition of Chaucer, which formerly belonged to Dr. Gabriel Harvey, (the; antagonist of Nafb) who, in his own hand-writing, has. set down the play, as a performance with which he was well acquainted in the year 1598. His words are these: "The younger sort take much delight in Shah/fear'a "Fcnus and Adonis; but his Lucrcce, and his tragedy. "of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke, have it in them to "please the wiser sort, 1598."
In the books of the Stationers' Company, this play was entered by James Roberts, July 26, 1602, under the title of " A booke called The Revenge of'Hamlett. Prince of Denmarke, as it w.is lately acted by the Lord Chamberlain his servantes."
In F.afl-.vard Hpc, by G. Chapman, B. Jetson, and 7. Mnrjlcn, 1605, is a fling at the hero of this tragedy.A foot man named Hamlet enters, and a tankard-bearer asks him—" 'Sfoote, Hamlet, are you mad?" The following particulars, relative to the date of the piece, are borrowed from Dr. Farmer s Ffsay on the Learning if Shakcfpcar, p. 85, 86, second edition.
"Greene, in the Epistle-presixed to "his Arcadia, hath a lash at some ie v.iine glorious tragedians," and very plainly at Shakcfpcar in particular.—" I leave all these to the mercy of their mother-tenant, th:.t feed on M 5 v nought