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89. Matin, morning.

90. Uneffectual. Either shining without heat or lost in the light of the morning.

which Hamlet is

97. This distracted globe, his headclasping tight with both hands. 98. Table = tablet. So tabled in S. means set down in writing; and table-book memorandum-book.

100. Saws, sayings. The guttural in the O. E. seggan vanished into a y in say, and into a w in saw. Pressures impressions.

107. Tables.


may relieve Hamlet's overwrought feelings.

108. One may smile. The old habit of making generalizations and entering them in his notes is too much for Hamlet; and even at this tragic crisis of his life it overcomes him.

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This slight action

115. Illo. The cry used by a falconer to recall his hawk. 124. Arrant, thorough-going.

127. Circumstance, ceremony or circumlocution. 138. Honest ghost. Truly his father's ghost, and not

the devil, as Horatio had feared.

147. Upon my sword. The hilt of the sword being in the form of a cross. Swearing by the sword was also an old Scandinavian custom.

150. Truepenny, honest fellow.

152. Propose, speak before us.

156. Hic et ubique, here and everywhere.

165. Give it welcome.

Receive it without doubt or

question. Cl. P. S.

167. Your, unaccented, and used 'colloquially,' like the Lat. iste.

172. Antic, odd, fantastic. Antic is a doublet of antique. 174. Encumbered, folded.

176. An if, a tautological phrase-like or ere.

178. Giving out, assertion.

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180. Most =

186. Friending friendliness.

187. Shall not lack = shall not be lacking.


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The following scene admits us to the secret of the character of Laërtes, who is intended by S. as a foil to Hamlet. Laertes takes the word just as he finds it, and has no lofty aims or habits of meditation.

7. Inquire me, a dative, often called by grammarians the dativus ethicus. Cf. Julius Cæsar, I. ii. 268: 'He plucked me ope his doublet. Danskers, Danes. The sk is the Northern form of the softer English (which used to be Englise) ish.

8. Keep, live. In Cambridge, England, the phrase, 'Where do you keep?' is used for, 'Where do you lodge?

11. Come you you are sure to come. -—— More nearer. S. frequently uses both (1) the double comparative and (2) the double superlative.


13. Take you assume.

19. Put on him lay to his charge.
20. Rank, gross or serious.
22. Slips, slight offenses.

23. Noted, generally remarked.

31. Breathe, speak.

34. Unreclaimèd, untamed.

35. Of general assault, such as generally assail youth. 38. Fetch of warrant. This may either mean a warrantable or justifiable contrivance, or a device which has been found to be effective.

Quaintly, adroitly.

42. Him for he whom. The he is attracted' into the ob jective by the whom understood.

43. Prenominate, aforesaid.

45. Closes with you in this consequence, agrees with you in this conclusion.

51. Leave


leave off.

61. Of wisdom and of reach = wise and shrewd. Men of reach means far-sighted people. Cf. Mr. Burke's (and Lord Beaconsfield's) phrase, men of light and leading.


62. Windlaces, winding and roundabout ways. To fetch a windlasse and to fetch a compass were phrases in S.'s time for to go round about Assays, essays or trials. Of bias, a metaphor taken from the game of bowls, in which the player does not send his bowl in a straight line, but trusts to the bias to bring it round to the required point. 63. Indirections indirect methods.

65. Have me = understand me.

66. God b' wi' you. The phrase 'God be with you,' now abbreviated to 'good-by.'

75. Unbraced, unfastened.

77. Down-gyvéd, sunk down to his ankles, where they looked like gyves or fetters. ('The exclusion from Ophelia's presence had been like the first knock of fate at the door of Hamlet's soul. He is claimed for his task.'MOBERLY.)

79. Purpórt, meaning.

88. As = as if.

89. Shaking of. The full construction was a-shaking of. 92. Bulk, body.

99. Ecstasy, madness.

100. Whose violent property lence of which.

the property of the vioFordoes, undoes, destroys.

106. Repel, send back.

109. Quoted, marked, noted.

110. Beshrew, a very mild form of imprecation.. Jealousy, suspicion.

111. Proper, in the sense of the Lat. proprium guishing mark, appropriate.

= a distin

112. Cast beyond ourselves, overreach ourselves—are too shrewd and cunning.

116. More grief to hide. If we hid this, it would cause more grief and annoyance (to the king) than it would cause hatred in him if we tell him that Hamlet is in love with you.


'In this admirable scene, Polonius, who is throughout the skeleton of his former skill in statecraft, hunts the trail of policy at a dead scent, supplied by the weak fever smell in his own nostrils.'- COLERIDGE.

2. Moreover that, over and above the fact that.

6. Since. Another reading is sith. Since is a contraction of sithennes, the genitive of sithen or sith. In the sixteenth century, sith was used of logical progression; since, of progression in time.

11. Of so young days from so early a time. 12. Neighbored to, closely associated with. 13. That, repeated and redundant.


be good enough to reside.

22. Gentry, courtesy. Only in this play used in this


Vouchsafe your


23. Expend. The short form is spend. Cf. example and sample.

= aid and furtherance.

24. Supply and profit
25. Visitation visit.
27. Of us over us.
30. Bent, inclination.
42. Still always.
52. Fruit, the dessert.
56. Doubt, suspect..
60. Desires, good wishes.

-The main (cause).

61. Upon our first audience or opening of our busi


64. Truly modifies was, not found.

67. Borne in hand, played with and deceived. Cf. Ben Jonson's Widow, ii. 1: 'You have borne me in hand this three months, and now fobbed me.'

71. Assay, trial, proof.

79. Regards of safety and allowance, such conditions as are safe and allowable.

81. More considered time time for more consideration.

83. Well-took. S. has also drove for driven; smote for smitten; mistook for mistaken, etc.

86. Expostulate, discuss fully.

90. Wit, wisdom.

104. The remainder (is) thus. Perpend, consider or weigh. This use of learned Latin words-like expostulate, perpend, etc. is noticeable in the style of Polonius. 108. Gather, and surmise, collect the data together and guess.


116-119. Doubt. In the first and second lines, doubt means be doubtful about; in the third, suspect; in the fourth, disbelieve.

121. Reckon, express in numbered verse.

124. Whilst this machine is to him, so long as this body belongs to him. S.'s age was infected by this straining after effect, which Lyly's Euphues had made fashionable, and which was called Euphuism.

126. More above = moreover.

136. Had played the ... table-book, had simply noted it down as if in my tables or memorandum-book, and let it go no further.

137. Given my heart a winking, had connived at the whole thing.


139. Might would you have been able. roundly, without ceremony. 140. Bespeak, address.

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