IV. v. 174. rosemary. Flower symbolism was an elaborate system in mediæval and Elizabethan England. Cf. The Handfull of Pleasant Delights (1684):
Rosemarie is for remembrance,
betweene vs dale and night:
Wishing that I might alwaies haue
you present in my sight.
IV. v. 176. pansies. French, pensées; a country emblem of love and courtship.
IV. v. 180. rue. It was usually mingled with holy water and then known as 'herb of grace.' Hence "we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays." Wormwood, the emblem of remorse, was likewise called herb of grace.
IV. v. 182. difference. An heraldic bearing, distinguishing the arms of one branch of the same family from another. Ophelia implies that for the Queen rue signifies the remembrance of things to be repented, for herself—regret. Thus the "difference."
IV. v. 186. For . . . joy. The music for this song is contained in 's Citharn Schoole (1597). It is probably a Robin Hood ballad now lost.
IV. vii. 20. spring. There are several springs in England whose water is so heavily charged with lime that they will petrify with a deposit of lime any object placed in them. There is one at King's Newnham in Warwickshire and another at Knaresborough in Yorkshire.
IV. vii. 21. gyves. I.e., would turn punishments inflicted upon Hamlet into proofs of his good qualities.
IV. vii. 23. reverted. I.e., the 'loud wind' of