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O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limed soul, that struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels ! make assay:
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe.
All may be well.

[Retires and kneels.

Enter HAMLET. Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is praying?; And now I'll do't :—and so he goes to heaven, And so am I reveng’d? That would be scann'd: A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole sons, do this same villain send To heaven. Why, this is hire and salary', not revenge. He took my father grossly, full of bread; With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May'', And how his audit stands, who knows, save heaven? But, in our circumstance and course of thought, 'Tis heavy with him; and am I then reveng’d, To take him in the purging of his soul, When he is fit and season'd for his passage? No. Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent'. When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ; Or in th' incestuous pleasures of his bed ; At gaming, swearing; or about some act, That has no relish of salvation in't; Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,

7 — Pat, now he is praying ;) The quartos, 1604, &c. read," but now 'a is a praying.” The line is not in the quarto, 1603.

81, his sole son,] This is the reading of the quartos, 1604, &c. The folio has “ foul son,” which may be right.

9 Why, this is HIRE and salary,] The quartos, 1604, &c. read, “ Why, this is base and silly.The reading of the folio is much to be preferred.

10 — as flusa as May ;] The folio poorly has it, “ as fresh as May."

1 - a more horrid HENT :) We have previously had “ hent” used as a verb. See Vol. ii. p. 87, and Vol. iii. p. 492, and there it meant to seize or to take : substantively it is therefore seizure.

And that his soul may be as damn'd, and black.
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.


The King rises and advances. King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go. [Exit.


A Room in the Same.

Enter Queen and POLONIUS. Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay home to

Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your grace hath screen’d and stood between .
Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here.
Pray you, be round with him?.

Ham. [Within.] Mother, mother, mothers!

I'll warrant you"; Fear me not:-withdraw, I hear him coming.

[POLONIUS hides himself.

Enter HAMLET. Ham. Now, mother! what's the matter? Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen. Come, come; you answer with an idle tongue. Ham. Go, go; you question with a wicked tongue.

— be round with him.) i. e. be plain with him. See this Vol. p. 265. 3 Ham. [Within] Mother, mother, mother !] In the folio only. 4 I'll warrant you ;] In the earlier quartos it stands “ I'll wait you."

5 — with a WICKED tongue.) So the quartos, 1604, &c., and rightly : in the folio the compositor repeated idle, catching it, no doubt, from the previous line. The passage is wanting in the quarto, 1603, where the scene is much mangled.

Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet !

What's the matter now?
Queen. Have you forgot me?

No, by the rood, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife; And, -would it were not so ®!—you are my mother.

Queen. Nay then, I'll set those to you that can speak. Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not

budge: You go not, till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you. Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder

me. Help, help, ho!

Pol. [Behind.] What, bo! help! help! help!
Ham. How now! a rat?? [Draws.] Dead for a ducat,

dead. (HAMLET makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.] 0! I am slain. [Falls and dies. Queen.

O me! what hast thou done?

Nay, I know not: Is it the king ?

[Lifts up the Arras, and draws forth POLONIUS. Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this !

Ham. A bloody deed; almost as bad, good mother, As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a king !

Ay, lady, 'twas my word.— Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.

[To POLONIUS. I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune: Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down, And let me wring your heart: for so I shall, If it be made of penetrable stuff;



6 AND,-would it were not so !] The folio, “ Butwould you were not so.”

? How now! a rat?] In Shirley's “ Traitor," 1635, Depazzi says of a secreted listener,“ Sirrah, sirrah! I smell a rat behind the hangings.”

If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy

In noise so rude against me?

Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister thereo; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths : O! such a deed,
As from the body of contractiono plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth glow,
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act'.

Ah me! what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index??

Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this ;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command ;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;

8 And SETS a blister there ;] The folio, “And makes,&c. The difference is not material. It previously reads betters for “ better;" but in giving “is” for be in “That it is proof," in the second line of this page, it seems right, and we have followed it.

9 — from the body of CONTRACTION—] “ Contraction,” for marriage contract, says Warburton.

i Is thought-sick at the act.] We have adopted our text from the folio in this passage, because it seems more intelligible : the quarto, 1604, (followed by the later editions in the same form) gives it thus :

“Heavens face does glow
O'er this solidity and compound mass,

With heated visage,” &c. 2- and thunders in the INDEX ?] i. e. in the commencement, where the indexes of books were formerly placed. See Vol. v, p. 397. In the quartos, 1604, &c. this line is assigned to Hamlet.

A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband : look you now, what follows.
Here is your husband ; like a mildew'd ear,
Blasting his wholesome brothers. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor*? Ha! have you eyes?
You cannot call it, love ; for, at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense, sure, you have,
Else, could you not have motion; but, sure, that sense
Is apoplex’d; for madness would not err,
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall’d,
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush ? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutines in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,

3 — his wholesome brother.] So the quartos: the folio, breath : and in this speech the readings of the earlier copies are generally to be preferred.

4 And BATTEN on this moor ?] To “ batten" is to feed or fatten, probably from the Saxon batan, to bait.

5 To serve in such a difference.] This passage, from “Sense, sure, you have," is only in the quartos, 1604, &c.

6 at HOODMAN-Blind ?] This should seem to have been the old name of Hindman's buff, or bough! It is often mentioned.

7 Could not so mope.) This passage, from “ Eyes without feeling,” also is wanting in the folios.

8 If thou canst mutine-) To “ mutine” was formerly used for to mutiny, not merely in verse, but in prose. In “King John," Vol. iv. p. 31, we have seen Shakespeare employ “mutines " for mutineers : so also in Act v. sc. 2, of this play.

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