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Oph. Ay, my lord.

Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.

Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.

Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens ! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse;" whose epitaph is, For, 0, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.

Trumpets sound. The dumb Show follows.3

Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen

embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck : lays him down upon a bank of flowers ; she, seeing him

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-Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables.] Nay then, says Hamlet, if my father be so long dead as you say, let the devil wear black; as for me, so far from wearing a mourning dress, I'll wear the most costly and magnificent suit that can be procured : a suit trimmed with sables ; which in our poet's time was the richest dress worn in England.

suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse ;] Amongst the country May-games there was an hobby-horse, which, when the puritanical humour of those times opposed and discredited these games, was brought by the poets and ballad-makers as an instance of the ridiculous zeal of the sectaries : from these ballads Hamlet quotes a line or two. WARBURTON.

The dumb show follows.] and appears to contain every circumstance of the murder of Hamlet's father. Now there is no apparent reason why the Usurper should not be as much affected by this mute representation of his crimes, as he is afterwards when the same action is accompanied by words.

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asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns ; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts ; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love. [Exeunt.

Oph. What means this, my lord ? Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.4

Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of

the play.

Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow : the players cannot keep counsel ; they'll tell all.

Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant ?

Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: Be not you ashamed to show,' he'll not shame to tell you what it means.

Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark

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the play.

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Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.] The word miching is daily used in the West of England for playing truant, or sculking about in private for some sinister purpose ; and malicho, inaccurately written for malheco, signifies mischief! so that miching malicho is mischief on the watch for opportunity.

Be not you ashamed to show, &c.] The conversation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to disgust every modern reader, is probably such as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shakspeare, which was, by no means, the age of delicacy. The poet is, however, blameable: for extravagance of thought, not indecency of expression, is the characteristick of madness, at least of such madness as should be represented on the

Steevens.

scene.

Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,

We beg your hearing patiently. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord. Ham. As woman's love.

Enter a King and a Queen. P. King. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' cart

gone round

Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground; And thirty dozen moons, with borrow'd sheen," About the world have times twelve thirties been; Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands, Unite commutual in most sacred bands.

P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er, ere love be done !
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer, and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must :
For women fear too much, even as they love;
And women's fear and love hold quantity;
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath inade you know;
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear ;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and

shortly too ;
My operant powers their functions leave to do:
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov’d; and, haply, one as kind

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For husband shalt thou—
P. Queen.

O, confound the rest !
Such love must needs be treason in my breast :
In second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first.

Ham. That's wormwood.
P. Queen. The instances, that second marriage

move,
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love;
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. King. I do believe, you think what now you

speak;
But, what we do determine, oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory ;
Of violent birth, but poor validity :
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
To
pay

ourselves what to ourselves is debt ::
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy ::
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye ; nor 'tis not strange,
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.

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9 The instances,] The motives.

what to ourselves is debt:] The performance of a resolution, in which only the resolver is interested, is a debt only to himself, which he may therefore remit at pleasure.

? Their own enactures with themselves destroy :] What grief or joy enact or determine in their violence, is revoked in their abatement. Enactures is the word in the quarto; all the modern edi. tions have enactors. JOHNSON.

The great man down, you mark his favourite flies ;
The poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend :
For who not needs, shall never lack a friend ;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,-
Our wills, and fates, do so contráry run,
That our devices still are overthrown ;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our

own:
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead.
P. Queen. Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven

light!
Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope !
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope !

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Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever i be wife !
Ham. If she should break it now,-

[To Ophelia. P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here

a while; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.

[Sleeps. P. Queen.

Sleep rock thy brain ; And never come mischance between us twain !

[Exit.
Ham. Madam, how like you this play?
Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Ham. O, but she'll keep her word.

An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope ) May my whole liberty and enjoyment be to live on hermit's fare in a prison. Anchor is for anchoret. Johnson.

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