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The King rises, and advances.
Another Room in the same.
Enter Queen and Polonius.
I'll warrant you; Fear me not:-withdraw, I hear him coming.
[Polonius hides himself.
Ham. Now, mother; what's the matter?
fended. Ham. Mother, you have my father much of
presented as a virtuous character, is not content with taking blood for blood, but contrives damnation for the man that he would punish, is too horrible to be read or to be uttered. JOHNSON.
This speech of Hamlet's, as Johnson observes, is horrrible indeed ; yet some moral may be extracted from it, as all his subsequent calamities were owing to this savage refinement of revenge.
M. Mason. I'll silence me e’en here.] i. e. I'll use no more words.
Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle
tongue. Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet? Ham.
What's the matter now? Queen. Have
you forgot me? Ham.
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, ho! help!
How now! a rat?
[Draws. Dead, for a ducat, dead.
[Hamlet makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.]
O, I am slain.
[Falls, and dies. Queen. O me, what hast thou done? Ham.
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 mo
ther, As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
Queen. As kill a king ! ? Queen. As kill a king!] This exclamation may be considered as some hint that the Queen had no hand in the murder of Hanılet's father.
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; If damned custom have not braz'd it so, That it be proof and bulwark against sense. Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag
Ah me, what act,
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;'
Such an act,
from the body of contraction-] Contraction for marriage contract.
9 — and thunders in the index?] Bullokar in his Expositor, 8vo. 1616, defines an Inder by “ A table in a booke.” The table was almost always prefixed to the books of our poet's age. Indexes, in the sense in which we now understand the word, were very uncommon.
"Look here, upon this picture, and on this:] It is evident from the following words,
“ A station, like the herald Mercury," &c.
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
you at hoodman-blind?5
that these pictures which are introduced as miniatures on tho stage, were meant for whole lengths, being part of the furniture of the Queen's closet.
! A station like the herald Mercury, &c.] Station, in this instance, does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing
batten-] i. e. to grow fat. Bat is an ancient word for increase.
Sense, sure, you have, Else, could you not have motion:] Sense is sometimes used by Shakspeare for sensation or sensual appetite; as motion is the effect produced by the impulse of nature.
at hoodman-blind?] Probably the same as blindman'sbuff.
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
O Hamlet, speak no more:
Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed; Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love Over the nasty stye;Queen.
O, speak to me no more; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears; No more, sweet Hamlet. Ham.
A murderer, and a villain:
your precedent lord:-a vice of kings:?
6 Could not so mope.] i. e. could not exhibit such marks of stupidity.
1 If thou canst mutine, &c.] To mutine, was the ancient term, signifying to rise in mutiny.
grained-) Died in grain, or perhaps, indented. 9 As will not leave their tinct.] To leave is to part with, give
enseamed bed;] i. e. greasy bed.
rice of kings:) A low mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a farce; from whence the modern punch is descended.