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The King rises, and advances.
King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain be-

Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go.



Another Room in the same.

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

to him:
Tell him, his pranks have been toobroad 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.

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

[Polonius hides himself.



Ham. Now, mother; what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much of-

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

thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

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 there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths: 0, such a deed
As from the body of contraction® 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;'

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.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and cominand;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
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 fol-

Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. 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 resery'd some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd

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,
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 mutine 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;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

O Hamlet, speak no more:
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
And there I see such black and grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.o

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:
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe

your precedent lord:-a vice of kings:?
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!

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


up, resign.


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.


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