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For, in the fatness of these purfy times,
Virtue itself of vice muft pardon beg,
Yea, curb and wooe, for leave to do it good.
Queen. Oh Hamlet! thou haft cleft my heart in


Ham. O, throw away the worfer part of it, And live the purer with the other half. Good night; but go not to mine uncle's bed, Affume a virtue, if you have it not. 7 That monster custom, who all fenfe doth eat Of habits, Devil, is angel yet in this; That to the use of actions fair and good He likewife gives a frock, or livery, That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night; And that fhall lend a kind of eafiness To the next abftinence; the next, more eafy; For ufe can almost change the stamp of Nature, And mafter ev'n the Devil, or throw him out With wondrous potency. Once more, good night! And when you are defirous to be bleft, I'H Bleffing beg of you. For this fame Lord, [Pointing to Polonius.


I do repent: but heav'ns have pleas'd it fo,
To punish this with me, and me with this
That I must be their scourge and minister.

6-curb-] That is, bend and truckle.

7 That monfter cuftum, who all fenfe doth eat


Of Habit's Devil, is angel yet in this:] This paffage is left out in the two elder folio's: It is certainly corrupt, and the play. ers did the difcreet part to ftifle what they did not understand. Habit's Devil certainly arofe from fome conceited tamperer with the text, who thought it was neceffary, in contralt to Angel. The emendation of the text I owe to

the fagacity of Dr. Thirly. That morfter cuftim, who al fenfe doth eat,

Of habits evil, is angel, &c.

THEOBALD. I think Thirlby's conjecture wrong, though the fucceeding editors have followed it; Angel and Der il are evidently oppofed,


To punish this with me, &c.] This is Harmer's reading; the other editions have it,

To punish me with this, and this with me.

I will

R 3

I will bestow him, and will answer well

The death I gave him. So, again, good night!
I must be cruel, only to be kind;

Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.

Queen. What fhall I do?

Ham. Not this by no means, that I bid you do. 9 Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his moufe; And let him, for a pair of reechy kiffes,

Or padling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I effentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him know,
For who that's but a Queen, fair, fober, wife,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gibbe,
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do fo?
No, in defpight of fenfe and fecrefy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
To try conclufions, in the basket creep;
And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou affur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou haft faid to me.

Ilam. I muft to England, you know that?
Queen. Alack, I had forgot; 'tis fo concluded on.
Ham. There's Letters fealed, and my two school

Whom I will truft, as I will


adders fang'd;


9 Let the fond King-] The old quarto reads,

Let the bloat King·

i.e bloated, which is better, as more expreffive of the fpeaker's WARBURTON. There's Letter Seal'd, &c.] The ten following verfes are added out of the old edition.




adders fang'd ;] That is, Adders with their fangs, or poiJonous teeth, undrawn. It has been the practice of mountebanks to boast the efficacy of their antidotes by playing with vi pers, but they firft difabled their fangs.


They bear the mandate; they must fweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work.
For 'tis the fport, to have the engineer ·

Hoift with his own petard; and 't shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon. O, 'tis most fweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet!
This man fhall fet me packing.

I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.
Mother, good night.-Indeed, this Counsellor
Is now most still, moft fecret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
Come, Sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good-night, mother.

[Exit Hamlet, tugging in Polonius.


A Royal Apartment.

Enter King and Queen, with Rofincrantz, and Guildenstern.


HERE's matter in these fighs; these profound heaves


You must tranflate; 'tis fit, we understand them. Where is your fon?

*This play is printed in the old editions without any feparation of the A&s. The divifion is modern and arbitrary; and is here not very happy, for the R 4

paufe is made at a time when there is more continuity of action than in almost any other of the Scenes.


Queen, Bestow this place on us a little while. [To Rof. and Guild. who go out. Ah, my good Lord, what have I feen to-night? King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet? Queen. Mad as the feas, and wind, when both con tend

Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing fomething stir,
He whips his rapier out, and cries, a rat!
And, in this brainifh apprehenfion, kills
The unfeen good old man.

King. O heavy deed!

It had been fo with us had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all,
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas! how fhall this bloody deed be anfwer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, reftrain'd, and 3 out of haunt,
This mad young man. But fo much was 'our love,
We would not understand what was most fit;
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Ev'n on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd,
O'er whom his very madness, 4 like fome ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shews itself pure. He weeps for what is done.
King. O Gertrude, come away.

The fun no fooner fhall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence; and this vile deed
We muft, with all our Majefty and Skill,
Both countenance and excufe.

Ho! Guildenstern

3 out of haunt,] I would rather read, out of harm.

4 — Lk jone ore] Shakespeare

feems to think ore to be Or, that is, gold. Bafe metals have ore no less than precious.


Enter Rofincrantz and Guildenstern.


Friends both, go join you with some further aid
Hamlet in madnefs hath Polonius flain,
And from his mother's closet hath he drag'd him.
Go feek him out, fpeak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. Pray you, haft in this.

[Exeunt Rof. and Guild. Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wifeft friends, And let them know both what we mean to do, And what's untimely done. For, haply, Slander, 5 Whofe whisper o'er the world's diameter, As level as the cannon to his blank, Transports its pofon'd fhot; may miss our Name,

5 Whose whisper o'er the
world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his
Tranfports its poifon'd fhot,
may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air.

O, come away!] Mr. Pope takes notice, that I replace fome verfes that were imperfect, (and, tho' of a modern date, feem to be genuine;) by inferting two words. But to fee, what an accurate and faithful collator he is; I produced these verses in my SHAKESPEARE restored, from a quarto edition of Hamlet, printed in 1637, and happened to fay, that they had not the authority of any earlier date in print, that I knew of, than that quarto. Upon the ftrength of this Mr. Pope comes and calls the lines modern, tho' they were in the quartos of 1605. and 1611, which I had not then feen, but both of which Mr. Pope pretends to have collated. The

verfes carry the very ftamp of Shakef eare upon them. The coin, indeed, has been clipt from our first receiving it; but it is not fo diminished, but that with a small affiftance we may hope to make it pass current. I am far from affirming, that, by inferting the words, For, haply, Siander, I have given the poet's very words; but the fupplement is fuch as the fentiment naturally seems to demand. The poet has the fame thought, concerning the diffufive pow'rs of flander, in another of his plays.

No, 'tis flander ;

Whofe edge is harper that the
fword, whofe tongue
Out-venoms all the worms of

Nile, whofe breath
Rides on the potting wind,

and doth bely

All corners of the world.

Cymbeline. THEOBALD.


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