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With all his crimes broad blown, as flush a as May;
And, how his audit stands, who knows, save heaven?
But, in our circumstance and course of thought,
*T is heavy with him: And am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season à for his passage ?
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent b:
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ;
Or in the incestuous pleasure 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 ;
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.
SCENE IV.-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 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! mother a!
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. the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters." (Ezekiel, xvi. 49.) a Flush. The folio, fresh.
To hent, is to seize ; “know thou a more horrid hent," is, have a more horrid grasp. • Silence. So all the editions except the first quarto, which has “I'll shroud myself.” Mr. Hunter very ingeniously suggests that silence is a misprint for ensconce—a word used by Falstaff in a similar situation.
4 This call of Hamlet is not in the quartos.
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 a tongue.
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 ;
But would you 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 budgé ;
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 murther me?
Help, help, ho!
Pol. [Behind.) What, ho! help! help! help!
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? НАМ. .
Nay, I know not: Is it the king ?
[Lifts up the arras, and draws forth POLONIUS. QUEEN. 0, 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, 't was my word. -
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy betters; 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 is proof and bulwark against sense.
QUEEN. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
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 there; makes marriage vows
a In quartos, wicked; idle, in folio.
• Sets, in the quarto (B); in folio, makes. The repetition of makes is certainly inelegant.
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 a 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 b?
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this 19;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on his brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself ;
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command;
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 follows:
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 thrallid;
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 e ?
[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,
a This solidity-this earth. Heaven and earth are ashamed of your act.
The index is here used as in “Othello:'-—“An index and obscure prologue to the history." • Station-manner of standing, attitude. * The lines in brackets are found in quarto (B), but are not in the folio. So also the four lines below.
• Hoodman-blind-the game which we call blind-man's-buff.
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.
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ;
Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love
Over the nasty stye ;-
0, speak to me no more ; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears ;
No more, sweet Hamlet.
A murtherer, and a villain :
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe
of your precedent lord :-a vice of kings a ;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule ;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
Enter GHOST 20 HAN. A king of shreds and patches :
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards !-What would you, gracious figure ?
QUEEN. Alas! he's mad.
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command ?
GHOST. Do not forget : This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother sits :
O, step between her and her fighting soul;
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works :
Speak to her, Hamlet.
How is it with you, lady ?
QUEEN. Alas, how is 't with you?
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep; * Vice of kings-the Vice of the old Moralities. See · Henry IV., Part IL, Act IIL., Scene 2.
And as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements a,
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look ?
HAM. On him! on him !-Look you, how pale he glares !
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable. Do not look upon me;
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour ; tears, perchance, for blood.
QUEEN. To whom do you speak this ?
Do you see nothing there?
QUEEN. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
No, nothing, but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there ! look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he lived !
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal ! QUEEN. This is the very coinage of your brain :
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music: It is not madness
That I have uttered : bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness speaks :
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place ;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven ;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds,
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue :
For in the fatness of these pursy times,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;
Yea, curbe and woo, for leave to do bim good.
QUEEN. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
HAM. O throw away the worser part of it,
* Excrements—hair, nails, feathers, were called excrements. Isaac Walton, speaking of fowls, says, “ their very excrements afford him a soft lodging at night."
In quartos, ranker; rank, in the folio.