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But that the dread of something after death,-
The undiscoyer'd country, from whose bourn 16
No traveller returns,—puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all17;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith 18 and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry 19,
And lose the name of action.-Soft you, now !
The fair Ophelia :-Nymph, in thy orisons 20
Be all my sins remember'd.

Good my lord, How does your honour for this many a day? so in silence that thy corage and mynde gronte nor groudge nat.' Paynel's Translation of Erasmus de Contempt. Mundi. The fact seems to be, that to groan and to grunt were convertible terms. • Swyne wode for love groyneth. --Hormans Vulgaria. And Chaucer in The Monk's Tale :

• But never gront he at no stroke but on.' 16 Mr. Douce points out the following passages in Cranmer's Bible, which may have been in Shakspeare's mind :-Afore I goe thither, from whence I shall not turne againe, even to the lande of darkness, and shadowe of death; yea into that darke cloudie lande and deadly shadow whereas is no order, but terrible feare as in the darknesse.'--Job, c. X. The way that I must goe is at hande, but whence I shall not turne againe.' -Ib. c. xvi.

- Weep not for Mortimer, That scorns the world, and as a traveller Goes to discover countries yet unknown.'

Marlowe's King Edward II. ' 17 · I'll not meddle with it, it makes a man a coward.'-King Richard III. Act i. Sc. 4. And again :O coward conscience, how dost thou aflict me.'

Ib. Act v. Sc. 3. 18 Quartos-pitch.

19 Folio-away. 20 • This is a touch of nature. Hamlet, at the sight of Ophelia, does not immediately recollect that he is to personate madness, but makes an address grave and solemn, such as the foregoing meditation excited in his thoughts.'-Johnson.

Ham. I humbly thank you; well.

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver; I pray you, now receive them. Ham.

No, not I; I never gave you aught. Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well,

you did :
And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd
As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
Take these again; for to the noble mind,
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.

Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest?
Oph. My lord ?
Ham. Are you fair ?
Oph. What means your lordship?

Ham. That if you be honest, and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.

Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty ?

Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness; this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

Ham. You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.

Oph. I was the more deceived.
Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why would'st

21 i. e. ' your honesty should not admit your beauty to any discourse with her. The first quarto reads:— Your beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty.' That of 1604 :• You should admit no discourse to your beauty,'

thou be a breeder of sinners ? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in 22, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in; What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven! We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us : Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?

Oph. At home, my lord.

Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him; that he may play the fool no where 23 but in's own house. Farewell.

Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens !

Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry; Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell24 : Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell.

Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him!

Ham. I have heard of your paintings 25 too, well enough;. God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jis, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance 26; Go to; I'll no more of it: it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married

22 [Than I have thoughts to put them in.) To put 'a thing into thought' is ‘ to think on it.' 23 Folio-way.

24 Folio-Go, farewell. 25 The folio, for paintings, has prattlings; and for face has

26 • You mistake hy wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake hy ignorance,


.already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. [Exit HAMLET.

Oph. 0, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword: The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form 27, The observ'd of all observers ! quite, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of his musick vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune 28 and harsh; That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth, Blasted with ecstasy 29: 0, woe is me! To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Re-enter King and POLONIUS. King. Love! his affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, Was not like madness. There's something in his soul, O’er which his melancholy sits on brood; And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose 30, Will be some danger: Which for to prevent, I have, in quick determination, Thus set it down; He shall with speed to England, For the demand of our neglected tribute : Haply, the seas, and countries different, With variable objects, shall expel

· 27 · Speculum consuetudinis.'- Cicero. The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves.

28 Quarto-time.

29 Ecstasy is alienation of mind. Vide the Tempest, Act iii. Sc. 3.

30 To disclose was the ancient term for hatching birds of any kind; from the Fr. esclos, and that from the Lat. exclusus. I believe to exclude is now the technical term. Thus in the Boke of St. Albans, ed. 1496 :-'For to speke of hawkes; Fyrst they ben egges, and afterwarde they ben dysclosed hawkys.. And comynly goshawkes ben disclosyd assoone as the choughs.'

This something-settled matter in his heart; Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus From fashion of himself. What think you on't? : Pol. It shall do well: But yet, I do believe, The origin and commencement of his grief Sprung from neglected love.—How now, Ophelia ? You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said; We heard it all.—My lord, do as you please ; But, if you hold it fit after the play, Let his queen mother all alone entreat him To show his grief; let her be round 31 with him ; And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference: If she find him not, To England send him; or confine him, where Your wisdom best shall think. King.

It shall be so: Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.


SCENE II. A Hall in the same.

Enter HAMLET, and certain Players. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines 1. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently : for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear

31 See note on Act ii. Sc. 2.

1. Have you never seen a stalking stamping player, that will raise a tempest with his tongue, and thunder with his heels.:--The Puritan, a Comedy. The first quarto has, · I'd rather hear a town-ball bellow, than such a fellow speak my lines.'


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