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We o'er-raught on the way :a of these we told him;
'Tis most true :
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and GUILDENSTERN. KING.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too: For we have closely (1) sent for Hamlet hither;
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here *
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,')
I shall obey you:
Madam, I wish it may.
• there, 1623. 39. heere
cere 4 to
a o'er-raught on the way] Reached or overtook. “ Was not the samyn misfortoun me over-raucht ?" Gaw. Dougl. Æn.
STEEVENS. blawful espials] Spies justifiably inquisitive. See 1 H. VI. Master Gunner, I. 4.
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here: Gracious, so
please you, We will bestow ourselves: Read on this book ;
[To OPHELIA. That show of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this, 'Tis too much prov'd, a that, with devotion's
visage, And pious action, we do sugar * o'er The devil himself.
1623, 32. King.
O, 'tis too true! how smart
[Aside. Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord.
[Ereunt King and POLONIUS.
• So 4tos. Surge.
HAM. To be, or not to be, that is the question:
* too much proved] Found by too frequent experience.
JOHNSON. • More ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word.] To is, in comparison, with. See All's W.III. 5, Hel. Painted is falsely coloured.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
The oppressor's wrong, the poor man's contumely, • despised, The pangs of dispriz'd * love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
a when we have shuffled off this mortal coil] Coil is here used in each of its senses, that of turmoil or bustle, and that which entwines or wraps round. “ This muddy vesture of decay," M. of V. Lor. V. i. Those folds of mortality that encircle and entangle us. Snakes generally lie in folds like the coils of ropes : and, it is conceived, that an allusion is here had to the struggle which that animal is obliged to make in casting his slough, or extricating himself from the skin, that forms the exterior of this coil. And this he throws off annually. o must give us pause] Stop our career, occasion reflection.
- There's the respect,
Thut makes calamity of so long life.] The consideration that makes the evils of life so long submitted to, lived under.
The whips and scorns of time] Those sufferings of body and mind, those stripes and mortifications to which, in its course, the life of man is subjected. Of the “ whips of heaven,” he speaks in Timon, V. 1. Poet.
e The poor man's contumely] The slight, the spurnings, to which that condition subjects him. “ Ridiculos homines facit,” says Juvenal, III. 153. The reading of the 4to is proud : and certainly that which the one, the proud man, offers, is more in the course of the idea, and a more natural form of speaking, than that which the other, the poor man, suffers.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ; a
Good my lord,
HAM. I humbly thank you; well.
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
No, not I;
pos'd As made the things more rich: their* perfume . so 4tos. lost, *
HAM. Ha, ha! are you honest?
a Thus conscience does make cowards of us all] A state of doubt and uncertainty, a conscious feeling or apprehension, a misgiving “ How our audit stands.” III. 3. Haml. b With this regard their currents turn away,
And lose the name of action.] From this sole consideration have their drifts diverted, and lose the character and name of enterprise.
• Soft you, now] A gentler pace! have done with this lofty march!
HAM. That if you be honest, and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your
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;a 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 thou be a breeder of sinners ? I am myself indif. ferent 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 • So 4tos.To thoughts to put them in, imagination * to give them put them in shape, or time to act them in : What should such imagination, to give." fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven! 1623, 32. We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us : Go
thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?
La his likeness] See “ The noble substance dout to his own scandal." 1. 4. Haml.
binoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it] So change the original constitution and properties, as that no smack of them shall remain. “ Inoculate our stock” are terms in gardening.
c with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, &c.] With more vitious dispositions, like evil genii at my elbow, and ready at a nod to start into act, than can distinctly be conceived: for, “ to put a thing into thought," Johnson says, is “ to think on it." Much in the same manner Malcolm disqualifies himself. Macb. IV. 3.