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With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.-Soft you, now!
The fair Ophelia :-Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?

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.

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 beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty.d

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 ;e 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.

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- your beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty.) The reading of the quarto, 1603 : the folio reads, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.

into his likeness ;] The modern editors read its likeness ; but the text is right. Shakspeare and his contemporaries frequently use the personal for the neutral pronoun.-Malone.

Oph. I was the more deceived.

Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why would'st 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,' 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 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; farewell: 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 too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance : Go to, I'll no more oft; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.

[Erit Hamlet. I thoughts to put them in,] To put a thing into thought, is to think on it.JOHNSON.

& -make your wantonness your ignorance :) You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance. - Johnson.

Exit Hamlet.] The severity displayed by Hamlet to Ophelia in this scene bas been the occasion of much discussion. It appears to me that on first perceiving her, he approaches her with gentleness and affection," Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.”—On her returning his gifts, he begins to suspect, that like his school-fellows, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, she is also an emissary of the king, and confederated against him. Perhaps, by an accidental glance of the eye, he discovers where the king and Polonius are watching the event of the interview; and assumes a severity of manner not only to deceive them, but in punishment of the treachery of Ophelia. The hint


Oph. O, 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,
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 and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstasy :* 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,
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
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 ;
of Ophelia's character is taken from a young woman, mentioned by Saxo
Grammaticus, who was employed to betray Hamlet.

the mould of form,] The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves.—Johnson,

k with ecstasy:] The word ecstasy was anciently used to signify some degree of alienation of mind.-STEEVENS.

disclose,] This is a technical term in falconry; and is when the young just peeps through the shell.--STEEVENS.

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 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.

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


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. 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. 0, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings ;" who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise; I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant;" it out-herods Herod : Pray you, avoid it.

1 Play. I warrant your honour. Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own dis

-groundlings;] Spectators in the pit of the theatre, which was in our author's days called the ground, and their places ground-stands.- NARES.

Termagunt;] From the Italian Trivigante, or Tervagant of the French romances. This Trivigante is derived by a learned Italian from Diana Trivia, whose lunar sacrifices, he says, were always preserved among the Scythians. The crusaders, and those who celebrated them, confounded Mahometans with Pagans, and supposed Mahomet or Mahoud to be one of their deities, and Tervagant or Termagant another. This imaginary personage was introduced into our old plays and moralities, and represented as of a most violent character; so that a ranting actor might always appear to advantage in it. NARES' Glossary.

-out-herod's Herod :] The character of Herod, in the ancient mysteries, was always a violent one. -STEEVENS.


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cretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirrour up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.P

Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man," have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

1 Play. I hope, we have reformed that indifferently

with us.




Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them :' for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villainous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it." Go, make you ready.

[Exeunt Players. pressure.] Resemblance as in a print.-Johnson.

:-) i.e. Judgment, opinion.

nor man,] The folio reads, or Norman;" Dr. Farmer proposes, Musselman."

speak no more than is set down for them:] The clown very often addressed the audience in the middle of the play, and entered into a contest of raillery and sarcasm with such of the audience as chose to engage with him. It is to this absurd practice that Shakspeare alludes.-Malone.

u In the first quarto edition of this play, which has recently been discovered, Hamlet here adds, “And then you have some again, that keep one suit of jests, as a man is known by one suit of apparel, and gentlemen quote his jests down in their tables before they come to the play, as thus : 'Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge? and, 'You owe me a quarter's wages :' and, My cost wants a cullison:' and, · Your beer is sour:' and blabbering with his lips, and thus keeping in his cinkapace of jests, when God knows the warm clown cannot make a jest unless by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare; masters, tell him of it.”


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