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Ham. Ecstacy!
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful musick : It is not madness,
That I have utter'd : 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, curba and woo, for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in

twain.
Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night: but go not to my uncle's bed ;
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this;
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock, or livery,
That aptly is put on : Refrain to-night:
And hat shall nd a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence: the next more easy:
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either curb the devil, or throw him out
With wond'rous potency. Once more, good night;
And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,

[Pointing to POLONIUS. I do repent: but heaven hath pleas'd it 80,

do not spread the compost, &c.] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your former offences.-Johnsox.

curb-] That is, bend and truckle ; Fr. courber.--STEEVENS.

To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
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.-
But one word more, good lady.
Queen.

What shall I do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat kinge tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your

cheek ;

call
you,

his mouse :d
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make

you

to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know:
For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock,e from a bat, a gib,"
Such dear concernings hide? who would do so?
No, in despite of sense, and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly;s and, like the famous ape,
To try conclusions," in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou assurd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.

Ham. I must to England; you know that?
Queen.

Alack, I had forgot; 'tis so concluded on.

b To punish me with this, and this with me,] To punish me by making me the instrument of this man's death, and to punish this man by my hand.-MALONE.

c Let the bloat king-] This again hints at his intemperance. He had already drank himself into a dropsy.—BLACKSTONE.

- his mouse;] This term of endearment is very ancient.-MALONE. e-paddock,] i.e. A toad. The word was used by Dryden, and probably not since.--NARES. f

- a gib,] A common name for a cat. STEEVENS. 8 Unpeg the basket on the house's top,

Lei the birds fly ;] Sir John Suckling, in one of his letters, may possibly allude to the same story: It is the story of the Jackanapes and the partridges; thou starest after a beauty till it be lost to thee, and then let'st out another, and starest after that till it is gone too."-WARNER.

h To try conclusions,] i. e. Make experiments.

Ham. There's letters seal'd: and my two school-fel

lows,
Whom I will trust, as I will adders fang’d, -
They bear the mandate ; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery: Let it work;
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoists with his own petar: and it shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon : 0, tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
This man shall set me packing.
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room :
Mother, good night.-Indeed, this counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you :"
Good night, mother.

[Ereunt severally; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS.

ACT IV."

Scene I.--The same.

Enter King, Queen, RosENCRANTZ,and Guildenstern. King. There's matter in these sighs; these profound

heaves; i-addersfang'd- ] That is, adders with their fangs or poisonous teeth, undrawn.-JOHNSON.

* Hoist, &c.) Hoist for hoised; as past for passed. ! When in one line two crafts directly meet. Still alluding to a countermine.MALONE.

the guts-] This word was not anciently so offensive to delicacy as it is at present; but was used by Lyly (who made the first attempt to polish our language) in his serious compositions. “Could not the treasure of Phrygia, nor the tributes of Greece, nor mountains in the east, whose guts are gold, satisfy thy mind?” Mydas. 1592.-STEEVENS.

Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you:] Shakspeare has been unfortunate in his management of the story of this play, the most striking circumstances of which arise so early in its formation, as not to leave him room for a conclusion suitable to the importance of its beginning. After this last interview with the ghost, the character of Hamlet has lost all its consequence.—STEEVENS.

Act IV.] This play is printed in the old editions without any separation of the acts. The division is modern and arbitrary; and is here not very happy, for the pause is made at a time when there is more continuity of action than in almost any other of the scenes.—Johnson.

You must translate: 'tis fit we understand them:
Where is your son?
Queen. Bestow this place on us a little while.-
[To ROSENCRANTZ and GuildeNSTERN,

who go out.
Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!

King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

Queen. Mad as the sea, and wind, when both contend Which is the mightier: In his lawless fit, Behind the arras hearing something stir, Whips out his rapier, and cries, A rat! a rat! And, in this brainish apprehension, kills The unseen good old man. King.

O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had

we been there:
His liberty is full of threats to all;
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas! how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain’d, and out of haunt,
This mad young man: but, so 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
Even on the pith of life. Where he is gone?

Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
O’er whom his very madness, like some ore,
Among a minerala of metals base,
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.

King. O, Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
We must, with all our majesty and skill,
Both countenance and excuse.—Ho! Guildenstern!

Enter RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Friends both, go join you with some further aid : Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,

out of haunt,] i. e. Out of company. 9 --- a mineral-] i. e. A mine.

And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him:
Go, seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.

[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
And let them know, both what we mean to do,
And what's untimely done: so, haply, slander,-
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,"
Transports his poison'd shot,-may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air.— come away!
My soul is full of discord, and dismay. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Another Room in the same.

Enter HAMLET.

Ham. —Safely stowed, [Rosen. 8c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet!] But soft--what noise? who calls on Hamlet? O, here they come.

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.

Ros. What hape you done, my lord, with the dead body? Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.

Ros. Tell us where 'tis; that we may take it thence, And bear it to the chapel.

Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?

Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge !-what replication should be made by the son of a king ?

Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord ?

Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: He keeps them, like an ape,' in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed:

blunk,] i.e. The white mark in the centre of the target.
like an ape,) i. e. As an ape does an apple.Ritson.

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