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[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,
What shall I do?
his mouse :d
to ravel all this matter out,
Queen. Be thou assurd, if words be made of breath,
Ham. I must to England; you know that?
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
[Ereunt severally; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS.
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:
who go out.
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!
we been there:
Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
King. O, Gertrude, come away!
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:
[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
Another Room in the same.
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.
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.