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No, in despite of sense, and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly ; and, like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou assur'd, 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.
Ham. There's letters seal’d: and my two school-

fellows,
Whom I will trust, as I will adders fang'd, 3
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
Hoist with his own petar : and it shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon : (), '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.

[Exeunt severally ; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS.

ACT IV. SCENE 1.5--The same. Enter King, Queen, RozenCRANTZ,

and GUILDENSTERN. King. There's matter in these sighs; these profound

heaves ; You must translate : 'tis fit we understand them :

(3) That is, adders with their fangs, or poisonous teeth undrawn. It has been the practice of mountebanks to boast the efficacy of their antidotes by playing with vipers, but they first disabled their fangs. JOHNSON

[4] Still alluding to a countermine. MALONE.

[5] 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 pacse is made at a time when there is more continuity of action than in almost any other of the scenes: JOHNSON. 23

VOL. VIII.

Where is your son?
Queen. Bestow this place on us a little while.-

(To Ros. and Guil. 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, 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 is he gone?

Queen, To draw.apart the body he hath kill'd:
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore,
Among a mineral 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 ! Gaildenstern!

Enter ROSENCRANT2 and GUILDENSTERN.
Friends both, go-join you with some further aid :
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
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,m-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,-[Ros. &c. within. Hamlet !
lord Hamlet !] But soft,-what noise? who calls on
Hamlet? O, here they come.

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ros.What have 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 anape, in the corner of his jaw ; first mouthed, to be last swallowed : When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.

Ros. I understand you not, my lord.

Ham. I am glad of it: A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

R08. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king.

Ham. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing

Guil. A thing, my lord ? Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide, fox, and all after.7

[Exeunt.

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[61, The quarto has apple, which is generally followed. The folic has ape, which Sir T. Hanmer has thus illustrated :

. It is the way of monkeys in eating, to throw that part of their food, which they take up first, into a pouch theyfare provided with on each side of their jaw, and there they keep it till they have done with the rest.”. JOHN.

Apple in the quarto is a mere typographical error. The meaning is clearly " as an ape does an apple." RITSON. [7] There is a-play among children called, “ Hide, fox, and all after."

HANMER:

SCENE.III.
Another Room in the same. Enter King, attended.
King. I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.
How dangerous is it, that this man goes loose ?
Yet must not we put the strong law on him :
He's lov'd of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes ;
And, wbere 'tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause : Diseases, desperate grown,
By desperate appliance are reliev'd,

Enter ROSENCRANTZ.
Or not at all. How now? what hath befallen ?

Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.

King. But where is he?
Ros. Without, my lord ; guarded, to know your

pleasure.
King. Bring him before us.
Ros. Ho, Guildenstern ! bring in my lord.

Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN.
King. Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius ?
Ham. At supper.
King. At supper? Where :

Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten : 2 certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet : we fat all creatures else, to fat us; and we fat ourselves for maggots : Your fat king and your lean beggar, is but variable service; two dishes, but to one table ; that's the end.

King. Alas, alas! Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

King. What dost thou mean by this ?

Ham. Nothing, but to show you how a king may go & progress through the guts of a beggar.

King. Where is Polonius?

Ham. In heaven ; send thither to see : if your mes. senger find him not there, seek him i'the other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby

King. Go seek him there. [To some Attendants,
Ham. He will stay till you come. (Exeunt Attendants.
King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety',-
Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done,-must send thee hence
With fiery quickness : Therefore, prepare thyself ;
The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
The associates tend, and every thing is bent
For England.

Ham. For England ?
King. Ay, Hamlet.
Ham. Good..
King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes:

Ham. I see a cherub, that sees them. But, come ; for?" England !-Farewell, dear mother.

King. Thy loving father, Hamlet. Ham. My mother: Father and mother is man and" wife ; man and wife is one flesh ; and so, my motherCome, for England.

[Exit. King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard;. Delay it not ; I'll have him hence to-night; Away ; for every thing is seal'd and done. That else leans on the affair : Pray you, make haste.

[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL. And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught, (As my great power thereof may give thee sense ;: Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red After the Danish sword, and thy free awe Pays homage to us,) thou may.'st not coldly sets Our sovereign process ; which imports at full, By letters conjuring to that effect, The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England ;, For like the hectie in my blood he rages, And thou must cure me: Till I know 'tis done; Howe'er my haps, my joys will ne'er begin. (Exit.

X

SCENE IV. A Plain in Denmark. Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching

For. Go, captain, for me greet the Danish king ; Tell him, that, by his licence, Fortinbras

[8] Our poet has here, I think, used an elliptical expression: thou mayest not coldly set by our sovereign process;" thou mayest not set little by it, or estimate it lightly. See many other instances of similar ellipses in Cymbies line, act v. sc. 5.

MALONE
23* VOL. VIIL.

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