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to Gignify this to his Dodor: for, for me to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.

Guild. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.

Ham. I am tame, Sir ;-pronounce.

Guil. The Queen your mother, in most great affli&ion of spirit, hath sent me to you.

Ham. You are welcome.

Guil. Nay, good my lord, this Courtesy is not of the right Breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do


mother's commandment; if not, your pardon, and my return fhall be the end of my business.

Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Guil. What, my lord ?

Han. Make you a wholesome answer : my wit's diseas'd. But, Sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mothertherefore no more but to the matter--my mother, you say

Rof. Then thus she says; your behaviour hath Aruck her into amazement, and admiration.

Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration ?

Rof. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.

Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our moHave you any further trade with us ? (ther,

Rof. My lord, you once did love me.
Ham. So I do still

, by these pickers and stealers. Rof. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely, bar the door of your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.

Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.

Rof. How can that be, when you have the voice of the King himself, for your succession in Denmark?

Ham. .

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Ham. Ay, but while the grass grows--the Proverb is something musty.

Enter one, with a Recorder. Oh, the Recorders ; let me see one. To withdraw with you why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil ?

Guil. Oh my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe ?

Guil. My lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.
Guil. I know no touch of it, my

lord. Ham. 'Tis as easy as lying; govern these ventiges with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse moft eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill.

Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me; you would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops ; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note, to the top of my compass ; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. Why, do you think, that I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe ? call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon -God bless



Enter Polonius. Pol. My lord, the Queen would speak with you, and presently.

Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in Mape of a Camel ?


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Pol. By the mass, and it's like a Camel, indeed.
Ham. Methinks, it is like an Ouzle,
Pol. It is black like an Ouzle.
Ham. Or, like a Whale?
Pol. Very like a Whale,

Ham. Then will I come to my motherby and bythey fool me to the top of my bent.--I will come by and by

Pol. I will say fo.
Ham. By and by is easily said. Leave me, friends.

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When Churchyards yawn, and hell itself breaths out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot-

* And do such business as the better day
Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother-
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
This soul of Nero enter this firm bosom;
Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites ;
How in my words soever she be fhent,
To give them seals never my soul consent ! (Exit.

Enter King, Rosincrantz, and Guildenslern.
. Like him not, nor stands it safe with us

To let his madness range. Therefore, pre

pare you; I your Commission will forthwith dispatch, And he to England shall along with you. * And do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on.- --] The old Quarto 'reads,

And do such business as the bitter day, &c. This is a little corrupt indeed, but much nearer Shakespear's Words, who wrote, better day.




Ι Ε Τ 287
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard fo near us, as doth hourly grow
Out of his Lunacies.

Guil. We will provide ourselves;
Most holy and religious fear it is,
To keep those many, many, Bodies safe,
That live and feed upon your Majesty.

Rof. The fingle and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from noyance; but much more,
That fpirit, on whose weal depends and refts
The lives of many. The cease of Majesty
Dies not alone, but, like a gulf, doth draw
What's near it with it. It's a massy wheel
Fixt on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortiz'd and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boift'rous ruin. Ne'er alone
Did the King figh; but with a gen'ral groan.

King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
Both. We will halte us. Exeunt Gentlemen.

Enter Polonius.
Pol. My lord, he's gone to his mother's closet;
behind the arras I'll convey myself
To hear the process, I'll warrant, she'll tax him home.
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meet, that some more audience than a mother
(Since nature makes them partial,) should o'er-hear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liegels
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

King. Thanks, dear my lord. .
Oh! my offence is rank, it smells to heav'n,
It hath the primal, eldest, curse upon't ;


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A brother's murder.- Pray I cannot,
* Though inclination be as sharp as th' ill;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent:
And, like a man to double business bound,
I fand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglea. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood ?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heav'ns
To wash it white as snow ? whereto serves Mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence ?
And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be fore-ftalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being down ? then I'll look up ;
My fault is pait.-But oh, what form of

prayer Can ferve my turn? Forgive me my foul mur

der ! That cannot be, since I am still posseft Of those effects for which I did ihe murder, My Crown, mine own Ambition, and my Queen. + May one be pardon'd, and retain th' effects ? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice ; And oft 'tis feen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the law; but 'tis not so above: There, is no shuffling; there, the adion lies In his true nature, and we ourselves compell'd, Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? what rests ? Try, what repentance can: What can it not? * Though inclination be as sharp as will;] We should read,

Tho' inclinati on be as Marp as th' ill ; b. i. tho' my Inclination makes me as restless and uneasy as my Crime does.

Warb. + May one be pardon'd, and retain th' offence?) 'This is a strange Question ; and much the same as to ask whether his Offence could be remitted while it was retain'd. Shakespear here repeated a Word with Propriety and Elegance which he employed two Lines above,

May one be pardon'd and retain th' Effeas? i. 6. of his murder, and this was a reasonable Question. Warb.


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