Page images
PDF
EPUB

Yet what can it! when one can but repent ? Oh wretched state! oh bofom, black as death! Oh limed soul, that, struggling to be free, Art more engaged! help, angels! make affay ! Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of

steel, Be soft as finews of the new-born babe ! All may be well. (The King retires and kneels.

S CE N E IX.

Enter Hamlet. Ham. OW might I do it pat, now he is pray

ing, And now I'll do't-and so he goes to heav'n.And so am I reveng'd ? that would be scann'd; A villain kills my father, and for that #I, his fall'n son, do this same villain send To heav'nO, this is hire and l'alary, not re

venge. He took my father grofly, full of bread, With all his crimes broad blown, and flush as May; And how his audit Atands, who knows, fave heav'n? But in our circumstance and course of thought, 'Tis heavy with him. Am I then reveng'd, To take him in the purging of his soul, When he is fit and season'd for his passage ? Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid bent; When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage, Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed; At gaming, swearing, or about some act * Yet what can it, when one cannot repent!] Shakespear wrote,

Yet what can it, when one can but repent? 1. 6. what can Repentance do without Refitution? a natural and reasonable thought; and which the Transcribers might have seen was the Result of his preceding Reflexions.

IVarb. + 1, his sole fon, do this same villain send ] The Folio reads foule fon. This will lead us to the true Reading. Which is, fallon fon, b.i. disinherited.

Warb.

That

That has no relisa of salvation in't ;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heav'n ;
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays ;
This phyfic but prolongs thy sickly days. [Exit.

The King rises, and comes forward.
King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain

below; Words, without thoughts, never to heav'n go. (Exit.

SC E N E X,

Changes to the Queen's Apartment.

Enter Queen and Polonius.
Pol.

H
E will come straight; look, you lay home

to him ; Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear

with; And that your Grace hath screen'd, and stood be

tween Much heat and him. I'll 'sconce me e'en here; Pray you, be round with him.

Ham. (within.) Mother, Mother, Mother.

Queen. I'll warrant you, fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming,

[Polonius hides himself behind the Arras.

Enter Hamlet. Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter? Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much of

fended. Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle

tongue. Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet ?

Ham.

[ocr errors]

Ham. What's the matter now?
Queen. Have you forgot me?

Ham. No, by the rood, not so ;
You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
But, 'would you were not fo!-You are my mother.
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can

speak.
Ham. Come, come, and fit you down; you

shall
not budge:
You go not, 'till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do ? thou wilt not mur.

der me?
Help, ho !
Pol. What ho, help,

(Behind the Arras. Ham. How now, a rat? dead for a ducat, dead.

(Hamlet kills Polonius.
Pol. Oh, I am flain.
Queen. Oh me, what haft thou done?
Ham. Nay, I know not: is it the King ?
Queen. Oh, what a rash and bloody deed is this !

Ham. A bloody deed; almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a King, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a King?

Ham. Ay, lady, 'twas my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewel,

[To Polonius.
I took thee for thy Betters ; take thy fortune;
Thou find'it, to be too busy, is some danger,
Leave wringing of your bands; peace, fit you down,
And let me wring your heart, for fo I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff :
If damned custom have not braz'd it fo,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'ft wag

thy tongue
In noise lo rude against me ?
Ham. Such an ad,

That

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite ; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And fets a blister there; makes marriage-vows
As false as dicers' oaths. Oh, such a'deed,
As from the body of Contraction plucks
The very foul, and sweet Religion makes
A rhapsody of words. Heav'n's face doth glow
O'er tliis solidity and compound mass
With tristful visage; and, as 'gainst the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.

Queen. Ay me! what act ?
Ham. That roars so loud, it thunders to the In-

dies.
Look here upon this pidure, and on tbis,
The counterfeit prefentment of two brothers :
See, what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's curles; the front of Jove himself;
An

eye, like Mars, to threaten or command;
A ftation, like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form indeed,
Where

every God did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband, -Look you now,

what follows; Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear, Blafting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes ? Could

you on this fair mountain leave to feed, * Queen Ay me! what act,

That roars fo loud, and thunders in the index ?
This is a strange Answer. But the old Quarto brings us acarer to
the Poet's Sense by dividing the Lines thus;

Queen. Ah me, what act ?
Ham.

That roars so loud, and thunders in the Index.
He had said the Sun was thought-fick at the act. She says,

Ah me! what axi ?
He replies, (as we should read it)
That roars to loud, it thunders to the indies. Warb.

And

[ocr errors]

And batten on this moor? ha! have you eyes ?
You cannot call it Love; for, at your age,
The hey-day in the bloom is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this ? *Sense, sure, you,

have,
Elle could you not have notion : but, sure, that sense
Is apoplex’d: for madness would not err;
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrallid,
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice
To serve in such a diff'rence.-What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without light,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling fans all,
Or but a fickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush? rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutiny in a matron's bones;
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as adively doth burn,
And Reason panders Will.

Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more. Thou turn'd mine eyes into my very

my very soul, And there I see such black and grained spots, As will not leave their tinct.

Ham. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an incestuous bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honying and making love
Over the nasty fty:-

Queen. Oh, speak no more;
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No niore, fweet Hamlet.

-Sense, Jure, you have, Else could you not have motion :- -] We should read, Elfe could you not have notion, i. 6. intelle&, reason.

Warb.

Ham.

bs.

« PreviousContinue »