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These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears:
No more, sweet Hamlet.
Q, speak to me no more;
A murderer, and a villain:
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of your precedent lord:-a vice of kings:
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards!-What would your gracious
Queen. Alas, he's mad.
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, let's go by
The important acting of your dread command?
Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother sits:
O, step between her and her fighting soul;
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works;
Speak to her, Hamlet.
How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
Ham. On him! on him!-Look you, how pale he
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.-Do not look upon me;
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for blood.
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
No, nothing, but ourselves. Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it steals away! My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music: 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, curb 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 that shall lend 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 wondrous 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 so,-
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.
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you, his mouse;
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, 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; 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?
I had forgot; 'tis so concluded on.
Ham. There's letters seal'd: and my two school
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
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: O, '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.
King. There's matter in these sighs; these profound heaves;
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 conteud
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.
O heavy deed!