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And that your Grace hath screen'd, and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll ' 'sconcela me even here;
Pray you be round with him.
Queen. I'll warant you,
Fear me not : you withdraw,' I hear him coming.
[Polonius hides himself behind the Arras.
Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter?
Queen, Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
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. 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,
And (would it were not so). 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 You go not 'till I set you up a glass
[budge: Where you may see the inmost
Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me?
Pol. What ho, help!
[Behind the Arras.
Ham. How now, a rat? dead for a ducat, dead.
Pol. Oh I am slain.
[Hamlet kills Polonius.
Queen. Oh me, what hast 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 (a) 'Sconce the same as infconce: that is, to cover or secure. The fame word is used upon the like occafion in The merry wives of Windsor p. 257. I will insconce me behind the Arras. i Glence
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewel, [To Pol.
I took thee for thy betters ; take thy fortune;
Thou find’st, to be too busie is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands, peace, sit you down,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense. (tongue
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy In noise so rude against me?,
Ham. Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there ; makes marriage-vows
As false as dicers oaths. O such a deed,
As from the body of contraction a plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words. Heav'n's face doth glow;
Yea, this folidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage as against the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.
Queen. Ah me! what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
Ham. Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers :
See what a grace was seated on this brow,
Hyperion's curls, the front of five himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command;
A station 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,
Blasting (a) By contraction here is meant the same thing as we underland row by contract : namely, a folemn promise or ingagement.
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moore? ha! have you eyes?
You cannot call it love ; for at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this? what devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
O shame! where is thy blush? rebellious : 'heat,'
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 it self as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
Queen. 0 Hamlet, speak no more.
Thou turn'ít mine eyes into 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 sty--
Queen. Oh speak no more,
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.
Ham. A murderer, and a villain!
A Nave, 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
it in his pocket. Queen. + 'Oh! no more.
Enter Ghost. Ham. A King of shreds and patches Save me! and hover o'er me with your wings, [Starting up.
You 3 hell, . i . old. edit. Warb. emend. 4 No more.
You heav'nly guards! what would your gracious figure?
Queen. Alas, he's mad.
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
Th' 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 foul :
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.
Ham. How is it with you, Lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you,
That thus you bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th' incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And as the neeping soldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up, and stand on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and Aame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look ?
Ham. On him! on him!--look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable. Do not look on me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects; then what I have to do,
Will want true colour ; tears petchance for blood.
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there? [Pointing to the Ghuji.
Queen. Nothing at all, yet all that is I fee.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing but our selves.
Ham. Why, look you there! look how it steals away!
My father in his habit as he lived !
Look where he goes ev'n now out at the portal. [Exit Gloff.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain,
This (a) In this Author the Hair is often call"d an excrement, Theobris.
This bodiless creation Ecstasie
Is very cunning in.
Ham. What ecstasie?
My pulse, as yours, doth temp’rately keep time,
And makes as healthful musick. 'Tis 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,
Whilst rank corruption mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess your self to heav’n,
Repent what's past, avoid what is to come,
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive this my virtue,
For in the fatness of these pursie times,
Virtue it self of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, courb, and wooe, for leave to do it good.
Queen. Oh Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain,
Ham. O throw away the worser part
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night; but go not to mine uncle's bed.
Afsume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits slevil,' 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 easie;
For use can almost change the stamp of nature,
And master ev'n the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night!
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this fame Lord,
[Pointing to Pol.
I do s Devil, :1. old edit. Thirl. emend.