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Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege:
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.
King.

Thanks, dear my lord.

[Exit POLONIUS. 0!

my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t,
A brother's murder !-Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will:
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
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 forestalled, ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd, being down? Then, I'll look up:
My fault is past. But, O! what form of prayer
Can

serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon’d, and retain th' offence ?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but ’tis not so above:
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can : what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one can not repent?

0 wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limed soul, that struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels ! make assay:
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe.
All may be well.

[Retires and kneels.

Enter HAMLET.
Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is praying?;
And now I'll do't :-and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng’d? That would be scann'd:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole sono, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salaryo, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May!',
And how his audit stands, who knows, save heaven?
But, in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him; and am I then reveng’d,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his

passage ?
No.
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent'.
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ;
Or in th' incestuous pleasures of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act,
That has no relish of salvation in't;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,

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PAT, now he is praying ;] The quartos, 1604, &c. read," but now 'a is a praying.” The line is not in the quarto, 1603.

8 I, his sole son,] This is the reading of the quartos, 1604, &c. The folio has “ foul son,” which may be right.

9 Why, this is Hire and salary,] The quartos, 1604, &c. read “ Why, this is base and silly.” The reading of the folio is much to be preferred.

as flush as May ;] The folio poorly has it," as fresh as May."

a more horrid HENT :) We have previously had “hent" used as a verb. See Vol. ii. p. 87, and Vol. iii. p. 492, and there it meant to seize or to take : substantively it is therefore scizure.

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And that his soul may be as damn'd, and black,
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

[Exit.

The King rises and adrances. King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go. [Exit.

SCENE IV.

A Room in the Same.

Enter Queen and POLONIUS. Pol. He 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 between
Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here.
Pray you, be round with him?.

Ham. [Within.] Mother, mother, mothers!
Queen.

I'll warrant you'; Fear me not:-withdraw, I hear him coming.

[POLONIUS hides himself.

Enter HAMLET. 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'.

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be round with him.] i. e. be plain with him. See this Vol. p. 265. : Ham. [Within] Mother, mother, mother!] In the folio only. * I'll warrant you ;] In the earlier quartos it stands “ I'll wait you." s — with a wicked tongue.] So the quartos, 1604, &c., and rightly: in the folio the compositor repeated idle, catching it, no doubt, from the previous line. The passage is wanting in the quarto, 1603, where the scene is much mangled.

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 sit 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 murder

me.

Help, help, ho !

Pol. [Behind.] What, bo! help! help! help!
Ham. How now! a rat"? [Draws.] Dead for a ducat,

dead. (Hamlet makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.] 0! I am slain. [Falls and dies. Queen.

O me! what hast thou done? Ham.

Nay, I know not: Is it the king ?

[Lifts up the Arras, and draws forth POLONIUS. Queen. O, 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, farewell.

[To POLONIUS. I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune: Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.Leave wringing of your

hands. Peace! sit And let me wring your heart: for so I shall, If it be made of penetrable stuff;

you down,

6 And,—would it were not so !) The folio, “ But—would you were not so.”

7 How now! a rat?] In Shirley's “ Traitor," 1635, Depazzi says of a secreted listener, “Sirrah, sirrah! I smell a rat behind the hangings."

If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy

tongue
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 thereo; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths: 0! such a deed,
As from the body of contraction o plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth glow,
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick 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 Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command ;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;

& And SETs a blister there ;] The folio, “And makes,” &c. The difference is not material. It previously reads betters for “better;" but in giving“ is” for be in “ That it is proof,” in the second line of this page, it seems right, and we have followed it.

9 — from the body of CONTRACTION-] “Contraction,” for marriage contract, says Warburton.

i Is thought-sick at the act.] We have adopted our text from the folio in this passage, because it seems more intelligible : the quarto, 1604, (followed by the later editions in the same form) gives it thus :

“Heavens face does glow O'er this solidity and compound mass,

With heated visage," &c. ? - and thunders in the INDEX ?) i. e. in the commencement, where the indexes of books were formerly placed. See Vol. v. p. 397. In the quartos, 1604, &c. this line is assigned to Hamlet.

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