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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 his wholesome brother'. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? 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 ? Sense, sure, you have,
Else, could you not have motion; but, sure, that sense
Is apoplex’d; for madness would not err,
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall’d,
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a differences. What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blindo?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope”.
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutines 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,



his wholesome brother.) So the quartos: the folio, breath: and in this speech the readings of the earlier copies are generally to be preferred.

4 And BATTEN on this moor ?] To "batten" is to feed or fatten, probably from the Saxon batan, to bait.

5 To serve in such a difference.] This passage, from “ Sense, sure, you have,” is only in the quartos, 1604, &c.

at HOODMAN-BLIND ?] This should seem to have been the old name of Windman's buff, or bough! It is often mentioned.

? Could not so mope.) This passage, from “ Eyes without feeling," also is wanting in the folios.

8 If thou canst mutine-] To “mutine” was formerly used for to mutiny, not merely in verse, but in prose. In “King John," Vol. iv. p. 31, we have seen Shakespeare employ“ mutines" for mutineers : so also in Act v. sc. 2, of this play.

Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will'.

O Hamlet! speak no more!
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul';
And there I see such black and grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.

Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed?;
Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love
Over the nasty stye;

O, speak to me no more!
These words, like daggers enter in mine ears :
No more, sweet Hamlet.

A murderer, and a villain ;
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe
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!

No more!

Enter Ghost".

Ham. A king of shreds and patches.-
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,


. And reason PANDERS will.] So the folio ; excepting that it misprints "And” A8: the quartos, 1604, &c. have pardons for “panders.”

· Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul ;] The quartos, 1604, &c. “Thou turn’st my very eyes into my soul;” and in the next line they have “griered spots,” for “grained spots" of the folio.

: - an ENSEAMED bed ;) The word “enseamed” was not uncommon, from " seam,” grease. See Vol. vi. p. 58. The quarto without date has “incestuous bed,” and it was followed by the quartos, 1611 and 1637.

a vice of kings :) The vice was the fool, clown, or jester of the older drama, and was frequently dressed in party-coloured clothes : hence Hamlet just afterwards calls the usurper “ a king of shreds and patches.”

* Enter Ghost.] “ Enter the Ghost in his night-gown,” is the stage-direction in the quarto, 1603, affording proof that at that date, and in this scene, the spirit was not appareled as when it had before appeared on the platform. This is important, because it completely explains Hamlet's exclamation in this scene, “My father, in his habit as he lived.” See the Introduction. In the other quartos and in the folios it is only “ Enter Ghost.” VOL. VII.


You heavenly guards ! - What would you, 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 ?
0, say!

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,

you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th' incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th’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

glares !
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?

5 And with th' incorporal air-] The folio misprints it, “And with their corporal air.” Our reading is that of the quarto, 1604, and of all editions until the folio, 1623. Southern detected and corrected the error in his folio, 1685.

like life in excrements,] In the “ Winter's Tale,” Vol. iii. p. 518, a beard is called an “excrement.” Compare also “Macbeth," A. v. sc. 5, where the hero speaks of his " fell of hair” _“ as life were in 't.”

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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 !

[Exit Ghost. Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain : This bodily creation ecstasy Is

very cunning in.

Ham. Ecstasy?!
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,
Whilst 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 mine uncle's bed:

Ecstasy !] This word is not in any of the quartos. * Lay not that flattering unction-1 The folio imperfectly reads "a flattering unction.” The whole scene is unusually ill printed there.

• To make them ranker.] So the quartos ; and in the preceding line, "on the weeds," instead of " or the weeds” of the folio. 1 Yea, curb) i. e, bend and truckle, from the Fr. courber.

Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits, 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 master 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.-
One word more, good lady'.

What shall I do?
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 ;

2 That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat

Of habits, devil,] This passage, down to " That aptly is put on,” is not in the folio. Our punctuation is that recommended to us by the Rev. Dr. Morehead, of Easington, and it seems to remove part of the difficulty felt by the commentators, and makes the sense, “that monster, custom, who is a devil, devouring all sense of habits, is still an angel in this respect,” &c.

3 — the next more easy :] These lines, down to “With wondrous potency," are also wanting in the folio.

* And master the devil,] “Master" is the reading of the undated quarto, of the quarto, 1611, and of that of 1637, so that we need not resort to any conjectural emendation such as Malone introduced. 5 One word more, good lady.) These words are from the quartos.

Let the bloat king-] The folio, “ Let the blunt king.” Modern editors have availed themselves of nearly all these improvements from the quartos, without acknowledgment, and as if the folio contained them.

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