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Art more engaged! Help, angels, make assay!
All may be well!
[Retires and kneels.
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 revenged? That would be scanned.1 A villain kills my father; and, for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
Why, this is hire and salary, 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?
'Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged,
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent.3
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven;
The King rises and advances.
King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go. [Exit.
1 "That would be scanned"-that requires consideration.
2 The quarto reads, base and silly.
3 Shakspeare has used the verb to hent, to take, to lay hold on, elsewhere; but the word is here used as a substantive, for hold or opportunity. 4 First quarto :—
"No king on earth is safe, if God's his foe."
SCENE IV. Another 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;
I'll warrant you;
Fear me not;-withdraw, I hear him coming.
[POLONIUS hides himself.
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?
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!
1 The folio here interposes the following speech:
"Ham. [Within.] Mother, mother, mother."
The circumstance of Polonius hiding himself behind the arras, and the manner of his death, are found in the old black letter prose Hystory of Hamblett.
Is it the king?
Nay, I know not.
[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!
I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune:
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace; sit you
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not brazed it so,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy
In noise so rude against me?
Such an act,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
This was your husband.---Look you now, what follows.
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
To serve in such a difference.] What devil was't,
1 The quarto of 1604 gives this passage thus:--
Heaven's face does glow
O'er this solidity and compound mass
With heated visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act."
2 Index is here used in one of its least common senses, as a preparatory sketch in dumb show, prefixed to the act of a play.
3 It is evident, from this passage, that whole-length pictures of the two kings were formerly introduced. Station does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing, the attitude.
4 Here the allusion is to Pharaoh's dream, Genesis, xli.
5 Sense here is not used for reason; but for sensation, feeling, or perception.
That thus hath cozened you at hoodman blind?1
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
And melt in her own fire; proclaim no shame,
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;
Over the nasty sty;
O, speak to me no more ;
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears.
Ham. A murderer, and a villain;
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord ;-a vice of kings;
1 "The hoodwinke play, or hoodman blind, in some place, called blindmanbuf.”—Baret. It is hob-man-blind in the quarto of 1603.
2 i. e. could not be so dull and stupid.
3 Mutine for mutiny. This is the old form of the verb.
4 Thus in the quarto of 1603:
"Why, appetite with you is in the wane,
Your blood runs backward now from whence it came;
When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast?' "9
5 "Grained spots;" that is, dyed in grain, deeply imbued. 6 i. e. greasy, rank, gross. It is a term borrowed from falconry. The seam of any animal was the fat or tallow; and a hawk was said to be enseamed when she was too fat or gross for flight. It should be remarked, that the quarto of 1603 reads incestuous, as does that of 1611.
7 i. e. "the low mimic, the counterfeit, a dizard, or common vice and jester, counterfeiting the gestures of any man."-Fleming. Shakspeare afterwards calls him a king of shreds and patches, alluding to the particolored habit of the vice or fool in a play.