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A second time I kill my husband dead,

When second husband kisses me in bed.

P. King. I do believe, you think what now you speak;

But, what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory 27;
Of violent birth, but poor validity:

Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget

To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy

Their own enactures 28 with themselves destroy;
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange,
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,

Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;
poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies.

And hitherto doth love on fortune tend:

For who not needs, shall never lack a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons 29 him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,--
Our wills and fates, do so contrary run,

27 But thought's the slave of life.'-King Henry IV. Part 1. 28 i. e. their own determinations, what they enact.

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29 See note on Act i. Sc. 3, p. 183. This quaint phrase (says Steevens), infests almost every ancient English composition.' Why infests? Surely it is as forcible and intelligible as many other metaphorical expressions retained in the language. It has been remarked that our ancestors were much better judges of the powers of language than we are. The Latin writers did not scruple to apply their verb condire in the same manner.

That our devices still are overthrown;

Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own: So think thou wilt no second husband wed;

But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead. P. Queen. Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!

Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!

An anchor's 30 cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Ham. If she should break it now,- [ToOPH.
P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me

here a while;

My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile

The tedious day with sleep.

P. Queen.


Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain!


Ham. Madam, how like you this play?
Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks,
Ham. O, but she'll keep her word.

King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?

Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i'the world.

King. What do you call the play?

Ham. The mouse-trap 31. Marry, how? Tropi

30 Anchor's for anchoret's. Thus in Hall's second Satire, b. iv. :

Sit seven years pining in an anchor's cheyre,
To win some patched shreds of minivere.'

31 [The mouse-trap,] i. e.

the thing

In which he'll catch the conscience of the king.'

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cally 32. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name 33, his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not: Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.—


This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus 34, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your
love, if I could see the puppets dallying.

Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen. Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my edge.

Oph. Still better, and worse.

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Ham. So you mistake 35 your husbands.-Begin, 32 First quarto-trapically. It is evident that a pun was intended. 33 [Gonzago is the duke's name, his wife Baptista:] all the old copies read thus. Yet in the dumb show we have,' Enter a King and Queen;' and at the end of this speech, Lucianus, nephew to the king.' This seeming inconsistency, however, may be reconciled. Though the interlude is the image of the murder of the duke of Vienna, or in other words founded upon that story, the poet might make the principal person in his fable a king. Baptista is never used singly by the Italians, being uniformly compounded with Giam and Giovanni. It is needless to remark that it is always the name of a man.

34 The use to which Shakspeare put the chorus may be seen in King Henry V. Every motion or puppet-show was accompanied by an interpreter or showman. Thus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

O excellent motion: O exceeding puppet!

Now will he interpret for her.'

35 The first quarto-'So you must take your husband.' Hamlet puns upon the word mistake: So you mis-take, or take your

husbands amiss for better and worse.' The word was often thus misused for any thing done wrongfully, and even for privy stealing. In one of Bastard's Epigrams, 1598, cited by Steevensnone that seeth her face and making Will judge her stol'n but by mistaking.'

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murderer;-leave thy damnable faces, and begin.

Come ;

The croaking raven

Doth bellow for revenge.

Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and
time agreeing;

Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds 36 collected,
With Hecat's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magick and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately.

[Pours the Poison into the Sleeper's Ears. Ham. He poisons him i'the garden for his estate. His name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian: You shall see anon, how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

Oph. The king rises.

Ham. What! frighted with false fire!

Queen. How fares my lord?

Pol. Give o'er the play.

King. Give me some light:-away!

Pol. Lights, lights, lights!

[Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO.

Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep 37,
The hart ungalled play:

For some must watch, while some must sleep;
Thus runs the world away.-

Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk 38 with me), with two

36 Midnight weeds.' Thus in Macbeth :

'Root of hemlock, digg'd i' the dark.'

37 See note on As You Like It, Act ii. Sc. 1, p. 130.

38 To turn Turk was a familiar phrase for any violent change of condition or character.

provincial roses on my razed 39 shoes, get me a fel-· lowship in a cry 40 of players, sir?

Hor. Half a share 41.

Ham. A whole one, I.

For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was

Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very-peacock 42.

Hor. You might have rhymed.

Ham. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word: for a thousand pound. Didst perceive?

Hor. Very well, my lord.

Ham. Upon the talk of the poisoning,

39 [Provincial roses] on my razed shoes.' Provincial was erroneously changed to Provençal, at the suggestion of Warton. Mr. Douce rectified the error by showing that the Provincial roses took their name from Provins, in Lower Brie, and not from Provence. Razed shoes are most probably embroidered shoes. The quarto reads, rac'd. To race, or rase, was to stripe.

40 [A cry of players.] It was usual to call a pack of hounds a cry; from the French meute de chiens: it is here humorously applied to a troop or company of players. It is used again in Coriolanus: Menenius says to the citizens, 'You have made good work, you and your cry.' In the very curious catalogue of The Companyes of Bestys, given in The Boke of St. Albans, many equally singular terms may be found, which seem to have exercised the wit and ingenuity of our ancestors; as a thrave of throshers, a scull or shoal of monks, &c.

41 The players were paid not by salaries, but by shares or portions of the profit, according to merit. See Malone's Account of the Ancient Theatres, passim.

42 [A very, very-peacock.] The old copies read paiock, and paiocke. The peacock was as proverbially used for a proud fool as the lapwing for a silly one. Pavoneggiare, to court it, to brave it, to peacockise it, to wantonise it, to get up and down fondly, gazing upon himself as a peacocke does.'-Florio, Ital. Dict. 1598. Theobald proposed to read paddock; and in the last scene Hamlet bestows this opprobrious name upon the king. Mr. Blakeway has suggested that we might read puttock, which means a base degenerate hawk, a kite; which Shakspeare does indeed contrast with the eagle in Cymbeline, Act i. Sc. 2 :— 'I chose an eagle, and did avoid a puttock.'

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