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Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the fweet heav'ns
To wash it white as fnow? whereto ferves Mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?

And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be fore-ftalled ere we come to fall,

Or pardon'd being down? then I'll look up;
My fault is past.

- But oh, what form of prayer Can ferve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !That cannot be, fince I am ftill poffeft

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 fhove by juftice;
And oft 'tis feen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but 'tis not fo above:
There, is no fhuffling; there, the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compell'd,
Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what refts?
Try, what repentance can: What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched ftate! oh bofom, black as death!
Oh limed foul, that, ftruggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! help, angels, ! make affay!
Bow, ftubborn knees; and, heart, with ftrings of steel,
Be foft as finews of the new-born babe!

All may be well.

[The King retires and kneels,

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying, And now I'll do't-and fo he goes to heav'n. And fo am I reveng'd? that would be seann'd; A villain kills my father, and for that

I, his fole fon, do this fame villain fend

To heav'n-O, this is hire and falary, not revenge.
He took my father grofly, full of bread,
H 4


With all his crimes broad blown, as flufh as May;
And how his audit ftands, who knows, fave heav'n
But in our circumftance and course of thought,
"Tis heavy with him. Am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his foul,
When he is fit and feafon'd for his paffage?

Up, fword, and know thou a more horrid bent; (23)
When he is drunk, afleep, or in his rage,,,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, fwearing, or about fome act
That has no relish of falvation in't;

Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heav'n;
And that his foul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays;
This phyfick but prolongs thy fickly days.

The King rifes, and comes forward.


King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go. [Exit.

SCENE changes to the Queen's Apartment.



Enter Queen and Polonius.

Ewill come ftraight; look, you lay home to him; Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to. bear with;

And that your Grace hath fcreen'd, and stood between Much heat and him. I'll filence me e'en here;

Pray you, be round with him.

(23) Up, Sword, and know thou a more borrid Time.] This is a fophifticated Reading, warranted by none of the Copies of any Au thority. Mr. Pope fays, I read conjecturally;

a more borrid Bent.

I do fo; and why? the two oldest Quarto's, as well as the two elder Folio's, read; a more horrid Hent. But, as there is no fuch English Subftantive, it feems very natural to conclude, that, with the Change of a fingle Letter, our Author's genuine Word was, Bent; i, e. Drift, Scope, Inclination, Purpose, &c.


Ham. [within.] Mother, Mother, Mother-
Queen. I'll warrant you, fear me not.

Withdraw, I hear him coming.

[Polonius hides himself behind the Arras.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou haft 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 fo;

You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
But, 'would you were not fo!-You are my mother.
Queen. Nay, then I'll set thofe to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and fit you down; you shall not

You go not, till I fet you up a glass

Where you may fee the inmoft part of you.

Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me? Help, ho.

Pol. What ho, help.

Ham. How now, a rat? dead for a ducat, dead.

Pol. Oh, I am flain.

[Bebind the Arras."

[Hamlet kills Polonius.

Queen. Oh me, what haft 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 wretched, rafh, intruding fool, farewel,

[To Polonius.

I took thee for thy, betters; take thy fortune; Thou find'ft, to be too bufy, is fome danger. 5


Leave wringing of your hands; peace, fit you down, And let me wring your heart, for fo I fhall,

If it be made of penetrable stuff:

If damned cuftom have not braz❜d it fo,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.

Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'ft wag thy tongue

In noise fo rude against me?

Ham. Such an act,

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty ;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rofe
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And fets a blifter there; makes marriage-vows.
As falfe as dicers' oaths. Oh, fuch a deed,
As from the body of Contraction plucks
The very foul, and fweet Religion makes
A rhapfody of words. Heav'n's face doth glow;
Yea, this folidity and compound mafs,
With triftful vifage, as against the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.

Queen. Ay me! what act,

That roars fo loud, and thunders in the index?
Ham. Look here upon this picture, and on this,,
The counterfeit prefentment of two brothers:
See, what a grace was feated on this brow;
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye, like Mars, to threaten or command;
A ftation, like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kiffing hill;
A combination, and a form indeed,
Where every God did feem to fet his feal,

To give the world affurance of a man.

This was your husband,-Look you now, what follows;;
Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear,

Blafting 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? Senfe, fure, you have, (24)
Elfe could you not have motion: but, fure, that fenfe
Is apoplex'd for madness would not err;

Nor fenfe to ecftacy was ne'er fo thrall'd,
But it referv'd fome quantity of choice

To serve in fuch a diff'rence.- -What devil was't,
That thus has cozen'd you at hoodman blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without fight,
Ears without hands or eyes, fmelling fans all,
Or but a fickly part of one true sense
Could not fo mope.

O fhame! where is thy blush? rebellious hell,
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 fhame,
When the compulfive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,

And Reafon panders Will.

Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more.

Thou turn'ft mine eyes into

my very foul,

And there I fee fuch black and grained spots,

As will not leave their tin&t.

Ham. Nay, but to live

In the rank fweat of an incestuous bed,

Stew'd in corruption, honying and making love
Over the nafty fty;

Queen. Oh, fpeak no more;

Thefe words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, fweet Hamlet.

Ham. A murderer, and a villain!

A flave, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of your precedent Lord. A Vice of Kings ;-
A cutpurfe of the Empire and the Rule,

(24) Senfe, fure, you have, &c.] Mr. Pope has left out the Quantity of about eight Verfes here, which I have taken care to replace. They are not, indeed, to be found in the two elder Folio's, but they carry the Style, Expreffion, and Caft of Thought, peculiar to our Author; and that they were not an Interpolation from another Hand needs no better Proof, than that they are in all the oldeft Quarto's


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