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That from a fhelf the precious Diadem stole
And put it in his pocket.

Queen. No more.

Enter Ghoft.

Ham. A King of fhreds and patches

Save me! and hover o'er me with your wings,

[Starting up. You heav'nly guards! what would your gracious figure? Queen. Alas, he's mad


Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and paffion, let's go by
Th' important acting of your dread command?
O fay!

Ghoft. Do not forget: this vifitation

Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother fits;
O ftep between her and her fighting foul:
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you, Lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you?

That thus you bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th' incorporal air do hold difcourfe?
Forth at your eyes your fpirits wildly peep,
And, as the fleeping foldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up, and ftand on end. O gentle fon,, 11 So
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 caufe conjoin'd, preaching to ftones,
Would make them capable. Do not look on me,
Left with this piteous action you convert
My ftern effects; then what I have to do,
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for blood.
Queen. To whom do you speak this?

Ham. Do you fee nothing there? [Pointing to the Gh.
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I fee.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?


Queen. No, nothing but ourselves.

Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it fteals away! My father in his habit as he liv'd!

Look, where he goes ev'n now, out at the portal.
Exit Ghoft.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain,
This bodilefs creation ecftafy

Is very cunning in.

Ham. What ecftafy?

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My pulfe, as yours, doth temp❜rately keep time,
And makes as healthful mufick. 'Tis not madness
That I have utter'd; bring me to the teft,

And I the matter will re-word; which madnefs
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your foul,
That not your trefpafs, but my madnefs, fpeaks:
It will but fkin and film the ulcerous place;
Whilft rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unfeen. Confefs yourself to heav'n;
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 fatnefs of thefe purfy times,
Virtue itself of vice muft pardon beg,

Yea, curb, and wooe, for leave to do it good.

Queen. Oh Hamlet! thou haft cleft my heart in twain.

Ham. O, throw away the worfer part of it,

And live the purer with the other half.

Good night; but go not to mine uncle's bed:
Affume a virtue, if you have it not.

That monster custom, who all fense doth eat (25)

(25) That Monfier cuftom, who all Senfe doth cat,
Of Habit's Devil, is Angel yet in this,

That to the Ufe of Actions fair and good
He likewife gives a Frock or Livery,

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That aptly is put on.] This Paffage is left out in the two elder Folio's: It is certainly corrupt, and the Players did the fcreet part to file what they did not understand. Habit's Devil certainly arofe from fome conceited Tamperer with the Text, who


Of habits evil, is angel yet in this;
That to the ufe of actions fair and good
He likewife gives a frock, or livery,
That aptly is put on: Refrain to-night;
And that fhall lend a kind of eafinefs

To the next abftinence; the next, more easy;
For use can almoft change the ftamp of Nature,
And master ev'n the Devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night!
And when you are defirous to be bleft,
I'll Bleffing beg of you.-For this fame Lord,

[Pointing to Polonius.
I do repent: but heav'n hath pleas'd it fo,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minifter.
I will beftow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him; fo, again, good night!
I must be cruel, only to be kind;

Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
Queen. What shall I do?

Ham. Not this by no means, that I bid you
Let the fond King tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
And let him, for a pair of reechy kiffes,

Or padling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,

That I effentially am not in madness,

But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him know.
For who that's but a Queen, fair, fober, wife,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gibbe,
Such dear concernings hide? who would do fo?
No, in defpight of fenfe and fecrefy,

thought it was neceffary, in Contraft to Angel. The Emendation of the Text I owe to the Sagacity of Dr. Thirlby.

That Monfer cufism, who all Senfe doth eat

Of Habits evil, is Angel, &c.

i. e. Cuftom, which by inuring us to ill Habits, makes us lofe the apprehenfion of their being really ill, as eafily will reconcile us to the practice of good. Actions.


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Unpeg the basket on the houfe's top,

Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
To try conclufions, in the basket creep;

And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou affur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of Life, I have no life to breathe
What thou haft faid to me.

Ham. I must to England, you know that?

Queen. Alack, I had forgot; 'tis fo concluded on.
Ham. There's letters feal'd, and my two fchool-fellows,
(Whom I will truft, as I will adders fang'd ;)
They bear the mandate; they muft fweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery: let it work.
For 'tis the fport, to have the engineer

Hoift with his own petard: and't fhall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon. O, 'tis moft fweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet!
This man fhall fet me packing;

I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room;
Mother, good-night.-Indeed, this Counsellor
Is now moft ftill, moft feeret, and moft grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.

Come, Sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good-night, mother.

[Exit Hamlet, tugging in Polonius..




SCENE, A Royal Apartment.

Enter King and Queen, with Rofincrantz, and Guildenstern.


HERE's matter in thefe fighs; thefe profound heaves,


You must tranflate; 'tis fit, we understand them. Where is your son ?

Queen. Beftow this place on us a little while.

[To Rof, and Guild. who

Ah, my good Lord, what have I feen to-night?

King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

go out.

Queen. Mad as the feas, and wind, when both contend Which is the mightier; in his lawless fit, Behind the arras hearing fomething ftir, He whips his rapier out, and cries, a rat! And, in this brainish apprehenfion, kills The unfeen good old man.

King. O heavy deed!

It had been fo with us, had we been there :
His liberty is full of threats to all,

To you yourself, to us, to every one.

Alas! how fhall this bloody deed be answer'd?

It will be laid to us, whofe providence

Should have kept fhort, reftrain'd, and out of haunt,

This mad

young man.

But fo much was our love,

We would not understand what was most fit;
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Ev'n on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd,
O'er whom his very madness, like fome ore


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