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Queen. What have I done, thou dar'st wag thy

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Such an act,

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction* plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: heav'n's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,

With tristfult-visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.


Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?t
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself:
An eye
like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
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 fol lows:

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, 'tis humble,
And waits upon the judgment: And what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense,** sure you have,
* Marriage contract. + Sorrowful.

Index of contents prefixed to a book.

§ Apollo's. The act of standing. To grow fat. ** Sensation.

Else, could you not have motion: But, sure, that


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 difference. What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman blind!f
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hand 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 mutine 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:
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,

And reason panders will.

Queen. 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.||

Enter GHOST.

Ham. Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly 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 passion, let's go by
The 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, la

Queen. Alas, how is't with you?

* Frenzy. + Blindman's-buff.
§ Be so stupid.
|| Colour

+ Without.

¶ Imagination

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

His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.t-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? Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see. Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?

Queen. 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, ev'n now, out at the portal!

[Exit GHOST. Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain: This bodiless creation ecstasy||

Is very cunning in.



My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music: It is not madness,
That I have uttered: 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;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,

*The hair of animals is excrementitious, that is, without life or sensation.

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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, curbt and woo, for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in

Ham. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night, but go not to my uncle's bed;
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.

That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habit's 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 either curb 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.-
But one word more, good lady.


What shall I do?



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

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Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,

But mad in craft. Twere good, you let him know:
For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock* from a bat, a gib,†
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secresy,

Unpeg the basket on the house's top,

Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
To try conclusions,‡ in the basket creep,

And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath, And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me.

Ham. I must to England: you know that?

I had forgot; 'tis so concluded on.


Ham. There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,-

Whom I will trust, as I will adders fang'd,§
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery: Let it work;
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoist from his own petar:|| and it shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon.



How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good, and market of his time, Be but to sleep, and feed? a beast, no more. Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse,* Looking before, and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason

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