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Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle
Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
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. shall
Ham. Come, come, and sit you
You go not, till I set you up a glass
Help, help, ho!
Pol. [Behind.] What, ho! help!
How now! a rat? [Draws.
Dead, for a ducat, dead.
[HAMLET makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.] O, I am slain.
[Falls, and dies.
Queen. O me, what hast thou done?
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 mo
As kill a king, and marry with his brother,
? Queen. As kill a king!] This exclamation may be considered as some hint that the Queen had no hand in the murder of Hanilet's father.
If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Queen. Ah me, what act, That roars so loud, and thunders in the index ? Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;*
- from the body of contraction-] Contraction for marriage
9 and thunders in the index?] Bullokar in his Expositor, 8vo. 1616, defines an Index by " A table in a booke." The table was almost always prefixed to the books of our poet's age. Indexes, in the sense in which we now understand the word, were very
Look here, upon this picture, and on this:] It is evident from the following words,
"A station, like the herald Mercury," &c.
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,
that these pictures which are introduced as miniatures on the stage, were meant for whole lengths, being part of the furniture of the Queen's closet.
2 A station like the herald Mercury, &c.] Station, in this instance, does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing.
3 batten...] i, e. to grow fat. Bat is an ancient word for increase.
4 Sense, sure, you have,
Else, could you not have motion:] Sense is sometimes used by Shakspeare for sensation or sensual appetite; as motion is the effect produced by the impulse of nature.
at hoodman-blind?] Probably the same as blindman's
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
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.9
Ham. Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed;1 Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love Over the nasty stye;
O, speak to me no more; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears; No more, sweet Hamlet.
A murderer, and a villain A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe Of your precedent lord:-a vice of kings:2 A cutpurse of the empire and the rule; That from a shelf the precious diadem stolę, And put it in his pocket!
6 Could not so mope.] i. e. could not exhibit such marks of stupidity.
If thou canst mutine, &c.] To mutine, was the ancient term, signifying to rise in mutiny.
grained-] Died in grain, or perhaps, indented.
"As will not leave their tinct.] To leave is to part with, givę up, resign.
enseamed bed;] i. e. greasy bed.
rice of kings:] A low mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a farce; from whence the modern punch is descended.
Of shreds and patches:3-
Queen. Alas, he's mad.
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation
How is it with you, lady? Queen. Alas, how is't with you? That you do bend your eye on vacancy, And with the incorporal 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,
3 A king
Of shreds and patches:] This is said, pursuing the idea of the vice of kings. The vice was dressed as a fool, in a coat of partycoloured patches.
laps'd in time and passion,] That, having suffered time to slip, and passion to cool, lets go, &c.
5 Conceit in weakest bodies-] Conceit for imagination.
like life in excrements,] Not only the hair of animals having neither life nor sensation was called an excrement, but the feathers of birds had the same appellation.