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high desert of his father, even this admiration contributes to his uncalness: Aversion to his uncle, arising from the same origin, has a similar tendency, and augments his anguish. All these feelings and emotions uniting together, are rendered still more violent, exasperated by his recent interview with the Queen, struggling for utterance, but restrained. Agitated and overwhelmed with amicting images, no soothing, no exhilarating affection can have admission into his heart, His imagination is visited by no vision of happiness; and he wilhes for deliverance from his afflictions, by being delivered from a painful existence,

O, that this too too folid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst felf-flaughter. O God, O God! How weary, ftale, fat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't! O fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden, That grows to feed ; things rank, and gross in nature, Poffefs it merely.


By giving vent to any paffion, its violence at the time increases. Those, for instance, who express their forrow by shedding tears, find themselves at the instant of weeping more excessively affected than persons of a inore reserved and inflexible constitution. Yet, by thus giving vent to their inquietude, they find relief, while those of a taciturn humour are the victims of painful and unabating anxiety : And, the reason is, that the emotion, raised to its highest extreme, can no longer continue equally violent, and so fubfides, In cases of this nature, that is, when emotions, by being expreffed, become excefsive, the mind paffes from general reflections to minute and particular circumstances : And imagination, the pliant flatterer of the passion in power, renders these circumstances still more particular, and better adapted to promote its vehe

In the foregoing lines the reflections are general; but, in these that fol



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How, they become particular; and the emotion waxing stronger, the imagination, by exhibiting suitable images, and by fitting to its purpose even the time between the death and the marriage, renders it exceffive.

That it should come to this!
But two months dead ! nay, not fo much ; not two:
So excellent a king, that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr! So loving to my mother,
That he might not let e'en the winds of heaven
Visit her face, too roughly.

The emotion grows Atill more vehement, and overflows the mind with a tide of corresponding images.

Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on : agd yet, within a month -

Observe too, that Hamlet's indignation is augmented gradually, by admiration of his father, So excellent a king ;' by abhorrence of Claudius, - That was to this,


• Hype*Hyperion to a Satyr;' and, finally, by a stinging reflection on the Queen's inconstancy:

Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month

This affects him so severely, that he strives to obliterate the idea :

Let me not think on't

By this effort he loses fight, for a moment, of the particular circumstances that gave him pain. The impression, however, is not entirely effaced ; and he expresses it by a general reflection.

Frailty, thy name is woman!

This expression is too refined and artificial for a mind strongly agitated : Yet, it agrees entirely with just such a degree of emotion and pensiveness as disposes us to moralize. Considered as the language of a man violently affected, it is impro

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per : Considered in relation to what goes before and follows after, it appears perfectly natural. Hamlet's laboured composure is imperfect'; it is exceedingly transient; and he relapses into deeper anguish. Though he turned aside from a painful idea, he was unable to remove the impression, or vary in any considerable degree his state of mind : The impression remained, and restored the idea in its ful

left vigour.

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A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
With which the follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears—Why, she, even she
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer-married with my uncle,
My father's brother ; but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules.

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It is also observable, that, in consequence of the increasing violence of his emotion, the time so dexterously diminished from two months, to a little month, and to even less than a little month, is G 2


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