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Queen. I'll warrant you, fear me not. Withdraw; I hear him coming.
[Polonius hides himself behind the arras,
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 those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and fit you down; you shall not budge.
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!
Queen. Oh me, what haft thou done?
Ham. Nay, I know not: is it the King?
Queen. Oh, what a rafh and bloody deed is this! Ham. A bloody deed; almoft 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.
Leave wringing of your hands: peace, fit you down,
And let me wring your heart; for fo 1 fhall,
If it be made of penetrable ftuff;
If damned cuftom have not braz'd it fo,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'ft wag thy
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, such a deed,
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very foul; and fweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words. Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this folidity and compound mass,
With triftful vifage, as against the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.
Queen. Ah 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 seem to fet his seal,
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 whole fome 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 ftep from this to this? Senfe, fure, you have,
Elfe could you not have motion; but, fure, that sense
Is apoplex'd, for madness would not err;
Nor fenfe to ecftafy was ne'er so thrall'd,
But it referv'd fome quantity of choice
To ferve in fuch a difference.—What devil was't,
That thus hath 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 tinct.
Ham. Nay, but to live
In the rank fweat of an incestuous bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love:
Over the nafty Ity!
Queen. Oh, fpeak no more;
These 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,
That from a fhelf the precious diadem ftole,
And put it in his pocket.
Queen. No more.
Ham. A King of fhreds and patches
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, [Starting up. 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 paffion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
Ghoft. Do not forget. This vifitation
Is but to whet thy almoft blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother fits;
O ftep between her and her fighting foul:
Conceit in weakest bodies ftrongest 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 the incorporal air do hold difcourfe?
Forth at your eyes your fpirits wildly peep;
And as the fleeping foldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up, and stand on end. O gentle fon,
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 cause conjoin'd, preaching to ftones
Would make them capable. Do not look on me,
Left with this piteous action you convert
My tern 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 Ghost.
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all that is I fee.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing but ourfelves.
Ham. Why, look you there! Look how it fteals away! My father in his habit as he liv'd!
Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal. [Exit Ghost.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodilefs creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
My pulfe, as yours, doth temp'rately keep time,
And makes an healthful mufic. "Tis not madness
That I have utter'd. Bring me to the teft,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your foul,
That not your trefpafs, but my madness, speaks:
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place;
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unfeen. Confefs yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past, avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compoft on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
For, in the fatnefs of these purfy times,
Virtue itself of Vice must pardon beg,
Yes, curb and woo, 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 monfter Custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits, devil, is angel yet in this;
That to the use 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 ufe can almoft change the ftamp of nature,
And mafter ev'n the devil, or throw him out
With wond'rous potency. Once more, good night!
And when you are defirous to be bleft,
I'll bletfing beg of you.-For this fame Lord,
I do repent: but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
To punish this with me, and me with this,
That I must be their fcourge and minifter.
I will beftow 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 worfe remains behind.
One word more, good lady.
Queen. What fhall I do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you
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 kiffes,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,