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I your commission will forth with despatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us, as doth hourly grow
Out of his brows.
Guil.

We will ourselves provide.
Most holy and religious fear it is,
To keep those very many bodies safe,
That live, and feed, upon your majesty,
Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound,
.

139
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from 'noyance; but much more
That spirit, upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone; but like a gulf doth draw
What's near it with it: it is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.

King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage ;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
Ros.

We will haste us.

[Exeunt Gentlemen. I Enter POLONIUS.

140
Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.
Behind the arras I 'll convey myself,
To hear the process: I'll warrant, she 'll tax him home;
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'T is meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege:
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.
King.

Thanks, dear my lord. . Exit Pol.
0! my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't,
A brother's murder! | Pray can I not,

141 Though inclination be as sharp as will:

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My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what 's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be forestalled, ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd, being down? Then, I'll look up:
My fault is past. But, 0! what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder!
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,

My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. | 142 May one be pardon'd, and retain th' offence?

In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 't is seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but 't is not so above:
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compellid,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limed soul, that struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels! make assay:
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new - born babe.
All may be well.

[Kneels. 143

Enter HAMLET.
Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying ;
And now I'll do 't: and so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng’d? That would be scann'd:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly , full of bread;

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With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May,
And how his audit stands, who knows, save heaven?
But, in our circumstance and course of thought,
'T is heavy with him; and am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage? |
No.
Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ;
Or in th' incestuous pleasures of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act,
That has no relish of salvation in 't:
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damn'd, and black,
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

(Exit.
The King rises.
King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

[Exit.

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A Room in the Same.

Enter Queen and POLONIUS.
Pol. He will come straight. Look, you-lay home to him;
Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your grace hath screen'd and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll 'sconce me even here.
Pray you, be round with him.
Ham. [Within. Mother, mother, mother!

]
Queen.

I'll warrant you; Fear me not: withdraw, I hear him coming.

[POLONIUS hides himself.

Enter HAMLET.
Ham. Now, mother! what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast 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?

And,

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Queen. Have you forgot me. 146 Ham.

No, by the rood, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife; would it were not so!

you are my mother.
Queen. Nay then, I'll send those to you that can speak.

Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge:
You go not, till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.

Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me.
Help, ho!

Pol. [Behind.) What, ho! help!
Ham. How now? a rat? [Draws.] Dead, for a ducat, dead! !

[HAMLET makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.] 0! I am slain.

[Falls and dies. Queen.

O me! what hast thou done? Ham. Nay, I know not: is it the king ?

[Lifts up the Arras, and draws forth POLONIUS. Queen. 0, what a rash and bloody deed is this !

Ham. A bloody deed; almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a king?
Ham.

Ay, lady, 't was my word. | 147 Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell.

ol, farewell. [To POLONIUS.
I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune:
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down,
And let me wring your heart: for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff ;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
Ham.

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 148 As false as dicers' oaths: 1 O! such a deed,

As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth glow,
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,

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149

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

Ah me! what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?

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 follows,
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, it 's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would stoop from this to this ? Sense, sure, you have,
Else could you not have motion; but, sure, that sense
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?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands 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;

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150

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