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but calld it, an honest method; as wholesome as! | Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard. sweet, and by very much more handsome than Pr'ythee, say on: -He's for a jigg, or a tale of finc. One speech in it I chiefly lov'd: 'twas bawdry, or he sleeps :-sayon; come to Hecuba. Æncas' tale to Dido; and thereabout of it cspe- 1 Play. But who, uh woe! had seen the mobled! cially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter; If 5

queenit live in your memory, begin at this line; let Ham. The mobled queen? ine sce, let me see ;

Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good. The rugged Pyrrhus-like the Hyrcanianbeast,-- 1 Play. Run bare-foot up and down, threat'ning 'tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus.

the flames The rugged Pyrrhus,-he, whose sable arms, 10 With bisson " rheum: a clout upon that head, Black as his purpose, did the night resemble, Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe, When he lay couched in the ominous horse,- About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins, Hath now ihis dread and bluck complexion smear'a A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up; With heraldry more dismal; head to foot Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd, Now is he total gules?; horridly trick'd 15"Gainst fortune's state would treason have proWith blood of furhers, mothers, daughters, sons ; But if the gods themselves did see her then, [nounc'd: Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets, Ihen she sarv Pyrrhus make malicious sport That lend a tyrannous and a damued light In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs ; To their lord's murder: Roasted in wrath, and fire, The instant burst of clamour that she made, And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, 20 (Unless things mortal move them not at all) With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus Iould have made milch the burning eyes of heaven, Old grandsire Prion seeks:-So, proceed you. And passion in the gods.

Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with Pól. Look, whc'er he has not turn'd his colour, good accent, and good discretion.

and has tears in's eyes.-Prythee, no more. 1 Play. Anon he finds him,

125 Ham. 'T'is well; I 'll have thee speak out the Striking too short at Greeks, his antique sword, rest of this soon.--Good my lord, will you see the Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,

players well bestow'd? Do you hear, let them be Repugnant to command: Unequal match'd, well used; for they are the abstract, and brief Pyrrhus at Priam drites; in ruge, strikes wvide ; chronicles of the time: After your death, you But with the whiff and wind of his fell szord |30 were better have a bad epitath, than their ill reThe unnerted father falls. Then senseless Ilium,


live. Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top

Pol. My lord, I will use them according to Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash their desert. Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear : for, lo! his sword, Ham. Odds bodikins, man, much better: Use Which was decl ning on the milky head 35 every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick : whipping? Use them after your own honour and So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;

dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit And, like a neutral to his will and mutter, is in your bounty. . Take them in. Did nothing.

Pol. Come, sirs.

[Erit Polonius. But, as we often see, against some storm,

101 Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still, to-morrow.-Dost thou hear me, old friend; can The bold winds speechless, and the orb below you play the murder of Gonzago? As hush as death: anon, the dreadful thunder I Play. Ay, my lord. Doth rend the region: So, after Pyrrhus' pause, Ham. We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could, A roused vengeance sets him new a-work; 45 for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixAnd never did the Cyclops' luammers fall teen lines, which I would set down, and insert On Mars's armour, forg'd for proof eterne, in't? could you not? With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword i Play. Ay, my

lord. Now falls on Priam.

Ham. Very well. Follow that lord; and look Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods, 50 you mock him not.—My good friends, [to RosenIn general synod, take away her power; crantz and Guildenstern) I'll leave you till night: Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, you are welcome to Elsinour. And bowl the round nate down the hill of heaven, Ros. Good, my lord. [Exeunt Ros. and Guil. As low as to the fiends !

Ham. Ay, so, God be wi' you:-Now I am alone. Pol. This is too long.

55/0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!

port while

| Hamlet is telling how much his judgement differed from that of others. One said, there was no salt in the lines, &c.,

but called it un honest mu thod. The author probably gave it, But I called it an honest method, &c. 2 Gules is a terın in heraldry, and signifies red. s According to Warburton, mobled, or ma'led, signifies reiled; according to Dr. Johnson, it is hudilled, grossly covered.-Mr. Steevens says, he was informed that mab-led in Warwickshire (where it is pronounced mob-led) signifies led astray by a will o'the rehisp, or ignis fatuus.-Mr. Tollet adds, that in the latter end of the reign of king Charles II. the rabble that attended the earl of Shaftesbury's partisans was first called mobile vulgus, and afterwards, by contraction, the mob; and ever since, the word mob has become proper English. Bisson or beesen, i. é. blind; a word still in use in some parts of the North of England. 3 T4


Is it not monstrous, that this player here, II should have fatted all the region kites
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,

With this slave's offal: Bloody, bawdy villain !
Could force his soul so to his own conceit, Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless vil-
That, from her working, all his visage warm’d; Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave;[lain!
Tcars in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, 5 That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting Prompted to my revenge by heaven, and hell,
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
For Hecuba!

And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, A scullion !
That he should weep for her? What would he do, 10 Fie upon't! foh!
Had he the motive and the cue' for passion, About, îný brains! Hum! I have heard,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Have by the very cunning of the scene
Make mad the guilty, and appall the free, Been struck so to the soul, that presently
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, 15 They have proclaim'd their malefactions:
The very faculty of eyes and ears.

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak Yet I,

With most miraculous organ. I'll have these A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,

players Like John-a-dreains, unpregnant of my cause', Play something like the murder of my father, And can say nothing; no, not for a king, 20 Beiore mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; l'pon whose property, and most dear lite, L'll tento him to the quick; if he do blench', A'damn'd defeat' was made. Am I a coward : I know my course. The spirit, that I have seen, Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across ? May be a devil: and the devil hath power Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Tweaks mé by the nose? gives me the lye i’ the 25 Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, throat,

(As he is very potent with such spirits) As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this? Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds Ha! Why, I should take it: for it cannot be, More relative than this; The play's the thing, But I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall

Whercin I'll catch the conscience of the king. To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, 30)


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King. AND ference


Queen. Did you asșay him
The Palace.

40 To any pastime?

Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players Enter King, Qucen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosen- We o'er-raught on the way: of thesewetold him; crantz, and Guildenstern.

And there did seem in him a kind of joy
ND can you by no drift of con- To hear of it: They are here about the court;

45 And, as I think, they have already order
Get from him, why he puts on this confusion; This night to play before him.
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet

Pol. 'Tis most true: With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties, Ros.He does confess, he feels himseli distracted; To hear and see the matter. But from what cause, he will by no means speak. 50 King. With all my heart; and it doth much Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;)

content me But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,

To hear him so inclin'd. When we would bring him on to some confession Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, Of his true state.

And drive his purpose on to these delights. Qrieen, Did he receive you well?

55 Ros. We shall, my lord. [Exeunt Ros. and Guil. Ros. Most like a gentleman.

King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too: Gail. But with much forcing of his disposition. For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither ; Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our demands, That he, as 'twere by accident, may here Most free in his reply.

Attront Ophelia.



1 i. e. the hint, the direction. ? i. e. not quickened with a new desire of vengeance; not teeming with vengeance. Defeat, for dispossession. * j. e. unnatural. 5 The meaning is, Wits, to your work. Brain, go about the present business. i. e. search his wounds. ?i. e. if he shrink, or start, * Relative, for convictive, according to Warburton.Relative is, nearly related, closely connected, according to Dr. Johnson. : Oter-raught is over-reuched, that is, over-took. 2. To affront, is only to meet directly.


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Her father, and myself (lawful espials ')

No traveller returns-puzzles the will ;
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
We may of their encounter frankly judge; Than fly to others that we know not of !
And gather by him, as he is behav'd,

I'hus conscience does make cowards of us all; If 't be the afriction of his love, or no,

5 And thus the native hue of resolution That thus he suffers for.

Is sickly'd o'er with the pale cast of thought; Queen. I shall obey you:

And enterprizes of great pith and moment, And, for my part, Ophelia, I do wish,

With this regard, their currents turn awry, That your good beauties be the happy cause And lose the name of action.-Soft you, now ! Of Hamlet's wildness; so shall I hope, your vir-10

[Seeing Ophelia. Will bring him to his wonted way again, [tues The fair Ophelia ?--Nymph, in thy orisons To both your honours.

Be all my sins remember' d.
Oph. Madam, I wish it may. [Erit Queen. Oph. Good my lord,
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here: Gracious, so How does your honour for this many a day?
please you,

15 Ham. I humbly thank you; well. We will bestow ourselves :—Read on this book ; Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,

[To Opheliu. That I have longed long to re-deliver; That show of such an exercise may colour I pray you, now receive them. Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,- Ham. No, not I; 'Tis too much prov'd,--that, with devotion's vi- 20 I never gave you aught. And pious action, we do sugar o'er [sage, Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well, The devil himself.

you did;

[pos’d, King. O, 'tis too true! how smart

And, with them, words of so sweet breath com-
A lash that speech doth give myconscience![Aside. Is made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
The harlot's cheek, beauty'd with plast'ring art, 25 Take these again; for to the noble mind
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it, Rich gitts was poor, when givers prove unkind.
Than is my deed to my most painted word: There, my lord.
Q heavy burthen !

Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest?
Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my Oph. My lord ?
lord. (Exeunt King, und Polonius. 30 Ham. Are you fair ?
Enter Hamlet.

Oph. What means your lordship?
Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question:- Ham. That, if you be honest, and fair, you
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suiter should admit no discourse to your beauty.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better com-
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, 35 merce than with honesty?
And,by opposing, end them?—To die;--to sleep;-- Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will
No more;-and, by a sleep, to say we end sooner transform honesty from what it is to a
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks bawd, than the force of honesty can translate
That flesh is heir to'tis a consummation beauty into its likeness: this was some time a
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die;-to sleep ;- 40 paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did
To sleep! perchance, to dream ;-Ay, there's love you once.
the rub;

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, Ham. You should not have believ'd me : for When we have shuílled off this mortal coil?, virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we Must give us pause: There's the respect, 45 shall relish of it: I lov'd you not. That makes calamity of so long life: [time, Oph. I was the more deceiv'd. For who would bear the whips and scorns of Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why would'st The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contume- thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifThe pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, [ly, ferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such The insolence of office, and the spurns 50 things, that it were better, my mother had not That patient merit of the unworthy takes, borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambiWhen he himself might his quietus * make tious; with more offences at my beck, than I With a bare bodkin'! who would fardels bear, have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give To groan and sweat under a weary life;

them shape, or time to act them in: What should But that the dread of something after death, 55 such fellows as I do crawling between earth and The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none

1 i. e. spies. ? i. e. turmoil, bustle. 3 Dr. Warburton remarks, that “ the evils here complained of are not the product of time or duration simply, but of a corrupted age or manners. Wc may be sure, then, that Shakspeare wrote, the whips and scorns of th' time. And the description of the evils of a corrupt age, which follows, confirms this emendation."

* This expression probably alluded to the writ of discharge, which was formerly granted to those barons and knights who perso nally attended the king on any foreign expedition.--This discharge was called a Quietus. It is at this time the term for the acquittance which every sheriff receives on settling his accounts at the exchequer.

A bodkin was the ancient term for a small dagger.


of us: Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your Pol. It shall do well: But yet do I believe father?

The origin and commencement of his grief Oph. At home, my lord.

Sprung from neglected love.--How now, Ophelia! Ham. Let the doors bc shut upon him; that he You need not tell us what lord Hanılet said; may play the fool no where but in's own house. 5 We heard it all.—My lord, do as you please; Fareweli.

But, if you hold it fit, after the play, Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens ! Let his qucen-mother all alone entreat him

Ham. If thou dost" marry, I'll give thee this To shew his grief; let her be round with him “; plague for thy dowry; Be thou as chaste as ice, And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. 10 Of all their conference: If she find him dot, Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: Or, if thou wilt To England send him; or confine kim, where needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know Your wisdom best shall think. well enough, what inonsters you make of them. King. It shall be so: To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him!


[Ercunt. Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well

SCENE II. enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble,

A Hall. and you lisp, and nich-name God's creatures, and

Enter IIamlet, and two or three of the Players. make your wantonness your ignorance': Go to;20 Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I proI'll no more on't; it hath made me mad. I say, nounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but we will have no more marriages : those that are if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had married already, all but one, shall live; the rest as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go, not saw the air too much with your hand, thus;

[Eunt Iłamlet. 25 bụt use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, must acquire and beget a temperance, that may sword;

give it smoothness. W, it offends me to the soul, The expectancy and rose of the fair state, to hear a robustious perriwig-pated fellow tear a The glass of fashion, and the mould of form”, 30 passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of The observ'd of all observers! quite, quite down! the groundlingsø; who, for the niost part, are And I, of ladies, most deject and wretched, capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, '1 hat suck'd the honey of his music vows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipp'd Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, for o'er-doing Termagant’; it out-herods Herod": Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; 35 Pray you, avoid it. That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth, 1 Play. I warrant your honour. Blasted with ecstasy": 0, woe is me!

Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own To have seen what I have seen, see what I see! discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the Re-enter King, and Polonius.

word, the word to the action ; with this special King, Love! bis affections do not that way 10 observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of tend;

nature: For any thing so overdone is from the Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, Was not like madness. There's something in his and now, was, and is, to hold as 'twere the mirsoul,

ror up to nature; to show virtue her own feaO'er which his melancholy sits on brood; |45|ture, scorn her own image, and the very age and And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose, body of the time his form and pressure. Now Will be some danger; Which, for to prevent, this, over-done, or come tardy off, though it make I have, in quick determination,

the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious Thus set it down; He shall with speed to England, grieve; the censure of which one, niust, in your For the demand of our neglected tribute : 50 allowance, o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. Haply, the seas, and countries different, O, there be players, that I have seen play,—and' With variable objects, shall expe!

heard others praise, and that highly,--not to speak This something-settled matter in his heart; it profanely tö, that, neither having the accent of Whereon his brains still beating, puts bim thus christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor From fashion of himself. What think you on 't :(53man, have so strutted, and below'd, that I have

' i. e. you mistake hy wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance. The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves. 3 The word ecstacy was anciently used to signify some degree of alienation of mind. * To be round with a person, is to reprimand him with freedom. * This is a ridicule on the quantity of false hair worn in Shakspeare's tiine; for wigs were not in common use till the reign of Charles II. Players, however, seem to have worn them niost generally, • The meaner people then seem to have sai below, as they now sit in the upper gallery, who, not well understanding poetical language, were sometimes gratified by a miinical and mute representation of the drama, previous to the dialogue. * Termagant was a Saracen deity, very clamorous and violent, in the old moralities. * The character of Herod in the ancient mysteries was always a violent one. ! i, e, resemblance, as in a print. 10 Any gross or indelicate language was called profane.



thought some of nature's journeymen had made For I mine eyes will rivet to his face; men, and not made them well, they imitated hu- And, after, we will both our judgements join. manity so abominably.

In censure of his seeming. 1 Play. I hope, we have reform'd that indiffe- Hor. Well, nıy lord: rently with us.

5 if he steal aught, the whilst this play is playing, Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those, And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft

. (idle: that play your clowns, speak no more than is set Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be down for them: For there be of them, that will Get you a place. themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of bar

Danish march. A flourish. ren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean 10 Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosentime, some necessary question of the play be then crantz, Guildenstern, and others. to be considered: thai's villainous; and shews a King. How fares our cousin Hamlet? most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, Ham. Excellent, i' faith ; of the camelion's make you ready.

[Exeunt Players. dish : I eat the air, promise-cramı'd: You canEnter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstirn. 15 not feed capons so. How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamof work?

let; these words are not mine. Pol. And the queen too, and that presently: Ham. No, nor mine now.—My lord, you play'd Ham. Bid the players make haste.

once l’the university, you say? [To Polonius. Will you two help to hasten them? [Exit Pol. 20 Pol. That did I, my lord: and was accounted

Boih. Ay, my lord. [Exeunt Ros. and Guil. a good actor.
Ham. What hu; Horatio !

Ham. And what did you enact?
Enter Horatio.

Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was kill'd i' Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service. the Capitol ; Brutus kill'd me.

Hum. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man 25 Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.

capital a calf there.--Be the players ready? Hor. O, my dear lord,

Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience. Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter:

Queen.come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. For what advancement inay I hope from thee, Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more That no revenue hast, but ihy good spirits, 130

attractive. To feed, and clothe thee? Why should the poor Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the King. be flatter'd ?

Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap? No, let the candy'd tongue lick absurd pomp;

[Lying down at Ophelia's feet. And crook the pregnant' hinges of the knee, Oph. No, my lord. Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?|35 Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap? Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, Oph. Ay, my lord. And could of men distinguish, her election Ham. Do you think I meant country matters“? Hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been Oph. I think nothing, my lord. [legs. As one, in suttering all, that suffers nothing; Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maids' A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards 40 Oph. What is, my lord? Hast ta’en with equal thanks: and blest are those,

Ham. Nothing. Whosebloodandjudgementaresowellco-mingleda, Oph. You are merry, my lord. That they are not a pipe for fortune's tinger

Ham. Who, I? To sound what stop she please: Give me that man Oph. Ay, my lord. That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him 45 Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, a man do, but be merry? for, look you, how As I do thee.—Something too much of this.- cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died There is a play to-night before the king;

within these two hours. One scene of it comes near the circumstance, Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord. Which I have told thee, of my father's death. 501 Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear I pr’ythee, when thou see'st that act a-foot, black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens!. Even with the very cominent of thy soul die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then Observe my uncle: if his occulted guilt there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive Do not itself unkennel in one speech,

his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build It is a damned ghost that we have seen; 55 churches then: or else shall be suffer not thinking And my imaginations are as foul

Jon, with the hobby-horse'; whose epitaph is, As Vulcan's stithy ': Give him heedful note: For, 0, for, 0, the hobby-horse is forgot.

· The sense of pregnant in this place is, quick, ready, prompt. According to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgement in the phlegin; and the due mixture of the humours made a perfect character. Stithy is a smith's ancil. * Dr. Johnson thinks we must read, Do you think I meant country manners? Do you imagine that I meant to sit in your lap, with such rough gallantry as clowns use to their lasses ; * Amongst the country may. games there was an hobby-horse, which, when the puritanical humour of those times opposed and discredited these games, was brought by the poets and ballad-makers as an instance of the ridiculous zeal of the sectaries: from these ballads Hanilet quotes a line or two.




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