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Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: Be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark the play. Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
Enter a King and a Queen.
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
inaccurately written for malheco, signifies mischief; so that miching mallecho, is mischief on the watch for opportunity.
Be not you ashamed to show, &c.] The conversation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to disgust every modern reader, is probably such as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shakspeare, which was by no means the age of delicacy. The poet is, however, blameable : for extravagance of thought, not indecency of expression, is the characteristick of madness, at least of such madness as should be represented on the
cart —] A chariot was anciently so called.
For women fear too much, even as they love;
P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly
My operant powers & their functions leave to do:
O, confound the rest !
Ham. That's wormwood.
P. Queen. The instances', that second marriage move, Are base respects of thrift, but none of love ; A second time I kill my husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. King. I do believe, you think what now you speak; But, what we do determine, oft we break. Purpose is but the slave to memory; Of violent birth, but poor validity: Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree; But fall, unshapen, when they mellow be. Most necessary 'tis, that we forget To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt': What to ourselves in passion we propose, The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
operant powers --} Operant is active. 9 The instances,] The motives.
what to ourselves is debt :) The performance of a resoJution, in which only the resolver is interested, is a debt only to himself, which he may therefore remit at pleasure.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy :] What grief or joy enact or determine in their violence, is revoked in their abatement. Enactures is the word in the quarto ; all the modern editions have enactors. Johnson.
3 An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope !) liberty and enjoyment be to live on hermit's fare in a prison ! Anchor is for anchorct. Johnson,
ay my whole
P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a
while; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain ; And never come mischance between us twain !
[Exit. Ham. Madam, how like you this play? Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Ham. O, but she'll keep her word.
King. Have you heard the argument ? Is there no offence in't?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest ; no offence i'the world.
King. What do you call the play?
Hum. The mouse-trapMarry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder, done in Vienna : Gonzago is the duke's name ; his wife, Baptista : you shall see anon ; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not: Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my edge.
Oph. Still better and worse.
Ham. So you mistake your husbands. - Begin, murderer ;-leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come;
· The mouse-trap.] He calls it the mouse-trap, because it is
The croaking raven
[Pours the Poison into the Sleeper's Ears. Ham. He poisons him i'the garden for his estate. His name's Gonzago ; the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian : you shall see anon, how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The king rises.
[Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO. Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play:
Thus runs the world away.Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me”,) with two Provencial roses on my razed shoes?, get me a fellowship in a cry of players", sir ?
5 Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, &c.] It appears from Decker's Gul's Hornbooke, that feathers were much worn on the stage in Shakspeare's time.
turn Turk with me,)] This means to change condition fantastically. Provencial roses
Provencial, or (with the French R) Provençal. He ineans roses of Provence, a beautiful species of rose, much cultivated; but Mr Malone reads Provincial, from Provins in France. Razed shoes may slashed shoes, i.e. with cuts or openings in them.