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Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
O Hamlet, speak no more:
Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ;1 Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love Over the nasty stye ;Queen.
O, speak to me no more; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears ; No more, sweet Hamlet. Hum,
A murderer, and a villain : A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythe Of your precedent lord :-a vice of kings :? A cutpurse of the empire and the rule; That from a shelf the precious diadem stole, And put it in his pocket!
6 Could not so mope.] i. e. could not exhibit such marks of stupidity.
i If thou canst mutine, &c.] To mutine, was the ancient term, signifying to rise in mutiny.
grained-] Died in grain, or perhaps, indented. 9 As will not leave their tinct.] To leave is to part with, give up, resign. enseamed bed ;] i. e.
bed. vi:e of kings:) A low mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a farce; from whence the modern punch is descended.
Ham. Of shreds and patches :: Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards !-What would your gracious
figure? Queen. Alas, he's mad..
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide;
Ghost. Do not forget : This visitation
How is it with you, lady?
3 A king
Of shreds and patches :] This is said, pursuing the idea of the vice of kings. The vice was dressed as a fool, in a coat of partycoloured patches.
laps'd in time and passion, ] That, having suffered time to slip, and passion to cool, lets go,
like life in excrements,] Not only the hair of animals having neither life nor sensation was called an excrement, but the feathers of birds had the same appellation.
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
he glares !
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Do you see nothing there?
No, nothing, but ourselves. Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it steals
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 bodiless creation ecstasy Is very cunning in.
Ham. Ecstasy! My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, And makes as healthful musick: It is not madness, That I have utter'd: bring me to the test, And I the matter will re-word; which madness Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace, Lay not that flattering unction to your soul, That not your trespass, but my madness speaks : It will but skin and film the ulcerous place; Whiles rank corruption, mining all within, Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Would make them capable.] Capable here signifies intelligent ; endued with understanding.
My stern effects :] Effects for actions ; deeds effected.
Repent what's past: avoid what is to come;
heart in twain. Ham. O throw away the worser part of it, And live the purer with the other half. Good night : but go
uncle's bed ; Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this ; That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock, or livery, That aptly is put on: Refrain to-night: And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence : the next more easy : For use almost can change the stamp of nature, And either curb the devil, or throw him out With wondrous potency. Once more, good night; And when you are desirous to be bless'd, I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
[Pointing to POLONIUS. I do repent: But heaven hath pleas'd it so,To punish me with this, and this with me, That I must be their scourge and minister. I will bestow him, and will answer well The death I gave him. So, again, good night!
do not spread the compost, &c.] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your formr offences.
curb-] That is, bend and truck Fr. courber. 2 To punish me with this, and this with mo,] To punish me by making me the instrument of this man's death, and to punish this man by my hand.
I must be cruel, only to be kind :
What shall I do? Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you
do: 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 kisses," Or padling in your neck with his damn'd fingers, Make you to ravel all this matter out, That I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft. "Twere good, you let him know : For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, Such dear concernings hide? who would do so? No, in despite of sense, and secrecy, Unpeg the basket on the house's top, Let the birds fly; and like the famous ape, To try conclusions, in the basket
creep, And break your own neck down. Queen. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of
breath, And breath of life, I have no life to breathe What thou hast said to me.
Ham. I must to England ;8 you know that?
3 Let the bloat kingą] This again hints at his intemperance. He had already drank himself into a dropsy. BLACKSTONE.
his mouse ;] Mouse was once a term of endearment.
reechy kisses,] Reechy is smoky. The author meant to convey a coarse idea, and was not very scrupulous in his choice of an epithet.
a gib,] Gib was a common name for a cat. 7 To try conclusions,] i. e. experiments. 8 I must to England ;] Shakspeare does not inform us how Hamlet came to know that he was to be sent to England. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were made acquainted with the King's intentions for the first time in the very last scene; and they do not appear to have had any communication with the Prince since that time.