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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 wbat’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 mur
der! 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. May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice; And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the law : But 'tis not so above: There is no shuffling, there the action lies In bis true nature: and we ourselves compell’d, 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; tbat struggling to be free, Art more engag'd! 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!
[Retires and kneels. 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 1 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; With all bis crimes broad blown, as flush as May; And, how his audit stands, who knows, save
But, in our circumstance and course of thought,
[Exit. The King rises and advances. King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain
below: Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go.
[Erit. SCENE IV. Another Room in the same.
Enter Queen and POLONIUS. Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay
bome to bim : 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 silence me e'en here. 'Pray you, be round with him. 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 of.
fended. Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle
tongue. Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked
tongue. VOL. VIII.
Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet?
What's the matter now?
No, by the rood, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's
wife; And, 'would it were not so!-you are my mo
ther. Queen. Nay, then I'll set 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, 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
Queen. As kill a king!
Ay, lady, 'twas my word.Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, 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, Jt 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?
Such an act, That blors the grace and blush of modesty; Calls virtue, bypocrite; takes off the rose From the fair forehead of an innocent love, And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows As false as dicers' oaths: 0, such a deed As from the body of contraction plucky The very soul; and sweet religion makes A rhapsody of words : Heaven's face doth glow; Yea, this solidity and compound mass, With tristful visage, as against the doom, Is thought-sick at the act. Queen.
Ab 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 busband.-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 bey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble, And waits upon the judgment; And wbat judg
ment Would step from this to this? Sepse, sure you
have, Else could you not have motion: But, sure, that 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 boodman-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 Hamlet, speak no more:
Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ; Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making
love Over the nasty sty; Queen.
0, speak to me no more; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears: No more, sweet Hamlet. Ham.
A murderer, and a villain; A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe 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! Queen.
Enter Ghost. Ham.
A king Of shreds and patches :Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards!—What would your gra
cious figure? Queen. Alas, he's mad. Ham. Do you not come yourtardy son to chide, That, laps'd in time and passion, let's go by The important acting of your dread command? 0, say!
Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But, look! amazement ou thy mother sits: O, step between her and her fighting soul; Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works; Speak to her, Hamlet. Ham,
How is it with