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Oh wretched ftate! oh bofom, black as death!
Oh limed foul, that, ftruggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels! make affay!
Bow, ftubborn knees; and, heart, with ftrings of

Be foft as finews of the new-born babe!

All may be well.

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[The King retires and kneels.

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Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying, And now I'll do't. And fo he goes to heav'n. And fo am I reveng'd? that would be fcann'd. A villain kills my father, and for that 5 I, his fole fon, do this fame villain send

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To heav'n. O, this is hire and falary, not revenge.
He took my father grofly, full of bread,

With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit ftands, who knows, fave heav'n?
But in our circumftance and courfe of thought,
'Tis heavy with him. Am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and feafon'd for his passage?
Up, fword, and know thou a more horrid Hent;
When he is drunk-afleep, or in his rage,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, fwearing, or about fome act
That has no relifh of falvation in't;

Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heav'n;
And that his foul may be as damn'd and black
7 As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays,
This phyfick but prolongs thy fickly days.

is, fal'n fon, i. e. difinherited. This was an aggravation of the injury; that he had not only murder'd the father, but ruin'd the fon. WARBURTON.

The folio 'gives a reading apparently corrupted from the quarto. The meaning is plain. I, his only fon, who am bound to punish his murder.

6 In the common editions, Up, fword, and know thou a more horrid time.] This is a fophifticated reading, warranted by none of the copies of rity. Mr. Pope fays, I read conjecturally;



-a more horrid Bent. I do fo; and why? the two old eft quarto's, as well as the two elder folio's, read; a more borrid Hent. But as there is no fuch English fubftantive, it feems


very natural to conclude, that with the change of a fingle letter, our author's genuine word was, Bent; i. e. drift, scope, inclination, purpose, &c. THEOBALD.

This reading is followed by Sir T. Hanmer and Dr. Warbur ton; but Hent is probably the right word. To hent is ufed by Shakespeare for, to fiize, to catch, to lay hold on. Hent is therefore, bold, or feizure. Lay hold on him, fword, at a more horrid time.

7 As hell, whereto it goes.-] This fpeech, in which Hamlet, reprefented as a virtuous character, is not content with taking blood for blood, but contrives damnation for the man that he would punish, is too horrible to be read or to be uttered.


The King rifes, and comes forward.

King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go. [Exit.



Changes to the Queen's Apartment.

Enter Queen and Polonius.

E will come ftraight; look, you lay home to him;


Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear


And that your Grace hath screen'd, and stood between Much heat and him.

I'll filence me e'en 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.

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[Polonius hides himself behind the Arras.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou haft thy father much offended.

8 I'll filence me e'en here; Pray you, be round with him.] Sir T. Hanmer, who is followed by Dr. Warburton, reads,

I'll sconce me here. Retire to a place of fecurity. They

forget that the contrivance of Palonius to overhear the conference, was no more told to the Queen than to Hamlet.-I'll filence me ev'n here, is, I'll ufe no more words.


Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended.
Queen. Come, come, you anfwer with an idle tongue.
Ham. Go, go, you queftion with a wicked tongue.
Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet?
Ham. What's the matter now?
Queen. Have you forgot me?

Ham. No, by the rood, not fo:

You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife, But, 'would you were not fo!-You are my mother. Queen. Nay, then I'll fet thofe to you that can' speak.

Ham. Come, come, and fit you down; you shall not budge.

You go not, 'till I fet you up a glafs

Where you may fee the inmoft part of you,

Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me?

Help, ho.

Pol. What ho, help.

[Behind the Arras.

Ham. How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead.

Pol. Oh, I am flain.

[Hamlet kills Polonius.

Queen. Oh me, what haft thou done?

Hem. Nay, I know not: is it the King?

Queen. Oh, what a rash and blood deed is this! Ham. A bloody deed; almost as bad, good mo


As kill a King, and marry with his brother.
Queen.. As kill a King?

Ham. Ay, lady, 'twas my word.

Thou wretched, rafh, intruding fool, farewel,

[To Polonius. I took thee for thy Betters; take thy fortune; Thou find❜ft, to be too busy, is fome danger. Leave wringing of your hands; peace; fit you down, And let me wring your heart, for fo I fhall, If it be made of penetrable ftuff:


If damned cuftom have not braz'd it fo,
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.

Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'ft wag thy tongue

In noise fo rude against me?

Ham. Such an act,


That blurs the grace and blush of modefty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rofe
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As falfe as dicers' oaths. Oh, fuch a deed,
As from the body of Contraction plucks
The very foul, and sweet Religion makes
A rhapfody of words.



Heav'n's face doth glow;
Yea, this folidity and compound mass,
With triftful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.

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Is thought fick at the act.
From whence it appears that
Shakespear wrote,

Heav'n's face doth glow
O'ER this folidity and compound

With triftful vifage; AND, as
'gainft the doom

Is thought-fick at the act. This makes a fine sense, and to this effect, The fun looks upon our globe, the scene of this mur der, with an angry and mournful countenance, half hid in eclipse, as at the day of doom. WARB

The word heated, though it agrees well enough with glaw

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