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Oh wretched ftate! oh bofom, black as death!
Oh limed foul, that, struggling 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.

[The King retires and kneels.

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Enter Hamlet.

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

Try what repentance can. What

can it not?

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Yet what can aught, when one cannot repent?

Which comes to the fame nonfenfe of the common reading, only a little more round about. For when I am bid to try one.


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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 circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him. Am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his foul,
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
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays;
This phyfick but prolongs thy fickly days.

the fon.

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

6 In the common editions, Up, fword, and know thou a more hor

rid time.] This is a fophifticated reading, warranted by none of the copies of any authority. 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 fubflantive, 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, inclina-
tion, 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, hold, or feizure. Lay hold on him, fword, at a more horrid time.

7 As bell, 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.


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The King rifes, and comes forward.

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



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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 with;

And that your Grace hath fcreen'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.

[Polonius hides himself behind the Arras.

Enter Hamlet.


--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 fconce me here.
Retire to a place of fecurity. They

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

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 answer 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 glass Where you may fee the inmoft Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me ?

part of

Pol. What ho, help.

[Behind the Arras.

Ham. How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead. [Hamlet kills Polonius.

Help, ho.

of you.

Pol. Oh, I am flain.

Queen. Oh me, what hast 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 mother,

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

Ham. Ay, lady, 'twas my word.

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewel,
[To Polonius.
I took thee for thy Betters; take thy fortune;
Thou find'ft, to be too bufy, is fome danger.
Leave wringing of your hands; peace; fit you down,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff:

If damned cuftom have not braz'd it fo,
That it is proof and bulwark against fenfe.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'ft wag thy


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 blifter there; makes marriage vows
As falfe as dicers' oaths. Oh, fuch a deed,
As from the body of Contraction plucks
The very foul, and fweet Religion makes
A rhapfody of words. Heav'n's face doth glow;
Yea, this folidity and compound mass,
With triftful vifage, as against the doom,
Is thought-fick at the act.


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


With heated vifage, as against the doom

appears that

Is thought fick at the act.
From whence it
Shakespear wrote,
Heav'n's face doth glow
O'ER this folidity and compound
With triftful vifage; AND, as
'gainst the doom

Is thought-fick at the act.
This makes a fine fenfe, 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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