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HAM, Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
CAP. Yes, 'tis already garrison'd.
HAM. Two thousand souls, and twenty thou-

sand ducats,
Will not debates the question of this straw:
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace;
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.- I humbly thank you, sir. .

CAP. God be wi'*you, sir. [Exit Captain. buy, 0.c.

Will’t please you go, my lord ? HAM. I will be with you straight. Go a little before.

[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
How all occasionse do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good, and market of his time,
Be but to sleep, and feed ? a beast, no more.
Sure, he, that made us with such large dis-

course, (17)


Looking before, and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,”
(A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part

And, ever, three parts coward) I do not know


debate] Suffice to debate,

imposthume] “ The cankers of a calm world and a long peace.” I H. IV. Falst. IV. 2.

* occasions] Occurrences.
a market] Return had for his time.

Market is MERCES,

a beast, no more] He is no better than a beast, if this is all. See Hamlet's Solil. 1

craven scruple] Cowardly; as asking quarter by pronouncing this word of fear and fealty. Tam, of Sh.II. 1. Kath. s the event] Consequences,




Why yet I live, to say, This thing's to do;
Sith Í have cause, and will, and strength, and

To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness, this army of such mass, and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince;
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event;*
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is, not to stir without great argument;
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That, for a fantasy, and trick of fame,"
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot,(18)
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough, and continent,(19)
To hide the slain ?-0, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!]


Makes mouths at the invisible event] Scoffs at unknown fate, at the unseen issue.

without great argument, but greatly, &c.] Without sufficient reason, but magnanimously, &c. Dr. Johnson says, the sentiment is partly just, and partly romantick.

Rightly to be great, Is, not to stir without great argument ; is exactly philosophical.

But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,

When honour's at the stake, is the idea of a modern hero. But then, says he, honour is un argument, or subject of debate, sufficiently great, and when honour is at stake, we must find cause of quarrel in a straw.

o reason and blood] Judgment and passions. See III. 2. Haml.

#trick of fame] Point of honour.


Elsinore. A Room in the Castle.

Enter Queen and Horatio,

QUEEN. I will not speak with her.

Hor. She is importunate ; indeed, distract;
Her mood will needs be pitied.(20)

What would she have ? Hor. She speaks much of her father ; says, she

hears, There's tricks i’the world ; and hems, and beats

her heart; Spurns enviously at straws ; speaks things in

doubt, That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection ; (21) they aim at it, And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts; Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield

them, Indeed would make one think, there might be

thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. (22) QUEEN. 'Twere good, she were spoken with ;

for she may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds :

* enviously] With spleen and passion, as mad dogs snap at whatever they meet.

speaks things in doubt] Without distinct or certain aim; wanderingly and incoherently.

Let her come in.

[Exit Horatio.
To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss :*
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt."

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Re-enter HORATio, with OPHELIA.

Oph. Where is the beauteous majesty of Den

QUEEN. How now, Ophelia ?
Oph. How should I your true love know

From another one?
By his cockle hat and staff, (23)
And his sandal shoon. [Singing.

QUEEN. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this

Oph. Say you ? nay, pray you, mark.


He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and

gone ;
At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone.

O, ho!

Queen. Nay, but Ophelia,

Pray you, mark.

* Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss] Toy is trifle : and amiss, in common use at that time for offence or abuse, here imports “ evil impending or catastrophe.”

It spills itself in fearing to be spilt] Exposes and ruins itself by its over anxiety to stifle suspicion.

sandal shoon] “ Socculus, a manner of shone." Ortus Vocabulor, 1514.

White his shroud as the mountain-snow,


Enter King

QUEEN. Alas, look here, my lord.
ОРН. . Larded all with sweet flowers;

Which bewept to the grave did not go

With true-love showers. (?


King. How do you, pretty lady?

Oph. Well, God’ield you. They say, the owl was a baker's daughter.(25

) Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at

your table!

King. Conceit upon her father."

Oph. Pray, let us have no words of this; but when they ask you, what it means, say you this :

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, (26)

All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be



ир he rose, and don'd his clothes,
And dupp'do the chamber door;
Let in the maid, that out a muid

Never departed more.

King. Pretty Ophelia !

Goďield you] Requite; yield you recompence.

See As pou, &c. III. 3. Touchst.

Conceit upon her father] Fancies respecting. See III. 4. Ghost. “ Conceit in weakest minds."

e don'd and dupp'd] Do on and do up.



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