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To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire :--Proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge ;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And 6 reason panders will.

Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more :
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and 7 grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.

Ham. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an 8 incestuous bed ;
Stew'd in corruption ; honying, and making love
Over the nafty stye!-

Queen. Oh, speak to me no more ;
Thele words like daggers enter in mine ears :
No more, sweet Hamlet.

Ham. A murderer, and a villain !
A Nave, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of

your precedent lord !-a o vice of kings !-
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule ;
"That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And it in his pocket!

Queen. No more.

put

6

7

8

faid of heat, be said of hell, that it will mutiny wherever it is quartered ? Though the emendation be elegant, it is not neceffary. JOHNSON.

-reason panders will.] So the folio, I think rightly : but the reading of the quarto is defensible;

reason pardons will. JOHNSON. -grained-] Dyed in grain. JOHNSON.

incestuous bed;] The folio has enfeamed, that is, greasy bed. JOHNSON Incestuous is the reading of the quarto, 1611. STEEVENS.

vice of kings ! ] a lo:mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a tarce; from whom the modern punch is descended.

JOHNSON. * That from a self, &c.] This is said not unmeaningly, but to hew, that the usurper came not to the crown by any glorious villainy that carried danger with it, but by the low cowardly theft of a common piiserer. WARBURTON.

Enter

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Enter Ghost.
Ham. » A king of shreds and patches.
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,

[Starting up. You heavenly guards ! - What would your gracious

figure?
Queen. Alas, he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, 3 laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
O, say !

Ghost. Do not forget : this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother fits ;
O, step between her and her fighting foul :
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.-
Speak to her, Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you, lady?

Queen. Alas, how is't with you ;
That thus you bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the neeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, 4 like life in excrements,
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and fame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look ?
Ham. On him! on him!-Look you, how pale

he glares !
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,

3

? A king of freds and patches.] This is said, pursuing the idea of the vice of kings. The wice was dressed as a fool, in a coat of party-coloured patches. JOHNSON.

-laps’d in time and pasion, —] That, having suffered time to siip, and pasion to cool, lets go, &c. Johnson.

-like life in excrements,] The hairs are excrementitious, that is, without life or fenfation ; yet those very hairs, as if they had life, start up, &c. POPE.

Would

Would make them capable. Do not look on me;
Left with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for blood.

Queen. To whom do you speak this ?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I fee.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing, but ourselves. .
Hem. Why, look you there! Look, how it steals

away! s 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 music. 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 foul, That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks : It will but skin and film the ulcerous place ; Whilft rank corruption, mining all within, Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven ;

his last

s My father, in his habit as he liv'd!) If the poet means by this expression, that his father appeared in his own familiar habit, he has either forgot that he had originally introduced him in armour, or must have meant to vary his dress at this

appearance. The father of Hamlet, though a wariike prince, was hardly always drest in armour, or fiept (as is reported of Hacho king of Norway) with his battle-axe in his hand.

This dificulty might perhaps be a little obviated by pointing the line thus :

My father-in bis habit--as he liv'd. STEEVENS. VOL. X.

S

Repent

Repent what's past; avoid what is to come ;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue:
For, in the fatness of these pursy times,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, 7 curb and wooe, for leave to do him good.
Queen. Oh Hamlet ! thou haft cleft my heart in

twain.
Ham. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night : but go not to mine uncle's bed;
Afsume a virtue, if you have it not.
[8. That monster custom, who all fenfe doth eat
Of habits evil, 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 can almost change the stamp of nature, And master the devil, or throw him out With wondrous potency.) Once more, good night! And when you are desirous to be blest, I'll blessing beg of you.--For this same lord,

[Pointing to Polonius. 6 - do not spread the compofit, &c.] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your former cffences. Johnson.

7-curb-] That is, bend and truckle. Fr. courber. $ That monfler cufiom, who all sense doth eat

Of habii's devil, is angel yet in this ;] This paffage is left out in the tivo elder folics : it is certainly corrupt, and the players did the discreet part to ftifle what they did not underItand. Habii's devil certainly arose from some conceited tamperer with the text, who thought it was necesiary, in contraft to angel. The emendation of the text I owe to the fagacity of Dr. THIRLBY.

That monster cifloni, who all fons doch eat

Of habits evil, is angel, &c. THEOBALD. I think Thirlby's conjecture wrong, though the succeeding editors have followed it; angel and devil are evidently opposed. Johnson.

I do repent: but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
9 To punish this with me, and me with this,
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!
I must be cruel, only to be kind ;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady.

Queen. 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

To punish this with me, &c.] This is Hanmer's reading; the other editions have it,

To punish me with this, and this with me. JOHNSON. Let the fond king] The old quarto reads,

Let the bloat king i. e. bloated, which is better, as more expressive of the speaker's contempt.

WARBURTON. 2 Tbar 1 fentially am not in madness,

But mad in craft.-] The reader will be pleased to see Mr. Farmer's extract from the old quarto Historie of Hamblet, of which he had a fragment only in his posfellion. —" It was “ not without cause, and jufte occasion, that my geitures, “ countenances, and words, seeme to proceed from a madman, “ and that I desire to haue all men efteeme mee wholy depriued of fence and reasonable understanding, bycause I am well “ assured, that he that hath made no conscience to kill his " owne brother (accustomed to murthers, and allured with “ desire of gouernement without controll in his treasons) will “ not spare to faue himselfe with the like crueltie, in the blood, “ and Aesh of the loy.ns of his brother, by him massacred : and " therefore it is better for me to fayne madnesse, then to use

my right fences as pature hath bestowed them upon me. “ The bright shining clearnes therof I am forced to hide vnder " this shadow of diffimulation, as the sun doth hir beams

S 2

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