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But come ;-
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself; -
As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on;—

That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,



As, "Well, well, we know ;"— or, "We could, an if we would;' - or, "If we list to speak ;"— or, "There be, an if they might; Or such ambiguous giving-out, to note That you know aught of me : -this not to do,

So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.


Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentle

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With all my love I do commend me to you:
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, t' express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

The time is out of joint;—O, cursed spite!
That ever I was born to set it right.
Nay, come; let's go together.22


passage has had so long a lease of familiarity, as it stands in the text, that it seems best not to change it. Besides, your gives a nice characteristic shade of meaning that is lost in our. Of course it is not Horatio's philosophy, but your philosophy, that Hamlet is speaking of.


22 This part of the scene after Hamlet's interview with the Ghost has been charged with an improbable eccentricity. But the truth is, that after the mind has been stretched beyond its usual pitch and tone, it must either sink into exhaustion and inanity, or seek relief by change. It is thus well known, that persons conversant in deeds of cruelty contrive to escape from conscience by con


SCENE I. A Room in POLONIUS' House.

Enter POLONIUS and REYNaldo.

Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo.

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,

Before you visit him, to make inquiry

Of his behaviour.

1 That is, Danes. mark Danske.


My lord, I did intend it.

Pol. Marry, well said; very well said. Look
you, sir,

Inquire me first what Danskers' are in Paris;
And how, and who, what means, and where they



necting something of the ludicrous with them, and by inventing grotesque terms and a certain technical phraseology to disguise the horror of their practices. Indeed, paradoxical as it may appear, the terrible by a law of the human mind always touches on the verge of the ludicrous. Both arise from the perception of something out of the common order of things, something, in fact, out of its place; and if from this we can abstract the danger, the uncommonness alone will remain, and the sense of the ridiculous be excited. The close alliance of these opposites - they are not contraries - appears from the circumstance, that laughter is equally the expression of extreme anguish and horror as of joy : as there are tears of sorrow and tears of joy, so there is a laugh of terror and a laugh of merriment. These complex causes will naturally have produced in Hamlet the disposition to escape from his own feelings of the overwhelming and supernatural by a wild transition to the ludicrous, -a sort of cunning bravado, bordering on the flights of delirium. - COLERIDGE.


Warner, in his Albion's England, calls Den

What company, at what expense; and, finding,
By this encompassment and drift of question,

That they do know my son, come you more nearer
Than your particular demands will touch it :
Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
As thus, -5
I know his father, and his friends,
And, in part, him :" - do mark this, Reynaldo?
Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.


Pol. "And, in part, him; but," you may say,

"not well:

But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;


Addicted so and so; and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
As may dishonour him, take heed of that;
But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips,
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.


As gaming, my lord?

Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quar



Drabbing: - you may go so far.

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour hira.

Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.

You must not put another scandal on him,
That he is open to incontinency;

That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly,

That they may seem the taints of liberty;
The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind;

2 The cunning of fencers is now applied to quarrelling; they thinke themselves no men, if, for stirring of a straw, they prove not their valure uppon some bodies fleshe.". · Gosson's Schole of Abuse, 1579.





A savageness in unreclaimed blood,

Of general assault.
But, my good lord,
Pol. Wherefore should you do this?
Rey. Ay, my lord, I would know that.
Pol. Marry, sir, here's my drift,

And I believe it is a fetch of warrant :*

You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'the working,
Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
The youth you breathe of guilty, be assur'd,
He closes with you in this consequence:
"Good sir," or so; or "friend," or "gentleman,'
According to the phrase, or the addition,
Of man, and country;



Very good, my lord.
Pol. And then, sir, does he this, - he does-
What was I about to say?-By the mass, I was
about to say something:- Where did I leave?
Rey. At, closes in the consequence,
As "friend or so" and "gentleman.'
Pol. At, closes in the consequence, - ay, marry;
He closes thus: "I know the gentleman;
I saw him yesterday," or "t'other day,"
Or then, or then; with such, or such; "and, as you




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3 A wildness of untamed blood, such as youth is generally assailed by.

4"A fetch of warrant" seems to mean an allowable stratagem or practice. The quartos have "fetch of wit."


5 This line is in the folio only. In the third line before, the folio omits "By the mass," probably on account of the statute against profanity; and, in the second line after, inserts with you between closes and thus.


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There was he gaming; there o'ertook in 's rouse;
There falling out at tennis:" or, perchance,
"I saw him enter such a house of sale,
Videlicit, a brothel," or so forth.—

See you now;

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth;
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlaces, and with assays of bias,R
By indirections find directions out:

So, by my former lecture and advice,

Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
Rey. My lord, I have.

Pol. God be wi'
Rey. Good my lord.

Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself."

Rey. I shall, my lord.

Pol. And let him ply his music.
Rey. Well, my lord.

you; fare you well.


Pol. Farewell!- How now, Ophelia! what's the

Oph. Alas, my lord! I have been so affrighted!
Pol. With what, in the name of God?

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my chamber,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,


"To assay, or

That is, by tortuous devices and side essays. rather essay, of the French word essayer, tentare," says Baret. 7 That is, in your own person; add your own observations of his conduct to these inquiries respecting him.

8 So the folio; the quartos have, "O, my lord, my lord!" instead of, "Alas, my lord!" Also, in the next line but one, the quartos have closet instead of chamber. Here, as in divers other places, the folio substitutes Heaven for God; doubtless on account of the statute mentioned in note 5.


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