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And do such business as the better day
Would quake to look on.

O, heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom :
Let me be cruel, not unnatural:

I will speak daggers to her, but use none.


Soft; now to my mo



A Room in the Palace.


King. I like him not; nor stands it safe with us, To let his madness range. Therefore, prepare you: I your commission will forthwith despatch, And he to England shall along with you: Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage; For we will fetters put upon this fear,, Which now goes too freefooted. Ros. We will haste us.

[Exeunt GUILDENSTERN and Rosencrantz. Enter POLONIUS.

Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet; Behind the arras I'll convey myself,

To hear the process: I'll warrant she'll tax him


And, as you said, and wisely was it said,

"Tis meet, that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech of vantage. Fare you well, my liege;
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

King. Thanks, dear my lord.

[Exeunt KING and POLONIUS.


The QUEEN's Closet.


Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay home to him :

Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear with;

And that your grace has screen'd and stood be


Much heat and him.-I'll sconce me even here.'Pray you, be round with him.

Queen. I'll warrant you ;

Fear me not:-Withdraw, I hear him coming. [POLONIUS Conceals himself behind the Arras.


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

Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle


Ham. Go, go, you question 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 so:

You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife:
And 'would it were not so!-you are my mother.
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can

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

You go not, till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder
Help, help, ho!

Pol. [Behind.] What, ho! help!
Ham. How now! a rat?

Dead, for a ducat, dead.

[HAMLET draws, and makes a pass through the


Pol. [Behind.] 0, 0, 0 !—

[POLONIUS falls, and dies. Queen. O me, what hast thou done? Ham. Nay, I know not :

Is it the king?

Queen. O, what a rash and bloody 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.

[Lifts up the Arras, and sees POLONIUS. Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better.— Leave wringing of your hands: Peace; sit And let me wring your heart: for so I shall, If it be made of penetrable stuff;

you down,

If damned custom have not braz'd it so,

That it be proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy


In noise so rude against me?

Ham. Such an act,

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed,

As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words :-

Ah me, what act!

Queen. Ah me! what act?

Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this ; The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See, what a grace was seated on this brow: Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself; An eye like Mars, to threaten and command; A station like the herald Mercury, New lighted on a Heaven-kissing hill; A combination, and a form, indeed, Where every god did seem to set his seal, To give the world assurance of a man:

This was your husband.—Look you now, what follows:

Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,

Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have

you eyes? You cannot call it, love: for, at your age,

The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,

And waits upon the judgment. And what judg


Would step from this to this?

O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,

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 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 grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.

Ham. Nay, but to live

In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ;—
Queen. No more, sweet Hamlet.
Ham. A murderer, and a villain :
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord :—a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket;-

Enter GHOST.

A king of shreds and patches;

Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards!What would your gracious figure?

Queen. Alas, he's mad!

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide, That, 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 sits;
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

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


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