Imagens das páginas

Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.

King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage; For we will fetters put upon this fear,

Which now goes too free-footed.

Ros. Guil.

We will haste us.

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.


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 home :

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.


"Thanks, dear my lord.

[Exit Polonius.

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder!-Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will 80;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand

Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?

And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,—
To be forestalled, ere we come to fall,


Or pardon'd, being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder!-
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law: But 'tis not so above:
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell'd,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limed soul; that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels, make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe;
All may be well!

[Retires, and kneels.

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Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't;-And so he goes to heaven:
And so am I reveng'd? That would be scann'd:
A villain kills my father; and, for that,

I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.

Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;

With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;

And, how his audit stands, who knows, save heaven?

But, in our circumstance and course of thought,

"Tis heavy with him: And am I then reveng'd,

To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?

Up, sword; and know thou a most horrid hent $1:
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage;
Or in the incestuous pleasures of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't:

Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven;
And that his soul may be as damn'd, and black,
As hell, whereto it goes 82. My mother stays:
This physick but prolongs thy sickly days.

The King rises, and advances.


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


Another Room in the same.

Enter Queen and POLONIUS.

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

Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear


And that your grace hath screen'd and stood be


Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here.

Pray you, be round with him.


Fear me not:-withdraw, I hear him coming.

I'll warrant you;

[Polonius hides himself.


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 tongue.

Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet?


What's the matter now?

Queen. Have you forgot me?

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 speak.

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

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Nay, I know not:

Queen. O me, what hast thou done?


Is it the king?

[Lifts up the arras, and draws forth Polonius. Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this! Ham. A bloody deed;-almost as bad, good mother,

As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. 83 As kill a king!


Ay, lady, 'twas my word.

[To Polonius.

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!

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