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And could of men distinguish her election,
She hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been
As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards

Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and bless❜d are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay,
core, ay, in my heart of hearts,
As I do thee.


'Tis now the very witching time of night; When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: Now could I drink hot blood, And do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on. Soft; now to my motherO, 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.

The King's Despairing Soliloquy.

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;
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 pardoned, 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!

Hamlet and his Mother.

QUEEN. What have I done, that thou darest wag thy


In noise so rude against me?


That blurs the grace and blush of modesty ;

Such an act

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: heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,

With tristfult visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.


Ah me, what act, That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?

HAMLET. 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, 'tis humble,
And waits upon the judgment: and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense, sure you have,
Else could you not have motion: but, sure that sense
Is apoplex'd: for madness would not err;

*Contract of wedlock. + Mournful. + Apollo's.

Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall'd,
But it reserved some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?†
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans‡ all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.§

Rebellious hell,

O shame! where is thy blush?
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.

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. ||

Enter Ghost.

HAMLET. Save me, and hover o'er me with your


You heavenly guards! What would your gracious


QUEEN. Alas, he's mad.

HAMLET. Do you not come your tardy son to chide, That, lapsed 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. * Frenzy. + Blindman's-buff. Could not be so absurd.

↑ Without. || Tinge, hue.

But, look! amazement on thy mother sits:
O, step between her and her fighting soul;
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works;
Speak to her, Hamlet.


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? HAMLET. On him! On him! Look you, how pale he glares!

His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.+ Do not look upon me;
Lest 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?
Do you see nothing there?
QUEEN. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
HAMLET. Nor did you nothing hear?


No, nothing, but ourselves.

HAMLET. Why look you there! look, how it steals


My father, in his habit as he lived!

Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal !

[Exit Ghost QUEEN. This is the very coinage of your brain :

+ Would make them comprehend. † Actions.

* Fancy.

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