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Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and bless'd are those,
Well, my lord:
the theft. Ham. They are coming to the play; I inust be idle: Get you a place.
Danish March. A Flourish. Enter King, Queen,
POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDEN-
• Whose blood and judgment -] According to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgment in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the humours made a perfect character. Johnson.
? Vulcan's stithy.] Stithy is a smith's anyil.
I eat the air, promise-crammed:. You cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet ; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord, -you played once in the university, you say?
[To POLONIUS. Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i'the Capitol; Brutus killed me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.—Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience. Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.
Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the King Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
[Lying down at Ophelia's Feet." Oph. No, my lord. Ham. I inean, my head upon your lap? Oph. Ay, my lord. Ham. Do you think, I meant country matters? Oph. I think nothing, my lord.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maid's legs. Oph. What is, my lord ? Ham. Nothing Oph. You are merry, my lord, Ham. Who, I?
nor mine now.] A man's words, says the proverb, are his own no longer than he keeps them unspoken.
at Ophelia's feet.] To lie at the feet of a mistress during any dramatick representation, seems to have been a common act of gallantry
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse;" whose epitaph is, For, 0, for, 0, the hobby-horse is forgot.
The dumb Show follows.*
Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly ; the Queen
embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck : lays him down upon a bank of flowers ; she, seeing him
Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables.] Nay then, says Hamlet, if my father be so long dead as you say, let the devil wear black; as for me, so far from wearing a mourning dress, I'll wear the most costly and magnificent suit that can be procured : a suit trimmed with sables ; which in our poet's time was the richest dress worn in England.
suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse;] Amongst the country May-games there was an hobby-horse, which, when the puritanical humour of those times opposed and discredited these games, was brought by the poets and ballad-makers as an instance of the ridiculous zeal of the sectaries : from these ballads Hamlet quotes a line or two. WARBURTON.
The dumb show follows.] and appears to contain every circumstance of the murder of Hamlet's father. Now there is no apparent reason why the Usurper should not be as much affected by this mute representation of his crimes, as he is afterwards when the same action is accompanied by words.
asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns ; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love. [Exeunt.
Oph. What means this, my lord ?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.4
Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow : the players cannot keep counsel ; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant ?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: Be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught ; I'll mark
4 Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.] The word micħing is daily used in the West of England for playing truant, or sculking about in private for some sinister purpose; and malicho, inaccurately written for malheco, signifies mischief! so that miching malicho is mischief on the watch for opportunity.
Be not you ashamed to show, &c.] The conversation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to disgust every modern reader, is probably such as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shakspeare, which was, by no means, the age of delicacy. The poet is, however, blameable: for extravagance of thought, not indecency of expression, is the characteristick of madness, at least of such madness as should be represented on the
Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord. Ham. As woman's love.
Enter a King and a Queen.
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground;
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
shortly too ;
cart-] A chariot was anciently so called.