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Scene Four 

The Queen's closet

 

[Enter QUEEN MARGARET and POLONIUS]

LORD POLONIUS

He will come straightlook you lay home to him

Tell him his prankshave been too broad to bear with

And that you grace hath screen'd and stood between

Much heat and himI>ll sconceme even here

Pary yoube round with him

HAMLET

[Within]Mothermothermother

QUEEN GERTRUDE

I>ll warrantyou

Fear me notwithdrawI hear him coming

[POLONIUS hides behind the arras]

[Enter HAMLET]

HAMLET

Nowmotherwhat's the matter

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Hamletthou hastthyfather much offended

HAMLET

Motheryou have my father much offended

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Comecomeyou answer with an idletongue

HAMLET

Gogoyou question with a wickedtongue

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Whyhow nowHamlet

HAMLET

What's the matter now

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Have you forgot me

HAMLET

Noby the roodnot so

You are the queenyour husband's brother's wife

And——would it were not so!——you are my mother

QUEEN GERTRUDE

NaythenI>ll set those to you that can speak

HAMLET

Comecomeand sit you downyou shall not budge

You go not till I set you up a glass

Where you may see the inmostpart of you

QUEEN GERTRUDE

What wiltthou dothou wilt not murder me

Helphelpho

LORD POLONIUS

[Behind]Whathohelphelphelp

HAMLET

[Drawing]How nowa ratDeadfor a ducatdead

[Makes a pass through the arras]

LORD POLONIUS

[Behind]OI am slain

[Falls and dies]

QUEEN GERTRUDE

O mewhat hast thou done

HAMLET

NayI know not

Is it the king

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Owhat a rashand bloody deed is this

HAMLET

A bloody deedalmost as badgood mother

As kill a kingand marry with his brother

QUEEN GERTRUDE

As kill a king

HAMLET

Aylady>twasmy word

Lifts up the arrayand discovers

POLONIUS

Thou wretchedrashintrudingfoolfarewell

I took thee for thy bettertake thy fortune

Thou find'stto be too busy is some danger

Leave wringingof your handspeacesit you down

And let me wring your heartfor so I shall

If it be made of penetrablestuff

If damned custom have not brass'dit so

That it is proof and bulwarkagainst sense

QUEEN GERTRUDE

What have I donethat thou darest wagthy tongue

In noise so rude against me

HAMLET

Such an act

That blursthe grace and blushof modesty

Calls virtue hypocritetakes off the rose

From the fair forehead of an innocentlove

And sets a blistertheremakes marriage-vows

As false as dicers>oathsOsuch a deed

As from the body of contractionplucks

The very souland sweet religion makes

A rhapsodyof wordsheaven's face doth glow

Yeathis solidity and compound mass

With tristfulvisageas against the doom

Is thought-sick at the act

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Ay mewhat act

That roarsso loudand thundersin the index

HAMLET

book hereupon this pictureand on this

The counterfeitpresentment of two brothers

Seewhat a grace was seated on this brow

Hyperion'scurlsthe frontof Jovehimself

An eye like Marsto threaten and command

A station like the heraldMercury

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 husbandLook you nowwhat follows

Here is your husbandlike a mildew'dear

Blastinghis wholesomebrotherHave you eyes

Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed

And battenon this moorHahave you eyes

You cannot call it lovefor at your age

The hey-dayin the blood is tameit's humble

And waits upon the judgmentand what judgment

Would step from this to thisSensesureyou have

Else could you not have motionbut surethat sense

Is apoplex'dfor madness would not err

Nor sense to ecstasywas ne>erso thrall'd

But it reserved some quantity of choice

To serve in such a differenceWhat devilwas>t

That thus hath cozen'dyou at hoodman-blind

Eyes without feelingfeeling without sight

Ears without hands or eyessmelling sansall

Or but a sickly part of one true sense

Could not so mope

O shamewhere is thy blushRebellioushell

If thou canstmutinein a matron'sbones

To flaming youth let virtue be as wax

And melt in her own fireproclaimno shame

When the compulsiveardourgives the charge

Since frostitself as actively doth burn

And reason panders will

QUEEN GERTRUDE

O Hamletspeak no more

Thou turn'stmine eyes into my very soul

And there I see such black and grainedspots

As will not leave their tinct

HAMLET

Naybut to live

In the ranksweat of an enseamedbed

Stew'din corruptionhoneying and making love

Over the nastysty,——

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Ospeak to me no more

These wordslike daggersenter in mine ears

No moresweet Hamlet

HAMLET

A murderer and a villain

A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe

Of your precedentlorda viceof kings

A cutpurseof the empire and the rule

That from a shelf the precious diademstole

And put it in his pocket

QUEEN GERTRUDE

No more

HAMLET

A king of shredsand patches,——

[Enter Ghost]

Save meand hovero>erme with your wings

You heavenly guardsWhat would your gracious figure

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Alashe's mad

HAMLET

Do you not come your tardyson to chide

Thatlapsedin time and passionlets go by

The important acting of your dread commandOsay

Ghost

Do not forgetthis visitation

Is but to whetthy almost bluntedpurpose

Butlookamazement on thy mother sits

Ostep between her and her fighting soul

Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works

Speak to herHamlet

HAMLET

How is it with youlady

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Alashow is>t with you

That you do bend your eye on vacancy

And with the incorporalair do hold discourse

Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep

Andas the sleeping soldiers in the alarm

Your beddedhairlike life in excrements

Starts upand stands on endO gentle son

Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper

Sprinklecool patienceWhereondo you look

HAMLET

On himon himLook youhow pale he glares

His form and cause conjoin'dpreachingto stones

Would make them capableDo not look upon me

Lestwith this piteousaction you convert

My sterneffectsthen what I have to do

Will want true colourtears perchancefor blood

QUEEN GERTRUDE

To whom do you speak this

HAMLET

Do you see nothing there

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Nothing at allyet all that is I see

HAMLET

Nor did you nothing hear

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Nonothing but ourselves

HAMLET

Whylook you therelookhow it steals away

My fatherin his habit as he lived

Lookwhere he goeseven nowout at the portal

[Exit Ghost]

QUEEN GERTRUDE

This the very coinageof your brain

This bodiless creation ecstasy

Is very cunningin

HAMLET

Ecstasy

My pulseas yoursdoth temperatelykeep time

And makes as healthful musicit is not madness

That I have utter'dbring me to the test

And I the matter will re-wordwhich madness

Would gambolfromMotherfor love of grace

Lay not that mattering unctionto your soul

That not your trespassbut my madness speaks

It will but skinand filmthe ulcerousplace

Whilstrank corruptionminingall within

Infects unseenConfessyourself to heaven

Repentwhat's pastavoid what is to come

And do not spread the composton the weeds

To make them rankerForgive me this my virtue

For in the fatnessof these pursytimes

Virtue itself of vicemust pardon beg

Yeacurband woofor leave to do him good

QUEEN GERTRUDE

O Hamletthou hast cleftmy heart in twain

HAMLET

Othrow away the worser part of it

And live the purer with the other half

Good nightbut go not to mine uncle's bed

Assume a virtueif you have it not

That monstercustomwho all sense doth eat

Of habits devilis angel yet in this

That to the use of actions fair and good

He likewisegives a frock or livery

That aptlyis put onRefrainto-night

And that shall lend a kind of easiness

To the next abstinencethe next more easy

For use almost can change the stamp of nature

And either the devilor throw him out

With wondrouspotencyOnce moregood night

And when you are desirousto be bless'd

I>ll blessing beg of youFor this same lord

[Pointing to ROLONIUS]

I do repentbut heave hath pleased it so

To punish me with this and this and this with me

That I must be their scourgeand minister

I will bestowhimand will answer well

The death I gave himSoagaingood night

I must be cruelonly to be kind

Thus bad begins and worse remains behind

One word moregood lady

QUEEN GERTRUDE

What shall I do

HAMLET

Not thisby no meansthat I bidyou do

Let the bloatking tempt you again to bed

Pinchwantonon your cheekcall you his mouse

And let himfor a pair of reechykisses

Or paddlingin you neck with his damn'd fingers

Make you to ravelall this matter out

That I essentially am not in madness

But mad in craft>Tweregood you let him know

For whothat's but a queenfairsoberwise

Would from a paddockfrom a bata gib

Such dear concernings hideWho would do so

Noin despite of sense and secrecy

Unpeqthe basket on the house's top

Let the birds flyandlike the famous ape

To try conclusionsin the basket creep

And break your own neck down

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Be thou assuredif words be made of breath

And breath of lifeI have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me

HAMLET

I must to Englandyou know that

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Alack

I had forgot>tis so concluded on

HAMLET

There's letters seal'dand my two schoolfellows

Whom I will trust as I will addersfang'd

They bear the mandatethey must sweep my way

And marshalme to knaveryLet it work

For>tis the sport to have the engineer

Hoist with his own petardand>tshall go hard

But I will delveone yardbelow their mines

And blowthem at the moonO>tis most sweet

When in one line two craftsdirectly meet

This man shall set me packing

I>ll lugthe gutsinto the neighbour room

Mothergood nightIndeed this counsellor

Is now most stillmost secret and most grave

Who was in life a foolish prating knave

Comesirto draw toward an end with you

Good nightmother

[Exeunt severallyHAMLET dragging in POLONIUS]


 

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