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Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
(As he is very potent with such fpirics)
Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds
More relative than this - The Playts the thing,
Wherein I'll catch the Conscience of the King [Exty.



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SCENE, the PALAGE. Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrantz,

Guildenstern, and Lords.

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ND can you by no drift of conference
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating fo harshly all his days of quiet, o
With turbulent and dang'rous lunacy?
Rof. He does confess, he feels himself di-

But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be founded;
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof, ";
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true ftate.

Queen. Did he receive you well?
Rof. Most like a gentleman.
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition.

Rof. Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.

Queen. Did you affay him to any pastime?

ROS. Madam, it so fell out, that certain Players
We o'er-took on the way; of these we told him ;
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
To hear of it: they are about the Court;
And (as I think) they have already order
"This night to play before him.


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Pol. 'Tis most true :
And he beseech'd me to entreat your Majesties
To hear and see the matter. I

King. With all-my heaff, sand it doth much content me
To hear him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose into these delights.
Rof. We shall, my lord.

King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too ;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere bylaccident máy here
Affront Ophelia. Her fåther, and my felf,
Will so bestow our Yelves, that, seeing, unfeen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge ;
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
If't be th' affliction of his love, or no,
That thus he suffers for.

Qucen. I shall obey you:
And for my part, Ophelia, I do wish,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness: So shall I hope, your virtues
May bring him to his wonted way again
To both your
Oph. Madam, I wish it may.

[Exit Queen.
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here. -Gracious, so please ye,
We will bestow our felves-- Read on this book ;
That shew of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness. We're oft to blame in this,
'Tis too much prov'd, that with devotion's visage,
And pious action, we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.

King. Oh 'tis too true.
How sinart a lash that speech doth give my conscience !

The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastring art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word.
Oh heavy burthen!
Pol. I hear him coming ; let's withdraw, my lord.

9. [Exeunt all but Ophelia.

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aon, 's Enter Hamlet.
Ham. To be, or not to be that is the question.
Whether 'tis noblér in the mind, to suffert din nito sa
The sings and arrows of outragious fortune ;
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, (33)
And by oppofing end theni? - to die, to sleep-
No more ; and by a sleep, to say, we ende

The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That fesh is heir to ; 'tis a confummarion


(33) Or to take Arms againft a Sea of Troubles;

And by oppofing end them ??] I once imagin'd, that, to preserve the Unje formity of Metaphor, and as it is a Word our Author is fond of using elsewhere, he might have wrote ;-a Siege of Troubles. So, in Midsummer Night's Dream.

Or, if there were a Sympathy, in Choice, he is!

War, Death, or Sickness did lay Siege to:it; » stopil
King John.

Death, having prey'd upon the outqvård Parts,

Leaves them ; invisible bis Siege is now ;; &c.'.posti
Romeo and Juliet.

US $70
You, to remove that Siege of Grief from her,

Betro:b'd, and would have married ber, &c.
Timon of Athens.

Not evin Nature,
To whom all Şores lay Siege, can bear great Fortune I wody

But by Contempt of Nature.
"Or one might conjecturally amend the Passage, nearer to the Traces of
the Text, thus.;
Or to take Arms against th' Affay of Troubles,

against a 'Say of Troubles,
i. e. against the Attempts, Attacks, &c. So, before, in this Play:

Makes Vow before his Uncle, never more

To give thAssay of Arms against your Majesty.
Henry V.

Galling the gleaned Land with hot: Aflays.

-their Malady convinces
The great Affay of Art.

Arid that thy Tongue fome 'Say of Breeding breathes, &c. &c.


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But, perhaps, any Correction whâtever may be unnecessary; considering the great Licenciousness of our Poet in joining heterogeneous Metaphors;


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Devoutly to be wilh’d. To diet neep- (34)
To sleep? perchance, to dream ; ay, there's the rub
For in that sleep of Death what dreains may come,
When we have thuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. - There's the respect,
and considering too, that a Sea is used not only to signify the Ocean, but
likewife' a vait Quantity, Multitude, or Confluence of any thing else.
Instances are thick both in facred and prophane Writers. The Prophet
Jeremiah, particularly, in one Passage, calls a prodigious Army coming
up against a City, a Sea : Chap. 51. 42. The Sea is come up upon Babylon ;
She is covered with the Multituđe of the Waves thereof. Æschylus is fre
quent in the Use of this Metaphor ;
Βοά γαρ κύμα χερσαίον spαλε.

Sept. cont. Thebas, v. 64.
And again, a little lower.

Κύμα γάρ περί πόλιν
Δοχμολόφων ανδρών
Kaxade avodis
"Αρεος ορόμενον.

hid. v. 116.
And again, in his Perfians.

Δόκιμος. δ' εις υσες ας
Μεγάλο ρεύμα φώων, ,
'Εχυρούς έρκεσιν είργειν
"Αμαχων κύμα θαλάσσης.

So Cicero, in one of his Letters to Atticus, lib.vii. 'Ep. 4. Fluctum
enim totius Barbaria ferre urbs una non poterats And, besides, a Sea of
Troubles among the Greeks grey into proverbial Ulage; Kaxão Sandrra,
NAKOV Trixuria. So that the Expression, figuratively, means, the Trou-
bles of human Life, which Adw-in upon us, and encompass us round, like
a Sea. Our Poet too has employ'd this Metaphor in this Antony, speak-
ing of a Confluence of Courtiers;

I was of late as petty to his Ends,
As is the Morn-dew on the myrtle Leaf

To:bis grand Sea.
The same Image and Expression, I observe, is used by Beaumont and
Fletcher in their Two Noble Kinsmen,

Tho' I know,
His Ocean needs not my poor Drops, yet they

Muft yield their Tribute there.

To die, to sleep ; To sleep? perchance, to dream :) This admirable fine Reflexion seems, in a paltry Manner, to be freer'd at by Beaumont. and Fletcher in their Scornful Lady.

Rog: Have patience, Sir, until our Fellazo Nicholas, be deceas'd, that is, slike to sleep, to dye ; to dys, to sleep i. 4 very Figuse, Siro


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That makes Calamity of fo long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,

pang of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The infolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes ;
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare bodkin ? who would fardles bear,

and sweat under a weary life?
But that the dread of something after death,
(That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne (35)
No traveller returns) puzzles the will ;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of,
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all :


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(35) That undiscover'd Country, from whose Bourne

No Traveller returns.). As some fuperficial Criticks have, without the least Scruple, accused the Poet of Forgetfulness and Self-Contradiction from this Passage ; seeing that in this very Play he introduces a Character from the other World, the Ghost of Hamlet's Father : I have thought this Circumstance worthy of a Juftification. 'Tis certain, to introduce a Gholt, a Being from the other World, and to say, that no Traveller returns from those Confines, is, literally taken, as absolute a Contradiction as can be fuppos'd & facto & terminis. But we are to take Notice, that Shakespeare brings his Ghost only from a middle State, or local Purgatory : a Prison-house, as he makes his Spirit call it, where he was doom'd, for a Term only, to expiate his Sins of Nature. By the undiscover'd Country here mention'd, he may, perhaps, mean that last and eternal Refidence of Souls in a State of full Blits or Misery; which Spirits in a middle State could not be acquainted with, or explain. So that if any Latitude of Sense may be allow'd to the Poet's Words, tho' he admits the Possibility of a Spirit returning from the Dead, he yet holds, 'that the State of the Dead cannot be communicated ; and, with that Allowance, it remains Aill an unidisordered Country. We are to observe too, that even his Ghost, who comes from Purgatory, for, whatever has been signified under that Denomination) comes under Restrictions : And tho' he confesses himself subject to a Vicissitude of Torments, (yét he says, at the same time, that he is forbid to tell the Secrets of his Prison-house. The Antients had the fame Notion of our obfcure and twilight Knowledge of an After-being. Valerius Flaccus, I remember, (if I may be indulg'a in a fhort Digreffion) speaking of the lower Regions, and State of the Spirits there, tias an Expreshon, which, in one Sente, comes clole to our Author's undiscover'd Country; Superis incognita Tellus.


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