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Couch we a while, and mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?

Ham. That is Laertes, a most noble youth: mark
Laer. What ceremony else?

Prieft. Her obfequies have been fo far enlarg'd As we have warranty; her death was doubtful; And but that great Command o'er-fways the order, She fhould in ground unfanctified have lodg'd 'Till the laft Trump. For charitable prayers, Shards, flints, and pebbles, fhould be thrown on her; Yet here the is allow'd her virgin rites, Her maiden-ftrewments, and the bringing home Of bell and burial.

Laer. Muft no more be done?
Prieft. No more be done!

We should profane the fervice of the dead,
To fing a Requiem, and fuch Reft to her
to peace-parted fouls.

Laer. Lay her i'th' earth;

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets fpring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A miniftring angel fhall my fifter be,
When thou lieft howling.

Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !

Queen. Sweets to the fweet, farewel!

I hop'd, thou fhould't have been my Hamlet's wife;
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, fweet maid,
And not have ftrew'd thy Grave.

Laer. O treble woe

Fall ten times treble on that curfed head, Whofe wicked deed thy moft ingenious fenfe Depriv'd thee of! Hold off the earth a while, 'Till I have caught her once more in my arms; [Laertes leaps into the Grave. Now pile your duft upon the quick and dead, 'Till of this flat a mountain you have made, T'o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head Of blue Olympus.

Ham. [difcovering himself.] What is he, whofe griefs Bear fuch an emphafis? whofe phrase of forrow


Conjures the wandring ftars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? this is I,

[Hamlet leaps into the Grave.

Hamlet the Dane.

Laer. The Devil take thy foul! [Grappling with him.
Ham. Thou pray't not well,

I pr'ythee, take thy fingers from my throat
For though I am not fplenitive and rash;
Yet have I in me fomething dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.
King. Pluck them afunder
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet
Hor. Good my lord, be quiet.

[The attendants part them. Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme, Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

Queen. Oh my fon! what theme?

Ham. I lov'd Ophelia; forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my fum. What wilt thou do for her ?
King. O, he is mad, Laertes.

Queen. For love of God, forbear him.
Ham. Come, fhew me what thou'lt do.

Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't faft? woo't tear thy felf?

Woo't drink up Eifel, eat a croccdile? (29)


(29) Would drink up Efill, eat a Crocodile?] This Word has thro' all the Editions been distinguish'd by Italick Characters, as if it were he proper Name fome River: and fo, I dare fay, all the Editors have from time to time understood it to be. But then this must be fome River in Denmark; and there is none there so call'd; nor is there any near it in Name, that I know of, but Tel, from which the Province of Overyffel derives its Title in the German Flanders. Befides, Hamlet is not propofing any Impoffibilities to Laertes, as the drinking up a River would be: but he rather feems to mean, Wilt thou refolve to do things the most shocking and diftafteful to human Nature? and, behold, I am as refolute. I am perfuaded,

the Poet wrote;

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- Do'st thou come hither but to whine?

I'll do't.

To out-face me with leaping in her Grave?
Be buried quick with her; and fo will I ;
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, 'till our ground,
Singeing his 'pate against the burning Zone,
Make Offa like a wart! nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.

Queen. This is meer madness;

And thus a while the Fit will work on him:
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His filence will fit drooping.

Ham. Hear you, Sir

What is the reason that you use me thus?
I lov'd you ever; but it is no matter
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, the dog will have his day. [Exit.
King. I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.

[Exit Hor. Strengthen your patience in our last night's fpeech. [To Laertes.

We'll put the matter to the present push.
Good Gertrude, fet fome watch over your fon :
This Grave fhall have a living Monument.
An hour of quiet fhortly fhall we see ;
'Till then, in patience our proceeding be.


Wilt drink up Eifel, eat a Crocodile ?

i. e. Wilt thou swallow down large Draughts of Vinegar? The
Propofition, indeed, is not very grand; but the doing it
might be as diftafteful and unfavoury, as eating the Flesh of
a Crocodile. And now there neither an Impoffibility, nor an
Anticlimax and the Lowness of the Idea is in fome measure
remov'd by the uncommon Term.


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SCENE changes to a HALL, in the Palace. Enter Hamlet and Horatio.

much for this, now fhall you fee the other.


You do remember all the circumftance?
Hor. Remember it, my lord ?

Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
That would not let me fleep; methought, I lay
Worfe than the mutines in the Bilboes; Rafhness
(And prais'd be rashness for it) lets us know,
Our indifcretion fometimes ferves us well,
When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us,
There's a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.

Hor. That is moft certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,

My fea-gown scarft about me, in the dark
Grop'd I to find out them; had my defire,
Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew
To mine own room again; making fo bold
(My fears forgetting manners) to unfeal
Their grand Commiffion, where I found, Horatio,
A royal knavery; an exact Command,
Larded with many feveral forts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! fuch buggs and goblins in my life ;)
That on the fupervize, no leifure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the ax,
My head fhould be ftruck off.

Hor. Is't poffible?

Ham. Here's the commiffion, read it at more leifure; But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed? Hor. I beseech you.

Ham. Being thus benetted round with villany, (Ere I could make a prologue, to my Bane (30)

(30) Being thus benetted round with villains,

E'er I could make a Prologue to my Brains,
They had begun the Play. I fate me down, &c.]


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They had begun the Play :) I fate me down,
Devis'd a new commiffion, wrote it fair :
(I once did hold it, as our Statists do,

A bafeness to write fair; and labour'd much
How to forget that Learning; but, Sir, now
It did me yeoman's fervice;) wilt thou know
Th' effect of what I wrote ?

Her. Ay, good my lord.

Ham. An earnest conjuration from the King,
As England was his faithful tributary,

As love between them, like the palm, might flourish,
As peace fhould still her wheaten garland wear, (31)

This Paffage is certainly corrupt both in the Text and Pointing. Making a Prologue to his Brains is such a Phrafe as SHAKESPEARE would never have us'd, to mean, e're I could form my Thoughts in making a Prologue. I communicated my Doubts to my two ingenious Friends Mr. Warburton and Mr. Bishop and by their Affiftance, I hope, I have reform'd the whole to the Author's Intention. The Senfe is, plainly, this 66 Being thus in their Shares, e're I could make a Prologue (take the leaft previous Step) to ward off Danger, they had begun the Play (put their Schemes in Action) "which was to terminate in my Destruction."



(31) As Peace should still her wheaten Garland wear, And ftand a Comma 'tween their Amities, &c.] Peace is finely and properly perfonaliz'd here, as the Goddefs of good League and Friendship: but what Ideas can we form of her ftanding as a Comma, or Stop, betwixt their Amities? I am fure, fhe ftands rather like a Cypher, in this Reading. I have no Doubt, but the Poet wrote; And ftand a Commere 'tween their Amities;

i. e, a Guarantee, a Common Mother. Nothing can be
more picturesque than this Image of Peace's ftanding dreft in
her wheaten Garland between the two Princes, and extending
a Hand to each. In this Equipage and Office we frequently
fee her on Roman Coins: particularly, on two exhibited by
Baron Spanheim; one of Augustus, and the other of Vespa-
fian. The Poets likewife image to us Peace holding an Ear
of Corn, as an Emblem of Plenty. Tibull. lib. I. Eleg. x.
At nobis, Pax alma, veni, spicamq; teneto.



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