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As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,

Take these again; for to the noble mind


Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind

There, my lord.

Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest?

Oph. My lord?

Ham. Are you fair?

Oph. What means your lordship?

Ham. That if you be honest and fair, your hon esty should admit no discourse to your beauty.

Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better com- 110 merce than with honesty?

Ham. Aye, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can trans

103. "are you honest?"; "Here it is evident that the penetrating Hamlet perceives, from the strange and forced manner of Ophelia, that the sweet girl was not acting a part of her own, but was a decoy; and his after speeches are not so much directed to her as to the listeners and spies. Such a discovery in a mood so anxious and irritable accounts for a certain harshness in him;-and yet a wild up-working of love, sporting with opposites in a wilful selftormenting strain of irony, is perceptible throughout. "I did love you once,”—“I loved you not":-and particularly in his enumeration of the faults of the sex from which Ophelia is so free, that the mere freedom therefrom constitutes her character. Note Shakespeare's charm of composing the female character by absence of characters, that is, marks and out-juttings" (Coleridge).-H. N. H.

108. "your honesty should admit"; that is, "your honesty should not admit your beauty to any discourse with it."-The quartos have merely you instead of your honesty.—In the next speech, the folio substitutes your for with.--It should be noted, that in these speeches Hamlet refers, not to Ophelia personally, but to the sex in general. So, especially, when he says, "I have heard of your paintings too," he does not mean that Ophelia paints, but that the use of paintings is common with her sex.-H. N. H.

late beauty into his likeness: this was some-
time a paradox, but now the time gives it
proof. I did love you once.

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
Ham. You should not have believed me; for

virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but 120
we shall relish of it: I loved you not.

Oph. I was the more deceived.

Ham. Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revenge- . ful, ambitious; with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to 130 act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth! We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?

Oph. At home, my lord.

Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he
may play the fool no where but in 's own
house. Farewell.

Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens!
Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this

plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as
ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape
calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go: fare-
well. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a
fool; for wise men know well enough what



monsters make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. Oph. O heavenly powers, restore him!

Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well 150 enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on 't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. [Exit. Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! 160 The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword:

The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,

Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown


150. “paintings"; so (Q. 1) Qq.; F. 1, “pratlings"; Ff. 2, 3, 4, "pratling”; Pope, "painting"; Macdonald conj. "prancings.”—I. G. 158. “all but one”; “Observe this dallying with the inward purpose, characteristic of one who had not brought his mind to the steady acting-point. He would fain sting the uncle's mind;-but to stab his body! The soliloquy of Ophelia, which follows, is the perfection of love, so exquisitely unselfish!" (Coleridge).—H. N. H.

164. “The observed of all observers”; the object of all men's courtly deference.-C. H. H.

Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me,


To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Re-enter King and Polonius.

King. Love! his affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a


Was not like madness. There's something in his soul

O'er which his melancholy sits on brood,

And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
Will be some danger: which for to prevent,
I have in quick determination

Thus set it down:-he shall with speed to Eng


For the demand of our neglected tribute:
Haply the seas and countries different
With variable objects shall expel


This something-settled matter in his heart,
Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you
on 't?

Pol. It shall do well: but yet do I believe

The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love. How now,

You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said;
We heard it all. My lord, do as you please;
But, if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief : let her be round with him;
And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear


Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send him, or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.


It shall be so:

Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.



A hall in the castle.

Enter Hamlet and Players.

Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to 10 hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing

4. "I had as lief the town-crier," etc.; "this dialogue of Hamlet with the players,” says Coleridge, “is one of the happiest instances of Shakespeare's power of diversifying the scene while he is carrying on the plot."-H. N. H.

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