William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

4. Scene IV. Another room in the castle. (continued)

How now? a rat? [Draws.]
Dead for a ducat, dead!

[Makes a pass through the arras.]

[Behind.] O, I am slain!

[Falls and dies.]

O me, what hast thou done?

Nay, I know not: is it the king?

[Draws forth Polonius.]

O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!

A bloody deed!--almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king and marry with his brother.

As kill a king!

Ay, lady, 'twas my word.--
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
[To Polonius.]
I took thee for thy better: take thy fortune;
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.--
Leave wringing of your hands: peace! sit you down,
And let me wring your heart: for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.

What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage-vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.

Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?

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