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  Act 3 Scene 4

page Act 3 Scene 4 Page 4

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To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now, what follows.
65Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed
And batten on this moor? Ha, have you eyes?
You cannot call it love, for at your age
70The heyday in the blood is tame, it’s humble,
And waits upon the judgment. And what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
Else could you not have motion. But sure that sense
Is apoplexed, for madness would not err,
75Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thralled,
But it reserved some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil was ’t
That thus hath cozened you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
80Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush?
Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
85To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
That was your husband. Now look at this other one. Here is your present husband, like a mildewed ear of corn infecting the healthy one next to it. Do you have eyes? How could you leave the lofty heights of this man here and descend as low as this one? Ha! Do you have eyes? You cannot say you did it out of love, since at your age romantic passions have grown weak, and the heart obeys reason. But what reason could move you from this one to that one? You must have some sense in your head, since you’re able to get around, but it seems to be paralyzed, since even if you were crazy you would know the difference between these two men. No one ever went so insane that they couldn’t get an easy choice like this one right. What devil was it that blindfolded you? Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, ears without hands or eyes, smell without anything else, the use of even one impaired sense would not permit such a mistake as yours. Oh, for shame, why aren’t you blushing? If evil can overtake even an old mother’s bones, then let it melt my own. It turns out it’s no longer shameful to act on impulse—now that the old are doing so, and now that reason is a servant to desire.


    O Hamlet, speak no more!
90Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grainèd spots
As will not leave their tinct.


Oh, Hamlet, stop! You’re making me look into my very soul, where the marks of sin are so thick and black they will never be washed away.


    Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamèd bed,
Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love
95Over the nasty sty—


Yes, and you lie in the sweaty stench of your dirty sheets, wet with corruption, making love—