For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either rein the devil or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night,
And when you are desirous to be blessed,
I’ll blessing beg of you. (points to POLONIUS)
For this same lord,
I do repent. But heaven hath pleased it so,
To punish me with this and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him and will answer well
The death I gave him. So, again, good night.
I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady—
God wanted to punish me with this murder, and this man with me, so I’m both Heaven’s executioner and its minister of justice. This is bad, but it’ll get worse soon. Oh, and one other thing, madam.
What shall I do?
What should I do?
Not this, by no means, that I bid you do—
Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed,
Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse,
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses
Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out:
That I essentially am not in madness
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house’s top.
Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep
And break your own neck down.
Whatever you do, don’t do this: let the fat king seduce you into his bed again, so he can pinch your cheek, call you his bunny, and with filthy kisses and a massage of your neck with his damned fingers, make you admit that my madness is fake, all calculated. What a great idea that would be, because why would a fair, sober, wise queen hide such things from a toad, a pig, a monster like him? Who would do that? No, no, it’s much, much better to spill the beans right away, let the cat out of the bag, and break your neck in the process.
Be thou assured, if words be made of breath
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.
You can rest easy, since words are made of breath, and breathing requires that you be alive. I feel too dead to breathe a word of what you’ve told me.