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Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.

Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord. Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r lady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobbyhorse; whose epitaph is, For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.

Trumpets sound. The dumb Show follows. Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers; she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts; she seems louth and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love. [Exeunt. Oph. What means this, my lord? Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho;t it means mischief.

Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play.


Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all. Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant? Hum. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: Be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame o tell you what it means.

Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll ark the play.

Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency, We beg your hearing patiently. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a


Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord.

Ham. As woman's love.

Enter a KING and a QUEEN.

P. King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' carts gone round

Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground;

And thirty dozen moons, with borrow'd sheen, About the world have times twelve thirties been; [hands, Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our Unite commutual in most sacred bands.

P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun

and moon Make us again count o'er, ere love be done! But, woe is me, you are so sick of late, So far from cheer, and from your former state, That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust, Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must: For women fear too much, even as they love;

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'And women's fear and love hold quantity; In neither aught, or in extremity. Now, what my love is, proof hath made you And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so. Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear; [there. Where little fears grows great, great love grows P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too; (do: My operantt powers their functions leave to And thou shalt live in this fair world behind, Honour'd, belov'd; and, haply, one as kind For husband shalt thou

P. Queen. O, confound the rest! Such love must needs be treason in my breast: In second husband let me be accurst! None wed the second, but who kill'd the first. Ham. That's wormwood.

P Queen. The instances, that second mar-
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love;
riage move,
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. King. I do believe, you think what now
But, what we do determine, oft we break.
you speak;
Purpose is but the slave to memory;
Of violent birth, but poor validity:
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange,
That even our loves should with our fortunes

For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
The great man down, you mark his favourite
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.



And hitherto doth love on fortune tend;
poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies.
For who not needs, shall never lack a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,-
Our wills, our fates, do so contráry run,
That our devices still are overthrown; [own:
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is

P. Queen. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light!

Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Ham. If she should break it now,-
P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave
me here a while;

My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.


P. Queen. Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain!

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Ham. Madam, how like you this play? Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Ham. O, but she'll keep her word. King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?

Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i'the world.


King. What do you call the play? Ham. The mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not: Let the galled jade wince,† our withers are unwrung.


This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord. Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying. Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen. Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my edge.

Oph. Still better, and worse.

Ham. So you mistake your husbands.-Begin, murderer;-leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come;

The croaking raven
Doth bellow for revenge.
Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit,
and time agreeing;

Confederate season, else no creature seeing;.
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds col-
With Hecate's bant thrice blasted, thrice in-
Thy natural magic and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately.

[Pours the Poison into the Sleeper's Ears. Ham. He poisons him i'the garden for his estate. His name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian: You shall see anon, how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

Oph. The king rises.

Ham. What! frighted with false fire!
Queen. How fares my lord?

Pol. Give o'er the play.

King. Give me some light:-away!
Pol. Lights, lights, lights!

[Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO. Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep, The hart ungalled play:

For some must watch, while some must sleep;
Thus runs the world away.-
Would not this, Sir, and a forest of feathers,
(if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk|| with
me,) with two Provencial roses on my razed¶
shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry** of players,

Hor. Half a share.
Ham. A whole one, I.

For thou dost know, O Damon, dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very-peacock.
Hor. You might have rhymed.
Ham. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's
word for a thousand pound. Did'st perceive?
Hor. Very well, my lord.

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Ham. With drink, Sir?

Guil. No, my lord, with choler.

Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.

Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.

Ham. I am tame, Sir:-pronounce.

Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. Ham. You are welcome.

Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon, and my return, shall be the end of my business.

Ham. Sir, I cannot.

Guil. What, my lord?

Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: But, Sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter: My mother, you say,

Ros. Then thus she says; Your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration.

Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother!-But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? impart.

Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.

Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade‡ with us?

Ros. My lord, you once did love me.

Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers.§

Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely, but bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.

Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.

Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark?

Ham. Ay, Sir, but, While the grass grows,— the proverb is something musty.

Enter the PLAYERS, with Recorders.

draw with you:-Why do you go about to reO, the recorders:-let me see one.-To withcover the wind of me, as if you would drive

me into a toil?

Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

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Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?

Guil. My lord, I cannot.

Ham. I pray you.

Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.

Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord.
Ham. "Tis as easy as lying: govern these
ventages,* with your fingers and thumb, give
it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse
most eloquent music. Look you, these are the

Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill.


Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy thing you make of me. You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think, I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.


God bless you, Sir.

Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.

To keep those many bodies safe,
That live, and feed, upon your majesty.

Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from 'noyance: but much more
That spirit, upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone; but, like a gulf, doth draw
What's near it, with it: it is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which, when it
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy

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Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's Behind the arras I'll convey myself, [closet: To hear the process; I'll warrant, she'll tax him home:

And, as you said, and wisely was it said,

Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's al-'Tis most in shape of a camel?

Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.

Ham. Methinks, it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
Ham. Or, like a whale?

Pol. Very like a whale.

Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and by. They fool me to the top of my bent.t-I will come by and by.

Pol. I will say so. [Exit POLONIUS. Ham. By and by is easily said.-Leave me, friends. [Exeunt Ros. GUIL. HOR. &c. 'Tis now the very witching time of night; When churchyards yawn, and hell itself

breathes out

Contagion to this world: Now could I drink
hot blood,

And do such business as the bitter day
Would quake to look on. Soft; now to my

O, heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Let me be cruel, not unnatural:

I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites:
How in my words soever she be shent,
To give them seals, never, my soul, consent!



SCENE III.-A Room in the same.
King. I like him not; nor stands it safe with
To let his madness range. Therefore, prepare
your commission will forthwith despatch,
And he to England shall along with you:
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us, as doth hourly grow
Out of his lunes.||

Guil. We will ourselves provide:
Most holy and religious fear it is,

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meet, that some more audience than a


[hear Since nature makes them partial, should o'erThe speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my I'll call upon you ere you go to bed, [liege; And tell you what I know.

King. Thanks, dear my lord.

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder!-Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves

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That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law: But 'tis not so above:
There is no shuffling, there, the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves com-

Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limed soul: that struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd, Help, angels, make assay!

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Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart, with strings | And,-'would it were not so!-you are my of steel,

Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe;

All may be well!

[Retires and kneels.

Enter HAMLet.

Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is


And now I'll do't; and so he goes to heaven: And so am I reveng'd? That would be scann'd:

A villain kills my father; and, for that,
I, his solet son, do this same villain send
To heaven.

Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as

May; [heaven? And, how his audit stands, who knows, save But, in our circumstance and course of thought, "Tis heavy with him: And am I then reveng'd, To take him in the purging of his soul, When he is fit and season'd for his passage? No. [hent:

Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage;
Or in the incestuous pleasures of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't:
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at hea-
And that his soul may be as damn'd, and

As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

The KING rises and advances.


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Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.

Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you
shall not budge;

You go not, till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not
murder me?

Help, help, ho!

Pol. [Behind.] What, ho! help!
Ham. How now! a rat?

Dead, for a ducat, dead.


[HAMLET makes a pass through the Arras. Pol. [Behind.] O, I am slain.

[Falls, and dies. Queen. O me, what hast thou done? Hum. Nay, I know not:

Is it the king?

[Lifts up the Arras, and draws forth


Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is


Ham. A bloody deed;-almost as bad, good


As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
Queen. As kill a king!

Ham. 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 be proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st
wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?

Ham. 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

Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristfult-visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.

Queen. Ah me, what act,
[dex ?t
That roars so loud, and thunders in the in-
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on


The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man:
This was your husband.-Look you now, what

Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear; Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?

Marriage contract.
+ Sorrowful.
Index of contents prefixed to a book. Apollo's
The act of standing.

Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed, | Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,

And batten on this moor? Ha! have you


You cannot call it, love: for, at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgement; And what

Would step from this to this? Sense,t sure, you have,

Else, could you not have motion: But, sure, that sense

Is apoplex'd: for madness would not err;
Nor sense to ecstasy‡ was ne'er so thrall'd,
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice,

To serve in such a difference. What devil was't,

That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans|| all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.T

O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more:
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
And there I see such black and grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.**

Ham. Nay, but to live

In the rank sweat of an enseamed++ bed;
Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making
Over the nasty sty;-

Queen. O, speak to me no more;
These words, like daggers enter in mine ears:
No more, sweet Hamlet.

Ham. A murderer, and a villain:

A slave, that is not twentieth part the ty the
Of your precedent lord:-a vice‡‡ of kings:
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!

Queen. No more.

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Of shreds and patches:

Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards!-What would your gracious figure?

Queen. Alas, he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,

That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by The important acting of your dread command? O, say!

Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But, look, amazement on thy mother sits: O, step between her and her fighting soul; Conceitos in weakest bodies strongest works; Speak to her, Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you, lady? Queen. Alas, how is't with you? That you do bend your eye on vacancy, And with the incorporal air do hold discourse? Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep; And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm, Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,||||

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Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look? Ham. On him! on him!-Look you, how [stones, His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to Would make them capable.*-Do not look upon me;

pale he glares!

Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for

Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing, but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it
steals away!

My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the
[Exit GHOST.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Ham. Ecstasy!

My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep
And makes as healthful music: It is not mad-
That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness speaks:
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds..
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my vir-
For in the fatness of these pursy times, [tue:
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;
Yea, curb¶ and woo, for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart

in twain.

Ham. O, throw away the worser part of it, And live the purer with the other half. Good night: but go not to my uncle's bed; Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat That to the use of actions fair and good Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this; He likewise gives a frock, or livery, And that shall lend a kind of easiness That aptly is put on : Refrain to-night;

To the next abstinence: the next more easy: And either curb the devil, or throw him out For use almost can change the stamp of nature, With wondrous potency. Once more, good


And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
I do repent: But heaven hath pleas'd it so,—
[Pointing to POLONIUS.
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
I must be cruel, only to be kind:
The death I gave him. So, again, good
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.—
But one word more, good lady.

Queen. What shall I do?

Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you


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