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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;
'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-
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend;
P. Queen. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light!
Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night!
Ham. If she should break it now,-
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!
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
Confederate season, else no creature seeing;.
[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!
Pol. Give o'er the play.
King. Give me some light:-away!
[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;
Hor. Half a share.
For thou dost know, O Damon, dear,
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.
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.
Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord.
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,
Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound
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. 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
Contagion to this world: Now could I drink
And do such business as the bitter day
O, heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
SCENE III.-A Room in the same.
Guil. We will ourselves provide:
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.
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
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.
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,
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
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
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
The KING rises and advances.
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you
You go not, till I set you up a glass
Help, help, ho!
Pol. [Behind.] What, ho! help!
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.
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 damned custom have not braz'd it so,
Ham. Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
Queen. Ah me, what act,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear; Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
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,
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;
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't,
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more:
Ham. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed++ bed;
Queen. O, speak to me no more;
Ham. A murderer, and a villain:
A slave, that is not twentieth part the ty the
Queen. No more.
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,||||
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
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep
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,
Queen. What shall I do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you