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Pel. What do you think of me?
King. Do you think this?
King. Not that I know.
[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder,
King. How may we try it further ?
Queen. So he does, indeed.
Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him ;
Enter Hamlet reading.
away. I'll board him presently. [Exe. King and Queen. Oh, give me leave.
How does my good lord
Ham. Ay, Sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man pick'd out of ten thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, Being a good kissing carrion Have you a daughter?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i’th' Sun; conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't. Pol. How fay you by that? still harping on my daugh
ter! Yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fish
monger. He is far gone ; and, truly, in my youth, [Afide. I suffer'd much extremity for love ; Very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you read, my lord ?
Ham. Words, words, words.
my lord. Ham. Slanders, Sir: for the satyrical slave says here, that old men have grey beards ; that their faces are wrinkled ; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumtree
gum ; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit ; together with most weak hams. All which, Sir, tho' I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for your self, Sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't : Will you
walk out of the air, my lord ? Ham. Into
Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Enter Rosincrantz and Guildenstern.
Rof. As the indifferent children of the earth.
Guil. Happy, in that we are not over-happy; on fortune's cap, we are not the very
button. Ham. Nor the foals of her shoe? Ref. Neither, my lord.
Ham. Then you live about her waste, or in the middle of her favours ?
Guil. Faith, in her privates we.
Ham. In the secret parts of fortune! oh, most true ; he is a strumpet. What news?
Rof. None, my lord, but that the world's grown honeft.
Ham. Then is dooms-day near; but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular : what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither ?
Guil. Prison, my lord !
Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons ; Denmark being one o'th' wortt.
Rof. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then, 'tis none to you ; for there is no thing either good or bad, but thinking makes it fo: to me, it is a prison.
Rof. Why, then your ambition makes it one : 'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. Oh God, I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count my self a King of infinite space; were it not, that I have bad dreams.
Guil. - Which dreams, indeed, are Ambition ; for the very substance of the ambitious is meerly the shadow of a dream.
Ham. A dream it self is but a shadow.
Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality,
that it is but a shadow's shadow. Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs and out-stretch'd heroes, the beggars' shadows; Shall we to th' Court ? for, by my fay, I cannot reafon. Vol. VIII.
Both. We'll wait upon you.
with the rest of my servants: for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended : but in the beaten way of Friendship, what make you at Elfinoor?.
Rof. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks ; but I thank
you; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear of a half-penny. Were you not fent for? is it your own inclining ? is it a free visitation ? come, deal juftly with me; come, come; nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
Ham. Any thing, but to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. I know, the good King and Queen have fent
Rof. To what end, my lord ?
Ham. That you must teach me; but let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preferved love, and by what more dear, a better proposer could charge you withal; be even and direct with me, whether you
were fent for or no ? Rof. What fay you?
[To Guilden. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye you : if you love me, 'hold not off. Guil. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; fo fhall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no feather. I have of late, but wherefore I know not, loft all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercise ; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my dif. position, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a fteril promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er- hanging firmament, this majeftical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason ! how infinite in faculties ! in form