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cal, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragi slaughter. If it live in your memory, begin at cal-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, this line; let me see, let me see ;or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ, and
The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,the liberty, these are the only men.
'Tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus. Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou !
The rugged Pyrrhus,-he, whose sable arms, Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ?
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble, Ham. Why,
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion smeared “One fair daughter and no more,
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Now is he total gules ; horridly tricked
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons; Pol. Still on my daughter.
Baked and impasted with the parching streets, Ham. Am I not i'the right, old Jephthah?
That lend a tyrannous and a damnéd light Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have
To their lord's murder : roasted in wrath and fire, a daughter that I love passing well.
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, Ham. Nay, that follows not.
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus Pol. What follows then, my lord ?
Old grandsire Priam seeks. Ham. Why, “ As by lot, God wot,”
So, proceed you.
Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken ; with and then you know,
good accent and good discretion. " It came to pass, As most like it was."
1st Player. The first row of the pious chanson will shew you more ; for look where my abridgments come.
- Anon he finds him
Striking too short at Greeks ; his antique sword Enter Four or Five Players.
Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, You are welcome, masters; welcome, all :-I am
Repugnant to command. Unequal matched, glad to see thee well :-welcome, good friends.
Pyrrhus at Priam drives ; in rage, strikes wide ;
But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword O, old friend! why thy face is valanced since
The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium, I saw thee last; comest thou to beard me in
Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top Denmark?-What, my young lady and mistress!
Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash Bye'r-lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven
Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear; for, lo! his sword, than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a
Which was declining on the milky head chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of Of reverend Priam, seemed in the air to stick: uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood ; Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e’en to it And, like a neutral to his will and matter, like French falconers, fly at anything we see : Did nothing. we'll have a speech straight: come, give us a But as we often see, against some storm, taste of your quality ; come, a passionate speech.
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still, 1st Play. What speech, my lord ?
The bold winds speechless, and the orb below Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once,
As hush as death : anon, the dreadful thunder but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above
Doth rend the region: so, after Pyrrhus' pause, once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the
A rouséd vengeance sets him new a work ; million : 'twas caviarie to the general : but it
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour, forged for proof eterne, was (as I received it, and others, whose judg
With less remorse thau Pyrrhus' bleeding sword ments in such matters cried in the top of mine)
Now falls on Priam.an excellent play; well digested in the scenes,
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I
In general synod, take away her power ; remember one said, there were no sallets in the
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, lines, to make the matter savoury: nor no matter
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven, in the phrase that might indite the author of As low as to the fiends! affectation : but called it, an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more
Pol. This is too long. handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard. loved : 't was Æneas' tale to Dido; and there 1 - Pr’y thee, say on : he's for a jig, or a tale of about of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's bawdry, or he sleeps: say on : come to Hecuba. 1st Player.
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, But who, ah woe ! had seen the mobled queen Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That from her working, all his visage wanned; Ham. The mobled queen ?
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good.
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting 1st Player.
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
For Hecuba! With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe,
That he should weep for her? What would he do, About her lank and all o'er-teeming loins,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steeped, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; 'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pro Make mad the guilty, and appal the free, nounced :
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, But if the gods themselves did see her then,
The very faculties of eyes and ears. When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport,
Yet I, In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs ;
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, The instant burst of clamour that she made
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, (Unless things mortal move them not at all) Would have made milch the burning eye of heaven,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king, And passion in the gods.
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward? Pol. Look whether he has not turned his co Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate across ? lour, and has tears in 's eyes!—Pr'y thee, no more. Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i'the throat, rest of this soon.Good my lord, will you see
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this? the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let Ha! Why, I should take it: for it cannot be them be well used; for they are the abstracts
But I am pigeon-livered, and lack gall and brief chronicles of the time: after your death
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, you were better have a bad epitaph, than their
I should have fatted all the region kites ill report while you live.
With this slave's offal. Bloody, bawdy villain! Pol. My lord, I will use them according to
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless their desert.
villain ! Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better; use
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave; every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape
That I, the son of a dear father murdered, whipping ? Use them after your own honour
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, and dignity: the less they deserve, the more
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words, merit is in your bounty. Take them in.
And fall a cursing like a very drab,— Pol. Come, sirs.
A scullion ! [Exit Polonius, with some of the Players.
Fie upon 't! foh!--About, my brains !-Humph! Ham. Follow him, friends : we'll hear a play
I have heard, to-morrow.—Dost thou hear me, old friend; can
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play, you play the murder of Gonzago?
Have by the very cunning of the scene 1st Play. Ay, my lord.
Been struck so to the soul, that presently Ham. We'll have it to-morrow night. You
They have proclaimed their malefactions: could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and
With most miraculous organ. I 'll have these players insert in 't? could you not?
Play something like the murder of my father 1st Play. Ay, my lord.
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; Ham.Very well.–Follow that lord; and look you I'll tent him to the quick; if he do blench, mock him not. [Exit Player]. My good friends | I know my course. The spirit that I have seen [To ROSENCRANTZ and GuildeNSTERN], I 'll leave May be a devil; and the devil hath power you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore. | To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Ros. Good my lord !
Out of my weakness and my melancholy [Exeunt Rosencrantz and GUILDENSTERN. (As he is very potent with such spirits), Ham. Ay, so, God be wi' you.-Now I am alone. Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds 0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! More relative than this: the play 's the thing Is it not monstrous, that this player here, | Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Scene I.-A Room in the Castle.
Enter King, QUEEN, Polonius, Ophelia,
ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN. King. And can you by no drift of conference, Get from him, why he puts on this confusion; Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy? Ros. He does confess he feels himself dis
tracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak. Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be
Queen. Did he receive you well?
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
[Exeunt RoseNCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Queen. I shall obey you: And, for your part, Ophelia, I do wish That your good beauties be the happy cause Of Hamlet's wildness : so shall I hope your vir
tues Will bring him to his wonted way again, To both your honours.
Oph. Madam, I wish it may. [Exit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here :-Gracious, so
please you, We will bestow ourselves :—Read on this book ;
[To OPHELIA. That show of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,'T is too much proved, — that with devotion's
visage, And pious action, we do sugar o'er The devil himself.
King. O, 'tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my con
science! The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our demands, Most free in his reply.
Queen. Did you assay him To any pastime?
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told
Pol. 'Tis most true :
content me To hear him so inclined.
Than is my deed to my most painted word; Take these again ; for to the noble mind,
(Aside. Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my There, my lord. lord. (Exeunt King and Polonius. Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest i
Oph. My lord ?
Ham. Are you fair?
Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better comAnd, by opposing, end them?-To die,-to sleep, merce than with honesty ? No more ;-and, by a sleep, to say we end
Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks sooner transform honesty from what it is to a That flesh is heir to,—'t is a consummation bawd, than the force of honesty can translate Devoutly to be wished. To die,—to sleep; beauty into his likeness: this was some time a To sleep! perchance to dream ;-ay, there's the paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did rub;
love you once. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, so. Must give us pause : there's the respect
Ham. You should not have believed me; for That makes calamity of so long life:
virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, shall relish of it: I loved you not. The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's con Oph. I was the more deceived. tumely,
Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; why wouldst thou The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent The insolence of office, and the spurns
honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, That patient merit of the unworthy takes, that it were better my mother had not borne me. When he himself might his quietus make
I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, more offences at my beck than I have thoughts To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
to put them in, imagination to give them shape, But that the dread of something after death, or time to act them in. What should such fellows The undiscovered country, from whose bourn as I do crawling between heaven and earth! We No traveller returns,-puzzles the will ;
are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us: go thy And makes us rather bear those ills we have, ways to a nunnery. Where's your father? Than fly to others that we know not of?
Oph. At home, my lord. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he And thus the native hue of resolution
may play the fool nowhere but in 's own house. Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought; Farewell. And enterprises of great pith and moment,
Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens ! With this regard, their currents turn awry,
Ham. If thou dost marry, I 'll give thee this And lose the name of action.--Soft you, now! plague for thy dowry :- Be thou as chaste as ice, The fair Ophelia :-Nymph, in thy orisons as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Be all my sins remembered.
Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: or, if thou wilt Oph. Good my lord,
needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know How does your honour for this many a day? well enough what monsters you make of them. Ham. I humbly thank you; well.
To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours, Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him! That I have longéd long to re-deliver ;
Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well I pray you, now receive them.
enough; God hath given you one face, and you Ham. No, not I;
make yourselves another : you jig, you amble, I never gave you aught.
and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and Oph. My honoured lord, you know right well make your wantonness your ignorance :-Go to; you did;
I'll no more of't; it hath made me mad. I And, with them, words of so sweet breath com- | say we will have no more marriages: those posed
that are married already, all but one, shall live; As made the things more rich: their perfume | the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery,
Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! | Was not like madness. There's something in his The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue,
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
This something-settled matter in his heart;
From fashion of himself. What think you on 't? Re-enter King and Polonius.
Pol. It shall do well: but yet do I believe, King. Love! his affections do not that way tend; The origin and commencement of his grief Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, Sprung from neglected love.-How now, Ophelia ?