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You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said; 1st Play. I hope we have reformed that indif-
Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those Let his queen-mother all alone entreat him that play your clowns speak no more than is set To shew his grief; let her be round with him ; down for them: for there be of them that will And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of Of all their conference: if she find him not, barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the To England send him: or confine him where mean time, some necessary question of the play Your wisdom best shall think.
be then to be considered: that's villanous, and King. It shall be so:
shews a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses Madness in great ones must not unwatched go. | it. Go, make you ready. [Exeunt Players.
Enter Polonius, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENHam. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they 'll tell all.
Scene II.-A Hall in the same.
How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently. Ham. Bid the players make haste.
[Exit POLONIUS. Will you two help to hasten them ?
Enter Hamlet, and certain Players. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus ; but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. 0, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it.
1st Play. I warrant your honour.
Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action ; with this special observance, that you o'er-step not the modesty of nature : for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature; to shew virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Othere be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly,—not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho; Horatio !
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation coped withal.
Hor. O, my dear lord,
Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter : For what advancement may I hope from thee, That no revénue hast, but thy good spirits, To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor
be flattered ? No, let the candied tongue lick ábsurd pomp; And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee, Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear? Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, And could of men distinguish her election, She hath sealed thee for herself: for thou hast been As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing; A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards Has ta'en with equal thanks: and blessed are those Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled, That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger To sound what stop she please: give me that man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.Something too much of this.There is a play to-night before the king; One scene of it comes near the circumstance Which I have told thee of my father's death : I pr'y thee, when thou seest that act a-foot, Even with the very comment of thy soul Observe my uncle : if his occulted guilt Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
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 hobby-horse; whose epitaph is, “For O, for 0, 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 woos the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love.
It is a damned ghost that we have seen ;
Hor. Well, my lord :
be idle :
Ham. Excellent, i' faith; of the camelion's dish: I eat the air, promise-crammed: you cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now.-My lord, you played once in the university, you say? [To Polonius.
Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar : I was killed i'the Capitol; Brutus killed me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.—Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
2. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more
Pol. O, ho! do you mark that? [To the King.
[Lying down at Ophelia's feet.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between
Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should
Oph. Nay, 't is twice two months, my lord.
Oph. What means this, my lord ?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
Oph. Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you 'll shew him: be not you ashamed to shew, he 'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play.
PROLOGUE. 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 ring?
Enter a King and Queen.
0, confound the rest!
P. King. I do believe you think what now you speak; But what we do determine oft we break. Purpose is but the slave to memory; Of violent birth, but poor validity : Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree; But fall unshaken when they mellow be. Most necessary 'tis that we forget 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 change ; For, 'tis a question left us yet to prove, Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. The great man down, you mark, his favourite flies; The poor advanced makes friends of enemies. And hitherto doth love on fortune tend : 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 and fates do so contrary run,
That our devices still are overthrown;
P. KING. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain! (Exit.
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 mousetrap. 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; 't is 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.
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.
LUCIANUS. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time
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.
Pol. Give o'er the play.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet and HORATIO. Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep;
The hart ungalléd 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, sir?
Hor. Half a share.
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers.
temper?—you do freely bar the door of your own Hor. You might have rhymed.
liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend. Ham. O, good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's Ham. Sir, I lack advancement. word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive? Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice Hor. Very well, my lord. .
of the king himself for your succession in DenHam. Upon the talk of the poisoning,
mark? Hor. I did very well note him.
Ham. Ay, sir, but “While the grass grows," Ham. Ah, ha!-Come, some music; come, -the proverb is something musty. the recorders.For if the king like not the comedy,
Enter the Players, with recorders. Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy. 0, the recorders : let me see one.—To withdraw
with you :-why do you go about to recover the Enter Rosencrantz and GUILDENSTERN.
wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil? Come, some music.
Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with love is too unmannerly. yon.
Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you Ham. Sir, a whole history.
play upon this pipe? Guil. The king, sir,
Guil. My lord, I cannot. Ham. Ay, sir, what of him?
Ham. I pray you. Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous dis Guil. Believe me, I cannot. tempered.
Ham. I do beseech you. Ham. With drink, sir?
Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord. Guil. No, my lord, with choler.
Ham. 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these venHam. Your wisdom should shew itself more tages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath richer, to signify this to the doctor ; for, for me to with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloput him to his purgation, would perhaps plunge quent music. Look you, these are the stops. him into more choler.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into utterance of harmony; I have not the skill. some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair. Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a Ham. I am tame, sir: pronounce.
thing you make of me. You would play upon me; Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great you would seem to know my stops; you would affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would Ham. You are welcome.
sound me from my lowest note to the top of my Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not compass: and there is much music, excellent of the right breed. If it shall please you to make voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's speak. S'blood, do you think I am easier to be commandment: if not, your pardon, and my re played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument turn, shall be the end of my business.
you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play Ham. Sir, I cannot.
upon me. Guil. What, my lord ? Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my
Enter POLONIUS. wit's diseased : but, sir, such answer as I can God bless you, sir! make, you shall command; or rather, as you say, 1 Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, my mother: therefore, no more, but to the matter: and presently. My mother, you say.-
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost Ros. Then thus she says: your behaviour hath in shape of a camel? struck her into amazement and admiration.
Pol. By the mass, and 't is like a camel, indeed. Ham. O, wonderful son, that can so astonish Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel. a mother !- But is there no sequel at the heels of Pol. It is backed like a weasel. this mother's admiration ?-impart.
Ham. Or like a whale ? Ros. She desires to speak with you in her Pol. Very like a whale. closet, ere you go to bed.
Hum. Then will I come to my mother by-andHam. We shall obey, were she ten times our | by.—They fool me to the top of my bent.— I will mother. Have you any further trade with us? | come by-and-by.