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Ham. Ay, sir, but While the grass grows,--the proverb is something musty.

549 Enter the Players, with Recorders. O, the recorders :- let me see one.--To withdraw. with you:—Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil ?

Guil. O, my lord; if w.y 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. 5. Ham. I pray you.

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

560 : 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 inušick. Look you, these are the stops.

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

567 Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a 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 musick, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. Why, do you think, that I am easier to be play'd, on than a

pipe ? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret' me, you cannot play upon me. [Enter POLONIUS.] -God bless you, sir !

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

580 Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in shape of a camel ?

Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Methinks it is like a weazel..
Pol. It is back'd like a weazel.
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.--I will come by and by.

590 Pol. I will say so. Ham. By and by is easily said. Leave me, friends.

[Exeunt Ros, GUIL. Hor. &c. 'Tis now the very witching time of night; When church-yards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world : Now could I drink hot

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

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 :


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How in my words soever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent !


A Room in the Palace. Enter the King, Rosen

King. I like him not; nor stands it safe with us,
To let his madness range. Therefore, prepare you ;
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you:
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us, as doth hourly grow 612
Out of his lunes.

Guil. We will ourselves provide :
Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many 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 620
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 things
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone

Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.

King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage; For we will fetters put upon this fear,

630 Which now goes too free-footed.

Both. We will haste us. [Exeunt Ros. and Guil.


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

home : And, as you said, and wisely was it said, 'Tis meet, that some more audience than a mother, Since nature makes them partial, should o'er-hear The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege : I'll call apon you ere you go to bed,

640 And tell you what I know,

[Exit. 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 650 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 mercy, But to confront the visage of offence?


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And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,To be fore-stalled, ere we come to fall, Or pardon’d, being down ? Then I'll look up; My fault is past. But, 0, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder! That cannot be; since I am still possess'd 660 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 compellid, - Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, 670 To give in evidence. What then? what rests? Try what repentance can: What can it not? Yet what can it, when one cannot 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! Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart, with strings of

steel, Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe ; All may be well!

[The King kneels,

Enter HAMLET. Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is praying; And now I'll do't ;=-And so he goes to heaven :


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