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Is it not monstrous, that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul to his own conceit,
That from her working, all his visage wann'd;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed,

faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damn'd defeat; was made. Am I a coward ?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in


Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i’the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
Why, I should take it: for it cannot be,
But I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter ; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites

s Destruction

With this slave's offal : Bloody, bawdy villain ! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless, vil

lain ! Why, what an ass am I ? This is most brave; That I, the son of a dear father murder'd, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words, And fall a cursing, like a very drab, A scullion! Fye upon't! foh! About my brains! Humph! I have

heard, That guilty creatures, sitting at a play, Have by the very cunning of the scene Been struck so to the soul, that presently They have proclaim'd their malefactions ; For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father, Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks ;] I'll tent him to the quick; if he do blench,8 I know my course. The spirit, that I have May be a devil: and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, (As he is very potent with such spirits,) Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds More relative than this: The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.



6 Unnatural. 7 Search his wounds.

8 Shrink or start.


SCENE I. A Room in the Castle.

Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, Ro

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 distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state,

Queen. Did he receive you well ?
Ros. Most like a gentleman.
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition.

Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Most free in his reply.

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 him; And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it: They are about the court; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. Pol.

'Tis most true :

9 Overtook.

And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
To hear and see the matter,
King. With all my heart; and it doth much con-

tent me
To hear him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Ros. We shall,


lord. [Exeunt RosENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN, King.

Sweet Gertrude, leave us too: Eor we have closely sent for Hamlet hither ; That he, as 'twere by accident, may here Affront' Ophelia : Her father, and myself (lawful espials,) Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen, We may of their encounter frankly : judge ; And gather by him, as he is behav'd, If't be the affliction of his love, or no, That thus he suffers for. 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 virtues Will bring him to his wonted way again, To both


honours. Oph.

Madam, I wish it may.

[Erit Queen, Pol. Ophelia, walk you bere :-Gracious, so please

you, We will bestow 4 ourselves :-Read on this book;


i Meet.

2 Spies.

3 Freely.

4 Place.

That show of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness.-We are oft to blame in this,
'Tis too much prov'd, that, with devotion's visage,
And pious action, we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.

0, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience!
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
O heavy burden !

[Aside. Pol. I hear him. coming ; let's withdraw, my lord.

[Exeunt King and POLONIUS.


Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?—To die,-to sleep, No more ;-and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation Devouțly to be wish'd. To die ;--to sleep ;To sleep! perchance to dream;-ay, there's the

rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,“ Must give us pause : There's the respect,? That makes calamity of so long life: For who would' bear the whips and scorns of time,

5 Too frequent.

6 Stir, bustle.

7 Consideration.

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