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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 wooes the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love.
[Exeunt. 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.
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant ?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him : Be not you
ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play. Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
Enter a King and a Queen. P. King. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' cart 3
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus'4 orbed ground; And thirty dozen moons, with borrow'd sheen, About the world have times twelve thirties been; Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands, Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and
Make us again count o'er, ere love be done!
there. P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and
3 Car, chariot. 4 The earth.
5 Shining, lustre.
0, confound the rest!
Ham. That's wormwood.
husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed. P. King. I do believe, you think what now you
ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
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;
advanc'd makes friends of enemies.
[To OPHELIA. P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me
here a while;
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain !
[Exit. Ilam, 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 mouse-trap.3 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; 'tis 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.
4 This is a proverbial saying,