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'Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath given me this: Now gather and surmise." -To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia,-
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear. Thus : In her excellent white bosom, these, &c. Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her? Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.
Doubt thou, the stars are fire; [Reads.
But never doubt, I love.
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet. This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown And more above, hath his solicitings, [me: As they fell out by time, by means, and place, All given to mine ear. King. Received his love?
But how hath she
What do you think of me? King. As of a man faithful and honourable. Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;
Do you think, 'tis this?
Roundly, without reserve.
Be you and I bebind an arrast then;
We will try it.
Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away; I'll board him presently:-Ŏ, give me leave. [Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants. How does my good lord Hamlet? Ham. Well, god-'a-mercy. Pol. Do you know me, my lord! Ham. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger. Pol. Not I, my lord? [man.
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a Pol. Honest, my lord?
Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one picked man out of ten thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion,—— Have you a daughter?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i'the sun: conceptioný is a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive,-friend, look to't.
Pol. How say you by that? [Aside.] Still harping on my daughter:-yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fishmonger: He is far gone, far gone: and, truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.-What do you read, my lord?
Ham. Words, words, words!
Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward. Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Ham. Into my grave?
Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.-How pregnant ¶ sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity** could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him † Accost. Understanding. **Soundness of mind.
+ Tapestry. ¶ Ready, apt
and my daughter.-My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my lord. Ham. These tedious old fools? Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Pol. You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is.
Ros. God save you, sir!
[To POLONIUS. [Exit POLONIUS. Guil. My honour'd lord!Ros. My most dear lord!Hum. My excellent good friends! how dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?
Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth. Guil. Happy, in that we are not over happy;
On fortune's cap we are not the very button. Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe?
Ros. Neither, my lord.
Hum. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?
Guil. 'Faith her privates we.
Ham. In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What news? Ros. None, my lord; but that the world is grown honest.
Ham. Then is dooms-day near: But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular: What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
Guil. Prison, my lord!
Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord. Ham. Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams.
Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow. Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.
Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs, and out-stretch'd heroes, the beggars' shadows: Shall we to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you. Ham. No such matter: I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully
attended. But, in the beaten way of friend. ship, what make you at Elsinore?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other oncasion.
Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even pow thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come; nay speak.
Guil. What should we say, my ord? Ham. Any thing-but to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour: I know, the good king and queen have sent for you.
But let me
Ros. To what end, my lord? Ham. That you must teach me. conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obli gation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no?
Ros. What say you? To GUILDENSTERN. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you; [Aside.]-if you love me, hold not off. Guil. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no featherI have of late, (but wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exer cises: and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form, and moving, how ex press and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Ros. My lord, there's no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh then, when said, Man delights not me?
Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten* entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service.
Ham. He that plays the king, shall be wel come; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil, and target: the lover shall not sigh gratis; the bumorous man shall end his part in peace: the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o'the sere; and the lady shall say her
mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for't. What players are they?
Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham. How chances it, they travel*? their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.
Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed?
Ros. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty?
Kos. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little eyases +, that cry out on the top of question, and are most tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the fashion; and so berattle the common stages, (so they call them) that many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither.
Ham. What, are they children? who main tains them? how are they escoted §? Will they pursue the quality || no longer than they can sin? will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players, (as it is most like, if their means are no better,) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession?
Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre¶ them on to controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.
Ham. Is it possible?
Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Ham. Do the boys carry it away? Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too**.
Ham. It is not very strange: for my uncle is king of Denmark, and those, that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little ft. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
Flourish of Trumpets within.
when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.
Pol. Well be with you. gentlemen! Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern; and you too;-at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling. clouts.
Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.
Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.-You say right, sir: o'Monday morning; 'twas then, indeed.
Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you. Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you; When Roscius was an actor in Rome,Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. Ham. Buz, buz!
Pol. Upon my honour,
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass, Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoralcomical,historical-pastoral, [tragical-historical, tragical-comical] historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writs, and the liberty, these are the only men. Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel,-what a treasure hadst thou!
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord? Ham. Why,-One fair daughter, and no more,
The which he loved passing well. Pol. Still on my daughter. [Aside. Ham. Am I not i'the right, old Jephthah? Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well. Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows then, my lord?
Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then you know, It came to pass, As most like it was,-The first row of the pious chanson will show you more; for look, my abridgment comes.
Enter four or five Players. You are welcome, masters; welcome, all:-! am glad to see thee well:-welcome, good friends.-O, old friend! Why, thy face is va lanced¶¶ since I saw thee last; Comest thos to beard*** me in Denmark?-What! my young Guil. There are the players. lady and mistress! By-'er lady, your ladyship Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to El- is nearer to heaven, than when I saw you last, sinore. Your hands. Come then: the ap- by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, purtenance of welcome is fashion and cere- your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be mony: let me comply with you in this garb; not cracked within the ring.-Masters, you lest my extent to the players, which, I tell are all welcome, We'll e'en to't like French you, must show fairly outward, should more falconers, fly at any thing we see: We ll have appear like entertainment than yours. You a speech straight: come, give us a taste of your are welcome: but my uncle-father, and aunt-ty; qualicome, a passionate speech. mother, are deceived.
Guil. In what, my dear lord?
1 Play. What speech, my lord? Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech
Ham. I am but mad north-north west: once,-but it was never acted; or, if it was,
not above once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the generalt: but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments, in such matters, cried in the top of mine,) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said, there were no salads in the lines, to make the matter savoury; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the author of affection but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly loved: 'twas Eneas' tale to Dido; and thereabout of it especially where he speaks of Priam's slaughter: If it live in your memory, begin at this line; let me see, let
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus [you. Old grandsire Priam seeks ;-So proceed Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with good accent and good discretion.
1 Play. Anon he finds him [sword, Striking too short at Greeks; his antique Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, Repugnant to command: Unequal match'd, Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide; [sword, But with the whiff and wind of his fell The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top crash Stoops to his base, and with a hideous Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear; for, lo! his sword,
Which was declining on the milky head
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;
An Italian dish made of the Convict. Affectation.
The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
As hush as death: anon the dreadful thunder [pause, Doth rend the region: So, after Pyrrhus A roused vengeance sets him new a work; And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall On Mars's armour, forged for proof eterne [ing sword With less remorse than Pyrrhus bleedNow falls on Priam.- [you gods, Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All In general synod, take away her power; Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, [of heaven, And bowl the round nave down the hill As low as to the fiends!
Pol. This is too long.
Ham. It shall to the barber's with your beard.-Pr'ythee, say on: He's for a gig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps: say on: come to Hecuba. [mobled queen
1 Play. But who, ah woe! had seen the Ham. The mobled queen! Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good. 1 Play. Run barefoot up and down, threat'ning the flames
With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head [a robe Where late the diadem stood; and, for About her lank and all o'erteemed loins, A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up; [nom steep'd Who this had seen, with tongue in ve. 'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pronounced:
But if the gods themselves did see her then, When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious [limbs; In mincing with his sword her husband's The instant burst of clamour that she made, [all,)
(Unless things mortal move them not at Would have made milch¶¶ the burning eye And passion in the gods. [of heaven, Pol. Look whether he has not turn'd his colour, and has tears in's eyes. Pr'ythee, no more. Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear? let them be well used; for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live.
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.
Pol. Come, sirs.
[Exit POLONIUS, with some of the Players.
Eternal. $ Muffled.
Above. t+Light clouds.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, [do,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
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 my face? 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,
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave;
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;
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our deMost free in his reply. Queen. To any pastime !
[mands, Did you assay hin [players
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain We o'er-raught on the way of these we told And there did seem in him a kind of joy [him; 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' And he beseech'd me to entreat your ma To hear and see the matter. [jesties, King. With all iny heart; and it doth much To hear him so inclined. [content me Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, And drive his purpose on to these delights. Ros. We shall, my lord.
[Exeunt ROSEN, and GUILDEN. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too: For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither;
§ Shrink or start.
Search his wounds. Overtook.