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Guil. Heavens make our presence,
and What, have you given him any hard words of
tices, Oph. No, my good lord: but, as you did command, Pleasant and helpful to him ! I did repel his letters, and denied
Ay, amen! His access to me.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, Pol. That hath made him mad.
and some Attendants. I am sorry, that with better heed and judgment,
Pol. The ambassadors from Norway, my good lousy!
lord, It seems, it is as proper to our age
Are joyfully return'd. To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
King. Thou still hast been the father of good As it is common for the younger sort To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king;
Pol. Have I, my lord ? Assure you, my good This must be known; which, being kept close, might
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul, More grief to hide, than hate to utter love,
Both to my God, and to my gracious king: Come.
(Ereunl. And I do think, (or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the trail 8 of policy so sure
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
l'ing. O, speak of that : that do I long to hear. STERN, and Altendants.
Pol. Give first admittance to the ambassadors; King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guilden- My news shall be the fruit to that great feast. stern!
King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them Moreover that we much did long to see you,
[Erit Polonics The need, we have to use you, did provoke He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found Our hasty sending. Something have you heard The head and source of all your son's distemper, Of Hamlet's transformation ; so I call it,
Queen. I doubt it is no other but the main; Since not the exterior nor the inward man
His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage. Resembles that it was : What it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put Re-enter Polonios, with VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. him
King. Well, we shall sift him. — Welcome, my So much from the understanding of himself,
good friends! I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway? That, - being of so young days brought up with Volt. Most fair return of greetings, and desires. him:
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and hu- His nephew's levies ; which to him appear'd mour,
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack 9; That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court But, better look'd into, he truly found Some little time : so by your companies
It was against your highness : Whereat griev'd, To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather, That so his sickness, age, and impotence, So much as from occasion you may glean,
Was falsely borne in hand ', - sends out arrests Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus, On Fortinbras; which he, in brief obeys; That, open'd, lies within our remedy.
Receives rebuke from Norway; and, in fine, Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of Makes vow before his uncle, never more you;
To give the assay of arms against your majesty. And, sure I am, two men there are not living, Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy, To whom he more adheres.
If it will please you
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee; To show us so much gentry, and good will, And his commission to employ those soldiers As to expend your time with us awhile,
So levied as before, against the Polack: For the supply and profit of our hope,
With an entreaty, herein further shown, Your visitation shall receive such thanks
[Gives a papet. As fits a king's remembrance.
That it might please you to give quiet pass Ros.
Both your majesties Through your dominions for this enterprize; Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, On such regards of safety, and allowance, Put your dread pleasures more into command As therein are set down. Than to entreaty.
It likes us well :
And, our more consider'd time, we'll read,
Mean time, we thank you for your well-look labour: To be commanded.
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together : King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guilden- | Most welcome home!
[Exeunt VoLTIMAND and CORNELIUS Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosen- Pol.
This business is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulate ? And I beseech you instantly to visit
What majesty should be, what duty is, My too much changed son. Go, some of you, Why day is day, night, night, and time is time, And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
9 Poland. 7 Utmost exertion.
• Imposed on.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time, King.
Do you think, 'tis this? Therefore, — since brevity is the soul of wit,
Queen. It may be, very likely. And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know I will be brief: Your noble son is mad :
that,) Mad call I it: for, to define true madness,
That I have positively said, 'Tis so, What is't, but to be nothing else but mad ?
When it prov'd otherwise ? But let that go.
Not that I know. Queen. More matter with less art.
Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise : Pol. Madam, I swear I use no art at all,
[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder. That he is mad, 'tis true : 'tis true, 'tis pity ;
If circumstances lead me, I will find And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure ;
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Within the centre. Mad let us grant him then: and now remains, King.
How may we try it further? That we find out the cause of this effect;
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours Or, rather say, the cause of this defect;
together, For this effect, defective, comes by cause :
Here in the lobby. Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.
So he does, indeed. Perpend.
Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to I have a daughter ; have, while she is mine ; Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Be you and I behind an arras then ; Hath given me this : Now gather and surmise. Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most And be not from his reason fallen thereon, beautified Ophelia, —
Let me be no assistant for a state, That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a But keep a farm, and carters. vile phrase ; but you shall hear. — Thus :
We will try it. In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.
Enter HAMLET, reading. Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ? Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faith- Queen. But look, where sadly the poor wretch ful.
comes reading. Doubt thou, the stars are fire ; [Reads.
Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away ;
I'll board him presently : -
0, give me leave. – Doubt truth to be a liar ;
[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants. But never doubt, I love.
How does my good lord Hamlet ?
Ham. Well, god-'a-mercy. O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have
Pol. Do you know me, my lord ? not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, Ham. Excellent well ; you are a fishmonger. O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Pol. Not I, my lord.
this machine is to him, Hamlet. Pol. Honest, my lord ? This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me: Ham. Ay, sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, And more above, hath his solicitings,
is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
Pul. That's very true, my lord. All given to mine ear.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead King But how hath she
doy, being a god, kissing carrion, Receiy'd his love?
What do you think of me? Pol. I have, my lord. King. As of a man faithful and honourable. Ham. Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is Pol. I would fain prove so.
But what might you
a blessing; but not as your daughter may conceive think,
- friend, look to't. When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
say you by that? [ Aside.] Still harp(As I perceiv'd it, I must tell you that,
ing on my daughter :- yet he knew me not at first; Before my daughter told me,) what might you, he said, I was a fishmonger; He is far gone, far Or my dear majesty your queen here, think, gone : and, truly in my youth I suffered much exIf I had play'd the desk, or table-book ;
tremity for love: very near this. I'll speak to him Or given my heart a working, mute and dumb; again. — What do you read, my lord ? Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
Ham. Words, words, words ! What might you think? no, I went round 3 to work, Pol. What is the matter, my lord ? And my young mistress thus did I bespeak :
Ham. Between who? Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy sphere ;
Pol. I mean the matter that you read, my lord. This must not be : and then I precepts gave her,
Ham. Slanders, sir : for the satiricai rogue says That she should lock herself from his resort, here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and Which done, she took the fruits of my advice; plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful And he, repulsed, (a short tale to make,)
lack of wit: all of which, sir, though I most powerFell into a sadness; then into a fast;
fully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty Thence to a watch; thence into weakness;
to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be Thence to a lightness; and, by this declension, as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backInto the madness wherein now he raves,
ward. And all we mourn for,
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method 3 Roundly, without reserve.
in it. (Aside.] Will you walk out of the air, iny lord ?
Ilave you a
Ham. Into my grave?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion. Pol. Indeed, that is out o’the air. — How preg- Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in nant 4 sometimes his replies are ! a happiness that thanks; but I thank you : and surr, dear friends, often madness hits on, which reason and sanity my thanks are too dear at a halfpenny.
Were you could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will not sent for? is it your own inclining? Is it a free leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of visitation ? Come, come ; deal justly with me: meeting between him and my daughter. My come, come; nay speak. honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
Ham. Any thing - but to the purpose. You Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in that I will more willingly part withal; except my your looks, which your modesties have not craft life, except my life, except my life.
enough to colour: I know the good king and queen Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
have sent for you. Ham. These tedious old fools!
Ros. To what end, my lord ?
But let me Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet ; there he is. consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our Ros. God save you sir ! [To Polonius. ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better
[Exit Polonius. proposer could charge you withal, be even and Guil. My honoured lord !
direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no? Ros. My most dear lord !
Ros. What say you ? [To GUILDENSTERS. Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you ; ( Aside.) thou, Guildenstern ? Ah, Rosencrantz ! Good - if you love me, hold not off. lads, how do ye both ?
Guil. My lord, we were sent for. Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth. Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipa
Guil. Happy, in that we are not over happy ; tion prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to On fortune's cap we are not the very button. the king and queen moult no feather. I have of Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe?
late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my Ros. Neither, my lord.
mirth, forgone all custom of exercise : and indeed, Ham. Then you live in the middle of her favours? it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this Well, what news ?
goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile proRos. None, my lord: but that the world is grown montory: this most excellent canopy, the air, look honest.
you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majes Ham. Then is doomsday near : But your news tical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears is not true. Let me question more in particular: no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent What have you, my good friends, deserved at the congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison a man ! How noble in reason ! how infinite in hither?
faculties! in form and moving, how express and Guil. Prison, my lord !
admirable! in action, how like an angel ! in apHam. Denmark's a prison.
prehension, how like a god! the beauty of the Ros. Then is the world one.
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, Ham. A goodly one ; in which there are many what is this quintessence of dust? man delights confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one not me, - nor woman neither; though by your of the worst.
smiling, you seem to say so. Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ros. My lord, there is no such stuff in my Ham. Why, then 'tis none to you ; for there is thoughts. nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, so: to me it is a prison.
Man delights not me? Ros. Why then your ambition makes it one; 'tis Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in too narrow for your mind.
man, what lenteni entertainment the players shall Ham. O heaven! I could be bounded in a nut- receive from you: we coted 6 them on the way: shell, and count myself a king of infinite space; and hither are they coming, to offer you service. were it not that I have bad dreams.
Him. He that plays the king, shall be welcome ; Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for his majesty shall have tribute of me; the adventhe very substance of the ambitious is merely the turous knight shall use his foil, and target: the shadow of a dream.
lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow,
end his part in peace : the clown shall make those Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and laugh whose lungs are tickled o’the sere: and the light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow. lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse
Han. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our shall halt for't. What players are they? monarchs, and outstretched heroes, the beggars' Ros. Even those you were wont to take such deshadows: Shall we to the court ? for, by my fay, I light in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham. How chances it they travel ? their resiRos. Guil. We'll wait upon you.
dence, both in reputation and profit, was better both Ham. No such matter : I will not sort you with ways. the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like Ros. I think their inhibition comes by the meanis an honest man, I am most dreadtully attended. of the late innovation. But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they vou at Elsinore ?
did when I was in the city? Are they so followed? 4 Ready, apt
Ros. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. Then came each aclor on his ass, Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty ? Pol. The best actors in the world, either for
Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comipace: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little cal, historical-pastoral, (tragical-historical, tragicaleyases ?, that cry out on the top of questions, comical-historical-pastoral,] scene individable, or and are most tyrannically clapp'd for't: these are poem unlimited : Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor now the fashion; and so berattle the common Plautus too light. For the law of writ 5 and the stages (so they call them), that many, wearing liberty, these are the only men. rapiers, are afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel, — what a treacome thither.
sure badst thou ! Ham. What, are they children? who maintains Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ? them? how are they escoted ? 9
Will they pursue
Ham. Why One fair daughter, and no more, the quality ' no longer than they can sing? will
The which he loved passing well. they not say afterwards, if they should grow them- Pol. Still on my daughter.
[Aside. selves to common players, (as it is most like, if Hum. Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah ? their means are no better,) their writers do them Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a wrong, to make them exclaim against their own suc- daughter, that I love passing well. cession?
Ham. Nay, that follows not. Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both Pol. What follows then, my lord ? sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre? them Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then you on to controversy : there was, for a while, no money know, It came to pass, As most like it was, – The bid for argument, unless the poet and the player first row of the pious chanson 6 will show you more: went to cuffs in the question.
for look, my abridgment comes. Ham. Is it possible ? Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of
Enter four or five Players. brains.
You are welcome, masters : welcome all ;- I am Ham. Do the boys carry
glad to see thee well: – welcome, good friends : Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and O, old friend! Why, thy face is valanced 7 since I his load, too. S
saw thee last; Com'st thou to beard me in Den. Ham. It is not very strange : for my uncle is mark ? — What! my young lady and mistress ! king of Denmark, and those, that would make your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, you last, by the altitude of a chopine. 8 Pray forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his pic- heaven, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, ture in little. There is something in this more
be not cracked within the ring. --- Masters, you are natural, if philosophy could find it out.
all welcome. We'll e'en to't like French falconers, [Flourish of Trumpets within. Ay at any thing we see : We'll have a speech Guil. There are the players.
straight: Come, give us a taste of your quality ; Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. come, a passionate speech. Your hands. Come then : the appurtenance of 1 Play. What speech, my lord ? welcome is fashion and ceremony: let me comply 4
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, with you in this garb; lest my extent to the players, but it was never acted ; - or, if it was, not above which, I tell you, must show fairly outward, should once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the more appear like entertainment than yours. You million ; 'twas a caviare 9 to the general': but it are welcome; but my uncle-father, and aunt- was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments, mother, are deceived.
in such matters, cried in the top ? of mine,, an exGuil. In what, my dear lord ?
cellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down Ham. I am but mad north-northwest : when with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a one said, there were no salads in the lines, to make hand-saw.
the matter savoury ; nor no matter in the phrase,
that might indite 3 the author of affection 4: but Enter PoloniUS.
called it, an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen!
and by very much more handsome than fine. One Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern ; — and you too: speech in it I chiefly loved : 'twas Æneas' tale to – at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see Dido; and thereabout of it especially, where he there, is not yet out of his swaddling.clouts. speaks of Priam's slaughter: If it live in your me
Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to mory, begin at this line: let me see, let me sce;them; for they say an old man is twice a child. The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,
Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the 'tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus. players ; mark it. - You say right, sir: o' Monday The rugged Pyrrhus, — he, whose sable arms, morning ; 'twas then, indeed.
Black as his purpose, did the night resemb Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.
When he lay couched in the ominous horse, Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you ; When Hath now this dread and black complerion smerir'd Roscius was an actor in Rome,
With heraldry more dismal ; head to foot Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. Now is he rvtal gules 5; horridly trick'd 6 Ham. Buz, buz!
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons ; Po!. Upon my honour,
Bak'd and impasted with the parcking streets, 7 Young nestlings. F Dialogue.
» Writing 6 Christmas carols. 7 Fringed. | Profession.
9 An Italian dish made of the roes of fishes. 1 Multitude 31. c. The globe, the sign of Shakspeare's thcatre.
* Affectation, • Compliment.
5 Red, a term in heraldry,
That lni a tyrannous and a fearful light
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their To their lord's murder : Roasted in wrath, and fire,
desert. And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
Ham. Much better, man : Use every man after With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping? Use Old grandsire Priam seeks ;
So proceed you. them after your own honour and dignity: The less Pol. My lord, well spoken ; with good accent, they deserve, the more merit is your bounty. Take and good discretion.
them in. 1 Play. Anon he finds him
Pol. Come, sirs. Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
[Erit Polonius, uith some of the Players. Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
Ham. Follow him, friends : we'll hear a play toRepugnant to command: Unequal match'd,
- Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you Pyrrhus at Priam drives ; in rage, strikes wide ; play the murder of Gonzago ? But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
1 Play. Ay, my lord. The unnerved father fulls. Then senseless Ilium, Ham. We'll have it to-morrow night. You could, Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash
lines, which I would set down, and insert in 't: Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear; for, lo ! his sword could you not? Which was declining on the milky head
1 Play. Ay, my lord. Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick :
Ham. Very well. - Follow that lord; and look So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;
you mock him not. (Erit Player.] My good friends, And, like a neutral to his will and malter,
( To Ros. and Guil] I'll leave you till night: you Did nothing.
are welcome to Elsinore. But, as we often see, against some sturm,
Ros. Good my lord ! A silence in the heavens, the rack 7 stand still,
[Ereunt RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERY. The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
Ham. Ay, so adieu, and, — Now I am alone. As hush as death: anon the dreadful thunder 0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Doth rend the region : So, after Pyrrhus' pause, Is it not monstrous, that this player here, A roused vengeance sets him new a work ;
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
Could force his soul so to his own conceit, On Mars's armour, forg’d for proof eterne 8, That from her working, all his visage wann'd; With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, Now falls on Priam.
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods, With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! In general synod, take
Had he the motive and the cue for passion, Pol. This is too long.
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, Ham. It shall to the barber's with your beard. And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Pr’ythee, say on :- - He's for a jig, or he sleeps :- Make mad the guilty, and appal the free, say on : come to Hecuba.
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, 1 Play. But who, ah woe! had seen the mobled 9 The very faculties of eyes and ears. queen
Yet I, Ham. The mobled queen ?
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good. Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, 1 Play. Run barefoot up and down, threat'ning the And can say nothing; no, not for a king, flames
Upon whose property, and most dear life, Wilh bisson rheum ; a clout upon that head, A vile defeat 3 was made. Am I a coward ? Where late the diadem stood ; and, for a robe, Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate across ? doout her lank and all o'erleemed loins,
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up ;
Tweaks me by the nose ? gives me the lie i’ the Who this had seen, with longue in venom steep'd,
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, (Unless things mortal move them not at all,)
I should have fatted all the region kites Would have made milch? the burning eye of heaven, With this slave's offal : Bloody, murd'rous villain! And passion in the gods.
Remorseless, treacherous, unnatural villain ! Pol. Look, whether he has not turnd his colour, Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave; and has tears in 's eyes. · Prythee, no more. That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Ham. 'Tis well : I'll have thee speak out the rest Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, of this soon. - - Good my lord, will you see the Must, like a drab, unpack my heart with words, players well bestowed ? Do you hear, let them be And fall a cursing ! well used; for they are the abstract, and brief Fye upon't! foh! About my brains ! Humph! I chronicles, of the time: After your death you were
have heard, better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene 7 Light clouds. 9 Eternal. 9 Muffled. 1 Blind. 2 Milky