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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.
Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord.
Ham. As woman's love.

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Enter a King and a Queen. P. King. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' cart 3

gone round

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!
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer, and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must:
For women fear too much, even as they love;
And women's fear and love hold quantity;
İn neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows

there. P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and

shortly too;
My operanti powers their functions leave to do:
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd; and, haply, one as kind
For husband shalt thou-

3 Car, chariot. 4 The earth.

Magnitude, proportion.

5 Shining, lustre.
1 Active.


P. Queen.

0, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast ;
In second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first.

Ham. That's wormwood.
P. Queen. The instances,8 that second marriage

Are base respects of thrift, but none of love;
A second time I kill


husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed. P. King. I do believe, you think what now you

But, what we do determine, oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory ;
Of violent birth, but poor validity :
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget

ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye;' nor ’tis not strange,
That even

our loves should with our fortunes

change; For 'tis a question left us yet to prove, Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.

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The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;

advanc'd makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend :
For who not needs, shall never lack a friend ;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,-
Our wills, and fates, do so contrary run,
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead.
P.Queen. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven

Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife !
Ham. If she should break it now,-

[To OPHELIA. P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me

here a while;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.

[Sleeps. P. Queen.

Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain !

[Exit. Ilam, Madam, how like you this play?

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2 Anchuret.

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.

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.

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.


-the thing
In which he'll catch the conscience of the king.

4 This is a proverbial saying,

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