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Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrants,
and Guildenstern. 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 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. Queen.
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:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
[Ereunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. King.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too. For 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 your honours. Oph.
Madam, I wish it may.
[Exit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here:-Gracious, so please
you, We will bestow ourselves:-Read on this book;
[To Ophelia. 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.
King. O, 'tis too true! how smart A lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot's cheek, beauty'd with plast'ring 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 Devoutly 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, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
Ham. I humbly thank you; well.
No, not I; I never gave you aught.
Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well,
And, with them, words of so sweet breath com
posod As made the things more rich: their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind,