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Guil. No, my lord, with choler.
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.
Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
Ham. I am tame, sir:-pronounce.
Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon, and my return, shall be the end of my business.
Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: But, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter: My mother, you say, —
Ros. Then thus she says; Your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother!—But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade with us?
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.
Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.
Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark?
Ham. Ay, sir, but, While the grass grows,—the proverb is something musty.
Enter the Players, with Recorders. 0, the recorders:let me see one.-To withdraw with you:—Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil?
Guil. (), my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.
Ham. I do not well understand that. Will play upon this pipe?
Guil. My lord, I cannot.
. Ham. 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent musick.
these are the stops. Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a
thing you make of me? You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much musick, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think, I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play
God bless you, sir!
Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and by. They fool me to the top of my bent.—I will come by and by. Pol. I will say so.
[Exit Polonius. Ham. By and by is easily said.—Leave me, friends.
[Exeunt Ros. Guil. Hor. &c. 'Tis now the very witching time of night; ; When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: Now could I drink hot
And do such business as the bitter day
A ROOM IN THE SAME.
Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.
We will ourselves provide:
Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound,
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
We will haste us.
Enter Polonius. Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet; Behind the arras I'll convey myself, To hear the process; I'll warrant, she'll tax him
home: And, as you said, and wisely was it said, 'Tis meet, that some more audience, than a mo
ther, Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege: I'll call upon you ere you go to bed, And tell you what I know. King.
Thanks, dear my lord.
[Exit Polonius. O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,