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William Shakespeare



A c t u s  S e c u n d u s .


[ S c e n a  P r i m a .]

Enter Polonius, and Reynoldo.

Polon. Giue him his money, and these notes Reynoldo.

Reynol. I will my Lord.

Polon. You shall doe maruels wisely: good Reynoldo,
Before you visite him you make inquiry
Of his behauiour.

Reynol. My Lord, I did intend it.

Polon. Marry, well said;
Very well said. Looke you Sir,
Enquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
And how, and who; what meanes; and where they keepe:
What company, at what expence: and finding
By this encompassement and drift of question,
That they doe know my sonne: Come you more neerer
Then your particular demands will touch it,
Take you as 'twere some distant knowledge of him,
And thus I know his father and his friends,
And in part him. Doe you marke this Reynoldo?

Reynol. I, very well my Lord.

Polon. And in part him, but you may say not well;
But if't be hee I meane, hees very wilde;
Addicted so and so; and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so ranke,
As may dishonour him; take heed of that:
But Sir, such wanton, wild, and vsuall slips,
As are Companions noted and most knowne
To youth and liberty.

Reynol. As gaming my Lord.

Polon. I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
Quarelling, drabbing. You may goe so farre.

Reynol. My Lord that would dishonour him.

Polon. Faith no, as you may season it in the charge;
You must not put another scandall on him,
That hee is open to Incontinencie;
That's not my meaning: but breath his faults so quaintly,
That they may seeme the taints of liberty;
The flash and out-breake of a fiery minde,
A sauagenes in vnreclaim'd bloud of generall assault.

Reynol. But my good Lord.

Polon. Wherefore should you doe this?

Reynol. I my Lord, I would know that.

Polon. Marry Sir, heere's my drift,
And I belieue it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sulleyes on my Sonne,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'th' working:
Marke you your party in conuerse; him you would sound,
Hauing euer seene. In the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breath of guilty, be assur'd
He closes with you in this consequence:
Good sir, or so, or friend, or Gentleman.
According to the Phrase and the Addition,
Of man and Country.

Reynol. Very good my Lord.

Polon. And then Sir does he this?
He does: what was I about to say?
I was about say somthing: where did I leaue?

Reynol. At closes in the consequence:
At friend, or so, and Gentleman.

Polon. At closes in the consequence, I marry,
He closes with you thus. I know the Gentleman,
I saw him yesterday, or tother day;
Or then or then, with such and such; and as you say,
There was he gaming, there o'retooke in's Rouse,
There falling out at Tennis; or perchance,
I saw him enter such a house of saile;
Videlicet, a Brothell, or so forth. See you now;
Your bait of falshood, takes this Cape of truth;
And thus doe we of wisedome and of reach
With windlesses, and with assaies of Bias,
By indirections finde directions out:
So by my former Lecture and aduice
Shall you my Sonne; you haue me, haue you not?

Reynol. My Lord I haue.

Polon. God buy you; fare you well.

Reynol. Good my Lord.

Polon. Obserue his inclination in your selfe.

Reynol. I shall my Lord.

Polon. And let him plye his Musicke.

Reynol. Well, my Lord. Exit.

Enter Ophelia.

Polon. Farewell:
How now Ophelia, what's the matter?

Ophe. Alas my Lord, I haue beene so affrighted.

Polon. With what, in the name of Heauen?

Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my Chamber,
Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd,
No hat vpon his head, his stockings foul'd,
Vngartred, and downe giued to his Anckle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a looke so pitious in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,
To speake of horrors: he comes before me.

Polon. Mad for thy Loue?

Ophe. My Lord, I doe not know: but truly I do feare it.

Polon. What said he?

Ophe. He tooke me by the wrist, and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all his arme;
And with his other hand thus o're his brow,
He fals to such perusall of my face,
As he would draw it. Long staid he so,
At last, a little shaking of mine Arme:
And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe;
He rais'd a sigh, so pittious and profound,
That it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,
And end his being. That done, he lets me goe,
And with his head ouer his shoulders turn'd,
He seem'd to finde his way without his eyes,
For out adores he went without their helpe;
And to the last, bended their light on me.

Polon. Goe with me, I will goe seeke the King,
This is the very extasie of Loue,
Whose violent property foredoes it selfe,
And leads the will to desperate Vndertakings,
As oft as any passion vnder Heauen,
That does afflict our Natures. I am sorrie,
What haue you giuen him any hard words of late?

Ophe. No my good Lord: but as you did command,
I did repell his Letters, and deny'de
His accesse to me.

Pol. That hath made him mad.
I am sorrie that with better speed and iudgement
I had not quoted him. I feare he did but trifle,
And meant to wracke thee: but beshrew my iealousie:
It seemes it is as proper to our Age,
To cast beyond our selues in our Opinions,
As it is common for the yonger sort
To lacke discretion. Come, go we to the King,
This must be knowne, being kept close might moue
More greefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue. Exeunt.

S c e n a  S e c u n d a .

Enter King, Queene, Rosincrane, and Guilden-
sterne Cum alijs.

King. Welcome deere Rosincrance and Guildensterne.
Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke
Our hastie sending. Something haue you heard
Of Hamlets transformation: so I call it,
Since not th' exterior, nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should bee
More then his Fathers death, that thus hath put him
So much from th' vnderstanding of himselfe,
I cannot deeme of. I intreat you both,
That being of so young dayes brought vp with him:
And since so Neighbour'd to his youth, and humour,
That you vouchsafe your rest heere in our Court
Some little time: so by your Companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from Occasions you may gleane,
That open'd lies within our remedie.

Qu. Good Gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
And sure I am, two men there are not liuing,
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To shew vs so much Gentrie, and good will,
As to expend your time with vs a-while,
For the supply and profit of our Hope,
Your Visitation shall receiue such thankes
As fits a Kings remembrance.

Rosin. Both your Maiesties
Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs,
Put your dread pleasures, more into Command
Then to Entreatie.

Guil. We both obey,
And here giue vp our selues, in the full bent,
To lay our Seruices freely at your feete,
To be commanded.

King. Thankes Rosincrance, and gentle Guildensterne.

Qu. Thankes Guildensterne and gentle Rosincrance.
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed Sonne.
Go some of ye,
And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is.

Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises
Pleasant and helpfull to him. Exit.

Queene. Amen.

Enter Polonius.

Pol. Th' Ambassadors from Norwey, my good Lord,
Are ioyfully return'd.

King. Thou still hast bin the father of good Newes.

Pol. Haue I, my Lord? Assure you, my good Liege,
I hold my dutie, as I hold my Soule,
Both to my God, one to my gracious King:
And I do thinke, or else this braine of mine
Hunts not the traile of Policie, so sure
As I haue vs'd to do: that I haue found
The very cause of Hamlets Lunacie.

King. Oh speake of that, that I do long to heare.

Pol. Giue first admittance to th' Ambassadors,
My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Feast.

King. Thy selfe do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tels me my sweet Queene, that he hath found
The head and sourse of all your Sonnes distemper.

Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine,
His Fathers death, and our o're-hasty Marriage.

Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.

King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends:
Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey?

Volt. Most faire returne of Greetings, and Desires.
Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse
His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Poleak:
But better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your Highnesse, whereat greeued,
That so his Sicknesse, Age, and Impotence
Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arrests
On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes,
Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine,
Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more
To giue th' assay of Armes against your Maiestie.
Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy,
Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee,
And his Commission to imploy those Soldiers
So leuied as before, against the Poleak:
With an intreaty heerein further shewne,
That it might please you to giue quiet passe
Through your Dominions, for his Enterprize,
On such regards of safety and allowance,
As therein are set downe.

King. It likes vs well:
And at our more consider'd time wee'l read,
Answer, and thinke vpon this Businesse.
Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour.
Go to your rest, at night wee'l Feast together.
Most welcome home. Exit Ambass.

Pol. This businesse is very well ended.
My Liege, and Madam, to expostulate
What Maiestie should be, what Dutie is,
Why day is day; night, night; and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste Night, Day, and Time.
Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit,
And tediousnesse, the limbes and outward flourishes,
I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad:
Mad call I it; for to define true Madnesse,
What is't, but to be nothing else but mad.
But let that go.

Qu. More matter, with lesse Art.

Pol. Madam, I sweare I vse no Art at all:
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'Tis true 'tis pittie,
And pittie it is true: A foolish figure,
But farewell it: for I will vse no Art.
Mad let vs grant him then: and now remaines
That we finde out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect;
For this effect defectiue, comes by cause,
Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus. Perpend,
I haue a daughter: haue, whil'st she is mine,
Who in her Dutie and Obedience, marke,
Hath giuen me this: now gather, and surmise.
The Letter.
To the Celestiall, and my Soules Idoll, the most beautifed O-

That's an ill Phrase, a vilde Phrase, beautified is a vilde
Phrase: but you shall heare these in her excellent white
bosome, these.

Qu. Came this from Hamlet to her.

Pol. Good Madam stay awhile, I will be faithfull.
Doubt thou, the Starres are fire,
Doubt, that the Sunne doth moue:
Doubt Truth to be a Lier,
But neuer Doubt, I loue.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these Numbers: I haue not Art to
reckon my grones; but that I loue thee best, oh most Best be-

leeue it. Adieu.
     Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this
     Machine is to him,
This in Obedience hath my daughter shew'd me:
And more aboue hath his soliciting,
As they fell out by Time, by Meanes, and Place,
All giuen to mine eare.

King. But how hath she receiu'd his Loue?

Pol. What do you thinke of me?

King. As of a man, faithfull and Honourable.

Pol. I wold faine proue so. But what might you think?
When I had seene this hot loue on the wing,
As I perceiued it, I must tell you that
Before my Daughter told me what might you
Or my deere Maiestie your Queene heere, think,
If I had playd the Deske or Table-booke,
Or giuen my heart a winking, mute and dumbe,
Or look'd vpon this Loue, with idle sight,
What might you thinke? No, I went round to worke,
And (my yong Mistris) thus I did bespeake
Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,
This must not be: and then, I Precepts gaue her,
That she should locke her selfe from his Resort,
Admit no Messengers, receiue no Tokens:
Which done, she tooke the Fruites of my Aduice,
And he repulsed. A short Tale to make,
Fell into a Sadnesse, then into a Fast,
Thence to a Watch, thence into a Weaknesse,
Thence to a Lightnesse, and by this declension
Into the Madnesse whereon now he raues,
And all we waile for.

King. Do you thinke 'tis this?

Qu. It may be very likely.

Pol. Hath there bene such a time, I'de fain know that,
That I haue possitiuely said, 'tis so,
When it prou'd otherwise?

King. Not that I know.

Pol. Take this from this; if this be otherwise,
If Circumstances leade me, I will finde
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede
Within the Center.

King. How may we try it further?

Pol. You know sometimes
He walkes foure houres together, heere
In the Lobby.

Qu. So he ha's indeed.

Pol. At such a time Ile loose my Daughter to him,
Be you and I behinde an Arras then,
Marke the encounter: If he loue her not,
And be not from his reason falne thereon;
Let me be no Assistant for a State,
And keepe a Farme and Carters.

King. We will try it.

Enter Hamlet reading on a Booke.

Qu. But looke where sadly the poore wretch
Comes reading.

Pol. Away I do beseech you, both away,
Ile boord him presently. Exit King & Queen.
Oh giue me leaue. How does my good Lord Hamlet?

Ham. Well, God-a-mercy.

Pol. Do you know me, my Lord?

Ham. Excellent, excellent well: y'are a Fishmonger.

Pol. Not I my Lord.

Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.

Pol. Honest, my Lord?

Ham. I sir, to be honest as this world goes, is to bee
one man pick'd out of two thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my Lord.

Ham. For if the Sun breed Magots in a dead dogge,
being a good kissing Carrion_______
Haue you a daughter?

Pol. I haue my Lord.

Ham. Let her not walke i'thSunne: Conception is a
blessing, but not as your daughter may conceiue. Friend
looke too't.

Pol. How say you by that? Still harping on my daugh-
ter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a Fishmon-
ger: he is farre gone, farre gone: and truly in my youth,
I suffred much extreamity for loue: very neere this. Ile
speake to him againe. What do you read my Lord?

Ham. Words, words, words.

Pol. What is the matter, my Lord?

Ham. Betweene who?

Pol. I meane the matter you meane, my Lord.

Ham. Slanders Sir: for the Satyricall slaue saies here,
that old men haue gray Beards; that their faces are wrin-
kled; their eyes purging thicke Amber, or Plum-Tree
Gumme: and that they haue a plentifull locke of Wit,
together with weake Hammes. All which Sir, though I
most powerfully, and potently beleeue; yet I holde it
not Honestie to haue it thus set downe: For you your
selfe Sir, should be old as I am, if like a Crab you could
go backward.

Pol. Though this be madnesse,
Yet there is Method in't: will you walke
Out of the ayre my Lord?

Ham. Into my Graue?

Pol. Indeed that is out o'th' Ayre:
How pregnant (sometimes) his Replies are?
A happinesse,
That often Madnesse hits on,
Which Reason and Sanitie could not
So prosperously be deliuer'd of.
I will leaue him,
And sodainely contriue the meanes of meeting
Betweene him, and my daughter.
My Honourable Lord, I will most humbly
Take my leaue of you.

Ham. You cannot Sir take from me any thing, that I
will more willingly part withall, except my life, my

Polon. Fare you well my Lord.

Ham. These tedious old fooles.

Polon. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet; there
hee is.

Enter Rosincran and Guildensterne.

Rosin. God saue you Sir.

Guild. Mine honour'd Lord?

Rosin. My most deare Lord?

Ham. My excellent good friends? How do'st thou
Guildensterne? Oh, Rosincrane; good Lads: How doe ye

Rosin. As the indifferent Children of the earth.

Guild. Happy, in that we are not ouer-happy: on For-
tunes Cap, we are not the very Button.

Ham. Nor the Soales of her Shoo?

Rosin. Neither my Lord.

Ham. Then you liue about her waste, or in the mid-
dle of her fauour?

Guil. Faith, her priuates, we.

Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true:
she is a Strumpet. What's the newes?

Rosin. None my Lord; but that the World's growne

Ham. Then is Doomesday neere: But your newes is
not true. Let me question more in particular: what haue
you my good friends, deserued at the hands of Fortune,
that she sends you to Prison hither?

Guil. Prison, my Lord?

Ham. Denmark's a Prison.

Rosin. Then is the World one.

Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many Con-
fines, Wards, and Dungeons; Denmarke being one o'th'

Rosin. We thinke 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.

Rosin. Why then your Ambition makes it one: 'tis
too narrow for your minde.

Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and
count my selfe a King of infinite space; were it not that
I haue bad dreames.

Guil. Which dreames indeed are Ambition: for the
very substance of the Ambitious, is meerely the shadow
of a Dreame.

Ham. A dreame it selfe is but a shadow.

Rosin. Truely, and I hold Ambition of so ayry and
light a quality, that it is but a shadowes shadow.

Ham. Then are our Beggers bodies; and our Mo-
narchs and out-stretcht Heroes the Beggers Shadowes:
shall wee to th' Court: for, by my fey I cannot rea-

Both. Wee'l wait vpon you.

Ham. No such matter. I will not sort you with the
rest of my seruants: for to speake to you like an honest
man: I am most dreadfully attended; but in the beaten
way of friendship, What make you at Elsonower?

Rosin. To visit you my Lord, no other occasion.

Ham. Begger that I am, I am euen poore in thankes;
but I thanke you: and sure deare friends my thanks
are too deare a halfepeny; were you not sent for? Is it
your owne inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
deale iustly with me: come, come; nay speake.

Guil. What should we say my Lord?

Ham. Why any thing. But to the purpose; you were
sent for; and there is a kinde confession in your lookes;
which your modesties haue not craft enough to co-
lor, I know the good King & Queene haue sent for you.

Rosin. To what end my Lord?

Ham. That you must teach me: but let mee coniure
you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
our youth, by the Obligation of our euer-preserued loue,
and by what more deare, a better proposer could charge
you withall; be euen and direct with me, whether you
were sent for or no.

Rosin. What say you?

Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you: if you loue me
hold not off.

Guil. My Lord, we were sent for.

Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and
Queene: moult no feather, I haue of late, but wherefore
I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of ex-
ercise; and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my dispositi-
on; that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a ster-
rill Promontory; this most excellent Canopy the Ayre,
look you, this braue ore-hanging, this Maiesticall Roofe,
fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
to mee, then a foule and pestilent congregation of va-
pours. What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing
how expresse and admirable? in Action, how like an An-
gel? in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
this Quintessence of Dust? Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so.

Rosin. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my

Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights
not me?

Rosin. To thinke, my Lord, if you delight not in Man,
what Lenton entertainment the Players shall receiue
from you: wee coated them on the way, and hither are
they comming to offer you Seruice.

Ham. He that playes the King shall be welcome; his
Maiesty shall haue Tribute of mee: the aduenturous
Knight shal vse his Foyle and Target: the Louer shall
not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in
peace: the Clowne shall make those laugh whose lungs
are tickled a'th' sere: and the Lady shall say her minde
freely; or the blanke Verse shall halt for't: what Players
are they?

Rosin. Euen those you were wont to take delight in
the Tragedians of the City.

Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their resi-
dence both in reputation and profit was better both

Rosin. I thinke their Inhibition comes by the meanes
of the late Innouation?

Ham. Doe they hold the same estimation they did
when I was in the City? Are they so follow'd?

Rosin. No indeed, they are not.

Ham. How comes it? doe they grow rusty?

Rosin. Nay, their indeauour keepes in the wonted
pace; But there is Sir an ayrie of Children, little
Yases, that crye out on the top of question; and
are most tyrannically clap't for't: these are now the
fashion, and so be-ratled the common Stages (so they
call them) that many wearing Rapiers, are affraide of
Goose-quils, and dare scarse come thither.

Ham. What are they Children? Who maintains 'em?
How are they escorted? Will they pursue the Quality no
longer then they can sing? Will they not say afterwards
if they should grow themselues to common Players (as
it is most like if their meanes are not better) their Wri-
ters do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their
owne Succession.

Rosin. Faith there ha's bene much to do on both sides:
and the Nation holds it no sinne, to tarre them to Con-
trouersie. There was for a while, no mony bid for argu-
ment, vnlesse the Poet and the Player went to Cuffes in
the Question.

Ham. Is't possible?

Guild. Oh there ha's beene much throwing about of

Ham. Do the Boyes carry it away?

Rosin. I that they do my Lord. Hercules & his load too.

Ham. It is not strange: for mine Vnckle is King of
Denmarke, and those that would make mowes at him
while my Father liued; giue twenty, forty, an hundred
Ducates a peece, for his picture in Little. There is some-
thing in this more then Naturall, if Philosophie could
finde it out.
Flourish for the Players.

Guil. There are the Players.

Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcom to Elsonower: your
hands, come: The appurtenance of Welcome, is Fashion
and Ceremony. Let me comply with you in the Garbe,
lest my extent to the Players (which I tell you must shew
fairely outward) should more appeare like entertainment
then yours. You are welcome: but my Vnckle Father,
and Aunt Mother are deceiu'd.

Guil. In what my deere Lord?

Ham. I am but mad North, North-West: when the
Winde is Southerly, I know a Hawke from a Handsaw.

Enter Polonius.

Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen.

Ham. Hearke you Guildensterne, and you too: at each
eare a hearer: that great Baby you see there, is not yet
out of his swathing clouts.

Rosin. Happily he's the second time come to them: for
they say, an old man is twice a childe.

Ham. I will Prophesie. Hee comes to tell me of the
Players. Mark it, you say right Sir: for a Monday mor-
ning 'twas so indeed.

Pol. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.

Ham. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
When Rossius an Actor in Rome______

Pol. The Actors are come hither my Lord.

Ham. Buzze, buzze.

Pol. Vpon mine Honor.

Ham. Then can each Actor on his Asse______

Polon. The best Actors in the world, either for Trage-
die, Comedie, Historie, Pastorall: Pastoricall-Comicall-
Historicall-Pastorall: Tragicall-Historicall: Tragicall-
Comicall-Historicall-Pastorall: Scene indiuidible: or Po-
em vnlimited. Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plautus
too light, for the law of Writ, and the Liberty. These are
the onely men.

Ham. O Iephta Iudge of Israel, what a Treasure had'st

Pol. What a Treasure had he, my Lord?

Ham. Why one faire Daughter, and no more,
The which he loued passing well.

Pol. Still on my Daughter.

Ham. Am I not i'th' right old Iephta?

Polon. If you call me Iephta my Lord, I haue a daugh-
ter that I loue passing well.

Ham. Nay that followes not.

Polon. What followes then, my Lord?

Ha. Why, As by lot, God wot: and then you know, It
came to passe, as most like it was: The first rowe of the
Pons Chanson will shew you more. For looke where my
Abridgements come.
Enter foure or fiue Players.
Y'are welcome Masters, welcome all. I am glad to see
thee well: Welcome good Friends. Oh my olde Friend?
Thy face is valiant since I saw thee last: Com'st thou to
beard me in Denmarke? What, my yong Lady and Mi-
stris? Byrlady your Ladiship is neerer Heauen then when
I saw you last, by the altitude of a Choppine. Pray God
your voice like a peece of vncurrant Gold be not crack'd
within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome: wee'l e'ne
to't like French Faulconers, flie at any thing we see: wee'l
haue a Speech straight. Come giue vs a tast of your qua-
lity: come, a passionate speech.

1. Play. What speech, my Lord?

Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
neuer Acted: or if it was, not aboue once, for the Play I
remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the
Generall: but it was (as I receiu'd it, and others, whose
iudgement in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an
excellent Play; well digested in the Scoenes, set downe
with as much modestie, as cunning. I remember one said,
there was no Sallets in the lines, to make the matter sa-
uory; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the
Author of affectation, but cal'd it an honest method. One
cheefe Speech in it, I cheefely lou'd, 'twas Aeneas Tale
to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks
of Priams slaughter. If it liue in your memory, begin at
this Line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus like
th'Hyrcanian Beast. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus
The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose Sable Armes
Blacke as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the Ominous Horse,
Hath now this dread and blacke Complexion smear'd
With Heraldry more dismall: Head to foote
Now is he to take Geulles, horridly Trick'd
With blood of Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sonnes,
Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrannous, and damned light
To their vilde Murthers, roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o're-sized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Olde Grandsire Priam seekes.

Pol. Fore God, my Lord, well spoken, with good ac-
cent, and good discretion.

1. Player. Anon he findes him,
Striking too short at Greekes. His anticke Sword,
Rebellious to his Arme, lyes where it falles
Repugnant to command: vnequall match,
Pyrrhus at Priam driues, in Rage strikes wide:
But with the whiffe and winde of his fell Sword,
Th' vnnerued Father fals. Then senselesse Illium,
Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top
Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous crash
Takes Prisoner Pyrrhus eare. For loe, his Sword
Which was declining on the Milkie head
Of Reuerend Priam, seem'd i'th' Ayre to sticke:
So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood,
And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing.
But as we often see against some storme,
A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still,
The bold windes speechlesse, and the Orbe below
As hush as death: Anon the dreadfull Thunder
Doth rend the Region. So after Pyrrhus pause,
A rowsed Vengeance sets him new a-worke,
And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall
On Mars his Armours, forg'd for proofe Eterne,
With lesse remorse then Pyrrhus bleeding sword
Now falles on Priam.
Out, out, thou Strumpet-Fortune, all you Gods,
In generall Synod take away her power:
Breake all the Spokes and Fallies from her wheele,
And boule the round Naue downe the hill of Heauen,
As low as to the Fiends.

Pol. This is too long.

Ham. It shall to'th Barbars, with your beard. Pry-thee
say on: He's for a Iigge, or a tale of Baudry, or hee
sleepes. Say on; come to Hecuba.

1. Play. But who, O who, had seen the inobled Queen.

Ham. The inobled Queene?

Pol. That's good: Inobled Queene is good.

1. Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe,
Threatning the flame
With Bisson Rheume: A clout about that head,
Where late the Diadem stood, and for a Robe
About her lanke and all ore-teamed Loines,
A blanket in th' Alarum of feare caught vp.
Who this had seene, with tongue in Venome steep'd,
'Gainst Fortunes State, would Treason haue pronounc'd?
But if the Gods themselues did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his Sword her Husbands limbes,
The instant Burst of Clamour that she made
(Vnlesse things mortall moue them not at all)
Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen,
And passion in the Gods.

Pol. Looke where he ha's not turn'd his colour, and
ha's teares in's eyes. Pray you no more.

Ham. 'Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest,
soone. Good my Lord, will you see the Players wel be-
stow'd. Do ye heare, let them be well vs'd: for they are
the Abstracts and breefe Chronicles of the time. After
your death, you were better haue a bad Epitaph, then
their ill report while you liued.

Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their de-

Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man
after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse
them after your own Honor and Dignity. The lesse they
deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them

Pol. Come sirs. Exit Polon.

Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to mor-row.
Dost thou heare me old Friend, can you play the
murther of Gonzago?

Play. I my Lord.

Ham. Wee'l ha't to morrow night. You could for a
need study a speech of some dosen or sixteene lines, which
I would set downe, and insert in't? Could ye not?

Play. I my Lord.

Ham. Very well. Follow that Lord, and looke you
mock him not. My good Friends, Ile leaue you til night
you are welcome to Elsonower?

Rosin. Good my Lord. Exeunt.

Manet Hamlet.

Ham. I so, God buy'ye: Now I am alone.
Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slaue am I?
Is it not monstrous that this Player heere,
But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Passion,
Could force his soule so to his whole conceit,
That from her working, all his visage warm'd;
Teares in his eyes, distraction in's Aspect,
A broken voyce, and his whole Function suiting
With Formes, to his Conceit? And all for nothing?
For Hecuba?
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weepe for her? What would he doe,
Had he the Motiue and the Cue for passion
That I haue? He would drowne the Stage with teares,
And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech:
Make mad the guilty, and apale the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed,
The very faculty of Eyes and Eares. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-metled Rascall, peake
Like Iohn a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing: No, not for a King,
Vpon whose property, and most deere life,
A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward?
Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-crosse?
Pluckes off my Beard, and blowes it in my face?
Tweakes me by'th' Nose? giues me the Lye i'th' Throate,
As deepe as to the Lungs? Who does me this?
Ha? Why I should take it: for it cannot be,
But I am Pigeon-Liuer'd, and lacke Gall
To make Oppression bitter, or ere this,
I should haue fatted all the Region Kites
With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine,
Remorselesse, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine!
Oh Vengeance!
Who? What an Asse am I? I sure, this is most braue,
That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered,
Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell,
Must (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words,
And fall a Cursing like a very Drab.
A Scullion? Fye vpon't: Foh. About my Braine.
I haue heard, that guilty Creatures sitting at a Play,
Haue by the very cunning of the Scoene,
Bene strooke so to the soule, that presently
They haue proclaim'd their Malefactions.
For Murther, though it haue no tongue, will speake
With most myraculous Organ. Ile haue these Players,
Play something like the murder of my Father,
Before mine Vnkle. Ile obserue his lookes,
Ile rent him to the quicke: If he but blench
I know my course. The Spirit that I haue seene
May be the Diuell, and the Diuel hath power
T' assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps
Out of my Weaknesse, and my Melancholly,
As he is very potent with such Spirits,
Abuses me to damne me. Ile haue grounds
More Relatiue then this: The Play's the thing,
Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King. Exit
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