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William Shakespeare



[ A c t u s  T e r t i u s .]


[ S c e n a  P r i m a .]

Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Ro-
sincrance, Guildenstern, and Lords.

King. And can you by no drift of circumstance
Get from him why he puts on this Confusion:
Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous Lunacy.

Rosin. He does confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
But from what cause he will by no meanes speake.

Guil. Nor do we finde him forward to be sounded,
But with a crafty Madnesse keepes aloofe:
When we would bring him on to some Confession
Of his true state.

Qu. Did he receiue you well?

Rosin. Most like a Gentleman.

Guild. But with much forcing of his disposition.

Rosin. Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.

Qu. Did you assay him to any pastime?

Rosin. Madam, it so fell out, that certaine Players
We ore-wrought on the way: of these we told him,
And there did seeme in him a kinde of ioy
To heare of it: They are about the Court,
And (as I thinke) they haue already order
This night to play before him.

Pol. 'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to intreate your Maiesties
To heare, and see the matter.

King. With all my heart, and it doth much content me
To heare him so inclin'd. Good Gentlemen,
Giue him a further edge, and driue his purpose on
To these delights.

Rosin. We shall my Lord. Exeunt.

King. Sweet Gertrude leaue vs too,
For we haue closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may there
Affront Ophelia. Her Father, and my selfe (lawful espials)
Will so bestow our selues, that seeing vnseene
We may of their encounter frankely iudge,
And gather by him, as he is behaued,
If't be th' affliction of his loue, or no.
That thus he suffers for.

Qu. I shall obey you,
And for your part Ophelia, I do wish
That your good Beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlets wildenesse: so shall I hope your Vertues
Will bring him to his wonted way againe,
To both your Honors.

Ophe. Madam, I wish it may.

Pol. Ophelia, walke you heere. Gracious so please ye
We will bestow our selues: Reade on this booke,
That shew of such an exercise may colour
Your lonelinesse. We are oft too blame in this,
'Tis too much prou'd, that with Deuotions visage,
And pious Action, we do surge o're
The diuell himselfe.

King. Oh 'tis true:
How smart a lash that speech doth giue my Conscience?
The Harlots Cheeke beautied with plaist'ring Art
Is not more vgly to the thing that helpes it,
Then is my deede, to my most painted word.
Oh heauie burthen!

Pol. I heare him comming, let's withdraw my Lord.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
That Flesh is heyre too? 'Tis a consummation
Deuoutly to be wish'd. To dye to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there's the rub,
For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
When we haue shuffel'd off this mortall coile,
Must giue vs pawse. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd Loue, the Lawes delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardles beare
To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
Then flye to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o're, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The faire Ophelia? Nimph, in thy Orizons
Be all my sinnes remembred.

Ophe. Good my Lord,
How does your Honor for this many a day?

Ham. I humbly thanke you: well, well, well.

Ophe. My Lord, I haue Remembrances of yours,
That I haue longed long to re-deliuer.
I pray you now, receiue them.

Ham. No, no, I neuer gaue you ought.

Ophe. My honor'd Lord, I know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd,
As made the things more rich, then perfume left:
Take these againe, for to the Noble minde
Rich gifts wax poore, when giuers proue vnkinde.
There my Lord.

Ham. Ha, ha: Are you honest?

Ophe. My Lord.

Ham. Are you faire?

Ophe. What meanes your Lordship?

Ham. That if you be honest and faire, your Honesty
should admit no discourse to your Beautie.

Ophe. Could Beautie my Lord, haue better Comerce
then your Honestie?

Ham. I trulie: for the power of Beautie, will sooner
transforme Honestie from what is, to a Bawd, then the
force of Honestie can translate Beautie into his likenesse.
This was sometime a Paradox, but now the time giues it
proofe. I did loue you once.

Ophe. Indeed my Lord, you made me beleeue so.

Ham. You should not haue beleeued me. For vertue
cannot so innocculate our old stocke, but we shall rellish
of it. I loued you not.

Ophe. I was the more deceiued.

Ham. Get thee to a Nunnerie. Why would'st thou
be a breeder of Sinners? I am my selfe indifferent honest,
but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were bet-
ter my Mother had not borne me. I am very prowd, re-
uengefull, Ambitious, with more offences at my becke,
then I haue thoughts to put them in imagination, to giue
them shape, or time to acte them in. What should such
Fellowes as I do, crawling betweene Heauen and Earth.
We are arrant Knaues all, beleeue none of vs. Goe thy
wayes to a Nunnery. Where's your Father?

Ophe. At home, my Lord.

Ham. Let the doores be shut vpon him, that he may
play the Foole no way, but in's owne house. Farewell.

Ophe. O helpe him, you sweet Heauens.

Ham. If thou doest Marry, Ile giue thee this Plague
for thy Dowrie. Be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as Snow,
thou shalt not escape Calumny. Get thee to a Nunnery.
Go, Farewell. Or if thou wilt needs Marry, marry a fool:
for Wise men know well enough, what monsters you
make of them. To a Nunnery go, and quickly too. Far-

Ophe. O heauenly Powers, restore him.

Ham. I haue heard of your pratlings too wel enough.
God has giuen you one pace, and you make your selfe an-other:
you gidge, you amble, and you lispe, and nickname
Gods creatures, and make your Wantonnesse, your Ig-norance.
Go too, Ile no more on't, it hath made me mad.
I say, we will haue no more Marriages. Those that are
married already, all but one shall liue, the rest shall keep
as they are. To a Nunnery, go. Exit Hamlet.

Ophe. O what a Noble minde is heere o're-throwne?
The Courtiers, Soldiers, Schollers: Eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectansie and Rose of the faire State,
The glasse of Fashion, and the mould of Forme,
Th' obseru'd of all Obseruers, quite, quite downe.
Haue I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
That suck'd the Honie of his Musicke Vowes:
Now see that Noble, and most Soueraigne Reason,
Like sweet Bels iangled out of tune, and harsh,
That vnmatch'd Forme and Feature of blowne youth,
Blasted with extasie. Oh woe is me,
T'haue seene what I haue seene: see what I see.

Enter King, and Polonius.

King. Loue? His affections do not that way tend,
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd Forme a little,
Was not like Madnesse. There's something in his soule?
O're which his Melancholly sits on brood,
And I do doubt the hatch, and the disclose
Will be some danger, which to preuent
I haue in quicke determination
Thus set it downe. He shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected Tribute:
Haply the Seas and Countries different
With variable Obiects, shall expell
This something setled matter in his heart:
Whereon his Braines still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himselfe. What thinke you on't?

Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I beleeue
The Origin and Commencement of this greefe
Sprung from neglected loue. How now Ophelia?
You neede not tell vs, what Lord Hamlet saide,
We heard it all. My Lord, do as you please,
But if you hold it fit after the Play,
Let his Queene Mother all alone intreat him
To shew his Greefes: let her be round with him,
And Ile be plac'd so, please you in the eare
Of all their Conference. If she finde him not,
To England send him: Or confine him where
Your wisedome best shall thinke.

King. It shall be so:
Madnesse in great Ones, must not vnwatch'd go.

[ S c e n a  S e c u n d a .]

Enter Hamlet, and two or three of the Players.

Ham. Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc'd
it to you trippingly on the Tongue: But if you mouth it,
as many of your Players do, I had as liue the Town-Cryer
had spoke my Lines: Nor do not saw the Ayre too much
your hand thus, but vse all gently; for in the verie Tor-
rent, Tempest, and (as I say) the Whirle-winde of
Passion, you must acquire and beget a Temperance that
may giue it Smoothnesse. O it offends mee to the Soule,
to see a robustious Pery-wig-pated Fellow, teare a Passi-
on to tatters, to verie ragges, to split the eares of the
Groundlings: who (for the most part) are capeable of
nothing, but inexplicable dumbe shewes, & noise: I could
haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it
out-Herod's Herod. Pray you auoid it.

Player. I warrant your Honor.

Ham. Be not too tame neyther: but let your owne
Discretion be your Tutor. Sute the Action to the Word,
the Word to the Action, with this speciall obseruance:
That you ore-stop not the modestie of Nature; for any
thing so ouer-done, is fro[m] the purpose of Playing, whose
end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twer
the Mirrour vp to Nature; to shew Vertue her owne
Feature, Scorne her owne Image, and the verie Age and
Bodie of the Time, his forme and pressure. Now, this
ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it make the vnskil-
full laugh, cannot but make the Iudicious greeue; The
censure of the which One, must in your allowance o're-way
a whole Theater of Others. Oh, there bee Players
that I haue seene Play, and heard others praise, and that
highly (not to speake it prophanely) that neyther hauing
the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan,
or Norman, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue
thought some of Natures Iouerney-men had made men,
and not made them well, they imitated Humanity so ab-

Play. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with
vs, Sir.

Ham. O reforme it altogether. And let those that
play your Clownes, speake no more then is set downe for
them. For there be of them, that will themselues laugh,
to set on some quantitie of barren Spectators to laugh
too, though in the meane time, some necessary Question
of the Play be then to be considered: that's Villanous, &
shewes a most pittifull Ambition in the Foole that vses
it. Go make you readie. Exit Players.
Enter Polonius, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.
How now my Lord,
Will the King heare this peece of Worke?

Pol. And the Queene too, and that presently.

Ham. Bid the Players make hast. Exit Polonius.
Will you two helpe to hasten them?

Both. We will my Lord. Exeunt.

Enter Horatio.

Ham. What hoa, Horatio?

Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your Seruice.

Ham. Horatio, thou art eene as iust a man
As ere my Conuersation coap'd withall.

Hora. O my deere Lord.

Ham. Nay, do not thinke I flatter:
For what aduancement may I hope from thee,
That no Reuennew hast, but thy good spirits
To feed & cloath thee. Why shold the poor be flatter'd?
No, let the Candied tongue, like absurd pompe,
And crooke the pregnant Hindges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow faining? Dost thou heare,
Since my deere Soule was Mistris of my choyse,
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for her selfe. For thou hast bene
As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing.
A man that Fortunes buffets, and Rewards
Hath 'tane with equall Thankes. And blest are those,
Whose Blood and Iudgement are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a Pipe for Fortunes finger.
To sound what stop she please. Giue me that man,
That is not Passions Slaue, and I will weare him
In my hearts Core. I, in my Heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.
There is a Play to night to before the King.
One Scoene of it comes neere the Circumstance
Which I haue told thee, of my Fathers death.
I prythee, when thou see'st that Acte a-foot,
Euen with the verie Comment of my Soule
Obserue mine Vnkle: If his occulted guilt,
Do not it selfe vnkennell in one speech,
It is a damned Ghost that we haue seene:
And my Imaginations are as foule
As Vulcans Stythe. Giue him needfull note,
For I mine eyes will riuet to his Face:
And after we will both our iudgements ioyne,
To censure of his seeming.

Hora. Well my Lord.
If he steale ought the whil'st this Play is Playing,
And scape detecting, I will pay the Theft.

Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrance,
Guildensterne, and other Lords attendant with
his Guard carrying Torches. Danish

March. Sound a Flourish.

Ham. They are comming to the Play: I must be idle.
Get you a place.

King. How fares our Cosin Hamlet?

Ham. Excellent Ifaith, of the Camelions dish: I eate
the Ayre promise-cramm'd, you cannot feed Capons so.

King. I haue nothing with this answer Hamlet, these
words are not mine.

Ham. No, nor mine. Now my Lord, you plaid once
i'th' Vniuersity, you say?

Polon. That I did my Lord, and was accounted a good

Ham. And what did you enact?

Pol. I did enact Iulius Caesar, I was kill'd i'th' Capitol:
Brutus kill'd me.

Ham. It was a bruite part of him, to kill so Capitall a
Calfe there. Be the Players ready?

Rosin. I my Lord, they stay vpon your patience.

Qu. Come hither my good Hamlet, sit by me.

Ha. No good Mother, here's Mettle more attractiue.

Pol. Oh ho, do you marke that?

Ham. Ladie, shall I lye in your Lap?

Ophe. No my Lord.

Ham. I meane, my Head vpon your Lap?

Ophe. I my Lord.

Ham. Do you thinke I meant Country matters?

Ophe. I thinke nothing, my Lord.

Ham. That's a faire thought to ly betweene Maids legs

Ophe. What is my Lord?

Ham. Nothing.

Ophe. You are merrie, my Lord?

Ham. Who I?

Ophe. I my Lord.

Ham. Oh God, your onely Iigge-maker: what should
a man do, but be merrie. For looke you how cheereful-
ly my Mother lookes, and my Father dyed within's two

Ophe. Nay, 'tis twice two moneths, my Lord.

Ham. So long? Nay then let the Diuel weare blacke,
for Ile haue a suite of Sables. Oh Heauens! dye two mo-
neths ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a
great mans Memorie, may out-liue his life halfe a yeare:
But byrlady he must builde Churches then: or else shall
he suffer not thinking on, with the Hoby-horsse, whose
Epitaph is, For o, For o, the Hoby-horse is forgot.

Hoboyes play. The dumbe shew enters.

Enter a King and Queene, very louingly; the Queene embra-
cing him. She kneeles, and makes shew of Protestation vnto
him. He takes her vp, and declines his head vpon her neck.
Layes him downe vpon a Banke of Flowers. She seeing him

a-sleepe, leaues him. Anon comes in a Fellow, takes off his
Crowne, kisses it, and powres poyson in the Kings eares, and
Exits. The Queene returnes, findes the King dead, and
makes passionate Action. The Poysoner, with some two or
three Mutes comes in againe, seeming to lament with her.

The dead body is carried away: The Poysoner Wooes the
Queene with Gifts, she seemes loath and vnwilling awhile,
but in the end, accepts his loue. Exeunt

Ophe. What meanes this, my Lord?

Ham. Marry this is Miching Malicho, that meanes

Ophe. Belike this shew imports the Argument of the

Ham. We shall know by these Fellowes: the Players
cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all.

Ophe. Will they tell vs what this shew meant?

Ham. I, or any shew that you'l shew him. Bee not
you asham'd to shew, hee'l not shame to tell you what it

Ophe. You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the

Enter Prologue.

     For vs, and for our Tragedie,
     Heere stooping to your Clemencie:
     We begge your hearing Patientlie

Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the Poesie of a Ring?

Ophe. 'Tis briefe my Lord.

Ham. As Womans loue.

Enter King and his Queene.

King. Full thirtie times hath Phoebus Cart gon round,
Neptunes salt Wash, and Tellus Orbed ground:
And thirtie dozen Moones with borrowed sheene,
About the World haue times twelue thirties beene,
Since loue our hearts, and Hymen did our hands
Vnite comutuall, in most sacred Bands.

Bap. So many iournies may the Sunne and Moone
Make vs againe count o're, ere loue be done.
But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,
So farre from cheere, and from your former state,
That I distrust you: yet though I distrust,
Discomfort you (my Lord) it nothing must:
For womens Feare and Loue, holds quantitie,
In neither ought, or in extremity:
Now what my loue is, proofe hath made you know,
And as my Loue is siz'd, my Feare is so.

King. Faith I must leaue thee Loue, and shortly too:
My operant Powers my Functions leaue to do:
And thou shalt liue in this faire world behinde,
Honour'd, belou'd, and haply, one as kinde.
For Husband shalt thou______

Bap. Oh confound the rest:
Such Loue, must needs be Treason in my brest:
In second Husband, let me be accurst,
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first.

Ham. Wormwood, Wormwood.

Bapt. The instances that second Marriage moue,
Are base respects of Thrift, but none of Loue.
A second time, I kill my Husband dead,
When second Husband kisses me in Bed.

King. I do beleeue you. Think what now you speak:
But what we do determine, oft we breake:
Purpose is but the slaue to Memorie,
Of violent Birth, but poore validitie:
Which now like Fruite vnripe stickes on the Tree,
But fall vnshaken, when they mellow bee.
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
To pay our selues, what to our selues is debt:
What to our selues in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of other Greefe or Ioy,
Their owne ennactors with themselues destroy:
Where Ioy most Reuels, Greefe doth most lament;
Greefe ioyes, Ioy greeues on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That euen our Loues should with our Fortunes change.
For 'tis a question left vs yet to proue,
Whether Loue lead Fortune, or else Fortune Loue.
The great man downe, you marke his fauourites flies,
The poore aduanc'd, makes Friends of Enemies:
And hitherto doth Loue on Fortune tend,
For who not needs, shall neuer lacke a Frend:
And who in want a hollow Friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his Enemie.
But orderly to end, where I begun,
Our Willes and Fates do so contrary run,
That our Deuices still are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne.
So thinke thou wilt no second Husband wed.
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.

Bap. Nor Earth to giue me food, nor Heauen light,
Sport and repose locke from me day and night:
Each opposite that blankes the face of ioy,
Meet what I would haue well, and it destroy:
Both heere, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If once a Widdow, euer I be Wise.

Ham. If she should breake it now.

King. 'Tis deepely sworne:
Sweet, leaue me heere a while,
My spirits grow dull, and faine I would beguile
The tedious day with sleepe.

Qu. Sleepe rocke thy Braine, Sleepes
And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine. Exit

Ham. Madam, how like you this Play?

Qu. The Lady protests to much me thinkes.

Ham. Oh but shee'l keepe her word.

King. Haue you heard the Argument, is there no Of-
fence in't?

Ham. No, no, they do but iest, poyson in iest, no Of-
fence i'th' world.

King. What do you call the Play?

Ham. The Mouse-trap: Marry how? Tropically:
This Play is the Image of a murder done in Vienna: Gon-
is the Dukes name, his wife Baptista: you shall see
anon: 'tis a knauish peece of worke: But what o'that?
Your Maiestie, and wee that haue free soules, it touches
vs not: let the gall'd iade winch: our withers are vnrung.
Enter Lucianus.
This is one Lucianus nephew to the King.

Ophe. You are a good Chorus, my Lord.

Ham. I could interpret betweene you and your loue:
if I could see the Puppets dallying.

Ophe. You are keene my Lord, you are keene.

Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my

Ophe. Still better and worse.

Ham. So you mistake Husbands.
Begin Murderer. Pox, leaue thy damnable Faces, and
begin. Come, the croaking Rauen doth bellow for Re-

Lucian. Thoughts blacke, hands apt,
Drugges fit, and Time agreeing:
Confederate season, else, no Creature seeing:
Thou mixture ranke, of Midnight Weeds collected,
With Hecats Ban, thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy naturall Magicke, and dire propertie,
On wholsome life, vsurpe immediately.

Powres the poyson in his eares.

Ham. He poysons him i'th' Garden for's estate: His
name's Gonzago: the Story is extant and writ in choyce
Italian. You shall see anon how the Murtherer gets the
loue of Gonzago's wife.

Ophe. The King rises.

Ham. What, frighted with false fire.

Qu. How fares my Lord?

Pol. Giue o're the Play.

King. Giue me some Light. Away.

All. Lights, Lights, Lights. Exeunt

Manet Hamlet & Horatio.

Ham. Why let the strucken Deere go weepe,
The Hart vngalled play:
For some must watch, while some must sleepe;
So runnes the world away.
Would not this Sir, and a Forrest of Feathers, if the rest of
my Fortunes turne Turke with me; with two Prouinciall
Roses on my rac'd Shooes, get me a Fellowship in a crie
of Players sir.

Hor. Halfe a share.

Ham. A whole one I,
For thou dost know: Oh Damon deere,
This Realme dismantled was of Ioue himselfe,
And now reignes heere.
A verie verie Paiocke.

Hora. You might haue Rim'd.

Ham. Oh good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for
a thousand pound. Did'st perceiue?

Hora. Verie well my Lord.

Ham. Vpon the talke of the poysoning?

Hora. I did verie well note him.

Enter Rosincrance and Guildensterne.

Ham. Oh, ha? Come some Musick. Come y Recorders:
For if the King like not the Comedie,
Why then belike he likes it not perdie.
Come some Musicke.

Guild. Good my Lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.

Ham. Sir, a whole History.

Guild. The King, sir.

Ham. I sir, what of him?

Guild. Is in his retyrement, maruellous distemper'd.

Ham. With drinke Sir?

Guild. No my Lord, rather with choller.

Ham. Your wisedome should shew it selfe more ri-cher,
to signifie this to his Doctor: for for me to put him
to his Purgation, would perhaps plundge him into farre
more Choller.

Guild. Good my Lord put your discourse into some
frame, and start not so wildely from my affayre.

Ham. I am tame Sir, pronounce.

Guild. The Queene your Mother, in most great affli-
ction of spirit, hath sent me to you.

Ham. You are welcome.

Guild. Nay, good my Lord, this courtesie is not of
the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whol-
some answer, I will doe your Mothers command'ment:
if not, your pardon, and my returne shall bee the end of
my Businesse.

Ham. Sir, I cannot.

Guild. What, my Lord?

Ham. Make you a wholsome answere: my wits dis-
eas'd. But sir, such answers as I can make, you shal com-
mand: or rather you say, my Mother: therfore no more
but to the matter. My Mother you say.

Rosin. Then thus she sayes: your behauior hath stroke
her into amazement, and admiration.

Ham. Oh wonderfull Sonne, that can so astonish a
Mother. But is there no sequell at the heeles of this Mo-
thers admiration?

Rosin. She desires to speake with you in her Closset,
ere you go to bed.

Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our Mother.
Haue you any further Trade with vs?

Rosin. My Lord, you once did loue me.

Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.

Rosin. Good my Lord, what is your cause of distem-
per? You do freely barre the doore of your owne Liber-
tie, if you deny your greefes to your Friend.

Ham. Sir I lacke Aduancement.

Rosin. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of
the King himselfe, for your Succession in Denmarke?

Ham. I, but while the grasse growes, the Prouerbe is
something musty.
Enter one with a Recorder.
O the Recorder. Let me see, to withdraw with you, why
do you go about to recouer the winde of mee, as if you
would driue me into a toyle?

Guild. O my Lord, if my Dutie be too bold, my loue
is too vnmannerly.

Ham. I do not well vnderstand that. Will you play
vpon this Pipe?

Guild. My Lord, I cannot.

Ham. I pray you.

Guild. Beleeue me, I cannot.

Ham. I do beseech you.

Guild. I know no touch of it, my Lord.

Ham. 'Tis as easie as lying: gouerne these Ventiges
with your finger and thumbe, giue it breath with your
mouth, and it will discourse most excellent Musicke.
Looke you, these are the stoppes.

Guild. But these cannot I command to any vtterance
of hermony, I haue not the skill.

Ham. Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing
you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would
seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart
of my Mysterie; you would sound mee from my lowest
Note, to the top of my Compasse: and there is much Mu-
sicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot
you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am easier to bee
plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what Instrument you will,
though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God
blesse you Sir.

Enter Polonius.

Polon. My Lord; the Queene would speak with you,
and presently.

Ham. Do you see that Clowd? that's almost in shape
like a Camell.

Polon. By'th' Masse, and it's like a Camell indeed.

Ham. Me thinkes it is like a Weazell.

Polon. It is back'd like a Weazell.

Ham. Or like a Whale?

Polon. Verie like a Whale.

Ham. Then will I come to my Mother, by and by:
They foole me to the top of my bent.
I will come by and by.

Polon. I will say so. Exit.

Ham. By and by, is easily said. Leaue me Friends:
'Tis now the verie witching time of night,
When Churchyards yawne, and Hell it selfe breaths out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter businesse as the day
Would quake to looke on. Soft now, to my Mother:
Oh Heart, loose not thy Nature; let not euer
The Soule of Nero, enter this firme bosome:
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
I will speake Daggers to her, but vse none:
My Tongue and Soule in this be Hypocrites.
How in my words someuer she be shent,
To giue them Seales, neuer my Soule consent.

[ S c e n a  T e r t i a .]

Enter King, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.

King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,
To let his madnesse range. Therefore prepare you,
I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you:
The termes of our estate, may not endure
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely grow
Out of his Lunacies.

Guild. We will our selues prouide:
Most holie and Religious feare it is
To keepe those many many bodies safe
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie.

Rosin. The single
And peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and Armour of the minde,
To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,
That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and rests
The liues of many, the cease of Maiestie
Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth draw
What's neere it, with it. It is a massie wheele
Fixt on the Somnet of the highest Mount.
To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand lesser things
Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,
Each small annexment, pettie consequence
Attends the boystrous Ruine. Neuer alone
Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone.

King. Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;
For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,
Which now goes too free-footed.

Both. We will haste vs. Exeunt Gent.

Enter Polonius.

Pol. My Lord, he's going to his Mothers Closset:
Behinde the Arras Ile conuey my selfe
To heare the Processe. Ile warrant shee'l tax him home,
And as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meete that some more audience then a Mother,
Since Nature makes them partiall, should o're-heare
The speech of vantage. Fare you well my Liege,
Ile call vpon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

King. Thankes deere my Lord.
Oh my offence is ranke, it smels to heauen,
It hath the primall eldest curse vpon't,
A Brothers murther. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharpe as will:
My stronger guilt, defeats my strong intent,
And like a man to double businesse bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect; what if this cursed hand
Were thicker then it selfe with Brothers blood,
Is there not Raine enough in the sweet Heauens
To wash it white as Snow? Whereto serues mercy,
But to confront the visage of Offence?
And what's in Prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be fore-stalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being downe? Then Ile looke vp,
My fault is past. But oh, what forme of Prayer
Can serue my turne? Forgiue me my foule Murther:
That cannot be, since I am still possest
Of those effects for which I did the Murther.
My Crowne, mine owne Ambition, and my Queene:
May one be pardon'd, and retaine th' offence?
In the corrupted currants of this world,
Offences gilded hand may shoue by Iustice,
And oft 'tis seene, the wicked prize it selfe
Buyes out the Law; but 'tis not so aboue,
There is no shuffling, there the Action lyes
In his true Nature, and we our selues compell'd
Euen to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To giue in euidence. What then? What rests?
Try what Repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched state! Oh bosome, blacke as death!
Oh limed soule, that strugling to be free,
Art more ingag'd: Helpe Angels, make assay:
Bow stubborne knees, and heart with strings of Steele,
Be soft as sinewes of the new-borne Babe,
All may be well.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying,
And now Ile doo't, and so he goes to Heauen,
And so am I reueng'd: that would be scann'd,
A Villaine killes my Father, and for that
I his foule Sonne, do this same Villaine send
To heauen. Oh this is hyre and Sallery, not Reuenge.
He tooke my Father grossely, full of bread,
With all his Crimes broad blowne, as fresh as May,
And how his Audit stands, who knowes, saue Heauen:
But in our circumstance and course of thought
'Tis heauie with him: and am I then reueng'd,
To take him in the purging of his Soule,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage? No.
Vp Sword, and know thou a more horrid hent
When he is drunke asleepe: or in his Rage,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or about some acte
That ha's no rellish of Saluation in't,
Then trip him, that his heeles may kicke at Heauen,
And that his Soule may be as damn'd and blacke
As Hell, whereto it goes. My Mother stayes,
This Physicke but prolongs thy sickly dayes. Exit.

King. My words flye vp, my thoughts remain below,
Words without thoughts, neuer to Heauen go. Exit.

[ S c e n a  Q u a r t a .]

Enter Queene and Polonius.

Pol. He will come straight:
Looke you lay home to him,
Tell him his prankes haue been too broad to beare with,
And that your Grace hath screen'd, and stoode betweene
Much heate, and him. Ile silence me e'ene heere:
Pray you be round with him.

Ham. within. Mother, mother, mother.

Qu. Ile warrant you, feare me not.
Withdraw, I heare him coming.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now Mother, what's the matter?

Qu. Hamlet, thou hast thy Father much offended.

Ham. Mother, you haue my Father much offended.

Qu. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Ham. Go, go, you question with an idle tongue.

Qu. Why how now Hamlet?

Ham. Whats the matter now?

Qu. Haue you forgot me?

Ham. No by the Rood, not so:
You are the Queene, your Husbands Brothers wife,
But would you were not so. You are my Mother.

Qu. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake.

Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not
You go not till I set you vp a glasse,
Where you may see the inmost part of you?

Qu. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me?
Helpe, helpe, hoa.

Pol. What hoa, helpe, helpe, helpe.

Ham. How now, a Rat? dead for a Ducate, dead.

Pol. Oh I am slaine. Killes Polonius.

Qu. Oh me, what hast thou done?

Ham. Nay I know not, is it the King?

Qu. Oh what a rash, and bloody deed is this?

Ham. A bloody deed, almost as bad good Mother,
As kill a King, and marrie with his Brother.

Qu. As kill a King?

Ham. I Lady, 'twas my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farewell,
I tooke thee for thy Betters, take thy Fortune,
Thou find'st to be too busie, is some danger.
Leaue wringing of your hands, peace, sit you downe,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuffe;
If damned Custome haue not braz'd it so,
That it is proofe and bulwarke against Sense.

Qu. What haue I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tong,
In noise so rude against me?

Ham. Such an Act
That blurres the grace and blush of Modestie,
Cals Vertue Hypocrite, takes off the Rose
From the faire forehead of an innocent loue,
And makes a blister there. Makes marriage vowes
As false as Dicers Oathes. Oh such a deed,
As from the body of Contraction pluckes
The very soule, and sweete Religion makes
A rapsidie of words. Heauens face doth glow,
Yea this solidity and compound masse,
With tristfull visage as against the doome,
Is thought-sicke at the act.

Qu. Aye me; what act, that roares so lowd, & thun-
ders in the Index.

Ham. Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
The counterfet presentment of two Brothers:
See what a grace was seated on his Brow,
Hyperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command
A Station, like the Herald Mercurie
New lighted on a heauen-kissing hill:
A Combination, and a forme indeed,
Where euery God did seeme to set his Seale,
To giue the world assurance of a man.
This was your Husband. Looke you now what followes.
Heere is your Husband, like a Mildew'd eare
Blasting his wholsom breath. Haue you eyes?
Could you on this faire Mountaine leaue to feed,
And batten on this Moore? Ha? Haue you eyes?
You cannot call it Loue: For at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waites vpon the Iudgement: and what Iudgement
Would step from this, to this? What diuell was't,
That thus hath cousend you at hoodman-blinde?
O Shame! where is thy Blush? Rebellious Hell,
If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones,
To flaming youth, let Vertue be as waxe.
And melt in her owne fire. Proclaime no shame,
When the compulsiue Ardure giues the charge,
Since Frost it selfe, as actiuely doth burne,
As Reason panders Will.

Qu. O Hamlet, speake no more.
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soule,
And there I see such blacke and grained spots,
As will not leaue their Tinct.

Ham. Nay, but to liue
In the ranke sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in Corruption; honying and making loue
Ouer the nasty Stye.

Qu. Oh speake to me, no more,
These words like Daggers enter in mine eares.
No more sweet Hamlet.

Ham. A Murderer, and a Villaine:
A Slaue, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of your precedent Lord. A vice of Kings,
A Cutpurse of the Empire and the Rule.
That from a shelfe, the precious Diadem stole,
And put it in his Pocket.

Qu. No more.

Enter Ghost.

Ham. A King of shreds and patches.
Saue me; and houer o're me with your wings
You heauenly Guards. What would your gracious figure?

Qu. Alas he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy Sonne to chide,
That laps't in Time and Passion, lets go by
Th' important acting of your dread command? Oh say.

Ghost. Do not forget: this Visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But looke, Amazement on thy Mother sits;
O step betweene her, and her fighting Soule,
Conceit in weakest bodies, strongest workes.
Speake to her Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you Lady?

Qu. Alas, how is't with you?
That you bend your eye on vacancie,
And with their corporall ayre do hold discourse.
Forth at your eyes, your spirits wildely peepe,
And as the sleeping Soldiours in th' Alarme,
Your bedded haire, like life in excrements,
Start vp, and stand an end. Oh gentle Sonne,
Vpon the heate and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle coole patience. Whereon do you looke?

Ham. On him, on him: look you how pale he glares,
His forme and cause conioyn'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capeable. Do not looke vpon me,
Least with this pitteous action you conuert
My sterne effects: then what I haue to do,
Will want true colour; teares perchance for blood.

Qu. To who do you speake this?

Ham. Do you see nothing there?

Qu. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.

Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?

Qu. No, nothing but our selues.

Ham. Why look you there: looke how it steals away:
My Father in his habite, as he liued,
Looke where he goes euen now out at the Portall. Exit.

Qu. This is the very coynage of your Braine,
This bodilesse Creation extasie is very cunning in.

Ham. Extasie?
My Pulse as yours doth temperately keepe time,
And makes as healthfull Musicke. It is not madnesse
That I haue vttered; bring me to the Test
And I the matter will re-word: which madnesse
Would gamboll from. Mother, for loue of Grace,
Lay not a flattering Vnction to your soule,
That not your trespasse, but my madnesse speakes:
It will but skin and filme the Vlcerous place,
Whil'st ranke Corruption mining all within,
Infects vnseene. Confesse your selfe to Heauen,
Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
And do not spred the Compost on the Weedes,
To make them ranke. Forgiue me this my Vertue,
For in the fatnesse of this pursie times,
Vertue it selfe, of Vice must pardon begge,
Yea courb, and woe, for leaue to do him good.

Qu. Oh Hamlet,
Thou hast cleft my heart in twaine.

Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
And liue the purer with the other halfe.
Good night, but go not to mine Vnkles bed,
Assume a Vertue, if you haue it not, refraine to night,
And that shall lend a kinde of easinesse
To the next abstinence. Once more goodnight,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
Ile blessing begge of you. For this same Lord,
I do repent: but heauen hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their Scourge and Minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gaue him: so againe, good night.
I must be cruell, onely to be kinde;
Thus bad begins and worse remaines behinde.

Qu. What shall I do?

Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you do:
Let the blunt King tempt you againe to bed,
Pinch Wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
And let him for a paire of reechie kisses,
Or padling in your necke with his damn'd Fingers,
Make you to rauell all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madnesse,
But made in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
Would from a Paddocke, from a Bat, a Gibbe,
Such deere concernings hide, Who would do so,
No in despight of Sense and Secrecie,
Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top:
Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape
To try Conclusions in the Basket, creepe
And breake your owne necke downe.

Qu. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life: I haue no life to breath
What thou hast saide to me.

Ham. I must to England, you know that?

Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on.

Ham. This man shall set me packing:
Ile lugge the Guts into the Neighbor roome,
Mother goodnight. Indeede this Counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
Who was in life, a foolish prating Knaue.
Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night Mother.
Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius.
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