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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 heartache, 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
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,--puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.-Soft you, now!
The fair Ophelia ;-Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.


Good my lord,

How does your honor for this many a day?
Ham. I humbly thank you; well.

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours
That I have longed long to re-deliver;

I pray you, now receive them.


I never gave you aught.

No, not I;

Oph. My honor'd lord, you know right well, you did;
And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd
As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
Take these again; for to the noble mind,

Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.

Hamlet falls into a wild extravagance of speech, and then exits.

Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,

The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,
The observ'd of all observers! quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me!

To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
Re-enter KING and POLONIUS.

King. Love his affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. There's something in his soul,
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood:

And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose,

Will be some danger: Which for to prevent,

I have, in quick determination,

Thus set it down; He shall with speed to England

For the demand of our neglected tribute :
Haply, the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel

This something-settled matter in his heart;
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
Pol. It shall do well; but yet I do believe,
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love.-How now, Ophelia ?
You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said;
We heard it all.-My lord, do as you please;
But, if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief; let her be round with him;
And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference: If she find him not,
To England send him or confine him, where
Your wisdom best shall think.


It shall be so:

Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.

SCENE H.-A Hall in the same.

Enter HAMLET, and certain Players.


Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our play

ers do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.

1st Play. I warrant, your honor.

Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

1st Play. I hope, we have reformed that indifferently with us.

Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them; for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villanous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready [Exeunt Players.

Ham. What, ho; Horatio!


Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.

Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man

As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.

Hor. O, my dear lord,—


Nay, do not think I flatter:

For what advancement may I hope from thee,

That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits,

To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd ?

No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp;

And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,

Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?

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Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
She hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards

Hath ta'en with equal thanks: and bless'd are those,
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.—
There is a play to-night before the king:
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
I pr'ythee, when thou seest that act a-foot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe my uncle: if his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen;
And my imaginations are as foul

As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note:

For I mine eyes will rivet to his face;

And, after, we will both our judgments join

In censure of his seeming.

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Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle : Get you a place.

Danish march. A flourish.



King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?

Ham. Excellent, i'faith; of the camelion's dish:

I eat the air promise-crammed: You cannot feed capons so.

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

Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord,—you played once in the university, you say?


Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?

Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i'the Capitol ; Brutus killed me.

Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.Be the players ready?

Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.
Pol. O ho! do you mark that?

[To the KING.

Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

Oph. You are merry, my lord.
Ham. Who, I?

Oph. Ay, my lord.

[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet.

Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.

Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.

Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build churches then.

Oph. What means the play, my lord?

Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
Oph. But what is the argument of the play?

Enter Prologue.

Ham. We shall know by this fellow.

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.

The play selected by Hamlet is performed before the court; in which the supposed murder of his father is exhibited.

The player Queen protests to her husband-that

-Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,

f, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Ham. If she should break it now,

P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn.

My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile

The tedious day with sleep.

P. Queen.


Sweet, leave me here a while;


Sleep rock thy brain,


And never come mischance between us twain!

Ham. Madam, how like you this play?

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. 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

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