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That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice,
And he, repulsed, (a short tale to make,)
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast;
Thence to a watch; thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness : and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.
King.

Do you think, 'tis this?
Queen. It may be, very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know that,)
That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it prov’d otherwise ?
King.

Not that I know.
Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise :

[Pointing to his head and shoulder.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.
King.

How may we try it further ?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks for hours together,
Here in the lobby.
Queen.

So he does, indeed.
Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him :
Be you and I behind an arras then;
Mark the encounter; if he love her not,
And be not from his reason fallen thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm, and carters.
King

We will try it.

Enter HAMLET, reading. Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away ; I'll board him presently :-0, give me leave.

(Exeunt King, QUEEN, and Attendants. How does my good lord Hamlet ?

Ham. Excellent well.
Pol. Do you know me, my lord ?
Ham. Excellent well ; you are a fishmonger.
Pol. Not I, my lord.
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my lord ?

Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion,—Have you a daughter ?

leave of you.

Pol. (Aside.] Still harping on my daughter —yet he knew me not at first; he said was a fishmonger : He is far gone, far gone : and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love: very near this. I'll speak to him again.-What do you read, my lord ?

Ham. Words, words, words !
Pol. What is the matter, my lord ?
Ham. Between who?
Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have gray beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum; and thai they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty vo have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. Aside.] Will

you walk out of the air, my lord ? Ham. Into my grave ?

Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.—How pregnant sometimes his replies are ! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.—My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my

Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal ; except my life, except my life, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet ; there he is.
Ros. Heaven save you, sir !

[ To POLONIUS.

[Exit POLONIUS. Guil. My honor'd lord !

Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern ? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both? What news ?

Ros. None, my lord ;- but that the world's grown honest.

Ham. Then is doomsday near : But your news is not true. But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore ?

Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come ;

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?

Ham. Any thing—but to the purpose. You were sent for; and here is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties nave not craft enough to color: 'I know, the good king and queen have sent for you.

nay, speak.

Ros. To what end, my lord ?

Ham. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a letter proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no ? Ros. What say you ?

[To GUILDENSTERN. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you; [Aside.)—if you love me, hold not off.

Guil. My lord, we were sent for.

Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises : and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form, and moving, how express and admirable ! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what iš this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.

Ros. My lord, there is no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, Man delights not

Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive for you: we met them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service.

Ham. He that plays the king shall be welcome ; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil and target : the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall end his part in peace : the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o’the sere; and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for ’t.—What players are they?

Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.

llam. How chances it, they travel ? their residence, both in repuation and profit, was better both ways.

Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.

Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed ?

Ros. No, indeed, they are not.

Ham. It is not very strange: for my uncle is king of Denmark ; and those, that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in

me?

little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.

[Flourish of trumpets within. Guil. There are the players.

Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. You are welcome: but my uncle-father, and aunt-mother, are deceived.

Guil. In what, my dear lord ? Ham. I am but mad north-northwest: when the wind is southeriy know a hawk from a handsaw.

Enter POLONIUS. Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen! Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern,—and you too ;-at each ear a hearer; that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling clothes.

Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.

Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark --You say right, sir : o' Monday morning ; 'twas then, indeed.

Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.

Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome,

Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord.
Hum. Buz, buz!
Pol. Upon my honor,-
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass,

Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical, historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited : Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.

Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel,--what a treasure hadst thou !
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ?
Ham. Why-One fair daughter, and no more,

The which he loved passing well.
Pol. Still on my daughter.

[Aside. Ham. Am not İ i’ the right, old Jephthah ?

Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well.

Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows then, my lord ?

Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know, It came to pass, As most like it was,- The first row of the pious chanson will show you more; for look, my abridgment comes.

The Players enter, and at Hamlet's request, the first player recites a spernh. Ham. Tis well ; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed ? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract, and brief chronicles, of the time: After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill re bort while you

Ine.
Pol. My lord, I will use hem according to their desert..

Ham. Much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping! Use them after your own honor and dignity: The less they deserve the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. Pol. Come, sirs.

[Exit POLONIUS with some of the Players. Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play to-morrow. Dost thou hear me, old friend ; can you play the murder of Gonzago ?

1st Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. We'll have it to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in't ? could you not ?

1st Play. Ay, my lord. Ham. Very well,-follow that lord; and look you mock him not. [Exit Player.]. My good friends, [To Ros. and GUIL.] I'll leave you till night : you are welcome to Elsinore. Ros. Good

my
lord.

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Ham. Ay, so, heaven be wi' you Now I am alone.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous, that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That from her working all his visage wann'd;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing !,
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her ? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear, with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed,
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing ; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward ?
Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate across ?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this ?
Ha!
Why, I should take it : for it cannot be,
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall,

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