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Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good. 1 Play, Run barefoot up and down, threatning
the flames With bisson rheum ; a clout upon that head, Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe, About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins, A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up; Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd, 'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pro
nounc'd: But if the gods themselves did see her then, When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs : The instant burst of clamour thut she made (Unless things mortal move them not at all), Would have made milch the burning eye of heaven, And passion in the gods.
Pol. Look, whether he has not turn'd his colour, and has tears in's his eyes.--'Prytbee, no more.
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, ihan their ill report while you live.
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who sball'scape whipping? Use them after your own honour 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?
1 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?
1 Play. Ay, my lord. Ham. Very well.-- Follow that lord; and
look you mock him not. (Erit Player.] My good friends [To Ros. and GUIL.] I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore. Ros. Good my lord !
[Ereunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. Ay, so, God 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's aspect, A broken voice, and bis 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 paté across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie 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-liver'd, and lack gall To make oppression bitter; or, ere this, I should have fatted all the region kites With this slave's offal: Bloody, bawdy villain ! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless
villain! Why, what an ass am 1? This is most brave; That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
I have heard,
players Play something like the murder of my father, Before mine uncle; I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick; if he do blench, I know my course. The spirit, that I have seen, May be a devil: and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy (As he is very potent with such spirits), A buses me to damn me: I'll have grounds More relative than this: The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king:
ACT III. SCENE I. A Room in the Castle. Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSEN
CRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN. King. And can you, by no drift of conference Get from him why he puts on this confusion; Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy? Ros. He does confess, he feels himself dis
tracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak. Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be
sounded; But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, When we would bring him on to some confession Of his true state.
Did he receive
Ros. Most like a gentleman. Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition. Ros. Niggard of question; but, of ourdemands, Most free in his reply. Queen.
Did you assay him To any pastime?
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players Weo'er-raught on the way: of these we told him; And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it: They are about the conrt; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. Pol.
'Tis most true:
(Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
I shall obey, you:
Madam, I wish it may.
(Erit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here :-Gracious, so
please you, We will bestow ourselves:-Read on this book;
[TO OPHELIA. That show of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness.We are oft to blame in this,'Tis too much prov'd,
that, with devotion's visage, And pious action, we do sugar o'er The devil himself. King.
0, 'tis too true! how smart A lash that speech doth give my conscience! The barlot's cheek, beautied with plastring art, Is not more ugly to the thing that frelps it, Than is my deed to my most painted word: O heavy burden!
Aside. Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord. [Exeunt King and POLONIUS.
Enter HAMLET. Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question : Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end tbem-To die,--to
sleep, No more;-and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consommation 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 con
tumely, 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 grunt 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?