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or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and in-
sert in't? could you not?
1 Play. Ay, my
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.
[Exeunt RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
HAM. Ay, so, God be wi' you:*_Now I am alone. buy'se,
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous, (59) 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 warm’d; (6)
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting, (61)
With forms to his conceit? (62) And all for nothing!
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 (6) 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.
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
defeat was made] Overthrow. See M. ado, &c. IV. 1. Leon.
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
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 *bloudy, a. With this slave's offal: Bloody, * bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless a vil
lain! O vengeance !
Who? What an ass am I ? ay sure, this is most brave; . dear fa- That I, the son of a Dear murdered, * Cered, stos. Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion !
Fye upon't! foh! About my brains ? I have
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these 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 but blench,
I know my course. The spirit, that I have seen,
May be the 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,)
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this :d The play's the thing,
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
kindless] Unnatural. See “ kin and kind," 1. 2. Haml.
b about my brains] Wits to work. Mr. Steevens points out
the phrase in Heywood's Iron age, 1632.
« blench] Shrink, start aside. See M. for M. V. 5. Duke, and Wint. T. I, 2. Camil.
& more relative than this] - Directly applicable.
Enter King, Queen, Polonius, OPHELIA, Rosen
CRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
KING. And can you, by no drift of circumstance* 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 distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Guil. Nor do we findhim forward to be sounded; But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, When we would bring him on to some confession Of his true state.
QUEEN. Did he receive Ros. Most like a gentleman. Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition. Ros. Niggard of question®; but, of our demands, Most free in his reply. QUEEN.
Did you assay him To any pastime?
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
* drift of circumstance] Introduction and shaping of topics and facts. The quartos read conference. forward] Disposed, inclinable.
niggard of question, &c.] Rarely started any topic, but to our questions most frank and open in answering.
assay him to] Try his disposition towards. See II. 1. Polon. and 2 Volt.
We o'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 court;
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.
'Tis most true :
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
To hear and see the matter.
King. With all my heart; and it doth much
To hear him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Ros. We shall, my lord.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. KING.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too: For we have closely (1) sent for Hamlet hither;
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here heere 4tos. Affront Ophelia : (2)
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,")
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen,
of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
If't be the affliction of his love, or no,
That thus he suffers for.
I shall obey you:
And, for your part, Ophelia, I do wish,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope, your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
Madam, I wish it may.
* o'er-raught on the way] Reached or overtook. “Was not the samyn misfortoun me over-raucht ?" Gaw. Dougl. Æn.
STEEVENS. lawful espials] Spies justifiably inquisitive. See 1 H. VI. Master Gunner, 1. 4.
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
Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,-
'Tis too much prov’d, a that, with devotion's
And pious action, we do sugar* o'er
The devil himself.
O, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience!
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plast’ring art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
O heavy burden!
[Aside. Pol, I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord. .
[E.reunt King and POLONIUS.
• So 4tos. Surge. 1623, 32.
HAM. To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer (3)
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, (4)
And, by opposing, end them ?- 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 consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die ;-to sleep ;-
To sleep! perchance to dream;-ay, there's the
* too much proved] Found by too frequent experience.
JOHNSON. More ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word.] To is, in comparison, with. See All's W. III. 5, Hel. Painted is falsely coloured.