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To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal:
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave;
Fye upon't! foh! About my brains! Humph! I have heard.
That guilty creatures sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presentıy
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 ;
!!!] 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,)
Abuses 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.




SCENE I. -A Room in the Castle.


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 distracted ;
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 you well ?
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.

Did you assay him
To any pastime ?

Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
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 content me
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.


Sweet Gertrude, leave us too:
For we have closely sent for Hamlet bither;
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia :
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,)
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge :
And gather by him, as he is behav’d,
It’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,
To both your honors.

Madam, I wish it may. [Exit QUEEN
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here :-Gracious, so please you,
We will bestow ourselves :-Read on this book; ( TO OPPELLA
That show of such an exercise may color
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.

O, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience!
Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord.

[Exeunt King and PO ONIUS

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 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.


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;
pray you, now receive them.

No, not I;
I never gave you aught.

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. l'here, my lord.

lamlet falls into a wild extravagance of speech, and then exita

Oph. O, whɛt 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.
Lixe sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy: 0, 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’or 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 ail.—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 ir great ones must not unwatch'd go.

| Exeuni SCENE II.-A Hall in the same.

Enter HAMLET, and certain Players. Hur. 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

you, avoid it.

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 ail 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 peric wig-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 cut-herods Heiva: pray

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. Ö, 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

(Exeunt Plavers. Ham. What, ho; Horatio !

Enter 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 goou spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd 9
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear ?

you ready

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