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ACT THE THIRD.
A Theatre in the Palace.
Enter POLONIUS, QUEEN, KING, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
King. And can you by no drift of conference
When we would bring him on to some confession
Queen. 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.
Pol. "Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
King. With all my heart; and it doth much con
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 GUILDENSTERN and Rosencrantz. King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too:
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither;
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,)
Queen. 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 honours.
Oph. Madam, I wish it may.
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here:
Read on this book;
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. 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 POLONIUS.
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,
And, by opposing, end them?-To die?—to sleep,-
The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Oph. Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
Ham. No, not I;
I never gave you aught.
Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well, you did;
And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.
Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest ?
Ham. Are you fair?
Oph. What means your lordship?
Ham. That, if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.
Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?
Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.
Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. Ham. You should not have believ'd me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it: I lov'd you not.
Oph. I was the more deceiv'd.
Ham. Get thee to a nunnery: Why would'st thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in: What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and Heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us: Go thy ways to a nunnery. -Where's your father?
Oph. At home, my lord. Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him; that he may play the fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
Oph. O help him, you sweet Heavens!
Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go.
Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him!
Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; Heaven hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp; you nickname Heaven's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance: Go to; Ill no more of't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. [Exit HAMLET. Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! 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 ladics 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. O, woe is me!
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see! [Exit OPHELIA.
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