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tion of the play be then to be considered: that's villainous: and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.—

[Exeunt Players.



How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece of


Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.

Ham. Bid the players make haste.

Will you two help to hasten them?

Both. Ay, my lord.

[Exit Polonius.

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Ham. What, ho; 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 good spirits,

To feed, and clothe thee? Why should the poor be


No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp;

And crook the pregnant 64 hinges of the knee,

Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?



Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,

And could of men distinguish her election,

She hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards

Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and bless'd are those,
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger

To sound what stop she please: Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.-Something too much of this.-
There is a play to-night before the king;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
I pr'ythee, when thou seest that act a-foot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe my uncle: if his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen;
And my imaginations are as foul

As Vulcan's stithy 65. Give him heedful note:

For I mine eyes will rivet to his face;

And, after, we will both our judgements join

In censure of his seeming.


Well, my lord:

If he steal aught, the whilst this play is playing,

And scape detecting, I will pay the theft.

Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle: Get you a place.

Danish march. A flourish. Enter King, Queen, PoLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSEN CRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Others.

King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?

Ham. Excellent, i'faith; of the camelion's dish: I eat the air, promise-cramm'd: You cannot feed capons so,

King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.

Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord,-you play'd once in the university, you say? [To Polonius. Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.

Ham. And what did you enact?

Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was kill'd i'the Capitol; Brutus kill'd me.

Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.-Be the players ready?

Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience. Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.

Pol. O ho! do you mark that?

Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

Oph. No, my lord.

[To the King.

[Lying down at Ophelia's feet.

Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap?

Oph. Ay, my lord.

Ham. Do you think, I meant country matters?

Oph. I think nothing, my lord.

Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maids'


Oph. What is, my lord?

Ham. Nothing.

Oph. You are merry, my lord.

Ham. Who, I?

Oph. Ay, my lord.

Ham. O! your only jig-maker 66. What should a man do, but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.

Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.

Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables 67. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobbyhorse 68 whose epitaph is, For, O, for, O, the hobbyhorse is forgot.


Trumpets sound. The dumb show follows.


Enter a king and a queen, very lovingly; the queen bracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers; she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon, comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the king's ears, and exit. The

queen returns; finds the king dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end, accepts his love. [Exeunt.

Oph. What means this, my lord?

Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho 69; it means mischief.

Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play.

Enter Prologue.

Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.

Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant?

Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: 70 Be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you

what it means.

Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play.


For us, and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,

We beg your hearing patiently.

Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?

Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord.

Ham. As woman's love.

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