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About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Secunda.
    Enter King, Queene, Ro sincrane, and Guilden-
    1020 sterne Cumaliys
    King. Welcome deere Ro sincrance and Guilden sterne.
    Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
    The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke
    Our ha stie sending. Something haue you heard
    1025Of Hamlets transformation: so I call it,
    Since not th'exterior, nor the inward man
    Resembles that it was. What it should bee
    More then his Fathers death, that thus hath put him
    So much from th'vnder standing of himselfe,
    1030I cannot deeme of. I intreat you both,
    That being of so young dayes brought vp with him:
    And since so Neighbour'd to his youth, and humour,
    That you vouchsafe your re st heere in our Court
    Some little time: so by your Companies
    1035To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
    So much as from Occa sions you may gleane,
    That open'd lies within our remedie.
    Qu. Good Gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
    And sure I am, two men there are not liuing,
    1040To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
    To shew vs so much Gentrie, and good will,
    As to expend your time with vs a-while,
    For the supply and profit of our Hope,
    Your Vi sitation shall receiue such thankes
    1045As fits a Kings remembrance.
    Ro sin. Both your Maie sties
    Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs,
    Put your dread pleasures, more into Command
    Then to Entreatie.
    1050 Guil. We both obey,
    And here giue vp our selues, in the full bent,
    To lay our Seruices freely at your feete,
    To be commanded.
    King. Thankes Ro sincrance, and gentle Guilden sterne.
    1055 Qu. Thankes Guilden sterne and gentle Ro sincrance.
    And I beseech you in stantly to vi sit
    My too much changed Sonne.
    Go some of ye,
    And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is.
    1060 Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises
    Pleasant and helpfull to him. Exit.
    Queene. Amen.
    Enter Polonius.
    Pol. Th'Amba s s adors from Norwey, my good Lord,
    1065Are ioyfully return'd.
    King. Thou still ha st bin the Father of good Newes.
    Pol. Haue I, my Lord? A s s ure you, my good Liege,
    I hold my dutie, as I hold my Soule,
    Both to my God, one to my gracious King:
    1070And I do thinke, or else this braine of mine
    Hunts not the traile of Policie, so sure
    As I haue vs'd to do: that I haue found
    The very cause of Hamlets Lunacie.
    King. Oh speake of that, that I do long to heare.
    1075 Pol. Giue fir st admittance to th'Amba s s adors,
    My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Fea st.
    King. Thy selfe do grace to them, and bring them in.
    He tels me my sweet Queene, that he hath found
    The head and sourse of all your Sonnes di stemper.
    1080 Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine,
    His Fathers death, and our o're-ha sty Marriage.
    Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.
    King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends:
    Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey?
    1085 Volt. Mo st faire returne of Greetings, and De sires.
    Vpon our fir st, he sent out to suppre s s e
    His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd
    To be a preparation 'gain st the Poleak:
    But better look'd into, he truly found
    1090It was again st your Highne s s e, whereat greeued,
    That so his Sickne s s e, Age, and Impotence
    Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arre sts
    On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes,
    Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine,
    1095Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more
    To giue th'a s s ay of Armes again st your Maie stie.
    Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy,
    Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee,
    And his Commi s sion to imploy those Soldiers
    1100So leuied as before, again st the Poleak:
    With an intreaty heerein further shewne,
    That it might please you to giue quiet pa s s e
    Through your Dominions, for his Enterprize,
    On such regards of safety and allowance,
    1105As therein are set downe.
    King. It likes vs well:
    And at our more con sider'd time wee'l read,
    Answer, and thinke vpon this Bu sine s s e.
    Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour.
    1110Go to your re st, at night wee'l Fea st together.
    Mo st welcome home. Exit Ambass.
    Pol. This bu sine s s e is very well ended.
    My Liege, and Madam, to expo stulate
    What Maie stie should be, what Dutie is,
    1115Why day is day; night, night; and time is time,
    Were nothing but to wa ste Night, Day, and Time.
    Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit,
    And tediousne s s e, the limbes and outward flouri shes,
    I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad:
    1120Mad call I it; for to define true Madne s s e,
    What is't, but to be nothing else but mad.
    But let that go.
    Qu. More matter, with le s s e Art.
    Pol. Madam, I sweare I vse no Art at all:
    1125That he is mad, 'tis true: 'Tis true 'tis pittie,
    And pittie it is true: A fooli sh figure,
    But farewell it: for I will vse no Art.
    Mad let vs grant him then: and now remaines
    That we finde out the cause of this effect,
    1130Or rather say, the cause of this defect;
    For this effect defectiue, comes by cause,
    Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus. Perpend,
    I haue a daughter: haue, whil' st she is mine,
    Who in her Dutie and Obedience, marke,
    1135Hath giuen me this: now gather, and surmise.
    The Letter.
    To the Cele stiall, and my Soules Idoll, the mo st beautifed O -
    That's an ill Phrase, a vilde Phrase, beautified is a vilde
    1140Phrase: but you shall heare these in her excellent white
    bosome, these.
    Qu. Came this from Hamlet to her.
    Pol. Good Madam stay awhile, I will be faithfull.
    Doubt thou, the Starres are fire,
    1145 Doubt, that the Sunne doth moue:
    Doubt Truth to be a Lier,
    But neuer Doubt, I loue.
    O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these Numbers: I haue not Art to
    reckon my grones; but that I loue thee be st, oh mo st Be st be-
    1150 leeue it. Adieu.
    Thine euermore mo st deere Lady, whil st this
    Machine is to him, Hamlet.
    This in Obedience hath my daughter shew'd me:
    And more aboue hath his soliciting,
    1155As they fell out by Time, by Meanes, and Place,
    All giuen to mine eare.
    King. But how hath she receiu'd his Loue?
    Pol. What do you thinke of me?
    King. As of a man, faithfull and Honourable.
    1160 Pol. I wold faine proue so. But what might you think?
    When I had seene this hot loue on the wing,
    As I perceiued it, I mu st tell you that
    Before my Daughter told me what might you
    Or my deere Maie stie your Queene heere, think,
    1165If I had playd the Deske or Table-booke,
    Or giuen my heart a winking, mute and dumbe,
    Or look'd vpon this Loue, with idle sight,
    What might you thinke? No, I went round to worke,
    And (my yong Mi stris) thus I did bespeake
    1170Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,
    This mu st not be: and then, I Precepts gaue her,
    That she should locke her selfe from his Resort,
    Admit no Me s s engers, receiue no Tokens:
    Which done, she tooke the Fruites of my Aduice,
    1175And he repulsed. A short Tale to make,
    Fell into a Sadne s s e, then into a Fa st,
    Thence to a Watch, thence into a Weakne s s e,
    Thence to a Lightne s s e, and by this declen sion
    Into the Madne s s e whereon now he raues,
    1180And all we waile for.
    King. Do you thinke 'tis this?
    Qu. It may be very likely.
    Pol. Hath there bene such a time, I'de fain know that,
    That I haue po s sitiuely said, 'tis so,
    1185When it prou'd otherwise?
    King. Not that I know.
    Pol. Take this from this; if this be otherwise,
    If Circum stances leade me, I will finde
    Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede
    1190Within the Center.
    King. How may we try it further?
    Pol. You know sometimes
    He walkes foure houres together, heere
    In the Lobby.
    1195 Qu. So he ha's indeed.
    Pol. At such a time Ile loose my Daughter to him,
    Be you and I behinde an Arras then,
    Marke the encounter: If he loue her not,
    And be not from his reason falne thereon;
    1200Let me be no A s si stant for a State,
    And keepe a Farme and Carters.
    King. We will try it.
    Enter Hamlet reading on a Booke.
    Qu. But looke where sadly the poore wretch
    1205Comes reading.
    Pol. Away I do beseech you, both away,
    Ile boord him presently. Exit King & Queen.
    Oh giue me leaue. How does my good Lord Hamlet?
    Ham. Well, God-a-mercy.
    1210 Pol. Do you know me, my Lord?
    Ham. Excellent, excellent well: y'are a Fi shmonger.
    Pol. Not I my Lord.
    Ham. Then I would you were so hone st a man.
    Pol. Hone st, my Lord?
    1215 Ham. I sir, to be hone st as this world goes, is to bee
    one man pick'd out of two thousand.
    Pol. That's very true, my Lord.
    Ham. For if the Sun breed Magots in a dead dogge,
    being a good ki s sing Carrion-----
    1220Haue you a daughter?
    Pol. I haue my Lord.
    Ham. Let her not walke i'th'Sunne: Conception is a
    ble s sing, but not as your daughter may conceiue. Friend
    looke too't.
    1225 Pol. How say you by that? Still harping on my daugh-
    ter: yet he knew me not at fir st; he said I was a Fi shmon-
    ger: he is farre gone, farre gone: and truly in my youth,
    I suffred much extreamity for loue: very neere this. Ile
    speake to him againe. What do you read my Lord?
    1230 Ham. Words, words, words.
    Pol. What is the matter, my Lord?
    Ham. Betweene who?
    Pol. I meane the matter you meane, my Lord.
    Ham. Slanders Sir: for the Satyricall slaue saies here,
    1235that old men haue gray Beards; that their faces are wrin-
    kled; their eyes purging thicke Amber, or Plum-Tree
    Gumme: and that they haue a plentifull locke of Wit,
    together with weake Hammes. All which Sir, though I
    mo st powerfully, and potently beleeue; yet I holde it
    1240not Hone stie to haue it thus set downe: For you your
    selfe Sir, should be old as I am, if like a Crab you could
    go backward.
    Pol. Though this be madne s s e,
    Yet there is Method in't: will you walke
    1245Out of the ayre my Lord?
    Ham. Into my Graue?
    Pol. Indeed that is out o'th' Ayre:
    How pregnant (sometimes) his Replies are?
    A happine s s e,
    1250That often Madne s s e hits on,
    Which Reason and Sanitie could not
    So prosperou sly be deliuer'd of.
    I will leaue him,
    And sodainely contriue the meanes of meeting
    1255Betweene him, and my daughter.
    My Honourable Lord, I will mo st humbly
    Take my leaue of you.
    Ham. You cannot Sir take from me any thing, that I
    will more willingly part withall, except my life, my
    Polon. Fare you well my Lord.
    Ham. These tedious old fooles.
    Polon. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet; there
    hee is.
    1265 Enter Ro sincran and Guilden sterne.
    Ro sin. God saue you Sir.
    Guild. Mine honour'd Lord?
    Ro sin. My mo st deare Lord?
    Ham. My excellent good friends? How do' st thou
    1270 Guilden sterne? Oh, Ro sincrane; good Lads: How doe ye
    Ro sin. As the indifferent Children of the earth.
    Guild. Happy, in that we are not ouer-happy: on For-
    tunes Cap, we are not the very Button.
    1275 Ham. Nor the Soales of her Shoo?
    Ro sin. Neither my Lord.
    Ham. Then you liue about her wa ste, or in the mid-
    dle of her fauour?
    Guil. Faith, her priuates, we.
    1280 Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, mo st true:
    she is a Strumpet. What's the newes?
    Ro sin. None my Lord; but that the World's growne
    hone st.
    Ham. Then is Doomesday neere: But your newes is
    1285not true. Let me que stion more in particular: what haue
    you my good friends, deserued at the hands of Fortune,
    that she sends you to Prison hither?
    Guil. Prison, my Lord?
    Ham. Denmark's a Prison.
    1290 Ro sin. Then is the World one.
    Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many Con-
    fines, Wards, and Dungeons; Denmarke being one o'th'
    wor st.
    Ro sin. We thinke not so my Lord.
    1295 Ham. Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
    either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is
    a prison.
    Ro sin. Why then your Ambition makes it one: 'tis
    too narrow for your minde.
    1300 Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell, and
    count my selfe a King of infinite space; were it not that
    I haue bad dreames.
    Guil. Which dreames indeed are Ambition: for the
    very sub stance of the Ambitious, is meerely the shadow
    1305of a Dreame.
    Ham. A dreame it selfe is but a shadow.
    Ro sin. Truely, and I hold Ambition of so ayry and
    light a quality, that it is but a shadowes shadow.
    Ham. Then are our Beggers bodies; and our Mo-
    1310narchs and out- stretcht Heroes the Beggers Shadowes:
    shall wee to th' Court: for, by my fey I cannot rea-
    Both. Wee'l wait vpon you.
    Ham. No such matter. I will not sort you with the
    1315re st of my seruants: for to speake to you like an hone st
    man: I am mo st dreadfully attended; but in the beaten
    way of friend ship, What make you at Elsonower?
    Ro sin. To vi sit you my Lord, no other occa sion.
    Ham. Begger that I am, I am euen poore in thankes;
    1320but I thanke you: and sure deare friends my thanks
    are too deare a halfepeny; were you not sent for? Is it
    your owne inclining? Is it a free vi sitation? Come,
    deale iu stly with me: come, come; nay speake.
    Guil. What should we say my Lord?
    1325 Ham. Why any thing. But to the purpose; you were
    sent for; and there is a kinde confe s sion in your lookes;
    which your mode sties haue not craft enough to co-
    lor, I know the good King & Queene haue sent for you.
    Ro sin. To what end my Lord?
    1330 Ham. That you mu st teach me: but let mee coniure
    you by the rights of our fellow ship, by the consonancy of
    our youth, by the Obligation of our euer-preserued loue,
    and by what more deare, a better proposer could charge
    you withall; be euen and direct with me, whether you
    1335were sent for or no.
    Ro sin. What say you?
    Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you: if you loue me
    hold not off.
    Guil. My Lord, we were sent for.
    1340 Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
    preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and
    Queene: moult no feather, I haue of late, but wherefore
    I know not, lo st all my mirth, forgone all cu stome of ex-
    ercise; and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my dispo siti-
    1345on; that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a ster-
    rill Promontory; this mo st excellent Canopy the Ayre,
    look you, this braue ore-hanging, this Maie sticall Roofe,
    fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
    to mee, then a foule and pe stilent congregation of va-
    1350pours. What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
    Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing
    how expre s s e and admirable? in Action, how like an An-
    gel? in apprehen sion, how like a God? the beauty of the
    world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
    1355this Quinte s s ence of Du st? Man delights not me; no,
    nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
    to say so.
    Ro sin. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my
    1360 Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights
    not me?
    Ro sin. To thinke, my Lord, if you delight not in Man,
    what Lenton entertainment the Players shall receiue
    from you: wee coated them on the way, and hither are
    1365they comming to offer you Seruice.
    Ham. He that playes the King shall be welcome; his
    Maie sty shall haue Tribute of mee: the aduenturous
    Knight shal vse his Foyle and Target: the Louer shall
    not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in
    1370peace: the Clowne shall make those laugh whose lungs
    are tickled a'th' sere: and the Lady shall say her minde
    freely; or the blanke Verse shall halt for't: what Players
    are they?
    Ro sin. Euen those you were wont to take delight in
    1375the Tragedians of the City.
    Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their re si -
    dence both in reputation and profit was better both
    Ro sin. I thinke their Inhibition comes by the meanes
    1380of the late Innouation?
    Ham. Doe they hold the same e stimation they did
    when I was in the City? Are they so follow'd?
    Ro sin. No indeed, they are not.
    Ham. How comes it? doe they grow ru sty?
    1385 Ro sin. Nay, their indeauour keepes in the wonted
    pace; But there is Sir an ayrie of Children, little
    Yases, that crye out on the top of que stion; and
    are mo st tyrannically clap't for't: these are now the
    fa shion, and so be-ratled the common Stages (so they
    1390call them) that many wearing Rapiers, are affraide of
    Goose-quils, and dare scarse come thither.
    Ham. What are they Children? Who maintains 'em?
    How are they escoted? Will they pursue the Quality no
    longer then they can sing? Will they not say afterwards
    1395if they should grow themselues to common Players (as
    it is like mo st if their meanes are not better) their Wri-
    ters do them wrong, to make them exclaim again st their
    owne Succe s sion.
    Ro sin. Faith there ha's bene much to do on both sides:
    1400and the Nation holds it no sinne, to tarre them to Con-
    trouer sie. There was for a while, no mony bid for argu-
    ment, vnle s s e the Poet and the Player went to Cuffes in
    the Que stion.
    Ham. Is't po s sible?
    1405 Guild. Oh there ha's beene much throwing about of
    Ham. Do the Boyes carry it away?
    Ro sin. I that they do my Lord. Hercules & his load too.
    Ham. It is not strange: for mine Vnckle is King of
    1410Denmarke, and those that would make mowes at him
    while my Father liued; giue twenty, forty, an hundred
    Ducates a peece, for his picture in Little. There is some-
    thing in this more then Naturall, if Philosophie could
    finde it out.
    1415 Flouri sh for the Players.
    Guil. There are the Players.
    Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcom to Elsonower: your
    hands, come: The appurtenance of Welcome, is Fa shion
    and Ceremony. Let me comply with you in the Garbe,
    1420le st my extent to the Players (which I tell you mu st shew
    fairely outward) should more appeare like entertainment
    then yours. You are welcome: but my Vnckle Father,
    and Aunt Mother are deceiu'd.
    Guil. In what my deere Lord?
    1425 Ham. I am but mad North, North-We st: when the
    Winde is Southerly, I know a Hawke from a Handsaw.
    Enter Polonius.
    Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen.
    Ham. Hearke you Guilden sterne, and you too: at each
    1430eare a hearer: that great Baby you see there, is not yet
    out of his swathing clouts.
    Ro sin. Happily he's the second time come to them: for
    they say, an old man is twice a childe.
    Ham. I will Prophe sie. Hee comes to tell me of the
    1435Players. Mark it, you say right Sir: for a Monday mor-
    ning 'twas so indeed.
    Pol. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
    Ham. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
    When Ro s sius an Actor in Rome---
    1440 Pol. The Actors are come hither my Lord.
    Ham. Buzze, buzze.
    Pol. Vpon mine Honor.
    Ham. Then can each Actor on his A s s e---
    Polon. The be st Actors in the world, either for Trage-
    1445die, Comedie, Hi storie, Pa storall: Pa storicall-Comicall-
    Hi storicall-Pa storall: Tragicall-Hi storicall: Tragicall-
    Comicall-Hi storicall-Pa storall: Scene indiuidible: or Po-
    em vnlimited. Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plautus
    too light, for the law of Writ, and the Liberty. These are
    1450the onely men.
    Ham. O Iephta Iudge of Israel, what a Treasure had' st
    Pol. What a Treasure had he, my Lord?
    Ham. Why one faire Daughter, and no more,
    1455The which he loued pa s sing well.
    Pol. Still on my Daughter.
    Ham. Am I not i'th'right old Iephta?
    Polon. If you call me Iephta my Lord, I haue a daugh-
    ter that I loue pa s sing well.
    1460 Ham. Nay that followes not.
    Polon. What followes then, my Lord?
    Ha. Why, As by lot, God wot: and then you know, It
    came to pa s s e, as mo st like it was: The fir st rowe of the
    Pons Chanson will shew you more. For looke where my
    1465Abridgements come.
    Enter foure or fiue Players.
    Y'are welcome Ma sters, welcome all. I am glad to see
    thee well: Welcome good Friends. O my olde Friend?
    Thy face is valiant since I saw thee la st: Com' st thou to
    1470beard me in Denmarke? What, my yong Lady and Mi-
    stris? Byrlady your Ladi ship is neerer Heauen then when
    I saw you la st, by the altitude of a Choppine. Pray God
    your voice like a peece of vncurrant Gold be not crack'd
    within the ring. Ma sters, you are all welcome: wee'l e'ne
    1475to't like French Faulconers, flie at any thing we see: wee'l
    haue a Speech straight. Come giue vs a ta st of your qua-
    lity: come, a pa s sionate speech.
    1. Play. What speech, my Lord?
    Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
    1480neuer Acted: or if it was, not aboue once, for the Play I
    remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the
    Generall: but it was (as I receiu'd it, and others, whose
    iudgement in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an
    excellent Play; well dige sted in the Scoenes, set downe
    1485with as much mode stie, as cunning. I remember one said,
    there was no Sallets in the lines, to make the matter sa-
    uouty; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the
    Author of affectation, but cal'd it an hone st method. One
    cheefe Speech in it, I cheefely lou'd, 'twas Aeneas Tale
    1490to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks
    of Priams slaughter. If it liue in your memory, begin at
    this Line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus like
    th' Hyrcanian Bea st. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus
    The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose Sable Armes
    1495Blacke as his purpose, did the night resemble
    When he lay couched in the Ominous Horse,
    Hath now this dread and blacke Complexion smear'd
    With Heraldry more dismall: Head to foote
    Now is he to take Geulles, horridly Trick'd
    1500With blood of Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sonnes,
    Bak'd and impa sted with the parching streets,
    That lend a tyrannous, and damned light
    To their vilde Murthers, roa sted in wrath and fire,
    And thus o're- sized with coagulate gore,
    1505VVith eyes like Carbuncles, the helli sh Pyrrhus
    Olde Grand sire Priam seekes.
    Pol. Fore God, my Lord, well spoken, with good ac-
    cent, and good discretion.
    1. Player. Anon he findes him,
    1510Striking too short at Greekes. His anticke Sword,
    Rebellious to his Arme, lyes where it falles
    Repugnant to command: vnequall match,
    Pyrrhus at Priam driues, in Rage strikes wide:
    But with the whiffe and winde of his fell Sword,
    1515Th'vnnerued Father fals. Then sensele s s e Illium,
    Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top
    Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous cra sh
    Takes Prisoner Pyrrhus eare. For loe, his Sword
    Which was declining on the Milkie head
    1520Of Reuerend Priam, seem'd i'th' Ayre to sticke:
    So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood,
    And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing.
    But as we often see again st some storme,
    A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still,
    1525The bold windes speechle s s e, and the Orbe below
    As hu sh as death: Anon the dreadfull Thunder
    Doth rend the Region. So after Pyrrhus pause,
    A rowsed Vengeance sets him new a-worke,
    And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall
    1530On Mars his Armours, forg'd for proofe Eterne,
    With le s s e remorse then Pyrrhus bleeding sword
    Now falles on Priam.
    Out, out, thou Strumpet-Fortune, all you Gods,
    In generall Synod take away her power:
    1535Breake all the Spokes and Fallies from her wheele,
    And boule the round Naue downe the hill of Heauen,
    As low as to the Fiends.
    Pol. This is too long.
    Ham. It shall to'th Barbars, with your beard. Pry-
    1540thee say on: He's for a Iigge, or a tale of Baudry, or hee
    sleepes. Say on; come to Hecuba.
    1. Play. But who, O who, had seen the inobled Queen.
    Ham. The inobled Queene?
    Pol. That's good: Inobled Queene is good.
    1545 1. Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe,
    Threatning the flame
    With Bi s s on Rheume: A clout about that head,
    Where late the Diadem stood, and for a Robe
    About her lanke and all ore-teamed Loines,
    1550A blanket in th' Alarum of feare caught vp.
    Who this had seene, with tongue in Venome steep'd,
    'Gain st Fortunes State, would Treason haue pronounc'd?
    But if the Gods themselues did see her then,
    When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
    1555In mincing with his Sword her Husbands limbes,
    The in stant Bur st of Clamour that she made
    (Vnle s s e things mortall moue them not at all)
    Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen,
    And pa s sion in the Gods.
    1560 Pol. Looke where he ha's not turn'd his colour, and
    ha's teares in's eyes. Pray you no more.
    Ham. 'Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the re st,
    soone. Good my Lord, will you see the Players wel be-
    stow'd. Do ye heare, let them be well vs'd: for they are
    1565the Ab stracts and breefe Chronicles of the time. After
    your death, you were better haue a bad Epitaph, then
    their ill report while you liued.
    Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their de-
    1570 Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man
    after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse
    them after your own Honor and Dignity. The le s s e they
    deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them
    1575 Pol. Come sirs. Exit Polon.
    Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to mor-
    row. Do st thou heare me old Friend, can you play the
    murther of Gonzago?
    Play. I my Lord.
    1580 Ham. Wee'l ha't to morrow night. You could for a
    need study a speech of some dosen or sixteene lines, which
    I would set downe, and insert in't? Could ye not?
    Play. I my Lord.
    Ham. Very well. Follow that Lord, and looke you
    1585mock him not. My good Friends, Ile leaue you til night
    you are welcome to Elsonower?
    Ro sin. Good my Lord. Exeunt.
    Manet Hamlet.
    Ham. I so, God buy'ye: Now I am alone.
    1590Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slaue am I?
    Is it not mon strous that this Player heere,
    But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Pa s sion,
    Could force his soule so to his whole conceit,
    That from her working, all his visage warm'd;
    1595Teares in his eyes, di straction in's Aspect,
    A broken voyce, and his whole Function suiting
    With Formes, to his Conceit? And all for nothing?
    For Hecuba?
    What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
    1600That he should weepe for her? What would he doe,
    Had he the Motiue and the Cue for pa s sion
    That I haue? He would drowne the Stage with teares,
    And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech:
    Make mad the guilty, and apale the free,
    1605Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed,
    The very faculty of Eyes and Eares. Yet I,
    A dull and muddy-metled Rascall, peake
    Like Iohn a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
    And can say nothing: No, not for a King,
    1610Vpon whose property, and mo st deere life,
    A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward?
    Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-cro s s e?
    Pluckes off my Beard, and blowes it in my face?
    Tweakes me by'th'Nose? giues me the Lye i'th'Throate,
    1615As deepe as to the Lungs? Who does me this?
    Ha? Why I should take it: for it cannot be,
    But I am Pigeon-Liuer'd, and lacke Gall
    To make Oppre s sion bitter, or ere this,
    I should haue fatted all the Region Kites
    1620With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine,
    Remorsele s s e, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine!
    Oh Vengeance!
    Who? What an A s s e am I? I sure, this is mo st braue,
    That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered,
    1625Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell,
    Mu st (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words,
    And fall a Cur sing like a very Drab,
    A Scullion? Fye vpon't: Foh. About my Braine.
    I haue heard, that guilty Creatures sitting at a Play,
    1630Haue by the very cunning of the Scoene,
    Bene strooke so to the soule, that presently
    They haue proclaim'd their Malefactions.
    For Murther, though it haue no tongue, will speake
    With mo st myraculous Organ. Ile haue these Players,
    1635Play something like the murder of my Father,
    Before mine Vnkle. Ile obserue his lookes,
    Ile tent him to the quicke: If he but blench
    I know my course. The Spirit that I haue seene
    May be the Diuell, and the Diuel hath power
    1640T'a s s ume a plea sing shape, yea and perhaps
    Out of my Weakne s s e, and my Melancholly,
    As he is very potent with such Spirits,
    Abuses me to damne me. Ile haue grounds
    More Relatiue then this: The Play's the thing,
    1645Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King. Exit