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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, Rosincrane, and Guilden-
    1020sterne Cumaliys
    King. Welcome deere Rosincrance and Guildensterne.
    Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
    The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke
    Our hastie 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'vnderstanding 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 rest heere in our Court
    Some little time: so by your Companies
    1035To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
    So much as from Occasions 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 Visitation shall receiue such thankes
    1045As fits a Kings remembrance.
    Rosin. Both your Maiesties
    Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs,
    Put your dread pleasures, more into Command
    Then to Entreatie.
    1050Guil. 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 Rosincrance, and gentle Guildensterne.
    1055Qu. Thankes Guildensterne and gentle Rosincrance.
    And I beseech you instantly to visit
    My too much changed Sonne.
    Go some of ye,
    And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is.
    1060Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises
    Pleasant and helpfull to him. Exit.
    Queene. Amen.
    Enter Polonius.
    Pol. Th'Ambassadors from Norwey, my good Lord,
    1065Are ioyfully return'd.
    King. Thou still hast bin the Father of good Newes.
    Pol. Haue I, my Lord? Assure 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.
    1075Pol. Giue first admittance to th'Ambassadors,
    My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Feast.
    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 distemper.
    1080Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine,
    His Fathers death, and our o're-hasty Marriage.
    Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.
    King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends:
    Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey?
    1085Volt. Most faire returne of Greetings, and Desires.
    Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse
    His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd
    To be a preparation 'gainst the Poleak:
    But better look'd into, he truly found
    1090It was against your Highnesse, whereat greeued,
    That so his Sicknesse, Age, and Impotence
    Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arrests
    On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes,
    Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine,
    1095Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more
    To giue th'assay of Armes against your Maiestie.
    Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy,
    Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee,
    And his Commission to imploy those Soldiers
    1100So leuied as before, against the Poleak:
    With an intreaty heerein further shewne,
    That it might please you to giue quiet passe
    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 consider'd time wee'l read,
    Answer, and thinke vpon this Businesse.
    Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour.
    1110Go to your rest, at night wee'l Feast together.
    Most welcome home. Exit Ambass.
    Pol. This businesse is very well ended.
    My Liege, and Madam, to expostulate
    What Maiestie should be, what Dutie is,
    1115Why day is day; night, night; and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste Night, Day, and Time.
    Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit,
    And tediousnesse, the limbes and outward flourishes,
    I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad:
    1120Mad call I it; for to define true Madnesse,
    What is't, but to be nothing else but mad.
    But let that go.
    Qu. More matter, with lesse 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 foolish figure,
    But farewell it: for I will vse no Art.
    The Tragedie of Hamlet. 261
    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 Celestiall, and my Soules Idoll, the most 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,
    1145Doubt, 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 best, oh most Best be-
    1150leeue it. Adieu.
    Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst 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.
    1160Pol. 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 must tell you that
    Before my Daughter told me what might you
    Or my deere Maiestie 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 Mistris) thus I did bespeake
    1170Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,
    This must not be: and then, I Precepts gaue her,
    That she should locke her selfe from his Resort,
    Admit no Messengers, receiue no Tokens:
    Which done, she tooke the Fruites of my Aduice,
    1175And he repulsed. A short Tale to make,
    Fell into a Sadnesse, then into a Fast,
    Thence to a Watch, thence into a Weaknesse,
    Thence to a Lightnesse, and by this declension
    Into the Madnesse 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 possitiuely said, 'tis so,
    1185When it prou'd otherwise?
    King. Not that I know.
    Pol. Take this from this; if this be otherwise,
    If Circumstances 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.
    1195Qu. 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 Assistant 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.
    1210Pol. Do you know me, my Lord?
    Ham. Excellent, excellent well: y'are a Fishmonger.
    Pol. Not I my Lord.
    Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
    Pol. Honest, my Lord?
    1215Ham. I sir, to be honest 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 kissing Carrion-----
    1220Haue you a daughter?
    Pol. I haue my Lord.
    Ham. Let her not walke i'th'Sunne: Conception is a
    blessing, but not as your daughter may conceiue. Friend
    looke too't.
    1225Pol. How say you by that? Still harping on my daugh-
    ter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a Fishmon-
    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?
    1230Ham. 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
    most powerfully, and potently beleeue; yet I holde it
    1240not Honestie 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 madnesse,
    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 happinesse,
    1250That often Madnesse hits on,
    Which Reason and Sanitie could not
    So prosperously 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 most humbly
    Take my leaue of you.
    oo3 Ham
    262 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    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 Rosincran and Guildensterne.
    Rosin. God saue you Sir.
    Guild. Mine honour'd Lord?
    Rosin. My most deare Lord?
    Ham. My excellent good friends? How do'st thou
    1270Guildensterne? Oh, Rosincrane; good Lads: How doe ye
    Rosin. 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.
    1275Ham. Nor the Soales of her Shoo?
    Rosin. Neither my Lord.
    Ham. Then you liue about her waste, or in the mid-
    dle of her fauour?
    Guil. Faith, her priuates, we.
    1280Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true:
    she is a Strumpet. What's the newes?
    Rosin. None my Lord; but that the World's growne
    Ham. Then is Doomesday neere: But your newes is
    1285not true. Let me question 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.
    1290Rosin. Then is the World one.
    Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many Con-
    fines, Wards, and Dungeons; Denmarke being one o'th'
    Rosin. We thinke not so my Lord.
    1295Ham. 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.
    Rosin. Why then your Ambition makes it one: 'tis
    too narrow for your minde.
    1300Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, 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 substance of the Ambitious, is meerely the shadow
    1305of a Dreame.
    Ham. A dreame it selfe is but a shadow.
    Rosin. 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
    1315rest of my seruants: for to speake to you like an honest
    man: I am most dreadfully attended; but in the beaten
    way of friendship, What make you at Elsonower?
    Rosin. To visit you my Lord, no other occasion.
    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 visitation? Come,
    deale iustly with me: come, come; nay speake.
    Guil. What should we say my Lord?
    1325Ham. Why any thing. But to the purpose; you were
    sent for; and there is a kinde confession in your lookes;
    which your modesties haue not craft enough to co-
    lor, I know the good King & Queene haue sent for you.
    Rosin. To what end my Lord?
    1330Ham. That you must teach me: but let mee coniure
    you by the rights of our fellowship, 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.
    Rosin. 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.
    1340Ham. 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, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of ex-
    ercise; and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my dispositi-
    1345on; that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a ster-
    rill Promontory; this most excellent Canopy the Ayre,
    look you, this braue ore-hanging, this Maiesticall Roofe,
    fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
    to mee, then a foule and pestilent 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 expresse and admirable? in Action, how like an An-
    gel? in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
    world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
    1355this Quintessence of Dust? Man delights not me; no,
    nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
    to say so.
    Rosin. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my
    1360Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights
    not me?
    Rosin. 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
    Maiesty 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?
    Rosin. Euen those you were wont to take delight in
    1375the Tragedians of the City.
    Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their resi-
    dence both in reputation and profit was better both
    Rosin. I thinke their Inhibition comes by the meanes
    1380of the late Innouation?
    Ham. Doe they hold the same estimation they did
    when I was in the City? Are they so follow'd?
    Rosin. No indeed, they are not.
    Ham. How comes it? doe they grow rusty?
    1385Rosin. 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 question; and
    are most tyrannically clap't for't: these are now the
    The Tragedie of Hamlet. 263
    fashion, 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 most if their meanes are not better) their Wri-
    ters do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their
    owne Succession.
    Rosin. Faith there ha's bene much to do on both sides:
    1400and the Nation holds it no sinne, to tarre them to Con-
    trouersie. There was for a while, no mony bid for argu-
    ment, vnlesse the Poet and the Player went to Cuffes in
    the Question.
    Ham. Is't possible?
    1405Guild. Oh there ha's beene much throwing about of
    Ham. Do the Boyes carry it away?
    Rosin. 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.
    1415Flourish for the Players.
    Guil. There are the Players.
    Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcom to Elsonower: your
    hands, come: The appurtenance of Welcome, is Fashion
    and Ceremony. Let me comply with you in the Garbe,
    1420lest my extent to the Players (which I tell you must 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?
    1425Ham. I am but mad North, North-West: when the
    Winde is Southerly, I know a Hawke from a Handsaw.
    Enter Polonius.
    Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen.
    Ham. Hearke you Guildensterne, and you too: at each
    1430eare a hearer: that great Baby you see there, is not yet
    out of his swathing clouts.
    Rosin. Happily he's the second time come to them: for
    they say, an old man is twice a childe.
    Ham. I will Prophesie. 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 Rossius an Actor in Rome---
    1440Pol. The Actors are come hither my Lord.
    Ham. Buzze, buzze.
    Pol. Vpon mine Honor.
    Ham. Then can each Actor on his Asse---
    Polon. The best Actors in the world, either for Trage-
    1445die, Comedie, Historie, Pastorall: Pastoricall-Comicall-
    Historicall-Pastorall: Tragicall-Historicall: Tragicall-
    Comicall-Historicall-Pastorall: 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 passing 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 passing well.
    1460Ham. Nay that followes not.
    Polon. What followes then, my Lord?
    Ha. Why, As by lot, God wot: and then you know, It
    came to passe, as most like it was: The first rowe of the
    Pons Chanson will shew you more. For looke where my
    1465Abridgements come.
    Enter foure or fiue Players.
    Y'are welcome Masters, welcome all. I am glad to see
    thee well: Welcome good Friends. O my olde Friend?
    Thy face is valiant since I saw thee last: Com'st thou to
    1470beard me in Denmarke? What, my yong Lady and Mi-
    stris? Byrlady your Ladiship is neerer Heauen then when
    I saw you last, by the altitude of a Choppine. Pray God
    your voice like a peece of vncurrant Gold be not crack'd
    within the ring. Masters, 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 tast of your qua-
    lity: come, a passionate 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 digested in the Scoenes, set downe
    1485with as much modestie, 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 honest 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 Beast. 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 impasted with the parching streets,
    That lend a tyrannous, and damned light
    To their vilde Murthers, roasted in wrath and fire,
    And thus o're-sized with coagulate gore,
    1505VVith eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
    Olde Grandsire 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 senselesse Illium,
    Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top
    Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous crash
    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:
    264 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood,
    And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing.
    But as we often see against some storme,
    A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still,
    1525The bold windes speechlesse, and the Orbe below
    As hush 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 lesse 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.
    15451. Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe,
    Threatning the flame
    With Bisson 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,
    'Gainst 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 instant Burst of Clamour that she made
    (Vnlesse things mortall moue them not at all)
    Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen,
    And passion in the Gods.
    1560Pol. 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 rest,
    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 Abstracts 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-
    1570Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man
    after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse
    them after your own Honor and Dignity. The lesse they
    deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them
    1575Pol. Come sirs. Exit Polon.
    Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to mor-
    row. Dost thou heare me old Friend, can you play the
    murther of Gonzago?
    Play. I my Lord.
    1580Ham. 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?
    Rosin. 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 monstrous that this Player heere,
    But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Passion,
    Could force his soule so to his whole conceit,
    That from her working, all his visage warm'd;
    1595Teares in his eyes, distraction 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 passion
    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 most deere life,
    A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward?
    Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-crosse?
    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 Oppression bitter, or ere this,
    I should haue fatted all the Region Kites
    1620With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine,
    Remorselesse, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine!
    Oh Vengeance!
    Who? What an Asse am I? I sure, this is most braue,
    That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered,
    1625Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell,
    Must (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words,
    And fall a Cursing 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 most 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'assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps
    Out of my Weaknesse, 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