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Of his behaviour.
Inquire me first what Danskers! are in Paris;
What company, at what expense; and finding,
As thus,-I know his father, and his friends,
Pol. And, in part, him;—but, you may say,
But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild ;
As gaming, my lord.
Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.
That they may seem the taints of liberty:
I would know that.
(3) Already named.
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
You must not put another scandal on him,
What said he?
That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king.
Rey. At, closes in the consequence.
Pol. At, closes in the consequence, --Ay, marry ;||
Ay, my lord,
(4) That is to say.
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
Pol. And let him ply his music.
Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia? what's the matter?
Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
Pol. With what, in the name of heaven?
My lord, I do not know;
It seems, it is as proper to our age
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.
SCENE II-A room in the castle. Enter King, Queen, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Attend
King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern!
Moreover that we much did long to see you,
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you;
And, sure I am, two men there are not living,
But we both obey; And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,2 To lay our service freely at your feet, To be commanded.
King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guildenstern.
Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Ro
and our prac
And I beseech you instantly to visit
Ay, amen! [Exeunt Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and some Attendants.
Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you my good liege,
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
King Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in. [Exit Polonius. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son's distemper. Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main; His father's death, and our o'er-hasty marriage. Re-enter Polonius, with Voltimand and Cornelius. King. Well, we shall sift him.-Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
(1) Complaisance. (2) Utmost exertion. (3) Scent. (4) Dessert.
[Gives a paper That it might please you to give quiet pass Through your dominions, for this enterprise; On such regards of safety, and allowance, As therein are set down.
It likes us well: And, at our more consider'd time, we'll read, Answer, and think upon this business. Mean time, we thank you for your well-took labour: Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together: Most welcome home!
Queen. More matter, with less art. Pol. Madam, I swear I use no art at all. That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true, 'tis pity; And pity 'tis, 'tis true: a foolish figure;
Pol. The embassadors from Norway, my good But farewell it, for I will use no art.
[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. Pol. This business is well ended. My liege, and madam, to expostulate? What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night, night, and time is time, Were nothing but to waste night, day and time. Therefore,-since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,I will be brief: Your noble son is mad: Mad call I it; for, to define true madness, What is't, but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go.
Mad let us grant him then and now remains,
have a daughter; have, while she is mine; Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath given me this: Now gather and surmise. -To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia,
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear. Thus :
In her excellent white bosom, these, &c. Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her? (7) Discuss.
(5) Poland. (6) Imposed on.
Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet. This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me : And more above, hath his solicitings, As they fell out by time, by means, and place, All given to mine ear.
But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?
Or given my heart a working, mute and dumb;
Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away;
Pol. Do you know me, my lord?
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion,-Have you a daughter?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i'the sun conception4 is a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive,5friend, look to't.
Pol. How say you by that? [Aside.] Still harping on my daughter:-yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fishmonger: He is far gone, far gone : and, truly, in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.What do you read, my lord?
Ham. Words, words, words!
Pol. What is the matter, my lord?
Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord. Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Ham. Into my grave?
Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.-How pregnants sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity? could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.-My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools!
Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the forgone all custom of exercises. and, indeed, it middle of her favours?
goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly ame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erbanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form, and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Ros. My lord, there is no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, Man delights not me?
Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten' entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted? them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service.
Guil. Faith, her privates we. Ham. In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What news?
Ros. None, my lord, but that the world is grown
Ham. Then is doomsday near: But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither. Guil. Prison, my lord!
Ham. Denmark's a prison.
Ham A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
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
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one 'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nutsheil, and count myself a king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams.
Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Ham A dream itself is but a shadow. Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.
Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies: and our monarchs, and outstretch'd heroes, the beggars' shadows: Shall we to the court? for, by my fay,
Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you.
Ham. No such matter: I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
Ham. He that plays the king, shall be welcome; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil, and target: the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall end his part in peace: the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o'the sere; and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for't.-What players are they?
Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham, How chances it, they travel? their resiIdence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion Ham. Beggar that am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you; and sure, dear friends,eyases,4 that cry out on the top of question,5 and are most tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the fashion; and so berattle the common stages (so they call them,) that many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose-quills, and dare scarce come thither.
Guil. What should we say, my lord? Ham. Any thing--but to the purpose. You were sent for: and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour: I know, the good king and queen have
Ham. What, are they children? who maintains them? how are they escoted ?6 Will they pursue the quality? no longer than they can sin? will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players (as it is most like, if their means are no better,) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession?
Ham That you must teach me. But let me Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarred them consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our on to controversy: there was, for a while, no money ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a bet-bid for argument, unless the poet and the player ter proposer could charge you withal, be even and went to cuffs in the question. direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no? Ham. Is it possible? Ros. What say you? [To Guildenstern. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you; [Aside.] if you love me, hold not off.
Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Ham. Do the boys carry it away?
Guil My lord, we were sent for.
Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.9
Ros. To what end, iny lord?
Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed? Ros No, indeed, they are not.
Ham How comes it? Do they grow rusty? Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little
Ham I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no eather. I have of late (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth,
Ham. It is not very strange; for my uncle is king of Denmark, and those, that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty,
(7) Profession. (8) Provoke. (9) i. e. The globe, the sign of Shakspeare's Theatre.
1 Play. What speech, my lord?
forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a-piece, for his pic-straight: Come, give us a taste of your quality ;* ture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this come, a passionate speech. more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. [Flourish of trumpets within. Guil. There are the players. Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. Come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony: let me comply2 with you in this garb; lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outward, should more appear like entertainment than yours. are welcome but my uncle-father, and mother, are deceived.
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once,but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare9 to the general :10 but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments, in such matters, cried in the top!! of mine,) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down You with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, aunt-one said, there were no sallads in the lines, to make the matter savoury; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite12 the author of affection:13
Guil. In what, my dear lord? Ham. I am but mad north-north-west: when the but called it, an honest method, as wholesome as wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly loved: 'twas Æneas' tale to Dido and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter: If it live in your memo
Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen!
Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern;-and you too;ry, begin at this line; let me see, let me see ;-at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts.
Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.
Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.-You say right, sir: o'Monday morning 'twas then, indeed.
Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.
Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord.
Pol. Upon my honour,——— Ham. Then came each actor on his ass, Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral [tragical-historical, tragicalcomical-historical-pastoral,] scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ,3 and the liberty, these are the only men.
Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel,-what a treasure hadst thou !
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord?
Ham. Nay, that follows not.
The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,— 'tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus.
The rugged Pyrrhus,—he, whose sable arms,
(1) Miniature. (2) Compliment. (3) Writing.
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with good accent, and good discretion.
1 Play. Anon he finds him
But, as we often see, against some storm,
Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know, It came to pass, As most like it was,-The first row of the pious chanson4 will show you more; for look, my abridgment comes.
Enter four or five Players.
You are welcome, masters; Welcome, all :-I am
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
(10) Multitude. (11) Above. (12) Convict. (13) Affectation. (14) Red. (15) Blazoned. (16) Light clouds. (17) Eternal.