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villanous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
Enter POLONIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
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
Hor. O my dear lord,-
Nay, do not think I flatter;
in his cinque a pace of jests; when, God knows, the warme Clown cannot make a jest unless by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare : Masters, tell him of it.” 1 Pregnant, quick, ready.
2 Quarto 1604-co-medled."
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
Well, my lord;
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle : Get you a place.
Danish march. A flourish. Enter King, Queen, Po
LONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others.
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet ?
Ham. Excellent, i' faith ; of the chameleon's dish. I eat the air, promise-crammed; you cannot feed capons so.
1 Vulcan's stithy is Vulcan's workshop or smithy. 2 Here the first quarto has :
66 And if he do not blench and change at that,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen;
Hor. My lord, mine eyes shall still be on his face,
That shall appear in him, but I shall note it." 3 i. e. judgment, opinion.
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King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord,---you played 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 killed i' the
Ham. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay ? upon your patience.
[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maids'
Oph. What is, my lord ?
Ham. O! you only jig-maker. What should a
Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
1 A Latin play, on the subject of Cæsar's death, was performed at Christ's Church, in Oxford, in 1582.
2 i. e. “ they wait upon your sufferance or will."
3 This is the reading of the quarto 1603. The quarto 1604, and the folio, read country.
4 It may here be added that a jig sometimes signified a sprightly dance, es at present.
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HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Ham. So long ? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. 0 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 hobby-horse whose epitaph is, For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot. Trumpets sound.
The Dumb Show 3 follows.
Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen
embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her
, 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 malicho; 4 it means mischief.
1 i. e. a dress ornamented with the rich fur of that name, said to be the skin of the sable martin. Hamlet meant to use the word equivocally.
2 The hobby-horse was driven from his station by the Puritans, as an impious and pagan superstition, but restored after the promulgation of the Book of Sports. The hobby-horse was formed of a pasteboard horse's head, and probably a light frame made of wicker work to form the hinder parts; this was fastened round the body of a man, and covered with a footcloth, which nearly reached the ground, and concealed the legs of the performer, who displayed his antic equestrian skill, and performed various juggling tricks, wigh-hie-ing, or neighing, to the no small delight of the bystanders. Vide. vol. 2, p. 101.
3 This dumb show appears to be superfluous, and even incongruous ; for as the murder is there circumstantially represented, the king ought to have been struck with it then, without waiting for the dialogue.
4 Miching malicho is lurking mischief, or evil doing. To mich, for to
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. 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
Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
Enter a King and a Queen.
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and
Make us again count o’er, ere love be done!
skulk, to lurk, was an old English verb in common use in Shakspeare's time; and malicho or malhecho, misdeed, he has borrowed from the Spanish.
1 Cart, car, or chariot, were used indiscriminately for any carriage, formerly.