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Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, 640
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends.
Pol. This is too long.

Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard.-Pr'ythee, say on :--He's for a jigg, or a tale of baw. dry, or he sleeps :--say on, come to Hecuba.

1 Play. But who, a woe! had seen the mobled qucen,
Han. The mobled queen ?
Pol. That's good ; mobled queen is good.
1 Play. Run bare-foot up and down, threat'ning the

With bisson rheum ; a clout upon that head,
Where late the diadem stood ; and, for a robe,
About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins,
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;
W'ho this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pronounc'd:
But if the gods themselves did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs;
The instant burst of clamour that she made 660
(Unless things mortal move them not at all),
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
And passion in the gods.
Pol. Look, whe'r he has not turn'd his colour, and
has tears in's eyes.--Pr'ythee, no more.

Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-Good my lord, will you see the playors well bestow'd? Do you-hear, let them be well used; Fiij


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for they are the abstract, and brief chronicles of the time: After your death, you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live, 671

Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Ham. Odd's bodikins, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping ? Use them after your own honour and dignity : The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. Pol. Come, sirs.

[Exit POLONIUS. Ham. Follow him, friends : we'll hear a play to. morrow.Dost thou hear me, old friend ; can you play the murder of Gonzago ?

682 1 Play. Ay, my lord,

Ham. We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in't? could

you not?

1 Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. Very well. Follow that lord ; and look you mock him not.--My good friends, (to Ros. and GUILD.] I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsineur.

692 Ros. Good, my lord. [Excunt Ros, and GUIL, : Ham, Ay, so, God be wi' you:-Now I am alone. O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous, that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit,


That, from her working, all his visage warm'd;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, 700
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing !
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her 2 What would he do,
Had he the motive and the çue for passion,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, 710
The very faculty of eyes and ears.
Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing ; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property, and most dear life,
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward ?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose: gives me the lye i’ the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this ? 721
Ha! Why I should take it; for it cannot be,
But I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal + Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain !
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave;


That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven, and hell,

Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion!
Fie upon't! foh!
About, my brains! Hum! I have heard,
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions :

739 For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father, Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick; if he do blench, I know my course. The spirit, that I have seen, May be a devil: and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy (As he is very potent with such spirits), Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds More relative than this; The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.




The Palace. Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, OPHELIA,


And can you by no drift of conference
Get from him, why he puts on this confusion
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

Ros. He does confess, he feels himself distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.

Queen. Did he receive you well ?
Ros. Most like a gentleman.
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition.

Ros. Niggard of question; but of our demands, Most freely in his reply.

Queer. Did you assay him To any pastime?

Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him: And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it: They are here about the court; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him.



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