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Ros. Good my lord !
[Exeunt RosenCRANTZ and Guildenstern. Ham. Ay, so, God be wi' you :-Now I am alone.
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 wann'd ;"
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing !
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her ? What would be do,
Had he the motive and the cue' for passion,
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general eari with horrid speech;
Made mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed,
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John a-dreams,k 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 lie i'the throat,
As deep as to the lungs ? Who does me this?
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 !
Fye upon't! foh! About my brains ! Humph! I have
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 ;
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 himp 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 relativer than this: The play's the thing,
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. [Erit.
About my brains!] Wits, to your work. Brain, go about the present business.-Johnson.
tent him— ) Search his wounds.—Jounson.
blench,] i. e. Shrink, or start.
More relative,] i. e. More neurly related, closely connected.-JOHNsox.
SCENE I.--A Room in the Castle.
Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, Ophelia, Rosen
CRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
King. 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 free in his reply.
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 about the court;
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.
'Tis most true: And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties, To hear and see the matter.
King. With all my heart; and it doth much content me To hear him so inclin'd. Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, And drive his purpose on to these delights.
o'er-ruught-] Over-reached, over-took.
Ros. We shall, my lord.
[Exeunt RosenCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. King
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too:
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither;
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront' Ophelia :
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,)"
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behav'd,
If't be the affliction of his love or no,
That thus he suffers for.
I shall obey you:
And, for your part, Ophelia I do wish,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope, your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.
Madam, I wish it may.
[Erit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here :-Gracious, so please you, We will bestow ourselves :-Read on this book;
[To OPHELIA. That show of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,'Tis too much prov'd, that, with devotion's visage, And pious action, we do sugar o'er The devil himself. King.
O, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience !
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plast'ring art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,"
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
O heavy burden!
• Affront-] i. e. Meet directly, encounter.
- espials,)] i. e. Spies. s 'Tis too much prov'd,] It is found by too frequent experience.-Johnsox.
- more ugly to the thing that helps it.] That is, compared with the thing that helps it.-Johnson.
Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord.
[Exeunt King and Polonius.
Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question :-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?–To die,—to sleep,-
No more ;-and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ake, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die ;-to sleep ;-
To sleep! perchance to dream ;-ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: There's the respect,"
That makes calamity of so long life :
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death,-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,-puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
coil,] i.e. Obstruction.—NARES.
the respect,] i. e. The consideration.
quietus_-] The official discharge of an account ; from the Latin. Here used metaphorically.-Nares.
bodkin?] The ancient name for a small dagger.-STEEVENS. - fardels-) ie. Burthens.