« PreviousContinue »
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 shew him. Be not you ashamed to shew, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught, I'll mark the Play. Prol. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the poly of a ring? Oph. 'Tis breef, my lord. Ham. As woman's love.
Enter Duke, and Dutchess, Players.
Dutch. So many journeys may the Sun and Moon
Where love is great, the smallest doubts are fear;
Dutch. Oh, confound the rest!
Ham. Wormwood, wormwood !
Dutch. The instances, that second marriage move, Are base respeds of thrift, but none of love. A second time I kill my husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed. Duke. I do believe, you think what now you
speak; But what we do determine, oft we break; Purpose is but the slave to memory, Of violent birth, but poor validity: Which now, like fruits unripe, sticks on the tree, But fall unshaken, when they mellow be. Most necessary, 'tis, that we forget pay
ourselves what to ourselves is debt : What to ourselves in passion we propose, The passion ending, doth the purpose lose ; The violence of either grief or joy, Their own enactors with themselves destroy. Where joy most revels, grief doth moft lament; Grief joys, joy grieves, on flender accident. This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange, That ev'n our loves should with our fortunes change. For 'tis a question left us yet to prove, Whether love leads fortune, or else fortune love. The Great man down, you mark, his fav'rite flies ; The poor advanc'd, makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
Ham. If she should break it now-
Ham. Madam, how like you this Play ?
King. Have you heard the argument, is there no offence in't ?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jeft, no offence i' th' world.
King. What do you call the Play ?
Ham. The Mouse-Trap;-Marry, how ? tropically. This Play is the image of a murder done in Vienna ; Gonzago is the Duke's name, his Wife's Baptista; you fhall see anon, 'tis a knavilh piece of
Work; but what o'that? your Majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not ; let the galled jade winch, our withers are unrung.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, If I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen,
Ham. It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
Oph. Still better and worse.
Ham. So you mistake your husbands. Begin, murderer. Leave thy damnable faces, and
begin. Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and
time agreeing : Confedrate season, and no creature seeing : Thou mixture rank, of mid-night weeds collected, With Hecate's ban thrice blafted, thrice infected, Thy natural magic, and dire property, On wholesome life usurp immediately:
Pours the poison into his ears. Ham. He poisons bim i'th' garden for's estate ; his name's Gonzago; the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The King rises.
S CE N E VII.
Manent Hamlet and Horatio.
The hart ungalled play;
So runs the world away. Would not this, Sir, and a forest of Feathers, (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me) with two provincial roses on my rayed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of Players, Sir ?
Hor. Half a share.
Ham. A whole one, I.
This realm dismantled was
A very, very, Peacock.
Ham. Oh, good Horatio, I'll take the Ghoft's word for a thousand pounds. Didit perceive?
Hor. Very well, my lord.
Enter Rofincrantz and Guildenstern.