Ham. Ay, sir, but, While the grass grows, | How in my words soever she be shent, -the proverb is something musty. To give them seals § never, my soul, consent !

Enter the Players, with Recorders.

O, the recorders:-let me see one.-To withdraw with you:-Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive

me into a toil ?

Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?

Guil. My lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.

Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.

Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord. Ham. 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages, with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill. Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me? You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think, I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon



God bless you, sir!

Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.

Ham. Do you see yonder cloud,that's almost in shape of a camel?

Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed.

Ham. Methinks, it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
Ham. Or, like a whale?

Pol. Very like a whale.

Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and by. They fool me to the top of my bentt. -I will come by and by.

Pol. I will say so. [Evit POLONIUs. Ham. By and by is easily said. Leave me, friends. [Exeunt Ros. GUIL. HOR., &c. 'Tis now the very witching time of night When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out [hot blood, Contagion to this world: Now could I drink And do such business as the bitter day Would quake to look on. Soft; now to my mother.

O, heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Let me be cruel, not unnatural:

I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;
* Holes.
+ Utmost stretch.

[Exit. SCENE III. A Room in the same.



King. I like him not; nor stands it safe with ns, [you; To let his madness range. Therefore, prepare I your commission will forthwith despatch, And he to England shall along with you; The terms of our estate may not endure Hazard so near us, as doth hourly grow Out of his lanes || .


We will ourselves provide: Most holy and religious fear it is, To keep those many many bodies safe, That live, and feed, upon your majesty.

Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from 'noyance; but much more
That spirit, upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone; but, like a gulf, doth draw
What's near it, with it; it is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser

Are mortised and adjoin'd; which, when it
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy

For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
Ros. Guil.

We will baste us. [Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDEN



Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's Behind the arras ¶ I'll convey myself, [closet: To hear the process; I'll warrant, she'll tax him home:

And, as you said, and wisely was it said, 'Tis meet, that some more audience, than a mother,

Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear

The speech of vantage. Fare you well, my
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed, [liege,
And tell you what I know.
Thanks, dear my lord.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murder!-Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will;
My stronger guilt defeats my strong inten
And, like a man to double business bound
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood!
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
Authority to put them in execution;

t Reproved. || Lunacies.

. Tapestry.

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That cannot be; since I am still possess'd Of those effects for which I did the murder, My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen, May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice; And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the law: But 'tis not so above: There is no shuffling, there the action lies In his true nature: and we ourselves compell'd Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? what rents? Try what repentance can: What can it not? Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? O wretched state! O bosom, black as death! O limed soul; that struggling to be free, Art more engaged! Help, angels, make assay! [of steel; Bow, stubborn knees! and heart, with strings Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe; All may be well! [Retires and Kneels. Enter HAMLET. Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is


And now I'll do't; and so he goes to heaven:" And so am I revenged? That would be

scann'd +:

A villain kills my father; and, for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.

Why, this is hire and salary §, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as

And how his audit stands who knows, save
But, in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him: And am I then revenged,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?


Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage;
Or in the incestuous pleasures of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't:

Then trip him, that his heels may kick at
And that his soul may be as damn'd and
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

[Exit. The King rises and advances. King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:

Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go.

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Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here.
Pray you, be round with him.
I'll warrant you;
Fear me not-withdraw, I hear him coming.
[POLONIUS hides himself.

Ham. Now, mother; what's the matter? Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Ham. Mother, you have my father much
[idle tongue.
Queen. Come, come, you answer with an
Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked
Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet? [tongue.
What's the matter now?

Queen. Have you forgot me?

No, by the rood ¶, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife; [mother. And,-'would it were not so!-you are my Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that

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[Exit. + Should be considered. Seize him at a more horrid time.

• Caught as with bird-lime.

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Queen. What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue

In noise so rude against me?

Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a de ed
As from the body of contraction* plocks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth

Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful + visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.


Ah me! what act! That roars so loud, and thunders in the indext? Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on


The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow:
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself:
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man:
This was your husband.-Look you now, what

Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear, Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?


you on this fair mountain leave to feed, And batten T on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?

You cannot call it love; for, at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame; it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; And what

Would step from this to this? Sense**, sure,
you have,
[that sense
Else could you not have motion: But, sure,
Is apoplex'd: for madness would not err;
Nor sense to ecstasy it was ne'er so thrall'd
But it reserved some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil



That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.

O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,

And reason panders will.

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That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by The important acting of your dread command? O, say!

Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But, look! amazement on thy mother sits: O, step between her and her fighting soul; Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works; Speak to her, Hamlet.

Ham. How is it with you, lady! Queen. Alas! how is't with you? That you do bend your eye on vacancy, And with the incorporal air do hold discourse? Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep; And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm, Your bedded hair, like life in excrements, Starts up, and stands on end. O, gentle son, Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look! Ham. On him! on him!-Look you, how

pale he glares!

[stones, His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to Would make them capable¶¶¶.-Do not look upon me;

Lest, with this piteons action, you convert
My stern effects ****: then what I have to do
Will want true colour; tears, perchancetttt, for
Queen. To whom do you speak this? [blood.
Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
No, nothing, but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there! look, bow it
steals away!

My father in his habit as he lived!

i Index of contents prefixed to a book ¶ To grow fat. ** Sensation. Be so stupid. TT Colour. Imagination.

65 Without. +++ Mimic.

The bair of animals is excrementitious; that is, without life or sensation.

¶¶¶ Intelligent.

**** Actions..

tttt Perhaps.

Look, where he goes, even now, out at the
[Exit Ghost.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your
This bodiless creation ecstasy
[brain :
Is very caning in.
Ham. Ecstasy!

My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep
And makes as healthful music: It is not mad-
That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but ny madness speaks:
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the composti on the weeds,
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my
For in the fatness of these pursy times, [virtue:
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;
Yea, curb and woo, for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart
in twain.

Ham. O, throw away the worser part of it
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night; but go not to my uncle's bed;
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this;
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock, or livery,
That aptly is put on: Refrain to-night;
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence: the next more easy:
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either curb the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good

And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
[Pointing to POLONIUS.
I do repent: But heaven hath pleased it so,-
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him. So, again, good night!—
I must be cruel, only to be kind:

SCENE I. The same.

Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.-
But one word more, good lady.
What shall I do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid
you do:

Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;

And let him, for a pair of reechy || kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd

Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness, [know:
But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him
For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock ¶, from a bat, a gib **.
Such dear concernings hide? who would do so?
No, in despite of sense, and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly; and, like the famous ape,
To try conclusions tt, in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.


Queen. Be thou assured, if words be made of And breath of life, I have no life to breathe What thou hast said to me.

Ham. I must to England; you know that? Queen. Alack,

I had forgot; 'tis so concluded on. Ham. There's letters seal'd: and my two school-fellows,

Whom I will trust, as I will adders fang'dii,— They bear the mandate; they must sweep my


And marshal me to knavery: Let it work; For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer [hard, Hoist with his own petar: and it shall go But I will delve one yard below their miues, And blow them at the moon: 0, 'tis most sweet,

When in one line two crafts directly meet.This man shall set me packing.

I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room :Mother, good night.-Indeed, this counsellor Is now most still, most secret, and most grave, Who was in life a foolish prating knave. Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you :Good night, mother.

[Exeunt severally; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS.


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Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!
King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
Queen. Mad as the sea, and wind, when
both contend

Which is the mightier: In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, A rat! a rat!
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
The unseen good old man.

O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there :

† Bend.


A term of endearment. ** Cat. + Experiments. Blown up with his own bomb.


His liberty is full of threats to ali;
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas! how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of

This mad young man: but, so much was our love,

We would not understand what was most fit;
But like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
Queen. To draw apart the body he hath

O'er whom his very madness, like some ore,
Among a mineralt of metals base,
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.
King. O, Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
We must, with all our majesty and skill,
Both countenance and excuse.-Ho! Guil-

Friends both, go join you with some further
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, [aid:
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd
Go, seek him out; speak fair, and bring the
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.
[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL.
Come,Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
And let them know, both what we mean to do,
And what's untimely done; so, haply, slan-

Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank‡, [name,
Transports his poison'd shot,-may miss our
And hit the woundless air.-O come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. Another Room in the same.

Ham. Safely stowed,-[Ros. &c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet!] But soft!-what noise? who calls on Hamlet? O, here they


Ros. What have you done, my lord, with
the dead body?
['tis kin.
Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto
Ros. Tell us where 'tis; that we may take
And bear it to the chapel.
[it thence,

Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?

Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge!-what replication should be made by the son of a king?

ed, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.

Ros. I understand you not, my lord. Ham. I am glad of it: A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king.

Ham. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing

Guil. A thing, my lord?

Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after §. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Another Room in the same. Enter King attended.

King. I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.

How dangerous is it, that this man goes loose?
Yet must not we put the strong law on him:
He's loved of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
And, where 'tis so, the offender's scourge is
[and even,
But never the offence. To bear all smooth
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause: Diseases, desperate grown,
By desperate appliance are relieved,

Or not at all.-How now? what hath befallen?
Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my
We cannot get from him.
But where is he?
Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know
King. Bring him before us. [your pleasure.
Ros. Ho, Guildenstern? bring in my lord.
King. Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius ?
Ham. At supper.

King. At supper? Where?

Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten a certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only em peror for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us; and we fat ourselves for maggots: Your fat king, and your lean beggar, is but variable service; two dishes, but to one table; that's the end.

King. Alas, alas!

Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

King. What dost thou mean by this? Ham. Nothing, but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. king. Where is Polonius?

Ham. In heaven; send thither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby. King. Go seek him there. [To some Attendants. Ham. He will stay till you come.

Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord?' the other place yourself. Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed: When he needs what you have glean† Mine.

• Company.

+ Mark.

[Exeunt Attendants.

§ A sport among children.

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