The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash
Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear; for, lol his sword,
Which was declining on the milky head
Of reverend Priam, seemed i' the air to stick.
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood
And like a neutral to his will and matter,
Did nothing.
But, as we often see, against some storm, 520
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
The bold winds speechless and the orb below
As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
Doth rend the region, so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work;

And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour forged for proof eterne
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
Now falls on Priam.
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods, 530
In general synod take away her power!
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
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.

Prithee, say on; he's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on; come to

Hecuba. First Play. “But who, O, who, had seen the mobled 540

queen-" Ham. “The mobled queen”? Pol. That's good; “mobled queen" is good.


First Play. “Run barefoot up and down, threatening

the flames

With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head 545 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;
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steeped,
'Gainst Fortune's state would treason have pro-

550 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,

Unless things mortal move them not at all, 655 Would have made milch the burning eyes of

heaven, And passion in the gods." Pol. Look, whe'er he has not turned his colour

and has tears in 's eyes. Pritheo, no more. Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest 580 of this soon. Good my lord, will you see

the players well bestowed? Do you hear? Let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time;

after your death you were better have a bad 685 epitaph than their ill report while you live. Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their

desert. Ham. God's bodykins, 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. Ham. Follow him, friends; we'll hear a play 573

to-morrow. [Exit Polonius with all the
Players but the First.] Dost thou hear me,
old friend? Can you play The Murder of

First Play. Ay, my lord.

580 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? First Play. Ay, my lord. Ham. Very well. Follow that lord,--and look

you mock him not. [Exit First Player.] My good friends, I'll leave you till night.

You are welcome to Elsinore.
Ros. Good my lord!
Ham. Ay, so, God buy ye. [Exeunt Rosencrantz

and Guildenstern.] Now I am alone.
0, 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 wanned,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for 600






For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would

he do,
Had he the motive and the cue 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
The very faculties 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 damned defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain, breaks my pate across,
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my

Tweaks me by the nose, gives me the lie i'

the throat,
As deep as to the lungs, who does me this,
'Swounds, I should take it; for it can not be
But I am pigeon-livered 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


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Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless

villain! 0, vengeance! Why, what an ass I am! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murdered, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and 680

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 brain! 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 proclaimed their malefactions. For murder, though it have no tongue, will

speak With most miraculous organ. I'll have these 640

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 but blench, I know my course. The spirit that I have



May be the Devil: and the Devil hath power 645
T'assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,

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