thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is, “For, 0, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.”

Hautboys play. The dumb-show enters. Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly, the

Queen embracing him, and he her. She kneels and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up and declines his head upon her neck; lays him down upon a bank of flowers; she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner woos the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love.

[Exeunt. Oph. What means this, my lord? Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means

mischief. Oph. Belike this show imports the argument of the play.

Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow. The players

can not keep counsel, they'll tell all. . .

140 155

145 Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.

[Exit. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?

Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord. 150 Ham. As woman's love.

Enter two Players, King and Queen.
P. King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone

Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have times twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands

Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon

Make us again count o’er ere love be done!
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must;
For women's fear and love hold quantity,
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you

And as my love is sized, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows

P. King. 'Faith I must leave thee, love, and shortly





My operant powers their functions leave to do;
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honored, beloved; and haply one as kind
For husband shalt thou-



P. Queen.

O, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast!
In second husband let me be accurst!

None wed the second but who killed the first.
Ham. [Aside.] Wormwood, wormwood.
P. Queen. The instances that second marriage move

Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
A second time I kill my husband dead,

When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. King. 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 fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis that we forget
To 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 enactures with themselves destroy.
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.

This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes

For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favorite flies; 200
The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy
But, orderly to end where I begun,





Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;

But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
P. Queen. Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!

Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well and it destroy.
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!


220 Ham. If she should break it now! P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here

awhile. My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.

[Sleeps. P. Queen.

Sleep rock thy brain, And never come mischance between us twain!

[Excit. 225 Ham. Madam, how like you this play? Queen. The lady doth protest too much, me

thinks. Ham. O, but she'll keep her word.

King. Have you heard the argument? Is there 230 no offence in't? Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest.

No offence i’ the world.
King. What do you call the play?

Ham. The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. 235 This play is the image of a murder done in

Vienna. Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista. You shall see anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o' that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, 240 our withers are unwrung.

Enter Lucianus. This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. 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. 245 Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen. . . Ham. 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 250

Confederate season, else no creature seeing.
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately.

(Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears. Ham. He poisons him i' the garden for his estate.

His name's Gonzago; the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

260 Oph. The King rises. [Ham. What, frighted with false fire?]

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