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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. . .
145 Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
[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.
Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
Make us again count o’er ere love be done!
My operant powers their functions leave to do;
O, confound the rest!
None wed the second but who killed the first.
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
When second husband kisses me in bed.
But what we do determine oft we break.
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
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.
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
(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?]