My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;
How in my words soever she be shent
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!



A room in the castle.

Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with us To let his madness range. Therefore pre

pare you.
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
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 lunacies.

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. 10 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 depends and rests
The lives of many. The cease of majesty 15
Dies not alone, but, like a gulf, doth draw

What's near it with it. It is a massy wheel,
Fixed on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser

Are mortised and adjoined; which, when it



Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone

Did the King sigh, but with a general groan. King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy

voyage, 26 For we will fetters put upon this fear,

Which now goes too free-footed. Ros.

We will haste us. Guil. I

[Exeunt Rosencraniz and Guildenstern.

Enter Polonius.
Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.

Behind the arras I'll convey myself,
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'er

hear The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my


I'll call upon you ere you go to bed, 35 And tell you what I know.



Thanks, dear my lord.

[Exit Polonius.
0, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon it,
A brother's murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will.
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, 40
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed

Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens 45
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves

But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this two-fold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardoned being down? Then I'll look up; 50
My fault is past. But, 0, what form of

Can serve my turn? “Forgive me my foul

That can not be; since I am still possessed
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. 55
May one be pardoned 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

60 Buys out the law. But 'tis not so above.

There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves com-

Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? What

Try what repentance can. What can it

Yet what can it when one can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make

Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings

of steel, 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 praying.

And now I'll do’t.-And so he goes to heaven; 73 And so am I rovenged. That would be

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

To take him in the purging of his soul, 86
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid

When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,

At game, a-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 damned and

black. As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays. 95 This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.

[Exit. King. [Rising.] My words fly up, my thoughts

remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.


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