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Scene One 

A room in the castle

 

[Enter KING CLAUDIUSQUEEN GERTRUDE POLONIUSOPHELIAROSENCRANTZand GUILDENSTERN]

KING CLAUDIUS

And can youby no drift of circumstance

Get from him why he puts on this confusion

Gratingso harshlyall his days of quiet

With turbulentand dangerous lunacy

ROCENCRANTZ

He does confesshe feels himself distracted

But from what cause he will by no means speak

GUILDENSTERN

Nor do we find him forward to be sounded

But with a craftymadnesskeeps aloof

When we would bring him on to some confession

Of his true state

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Did he receive you well

ROSENCRANTZ

Most like a gentleman

GUILDENSTERN

But with much forcing of his disposition

ROSENCRANTZ

Niggardof questionbutof our demandsMost free in his reply

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Did you assay him

To any pastime

ROSENCRANTZ

Madamit so fell outthat certain players

We o>er-raughton the wayof these we told him

And there did seem in him a kind of joy

To hear of itthey are about the court

Andas I thinkthey have already order

This night to play before him

LORD POLONIUS

>Tis most true

And he beseech'd me to entreatyour majesties

To hear and see the matter

KING CLAUDIUS

With all my heartand it doth much contentme

To hear him so inclined

Good gentlemengive him a further edge

And drive his purpose on to these delights

ROSENCRANTZ

We shallmy lord

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]

KING CLAUDIUS

Sweet Gertrudeleave us too

For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither

That heas>twereby accidentmay here

Affront Ophelia

Her father and myselflawfulespials

will so bestowourselves thatseeingunseen

We may of their encounter frankly judge

And gather by himas he is behaved

If>t be the afflictionof his love or noThat thus he suffers for

QUEEN GERTRUDE

I shall obey you

And for your partOpheliaI do wish

That your good beauties be the happy cause

of Hamlet's wildnessso shall I hope your virtues

Will bring him to his wontedway again

To both your honours

OPHELIA

MadamI wish it may

[Exit QUEEN GERTRUDE]

LORD POLONIUS

Opheliawalk you hereGraciousso please you

We will bestow ourselves

[To OPHELIA]

Read on this book

That show of such an exercise may colour

Your lonelinessWe are oftto blame in this,——

>Tis too much proved——that with devotion'svisage

And piousaction we do sugaro>erThe devil himself

KING CLAUDIUS

[Aside]O>tis too true

How smarta lashthat speech doth give my conscience

The harlot'scheekbeautiedwith plasteringart

Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it

Than is my deed to my most painted word

O heavy burthen

LORD POLONIUS

I hear him cominglet's withdraw my lord

[Exeunt KING CLAUDIUS and POLONINIUS]

[Enter HAMLET]

HAMLET

To beor not to bethat is the question

Whether>tis noblerin the mind to suffer

The slingsand arrows of outrageousfortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end themTo dieto sleep

No moreand by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to>tis a consummation

Devoutlyto be wish'dTo dieto sleep

To sleepperchanceto dreamaythere's the rub

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled offthis mortal coil

Must give us pausethere's the respect

That makes calamityof so long life

For who would bear the whips and scornsof time

The oppressor's wrongthe proud man's contumely

The pangsof despisedlovethe law's delay

The insolenceof office and the spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes

When he himself might his quietusmake

With a bare bodkinwho would fardels bear

To gruntand sweat under a wearylife

But that the dread of something after death

The undiscover'd country from whose bourn

No traveller returnspuzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of

Thus conscience does make cowardsof us all

And thus the nativehueof resolution

Is sickliedo>er with the pale cast of thought

And enterprises of great pithand moment

With this regard their currents trun awry

And lose the name of action.——Soft you nowThe fair

Ophelia!!

Nymphin thy orisons

Be all my sinsremember'd

OPHELIA

Good my lord

How does your honour for this many a day

HAMLET

I humblythank youwellwellwell

OPHELIA

My lordI have remembrancesof yours

That I have longedlong to re-deliver

I pray younow receive them

HAMLET

Nonot I

I never gave you aught

OPHELIA

My honour'd lordyou know right well you did

Andwith themwords of so sweet breath composed

As made the things more richtheir perfumelost

Take these againfor to the noble mind

Rich gifts waxpoor when giversprove unkind

Theremy lord

HAMLET

Hahaare you honest

OPHELIA

My>lord

HAMLET

Are you fair

OPHELIA

What means your lordship

HAMLET

That if you be honest and fairyour honesty should admit no

discourse to your beauty

OPHELIA

Could beautymy lordhave better commercethanwith honesty

HAMLET

Aytrulyfor the power of beauty will sooner

transform honesty from what it is to a bawdthan the

force of honesty can translate beauty into his

likenessthis was sometime a paradoxbut now the

time gives it proofI did love you once

OPHELIA

Indeedmy lordyou made me believe so

HAMLET

You should not have believed mefor virtuecannot

so inoculateour old stockbut we shall relishof

itI loved you not

OPHELIA

I was the more deceived

HAMLET

Get thee to a nunnerywhy wouldstthou be a

breederof sinnersI am myself indifferenthonest

but yet I could accuseme of such things that it

were better my mother had not bornemeI am very

proudrevengefulambitiouswith more offencesat

my beckthan I have thoughts to put them in

imagination to give them shapeor time to act them

inWhat should such fellowsas I do crawling

between earth and heavenWe are arrantknaves

allbelieve none of usGo thy ways to a nunnery

Where's your father

OPHELIA

At homemy lord

HAMLET

Let the doors be shut upon himthat he may play the

fool no where but in's own houseFarewell

OPHELIA

Ohelp himyou sweet heavens

HAMLET

If thou dost marryI>ll give thee this plague

for

thy dowrybe thou as chaste as iceas pure as

snowthou shaltnot escape calumnyGet thee to a

nunnerygofarewellOrif thou wiltneeds

marrymarry a foolfor wise men know well enough

what monstersyou make of themTo a nunnerygo

and quickly tooFarewell

OPHELIA

O heavenly powersrestorehim

HAMLET

I have heard of your paintingstoowell enoughGod

has given you one faceand you make yourselves

anotheryou jigyou ambleand you lispand

nick-nameGod's creaturesand make your

wantonness

your ignoranceGo toI>ll no more on>tit hathmade me

madI saywe will have no more marriages

those that are married alreadyall but oneshall

livethe rest shall keep as they areTo a

nunnerygo

[Exit]

OPHELIA

Owhat a noble mind is here o>erthrown

The courtier'ssoldier'sscholar'seyetonguesword

The expectancyand rose of the fair state

The glass of fashion and the mouldof form

The observedof all observersquitequite down

And Iof ladies most dejectand wretched

That suck'dthe honey of his music vows

Now see that noble and most sovereignreason

Like sweet bells jangledout of tuneand harsh

That unmatch'dform and feature of blownyouth

Blastedwith ecstasyOwoeis me

To have seen what I have seensee what I see

[Re-enter KING CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS]

KING CLAUDIUS

Lovehis affections do not that way tend

Nor what he spakethough it lack'd form a little

Was not like madnessThere's something in his soul

O>er which his melancholysits on brood

And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose

Will be some dangerwhich for to prevent

I have in quick determination

Thus set it downhe shall with speed to England

For the demand of our neglected tribute

Haply the seas and countries different

With variable objects shall expel

This something-settled matter in his heart

Whereonhis brains still beating puts him thus

From fashion of himselfWhat think you on>t

LORD POLONIUS

It shall do wellbut yet do I believe

The origin and commencementof his grief

Sprungfrom neglected loveHow nowOphelia

You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said

We heard it allMy lorddo as you please

Butif you hold it fitafter the play

Let his queen mother all alone entreat him

To show his grieflet her be round with him

And I>ll be placedso please youin the ear

Of all their conferenceIf she find him not

To England send himor confine him where

Your wisdom best shall think

KING CLAUDIUS

It shall be so

Madness in great onesmust not unwatch'd go

[Exeunt]


 

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