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Scene Two 

A hall in the castle

 

[Enter HAMLET and Players]

HAMLET

Speak the speechI pray youas I pronouncedit to

youtrippinglyon the tonguebut if you mouth it

as many of your players doI had as lief the

town-crierspoke my linesNor do not saw the air too much

with your hand

thusbut use all gently

for in the very torrenttempestandas I may say

the whirlwindof passionyou must acquire and beget

a temperancethat may give it smoothnessOit

offends me to the soul to hear a robustious

periwig-patedfellow tear a passion to tattersto

very ragsto split the ears of the groundlingswho

for the most part are capable of nothing but

inexplicabledumbshowsand noiseI would have such

a fellow whipped for o>erdoing Termagantit

out-herods Herodpray youavoid it

First Player

I warrantyour honour

HAMLET

Be not too tameneitherbut let your own discretion

be your tutorsuit the action to the wordthe

word to the actionwith this special o>erstepnot

the modestyof naturefor any thing so overdone is

from the purpose of playingwhose endboth at the

first and nowwas and isto holdas>twerethe

mirror up to natureto show virtue her own feature

scornher own imageand the very age and body of

the time his form and pressureNow this overdone

or come tardyoffthough it make the unskilful

laughcannot but make the judiciousgrievethe

censureof the which one must in your allowance

o>erweigh a whole theatre of othersOthere be

players that I have seen playand heard others

praiseand that highlynot to speak it profanely

thatneither having the accent of Christians nor

the gaitof Christianpagannor manhave so

struttedand bellowedthat I have thought some of

nature's journeymenhad made men and not made them

wellthey imitatedhumanityso abominably

First Player

I hope we have reformed that indifferentlywith us

sir

HAMLET

Oreform it altogetherAnd let those that play

your clownsspeak no more than is set down for them

for there be of them that will themselves laughto

set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh

toothoughin the mean timesome necessary

question of the play be then to be considered

that's villanousand shows a most pitiful ambition

in the fool that uses itGomake you ready

[Exeunt Players]

[Enter POLONIUSROSENCRANTZand GUILDENSTERN]

How nowmy lordI will the king hear this piece of work

LORD POLONIUS

And the queen tooand that presently

HAMLET

Bid the Players make haste

[Exit POLONIUS]

Will you two help to hastenthem

ROSENCRANTZ

We willmy lord

GUILDENSTERN

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]

HAMLET

What hoHoratio

[Enter HORATIO]

HORATIO

Heresweet lordat your service

HAMLET

Horatiothou art e>enas just a man

As e>ermy conversation coped withal

HORATIO

Omy dear lord,——

HAMLET

Naydo not think I flatter

For what advancementmay I hope from thee

That no revenuehast but thy good spirits

To feed and clothetheeWhy should the poor be flatter'd

Nolet the candiedtongue lickabsurd pomp

And crookthe pregnanthingesof the knee

Where thriftmay follow fawningDost thou hear

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice

And could of men distinguishher election

Hath seal'd thee for herselffor thou hast been

As onein suffering allthat suffers nothing

A man that fortune's buffetsand rewards

Hast ta>en with equal thanksand blestare those

Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled

That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger

To sound what stop she pleaseGive me that man

That is not passion's slaveand I will wear him

In my heart's coreayin my heart of heart

As I do thee.——Something too much Of this.——

There is a play to-night before the king

One scene of it comes near the circumstance

Which I have told thee of my father's death

I pritheewhen thou seestthat act afoot

Even with the very comment of thy soul

Observe mine uncleif his occultedguilt

Do not itself unkennelin one speech

It is a damned ghost that we have seen

And my imaginations are as foul

As Vulcan'sstithyGive him heedfulnote

For I mine eyes will rivetto his face

And after we will both our judgments join

In censureof his seeming

HORATIO

Wellmy lord

If he steal aughtthe whilstthis play is playing

And'scapedetectingI will pay the theft

HAMLET

They are coming to the playI must be idle

Get you a place

[Danish marchA flourishEnter KING CLAUDIUSQUEEN GERTRUDEPOLONIUSOPHELIAROSENCRANTZGUILDENSTERNand others]

KING CLAUDIUS

How faresour cousin Hamlet

HAMLET

Excellenti>faithOf the chameleon'sdishI eat

the airpromise-crammedyou cannot feed caponsso

KING CLAUDIUS

I have nothing with this answerHamletthese wordsare not mine

HAMLET

NOnor mine now

[To POLONIUS]

My lordyou played once i>the universityyou say

LORD POLONIUS

That did Imy lordand was accounteda good actor

HAMLET

What did you enact

LORD POLONIUS

I did enact Julius CaesarI was killed i>the

CapitolBrutuskilled me

HAMLET

It was a brutepart of him to kill so capitala calf

thereBe the players ready

ROSENCRANTZ

Aymy lordthey stay upon your patience

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Come hithermy dear Hamletsit by me

HAMLET

Nogood motherhere's metal more attractive

LORD POLONIUS

[TO KING CLAUDIUS]Ohodo you mark that

HAMLET

Ladyshall I lie in your lap

[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet]

OPHELIA

Nomy lord

HAMLET

I meanmy head upon your lap

OPHELIA

Aymy lord

HAMLET

Do you think I meant country matters

OPHELIA

I think nothingmy lord

HAMLET

That's a fair thought to lie between maids>legs

OPHELIA

What ismy lord

HAMLET

Nothing

OPHELIA

You are merrymy lord

HAMLET

WhoI

OPHELIA

Aymy lord

HAMLET

O Godyour only jig-makerWhat should a man do

but be merryforlook youhow cheerfullymy

mother looksand my father died within these two hours

OPHELIA

Nay>tis twice two monthsmy lord

HAMLET

So longNay thenlet the devil wear blackfor

I>ll have a suit of sablesO heavensdie two

months agoand not forgotten yetThen there's

hope a great man's memory may outlivehis life half

a yearbutby>r ladyhe must build churches

thenor else shall he suffer not thinking onwith

the hobby-horsewhose epitaphis>FOrOforO

the hobby-horse is forgot>

HautboysplayThe dumb-showenters

[Enter a King and a Queen very lovinglythe Queen

embracinghimand he herShe kneelsand makes show of

protestationunto himHe takes her upand declineshis

head upon her necklays him down upon a bankof flowers

sheseeing him asleepleaves himAnoncomes in a fellow

takes off his crownkisses itand pourspoison in the King's

earsand exitThe Queen returnsfinds the King deadand

makes passionateactionThe Poisonerwith some two or

three Mutescomes in againseeming to lamentwith her

The dead body is carried awayThe Poisoner wooesthe Queen

with giftsshe seems loathand unwilling awhilebut in the

end accepts his love]

[Exeunt]

OPHELIA

What means thismy lord

HAMLET

Marrythis is michingmallechoit means mischief

OPHELIA

Belikethis show importsthe argumentof the play

[Enter Prologue]

HAMLET

We shall know by this felloWthe players cannot

keep counselthey>ll tell all

OPHELIA

Will he tell us what this show meant

HAMLET

Ayor any show that you>ll show himbe not you

ashamed to showhe>ll not shame to tell you what it means

OPHELIA

You are naughtyou are naughtI>ll mark the play

Prologue

For usand for our tragedy

Here stooping to your clemencyWe beg your hearing patiently

[Exit]

HAMLET

Is this a prologueor the posyof ring

OPHELIA

>Tis briefmy lord

HAMLET

As woman's love

[Enter two PlayersKing and Queen]

Player King

Full thirty times hath Phoebus>cartgone round

Neptune'ssalt wash and Tellus>orbed ground

And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen

About the world have times twelve thirties been

Since love our hearts and Hymendid our hands

Unite commutualin most sacredbands

Player Queen

So many journeys may the sun and moon

Make us again count o>er erelove be done

Butwoeis meyou are so sick of late

So far from cheer and from your former state

That I distrustyouYetthough I distrust

Discomfortyoumy lordit nothing must

FOr women's fear and love holds quantity

In neither aughtor in extremity

Nowwhat my love isproof hath made you know

And as my love is sizedmy fear is so

Where love is greatthe littlest doubts are fear

Where little fears grow greatgreat love grows there

Player King

>FaithI must leave theeloveand shortly too

My operantpowers their functions leave to do

And thou shaltlive in this fair world behind

Honour'dbelovedand haplyone as kind

For husband shalt thou——

Player Queen

Oconfound the rest

Such love must needs be treasonin my breast

In second husband let me be accurst

None wed the second but who kill'd the first

HAMLET

[Aside] Wormwoodwormwood

Player Queen

The instances that second marriage move

Are base respects of thriftbut none of love

A second time I kill my husband dead

When second husband kisses me in bed

Player 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 birthbut poor validity

Which nowlike fruit unripesticks on the tree

But fallunshakenwhen they mellowbe

Most necessary>tis that we forget

To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt

What to ourselves in passion we propose

The passion endingdoth the purpose lose

The violenceof either grief or joy

Their own enactureswith themselves destroy

Where joy most revelsgrief doth most lament

Grief joysjoy grieveson slender accident

This world is not for ayenor>tis not strange

That even our loves should with our fortunes change

For>tis a question left us yet to prove

Whether love lead fortuneor else fortune love

The great man downyou mark his favouriteflies

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 hollowfriend doth try

Directly seasonshim his enemy

Butorderlyto end where I begun

Our wills and fates do so contraryrun

That our devicesstill are overthrown

Our thoughts are ourstheir ends none of our own

So think thou wiltno second husband wed

But die thy thoughts when thy first lordis dead

Player Queen

Nor earth to me give foodnor heaven light

Sportand 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 blanksthe face of joy

Meet what I would have well and it destroy

Both here and hencepursueme lasting strife

Ifonce a widowever I be wife

HAMLET

If she should break it now

Player King

>Tis deeply sworn Sweetleave me here awhile

My spirits grow dulland fainI would beguile

The tediousday with sleep

[Sleeps]

Player Queen

Sleep rockthybrain

And never come mischancebetween us twain

[Exit]

HAMLET

Madamhow like you this play

QUEEN GERTRUDE

The lady proteststoo muchmethinks

HAMLET

Obut she>ll keep her word

KING CLAUDIUS

Have you heard the argumentIs there no offencein>t

HAMLET

Nonothey do but jestpoison in jestno offence

i>theworld

KING CLAUDIUS

What do you call the play

HAMLET

The Mouse-trapMarryhowTropicallyThis play

Is the image of a murder done in ViennaGonzago is

the duke's namehis wifeBaptistayou shall see

anon>tis a knavishpiece of workbut what o>

thatyour majesty and we that have free soulsit

touches us notlet the galledjadewinceour

withersare unwrung

[Enter LUCIANUS]

This is one Lucianusnephewto the king

OPHELIA

You are as good as a chorusmy lord

HAMLET

I could interpretbetween you and your loveif I

could see the puppetsdallying

OPHELIA

You are keenmy lordyou are keen

HAMLET

It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge

OPHELIA

Still betterand worse

HAMLET

So you must take your husbandsBeginmurderer

poxleave thy damnablefacesand begin Come

>the croakingravendoth bellowfor revenge

LUCIANUS

Thoughts blackhands aptdrugs fitand time agreeing

Confederate seasonelse no creature seeing

Thou mixture rankof midnight weeds collected

With Hecate'sbanthrice blastedthrice infected

Thy natural magic and direproperty

On wholesomelife usurpimmediately

[Poursthe poison into the sleeper's ears]

HAMLET

He posons him i>the garden for'sestateHis

name's Gonzagothe story is extantand writin

choiceItalianyou shall see anonhow the murderer

gets the love of Gonzago's wife

OPHELIA

The king rises

HAMLET

Whatfrighted with false fire

QUEEN GERTRUDE

How faresmy lord

LORD POLONIUS

Give o>erthe play

KING CLAUDIUS

Give me some lightaway

All

Lightslightslights

[Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO]

HAMLET

Whylet the strickendeer go weep

The hartungalledplay

For some must watchwhile some must sleep

So runs the world away

Would not thissirand a forest of feathers——if

the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me——with two

Provincial roses on my razedshoesget me a fellowship in a

cry of playsir

HORATIO

Half a share

HAMLET

A whole oneI

For thou dost know O Damon dear

This realm dismantledwas

Of Jovehimselfand now reignshere

A veryvery——pajock

HORATIO

You might have rhymed

HAMLET

O good HoratioI>ll take the ghost's word for a

thousand poundDidstperceive

HORATIO

Very wellmy lord

HAMLET

Upon the talk of the poisoning

HORATIO

I did very well note him

HAMLET

AhhaComesome musiccomethe recorders

For if the king like not the comedy

Why thenbelikehe likes it notperdy

Comesome music

[Re-enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]

GUILDENSTERN

Good my lordvouchsafeme a word with you

HAMLET

Sira whole history

GUILDENSTERN

The kingsir,——

HAMLET

Aysirwhat of him

GUILDENSTERN

Is in his retirementmarvellousdistempered

HAMLET

With drinksir

GUILDENSTERN

Nomy lordrather with choler

HAMLET

Your wisdom should show itself more richer to

signifythis to his doctorforfor me to put him

to his purgationwould perhaps plungeghim into far

more choler

GUILDENSTERN

Good my lordput your discourse into some frame and

start not so wildly from my affair

HAMLET

I am tamesirpronounce

GUILDENSTERN

The queenyour motherin most great afflictionof

spirithath sent me to you

HAMLET

You are welcome

GUILDENSTERN

Naygood my lordthis courtesy is not of the right

breedIf it shall please you to make me a

wholesomeanswerI will do your mother's

commandmentif notyour pardon and my return

shall be the end of my business

HAMLET

SirI cannot

GUILDENSTERN

Whatmy lord

HAMLET

Make yor a wholesome answermy wit'sdiseasedbut

sirsuch answer as I can makeyou shall command

orratheras you saymy motherthereforeno

morebut to the mattermy motheryou say,——

ROSENCRANTZ

Then thus she saysyour behavior hath struck her

into amazement and admiration

HAMLET

O wonderful sonthat can so astonish a motherBut

is there no sequelat the heelsof this mother's

admirationImpart

ROSENCRANTZ

She desires to speak with you in her closetereyou

go to bed

HAMLET

We shall obeywere she ten times our motherHave

you any further trade with us

ROSENCRANTZ

My lordyou once did love me

HAMLET

So I do stillby these pickers and stealers

ROSENCRANTZ

Good my lordwhat is your cause of distemperyou

dosurelybarthe door upon your own libertyif

you denyyour griefs to your friend

HAMLET

SirI lack advancement

ROSENCRANTZ

How can that bewhen you have the voice of the king

himself for your successionin Denmark

HAMLET

Aybut sir>While the grass grows>——the proverb

is something musty

[Re-enter Players with recorders]

Othe recorderslet me see oneTo withdrawwith

you:——why do you go about to recover the wind of me

as if you would drive me into a toil

GUILDENSTERN

Omy lordif my duty be too boldmy love is too

unmannerly

HAMLET

I do not well understand thatWill you play upon

this pipe

GUILDENSTERN

My lordI cannot

HAMLET

I pray you

GUILDENSTERN

bolieve meI cannot

HAMLET

I do beseechyou

GUILDENSTERN

I know no touch of itmy lord

HAMLET

>Tis as easy as lyinggovernthese ventageswith

your lingers and thumbgive it breath with your

mouthand it will discoursemost eloquentmusic

Look youthese are the stops

GUILDENSTERN

But these cannot I command to any utteranceof

harmonyI have not the skill

HAMLET

Whylook you nowhow unworthy a thing you make of

meYou would play upon meyou would seem to know

my stopsyou would pluckout the heart of my

mysteryyou would sound me from my lowest note to

the top of my compassand there is much music

excellent voicein this little organyet cannot

you make it speak'sblooddo you think I am

easier to be played on than a pipeCall me what

instrument you willthough you can fretmeyet you

cannot play upon me

[Enter POLONIUS]

God bless yousir

LORD POLONIUS

My lordthe queen would speak with youand

presently

HAMLET

Do you see yondercloud that's almost in shape of a camel

LORD POLONIUS

By the massand >tis like a camelindeed

HAMLET

Methinksit is like a weasel

LORD POLONIUS

It is backed like a weasel

HAMLET

Or like a whale

LORD POLONIUS

Very like a whale

HAMLET

Then I will come to my mother by and byThey fool

me to the top of my bentI will come by and by

LORD POLONIUS

I will say so

HAMLET

By and by is easily said

[Exit POLONIUS]

Leave mefriends

[Exeunt all but HAMLET]

Tisnow the very withchingtime of night

When churchyardsyawnand hell itself breathes out

Contagion to this worldnow could I drink hot blood

And do such bitter business as the day

Would quaketo look onSoftnow to my mother

O heartlose not thy naturelet not ever

The soul of Neroenter this firmbosom

Let me be cruelnot unnatural

I will speak daggers to herbut use none

My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites

How in my words soevershe be shent

To give them seals nevermy soulconsent

[Exit]


 

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