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Hamlet

Act II, Scene 2

A room in the castle.
 
[Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Attendants]
 
CLAUDIUS
       ,              ,      ,            ,       ,
      Welcome | dear^Ros|encrantz | and Guild|enstern.
           x       ,         ,          ,        ,
      Moreover,| that we | much did | long to | see you,
            ,         ,        ,          ,         ,
      The need | we have | to use | you, did | provoke
           ,       ,         ,          ,          ,
      Our has|ty send|ing. Some|thing have | you heard
          ,          ,       ,        ,         x
      Of Ham|let's trans|forma|tion: so | I call it,
             ,       2   ,   2    ,         ,       ,
      Since not | the exter|ior, nor | the in|ward man
         ,         ,        ,          ,           ,
      Resem|bles that | it was.| What it | should be
        ,      2       ,           ,             ,          ,
      More than his | father's | death, that | thus hath | put him
           ,        2     ,      ,        ,        ,
      So much | from the und|erstand|ing of | himself,
         ,        ,         ,        ,          ,
      I can|not dream | of. I | entreat | you both,
            ,           ,   ,       ,            ,     2
      That be|ing of / so young | days brought^|up with him:
            ,      ,   ,           2        ,           ,
      And since | so neigh/bored to his | youth, and | humor,
            ,           ,           ,      ,             ,
      That you | vouchsafe | your rest | here in | our court
            ,        ,        ,         ,      ,
      Some lit|tle time:| so by | your comp|anies
           ,         ,        ,          ,          ,
      To draw | him on | to pleas|ures, and | to gather
           ,         ,       ,       ,          ,
      So much | as from | occas|ion you | may glean,
         2      ,         ,       ,         ,            ,
      Whether aught | to us | unknown | afflicts | him thus,
            ,        ,        ,         ,    ,
      That op|ened lies | within | our rem|edy.
 
GERTRUDE
        ,   ,                 ,            ,         ,
      Good gent/lemen, | he hath | much talked | of you,
            ,       ,         ,         2     ,     ,
      And sure | I am,| two* men | there are not | living,
           ,         ,        ,      ,   2          ,
      To whom | he more | adheres.| If it will | please you
           ,        ,          ,              ,    ,
      To show | us so | much gent|ry, and / good will,
          ,       ,           ,          ,      ,
      As to | expend | your time | with us | awhile,
       ,            ,         ,       ,         ,
      For the | supply | and prof|it of | our hope,
            ,    ,        ,         ,            ,
      Your vis|ita|tion shall | receive | such^thanks
           ,        ,         ,
      As fits | a king's | remem|brance.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
                                          ,          ,     2   ->
                                        Both | your maj||esties
        ,       2      ,          x           ,        ,
      Might | by the sove|reign power | you have | of us,
       ,           ,     ,                ,          ,
      Put your | dread pleas/ures, more^|into | command
        ,           ,    
      Than to | entrea|ty.
 
GUILDENSTERN
                            ,         ,      ,
                           But | we both | obey,
            ,          ,         ,                ,    ,
      And here | give^up | ourselves,| in the / full bent,
          ,          ,        ,      ,          ,
      To lay | our serv|ice free|ly at | your feet,
          ,       ,
      To be | command|ed.   \\
 
CLAUDIUS
              ,       ,          ,        ,       ,
      Thanks^Ros|encrantz,| and gent|le Guild|enstern.
 
GERTRUDE
               ,       ,           ,      ,       ,
      Thanks^Guild|enstern | and gent|le Ros|encrantz.
          ,       ,          ,       ,        x
      And I | beseech | you inst|antly | to visit
          ,      T     T     T
      My too | much changed son.
                                  ,   ,
                                 Go some / of ye,
            ,            ,      ,           ,       ,
      And bring | these gent|lemen | where Ham|let is.
 
GUILDENSTERN
       ,          ,          ,         ,          ,  2
      Heavens | make our | presence | and our | practises
        ,              ,       ,
      Pleasant | and help|ful to | him.
 
GERTRUDE
                                          ,    oo
                                        Amen.|
 
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendants; enter POLONIUS]
 
POLONIUS
         2   ,      ,          ,              ,    ,
      The ambas|sadors | from Nor|way, my / good lord,
           ,     ,        ,
      Are joy|fully | returned.  \\
 
CLAUDIUS
             ,            ,         ,             ,    ,
      Thou still | hast been | the fath|er of / good news.
 
POLONIUS
        ,           ,          ,     T   T    T
      Have I,| my lord?| I assure | my good liege,
          ,        ,      ,       ,         ,
      I hold | my du|ty, as | I hold | my soul,
        ,           ,         ,       ,          ,
      Both to | my God,| and to | my gra|cious king:
          ,        ,          ,           ,          ,
      And I | do think,| or else | this brain | of mine
        T    T   .    T         ,    ,        ,
      Hunts not the trail | of pol|icy,| so sure
          ,          ,        ,        ,          ,
      As it | hath used | to do:| that I | have found
           ,      ,         ,         ,    ,
      The ve|ry cause | of Ham|let's lun|acy.
 
CLAUDIUS
           ,          ,      ,           ,         ,
      Oh speak | of that,| that do | I long | to hear.
 
POLONIUS
             ,        ,         ,      2   ,      ,
      Give first | admit|tance to | the ambas|sadors,
           ,           ,         ,                 ,     ,
      My news | shall be | the fruit | to that / great feast.
 
CLAUDIUS
           ,         ,          ,          ,           ,
      Thyself | do grace | to them,| and bring | them in.
 
[Exit POLONIUS]
           ,               ,     ,       2       ,
      He tells | me my / sweet queen,| he hath found
      <-      ,            ,         ,           ,         ,       o
        The head || and source | of all | your son's | distemp|er.
 
GERTRUDE
          ,         ,       ,       ,          ,
      I doubt | it is | no oth|er, but | the main,
            ,         ,                ,  ,      ,       
      His fath|er's death,| and our / orehas|ty mar||riage.
 
CLAUDIUS
        ,      2        ,          ,         ,      ___
      Well,| we shall sift | him. Wel|come good | Friends:
 
[Enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS]
            ,     ,      ,      2       ,         ,
      Say Volt|imand,| what from our | brother | Norway?
 
VOLTIMAND
             ,        ,         ,          ,        ,
      Most^fair | return | of greet|ings, and | desires.
        ,          ,          ,     ,            ,
      Upon | our first,| he sent | out to | suppress
           ,         ,         ,         ,        ,
      His neph|ew's lev|ies, which | to him | appeared
          ,      ,     ,         ,           ,    ,  ->
      To be | a pre|para|tion 'gainst | the Po||lack;
               x            ,         ,       ,
      But | better looked^|into,| he tru|ly found
          ,        ,            ,          ,         ,
      It was | against | your high|ness, where|at grieved,
            ,         ,         ,         ,     ,
      That so | his sick|ness, age,| and imp|otence
            ,        ,          ,           ,        ,
      Was false|ly borne | in hand,| sends^out | arrests
          ,       ,           ,        ,       ,
      On Fort|inbras,| which he |(in brief)| obeys,
           ,         ,          ,        ,         ,
      Receives | rebuke | from Nor|way:^and | in fine,
        T    T   .  T         ,       ,       ,
      Makes vow before | his unc|le, nev|er more
           ,         ,    2     ,        ,           ,    2   ->
      To give | the as|say of arms | against | your maj||esty*.
         ,    2     ,       ,      ,          ,
      Where|on old Nor|way, ov|ercome | with joy,
        ,                  ,          ,         ,       ,
      Gives him | three* thous|and crowns | in an|nual fee,
       ,     2     ,         ,      ,           ,
      And his com|mission | to em|ploy those | soldiers
          ,       ,       ,        ,          ,    ,   ->
      So lev|ied as | before,| against | the Po||lack:
               2    ,       ,      ,         ,
      With | an entrea|ty here|in furth|er shown,
 
[Giving a paper]
            ,            ,                ,   ,       ,
      That it | might please | you to / give qui|et pass
                ,       ,         ,          ,      ,
      Through your | domin|ions, for | this ent|erprise,
           ,        ,          ,   ,    2    ,
      On such | regards | of safe|ty and al|lowance,
           ,             ,    ,
      As there|in are / set down.
 
CLAUDIUS
                                      ,          ,
                                 It likes | us well:
           ,         ,        ,         ,            ,
      And at | our more | consid|ered time | well* read,
       ,             ,       ,          ,
      Answer,| and think | upon | this bus|iness.
      <-  ,     ,         ,                      ,    ,     ,
        Mean||time we | thank you,| for your / well-took | labor.
       ,   2         ,          ,             ,       ,
      Go to your | rest, at | night we'll | feast to|gether.
            ,         ,
      Most^wel|come home.
 
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS]
 
POLONIUS
                                ,       2     ,     ,
                          This bus|iness is well | ended.
           ,          ,       ,      ,      ,
      My liege,| and mad|am, to | expos|tulate
            ,    ,            ,         ,     ,
      What maj|esty | should be,| what du|ty is,
           ,        ,      T      T     .    T         ,
      Why day | is day;| night, night; and time | is time,
            ,                   ,     ,     ,          ,
      Were noth|ing but to // waste night, day,| and time.
             ,      ,     ,          2      ,        ,
      Therefore,| since brev/ity | is the soul | of wit,
           ,   2    ,          ,          ,         ,     3   3->
      And ted|iousness,| the limbs | and out|ward flour||ishes,
          ,         ,           ,      ,        ,
      I will | be brief.| Your nob|le son | is mad:
       T    T  Tx        2        ,    ,     ,
      Mad call I it;| for to de/fine true | madness,
             x      ,           ,         ,         ,
      What is it,| but to | be noth|ing else | but mad.
           ,          ,
      But let | that go.
 
GERTRUDE
                               ,                ,   ,
                        More* mat|ter, with / less art.
 
POLONIUS
       ,          ,        ,        ,        ,
      Madam,| I swear | I use | no art | at all:
        ,    2      ,            ,            ,          ,
      That he is | mad, 'tis | true: 'tis | true 'tis | pity,
           ,      ,           ,       ,        ,       ->
      And pi|ty 'tis | 'tis true:| a fool|ish fig||ure,
       ,            x         ,         ,        ,
      But | farewell it:| for I | will use | no art.
       ,             ,           ,         ,        ,
      Mad let | us grant | him then:| and now | remains
            ,         ,          ,          ,        ,
      That we | find^out | the cause | of this | effect,
          ,       ,          ,          ,     ,
      Or rath|er say,| the cause | of this | defect;
            ,        ,        ,         ,          ,
      For this | effect | defect|ive, comes | by cause,
        ,           ,        3   3    ,        ,         ,
      Thus it | remains,| and the remaind|er thus.| Perpend,
          ,        ,          ,            ,         ,
      I have | a daught|er: have,| while* she | is mine,
           ,        ,     ,      ,    2      ,
      Who in | her du|ty and | obed|ience, mark,
            ,    2     ,         ,        ,        ,
      Hath giv|en me this:| now gath|er, and | surmise.
 
To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia. That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase, beautified is a vile phrase: but you shall hear these in her excellent white bosom, these.
 
GERTRUDE
Came this from Hamlet to her.
 
POLONIUS
            ,       ,        ,    ,     2       ,
      Good mad|am stay | awhile,| I will be | faithful.
 
[Reads]
              ,          ,          ,    o
      Doubt^thou | the stars | are fi|re;
              ,         ,           ,    oo
      Doubt^that | the sun | doth move;|
              ,         ,      ,     o
      Doubt^truth | to be | a li|ar;
           ,       ,         ,    oo
      But nev|er doubt | I love.|
 
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers: I have not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, oh most best believe it. Adieu. Thine evermore most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet.
 
        ,    2   ,  2        ,         ,          ,
      This in o|bedience | hath my | daughter | shown me:
            ,       ,      ,           ,     ,
      And more | above | hath his | soli|citing,
           ,          ,         ,         ,           ,
      As they | fell^out | by time,| by means | and place,
           ,            ,   ,
      All giv|en to / mine ear.  \\
 
CLAUDIUS
           ,          ,         ,           ,    oo
      But how | hath she | received | his love?|
 
POLONIUS
        ,             ,         ,
      What do | you think | of me?  \\
 
CLAUDIUS
          ,      ,      ,             ,      ,
      As of | a man,| faithful | and hon|orable.
 
POLONIUS
                  ,    ,          ,           ,           ,
      I would / fain prove | so. But | what might | you think?
           ,         ,          ,      ,            ,
      When I | had seen | this hot | love on | the wing,
         ,         ,         ,          ,          ,
      As I | perceived | it, I | must tell | you that
          ,         ,         ,          ,           ,
      Before | my daught|er told | me, what | might you
                ,   ,    ,           ,             ,
      Or my / dear maj|esty | your queen | here, think,
         ,          ,           ,        ,       ,
      If I | had played | the desk | or tab|le-book,
           x          ,         ,         ,          ,
      Or given | my heart | a wink|ing, mute | and dumb,
            ,       ,           ,          ,      ,
      Or looked | upon | this love,| with id|le sight,
             ,           ,      ,             ,          ,
      What might | you think?| No, I | went round | to work,
                  ,    ,           ,       ,        ,
      And (my / young mist|ress) thus | I did | bespeak
        ,   ,                ,      ,             ,
      Lord Ham/let is | a prince | out of | thy star,
             ,         ,    ,      2     ,          ,
      This must | not be:| and then I | precepts^|gave her,
            ,             ,         ,          ,        ,
      That she | should lock | herself | from his | resort,
         ,        ,       ,        ,         ,      ->
      Admit | no mes|sengers,| receive | no tok||ens:
        ,       ,           ,           ,          2    ,
      Which | done, she | took the | fruits of | my advice,
           ,        ,         ,       ,        __
      And he | repulsed,| a short | tale to | make,
            ,   2   ,          ,     ,         ,
      Fell^in|to a sad|ness, then | into | a fast,
         ,            ,        ,    ,          ,
      Thence to | a watch,| thence in/to a | weakness,
         ,            ,           ,        ,        ,        ->
      Thence to | a light|ness, and | by this | declen||sion
       ,   2     ,         ,       ,         ,
      In|to the mad|ness where|in now | he raves,
       .   T   T   T
      And all we mourn | for.
 
CLAUDIUS
                                ,         ,            ,
                               Do | you think | 'tis this?
 
GERTRUDE
          ,         ,      ,
      It may | be, ve|ry like|ly.  \\
 
POLONIUS
             ,            ,        ,          ,           ,
      Hath there | been such | a time,| I'd fain | know that,
           ,         ,     ,       ,          ,
      That I | have pos|itive|ly said,| 'tis so,
                   ,    ,      ,
      When it / proved oth|erwise?
 
CLAUDIUS
                                    ,             ,
                                   Not that | I know.
 
POLONIUS
[Pointing to his head and shoulder]
             ,           ,         ,        ,      ,
      Take this | from this;| if this | be oth|erwise,
          ,       ,        ,        ,          ,
      If cir|cumstan|ces lead | me, I | will find
              ,         ,            ,         ,        ,
      Where truth | is hid,| though it | were hid | indeed
           ,        ,
      Within | the cent|er.
 
CLAUDIUS
                            ,       2      x      ,
                           How | may we try it | further?
 
POLONIUS
            ,          ,
      You know | sometimes
                                ,            ,         ,        ,
                           He walks | four^hours | togeth||er here
        2     ,
      In the lob|by.
 
GERTRUDE
                       ,       ,        ,
                      So | he has | indeed.
 
POLONIUS
           ,        ,           ,          ,        ,
      At such | a time | I'll loose | my daught|er to || him,
       ,      2    ,       ,        ,       ,
      Be | you and I | behind | an ar|ras then,
        ,            ,        ,        ,         ,
      Mark the | encount|er: if | he love | her not,
           ,         ,         ,        x            ,
      And be | not from | his reas|on fallen | thereon;
           ,       ,      ,        ,        ,
      Let me | be no | assis|tant for | a state,
            ,        ,         ,
      But keep | a farm | and car|ters.
 
CLAUDIUS
                                        ,           x
                                       We | will try it.
 
GERTRUDE
            ,           ,    2      ,       ,
      But look | where sad|ly the poor | wretch
                                                         ,
                                                Comes^|reading.
 
POLONIUS
         ,      ,       ,            ,       ,
      Away | I do | beseech | you, both | away,
             ,          ,       ,
      I'll board | him pres|ently.  \\
 
[Exeunt CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, and Attendants; enter HAMLET, reading]
           ,         ,      ,      2            ,     ,
      Oh give | me leave.| How does my | good^Lord | Hamlet?
 
HAMLET
Well, God-a-mercy.
 
POLONIUS
Do you know me, my lord?
 
HAMLET
Excellent, excellent well: you are a fishmonger.
 
POLONIUS
Not I my lord.
 
HAMLET
Then I would you were so honest a man.
 
POLONIUS
Honest, my lord?
 
HAMLET
Aye sir, to be honest as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.
 
POLONIUS
That's very true, my lord.
 
HAMLET
For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing carrion--
Have you a daughter?
 
POLONIUS
I have my lord.
 
HAMLET
Let her not walk in the sun: conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend look to it.
 
POLONIUS
How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth, I suffered much extremity for love: very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you read my lord?
 
HAMLET
Words, words, words.
 
POLONIUS
What is the matter, my lord?
 
HAMLET
Between who?
 
POLONIUS
I mean the matter that you read, my lord.
 
HAMLET
Slanders sir: for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum: and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams. All which sir, though I most powerfully, and potently believe; yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down: for yourself sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward.
 
POLONIUS
               ,        ,
      Though this | be mad|ness,  \\
       ,               ,      ,         ,          ,
      Yet there | is meth|od in | it: will | you walk
       ,            ,         ,
      Out of | the air | my lord?
 
HAMLET
                                   ,          ,
                                  Into | my grave?
 
POLONIUS
          ,          ,    ,            ,
      Indeed | that is | out of | the air:
            ,          ,    ,              ,     ___
      How preg|nant (some|times) his | replies | are?
         ,      ,
      A hap|piness,
            ,      ,         ,    __
      That of|ten mad|ness hits | on,
               x          ,    ,          ,
      Which reason | and san|ity | could not
           ,     ,       ,      ,        ,
      So pros|perous|ly be | deliv|ered of.
      ,          ,
      I will | leave him,   (mirror of previous lines?)
           ,      ,        ,           ,         ,       2->
      And sud|denly | contrive | the means | of mee||ting
          ,      T    T   T     ,        oo
      Between | him, and my | daughter.|
          ,    ,       ,     2       ,     ,
      My hon|orab|le lord,| I will most | humbly
        ,         ,        ___
      Take my | leave of | you.  \\
 
HAMLET
You cannot sir take from me anything, that I will more willingly part withal, except my life, except my life.
 
POLONIUS
Fare you well my lord.
 
HAMLET
These tedious old fools.
 
[Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]
 
POLONIUS
You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
God save you sir.
 
[Exit POLONIUS]
 
GUILDENSTERN
My honored lord?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
My most dear lord?
 
HAMLET
My excellent good friends? How dost thou Guildenstern? Oh, Rosencrantz, good lads: how do ye both?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
As the indifferent children of the earth.
 
GUILDENSTERN
Happy, in that we are not over-happy: on fortune's cap, we are not the very button.
 
HAMLET
Nor the soles of her shoe?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Neither my lord.
 
HAMLET
Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors?
 
GUILDENSTERN
'Faith, her privates, we.
 
HAMLET
In the secret parts of fortune? Oh, most true: she is a strumpet. What's the news?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
None my lord; but that the world's grown honest.
 
HAMLET
Then is doomsday near: but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular: what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
 
GUILDENSTERN
Prison, my lord?
 
HAMLET
Denmark's a prison.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Then is the world one.
 
HAMLET
A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
We think not so, my lord.
 
HAMLET
Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Why then your ambition makes it one: 'tis too narrow for your mind.
 
HAMLET
O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams.
 
GUILDENSTERN
Which dreams indeed are ambition: for the very substance of the ambitious, is merely the shadow of a dream.
 
HAMLET
A dream itself is but a shadow.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.
 
HAMLET
Then are our beggars bodies; and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows: shall we to the court: for, by my fay I cannot reason?
 
ROSENCRANTZ GUILDENSTERN
We'll wait upon you.
 
HAMLET
No such matter. I will not sort you with the rest of my servants: for to speak to you like an honest man: I am most dreadfully attended; But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
To visit you my lord, no other occasion.
 
HAMLET
Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny; were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, deal justly with me: come, come; nay speak.
 
GUILDENSTERN
What should we say my lord?
 
HAMLET
Why anything. But to the purpose; you were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to color, I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
To what end my lord?
 
HAMLET
That you must teach me: But let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal; be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for or no?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
What say you?
 
HAMLET
Nay then I have an eye of you: If you love me hold not off.
 
GUILDENSTERN
My lord, we were sent for.
 
HAMLET
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery and your secrecy to the king and queen: moult no feather, I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition; that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave orehanging, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire: why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason? how infinite in faculty? in form and moving how express and admirable? in action, how like an angel? in apprehension, how like a god? the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
 
HAMLET
Why did you laugh, when I said, man delights not me?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.
 
HAMLET
He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil and target: the lover shall not sigh gratis, the humourous man shall end his part in peace: the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickled on the sere: and the lady shall say her mind freely; or the blank verse shall halt for it: What players are they?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Even those you were wont to take delight in the tragedians of the city.
 
HAMLET
How chances it they travel? their residence both in reputation and profit was better both ways.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
I think their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation?
 
HAMLET
Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? are they so followed?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
No indeed, are they not.
 
HAMLET
How comes it? do they grow rusty?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Nay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace; but there is sir an aery of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question; and are most tyrannically clapped for it: these are now the fashion, and so berattle the common stages (so they call them) that many wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose-quills, and dare scarce come thither.
 
HAMLET
What are they children? who maintains 'em? how are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing? will they not say afterwards if they should grow themselves to common players (as it is like most if their means are no better) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Faith there has been much to do on both sides: and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre them to controversy. There was for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.
 
HAMLET
Is it possible?
 
GUILDENSTERN
Oh there has been much throwing about of brains.
 
HAMLET
Do the boys carry it away?
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Aye that they do my lord, Hercules and his load too.
 
HAMLET
It is not very strange: for mine uncle is king of Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while my father lived; give twenty, forty, a hundred ducats apiece, for his picture in little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
 
[Flourish of trumpets within]
 
GUILDENSTERN
There are the players.
 
HAMLET
Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore: Your hands, come then: the appurtenance of welcome, is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garb, lest my extent to the players (which I tell you must show fairly outward) should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my uncle-father, and aunt-mother are deceived.
 
GUILDENSTERN
In what my dear lord?
 
HAMLET
I am but mad north, north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.
 
[Enter POLONIUS]
 
POLONIUS
Well be with you gentlemen.
 
HAMLET
Hark you Guildenstern, and you too: at each ear a hearer: that great baby you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts.
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Happily he's the second time come to them: for they say, an old man is twice a child.
 
HAMLET
I will prophesy. He comes to tell me of the players. Mark it, you say right sir: for a Monday morning 'twas so indeed.
 
POLONIUS
My lord, I have news to tell you.
 
HAMLET
My lord, I have news to tell you.
When Roscius was an actor in Rome--
 
POLONIUS
The actors are come hither my lord.
 
HAMLET
Buzz, buzz.
 
POLONIUS
Upon mine honor.
 
HAMLET
Then came each actor on his ass--
 
POLONIUS
The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral: pastoral-comical-historical-pastoral: tragical-historical: tragical-comical-historical-pastoral: scene individable, or poem unlimited. Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light, for the law of writ, and the liberty. These are the only men.
 
HAMLET
O Jephthah judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou?
 
POLONIUS
What a treasure had he, my lord?
 
HAMLET
           ,           ,         ,         ,
      Why one | fair daught|er, and | no more,
            ,         ,      ,         ,
      The which | he lov|ed pas|sing well.
 
POLONIUS
Still on my daughter.
 
HAMLET
Am I not in the right old Jephthah?
 
POLONIUS
If you call me Jephthah my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.
 
HAMLET
Nay that follows not.
 
POLONIUS
What follows then, my lord?
 
HAMLET
Why, As by lot, God wot: and then, you know, it came to pass, as most like it was: The first row of the pious chanson will show you more. For look where my abridgement comes.
 
[Enter four or five Players]
You are welcome masters, welcome all. I am glad to see thee well: welcome good friends. O my old friend? Thy face is valenced since I saw thee last: comst thou to beard me in Denmark? What, my young lady and mistress? By our lady your ladyship is nearer heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God your voice like apiece of uncurrent gold be not cracked within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome: We'll eene to it like French falconers, fly at any thing we see: we'll have a speech straight. Come give us a taste of your quality: come, a passionate speech.
 
FIRST PLAYER
What speech, my lord?
 
HAMLET
I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted: or if it was, not above once, for the play I remember pleased not the million, 'twas caviare to the general: but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty, as cunning. I remember one said, there were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter savory; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indict the author of affectation, but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it, I chiefly loved, 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus
           ,       ,         ,          ,       ,
      The rug|ged Pyr|rhus, he | whose sab|le arms
        ,     2       ,         ,          ,       ,
      Black as his | purpose,| did the | night re|semble
            ,         ,       ,        ,   2     ,
      When he | lay couch|ed in | the om|inous horse,
            ,           ,           ,          ,         ,
      Hath now | this dread | and black | complex|ion smeared
            ,     ,          ,         ,         ,
      With her|aldry | more dis|mal: head | to foot
       ,                 ,     ,      ,           ,
      Now is | he to / take guiles,| horrid|ly tricked
             ,         ,         ,          ,           ,
      With blood | of fath|ers, moth|ers, daught|ers, sons,
        ,            ,        ,          ,          ,
      Baked and | impast|ed with | the parch|ing streets,
             ,       ,      ,          ,       ,
      That lend | a tyr|annous,| and damn|ed light
                   ,   ,          ,     2     ,           ,
      To their / vile murd|ers, roast|ed in wrath | and fire,
            ,     ,     ,            ,          ,
      And thus | ore-sized / with co|agu|late gore,
             ,          ,   ,               x       ,
      With eyes | like^car|buncles,| the hellish | Pyrrhus
            ,     T    Tx    T
      Old grand|sire Priam seeks. \\

POLONIUS
Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent, and good discretion.
 
FIRST PLAYER
        ,         ,
      Anon he | finds him, \\
        ,              ,           ,      .   T   T    T
      Striking | too short | at Greeks.| His antique sword,
         ,    2    ,        ,      ,               ,
      Rebel|lious to | his arm,| lies where | it falls
         ,        ,        ,      ,         ,
      Repug|nant to | command:| une|qual matched,
       ,            ,        ,      .   T     T      T
      Pyrrhus | at Pri|am drives,| in rage strikes wide:
            ,          ,           ,               ,    ,
      But with | the whiff | and wind | of his / fell sword,
         2     ,       ,        ,             ,          , 2
      The unnerved | father | falls. Then | senseless | Ilium,
        ,            ,           ,           ,       ,
      Seeming | to feel | this blow,| with flam|ing top
         ,              ,          ,       ,    2    ,
      Stoops to | his base,| and with | a hid|eous crash
              ,        ,         ,         ,         ,
      Takes pris|oner Pyr|rhus' ear.| For lo,| his sword
             ,        ,       ,        ,       ,
      Which was | declin|ing on | the mil|ky head
           ,        ,         ,       2     ,         ,
      Of reve|rend Pri|am, seemed | in the air | to stick:
          ,       ,       ,       ,         ,
      So as | a paint|ed tyr|ant Pyr|rhus stood,
       ,            ,          2      ,           x           ,      ->
      And like^a | neutral | to his will | and matter,| did noth||ing.
       ,      2    ,      ,        ,            ,
      But | as we of|ten see | against | some storm,
         ,        ,          x       .    T    T     T
      A sil|ence in | the heavens,| the rack stand still,
            ,      ,      ,                    ,       ,
      The bold | winds speech/less, and | the orb | below
           ,         ,       ,          ,          ,    2->
      As hush | as death:| anon | the dread|ful thund||er
             ,         ,        ,     2    ,          ,
      Doth rend | the reg|ion. So | after Pyr|rhus' pause,
        ,        ,          ,         ,        ,
      Arous|ed venge|ance sets | him new | a-work,
           ,      ,         ,         ,         ,
      And nev|er did | the Cy|clops'^ham|mers fall
           ,      ,          ,           ,         ,
      On Mars|'s arm|ors, forged | for proof | eterne,
             ,        ,           ,          ,         ,
      With less | remorse | than Pyr|rhus' bleed|ing sword
       T    T    T    ,
      Now falls on | Priam. \\
       ,    ,           ,      ,        ,        ,
      Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune, all you gods,  ????
           ,       ,       ,      ,          x
      In gene|ral sy|nod take | away | her power:
        T    T   .     T          ,         ,          ,
      Break all the spokes | and fel|lies from | her wheel,
            ,          ,       T    T   .    T          x
      And bowl | the round | nave down the hill | of heaven,
          ,        ,          ,
      As low | as to | the fiends.
 
POLONIUS
                                      ,             ,
                                    This is | too long.
 
HAMLET
It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Prithee say on: he's for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on; come to Hecuba.
 
FIRST PLAYER
           ,       ,          ,       2   ,        ,
      But who,| O who,| had seen | the ennob|led queen.
 
HAMLET
The ennobled queen?
 
POLONIUS
That's good: ennobled queen is good.
 
FIRST PLAYER
            ,        ,         ,
      Run bare|foot up | and down,
                                    ,    2            ,
                                  Threatening | the flames
            ,        ,         ,       ,           ,
      With bis|son rheum:| a clout | upon | that head,
              ,         ,   2    ,          ,        ,
      Where late | the di|adem stood,| and for | a robe
         ,          ,         ,          ,       ,
      About | her lank | and all | ore-teem|ed loins,
          ,       ,      2   ,         ,            ,
      A blank|et in | the alarm | of fear | caught^up.
            ,          ,            ,         ,        ,
      Who this | had seen,| with tongue | in ven|om steeped,
              ,           ,             ,        ,          ,
      Gainst^For|tune's state,| would treas|on have | pronounced?
           ,         ,           ,          ,          ,
      But if | the gods | themselves | did see | her then,
            ,         ,         ,       ,         ,
      When she | saw Pyr|rhus make | mali|cious sport
           ,        ,          ,          ,           ,
      In minc|ing with | his sword | her hus|band's limbs,
           ,         ,         ,        ,          ,
      The inst|ant burst | of clam|or that | she made
           ,            ,        ,          ,        ,
      (Unless | things^mort|al move | them not | at all)
                     ,    ,          ,         ,         x
      Would have / made milch | the burn|ing eyes | of heaven,
           ,        ,         ,
      And pas|sion in | the gods.  \\
 
POLONIUS
Look where he has not turned his color, and has tears in his eyes. Pray you no more.
 
HAMLET
'Tis well, I'll have thee speak out the rest soon. Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed. Do you hear, let them be well used: for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death, you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live.
 
POLONIUS
My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
 
HAMLET
God's bodkins man, better. Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping: Use them after your own honour and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.
 
POLONIUS
Come sirs.
 
[Exit POLONIUS with all the Players but the First]
 
HAMLET
Follow him friends: we'll hear a play tomorrow. Dost thou hear me old friend, can you play the Murder of Gonzago?
 
FIRST PLAYER
Aye my lord.
 
HAMLET
We'll have it tomorrow night. You could for a need study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in it? could ye not?
 
FIRST PLAYER
Aye my lord.
 
HAMLET
Very well. Follow that lord, and look you mock him not. My good friends, I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore?
 
[Exit First Player]
 
ROSENCRANTZ
Good my lord.
 
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]
 
HAMLET
            ,    ,         ,        ,        2   ,
      Aye* so,| God be | with ye:| Now I | am alone.
       ,            ,          ,         ,        ,
      Oh what | a rogue | and peas|ant slave | am I?
               ,   ,           ,           ,       ,
      Is it / not monst|rous that | this play|er here,
       ,    2     ,         ,       ,         ,
      But in a | fiction,| in a | dream of | passion,
              ,           ,     ,           ,         ,
      Could force | his soul | so to | his own | conceit,
             ,          ,       ,         ,         ,
      That from | her work|ing all | his vis|age wanned;
        ,     2        ,         ,                  ,  ,
      Tears in his | eyes, dis|traction | in his / aspect,
         ,        ,        2      ,       ,          ,
      A brok|en voice,| and his whole | function | suiting
             ,         ,         ,         ,         ,         o ->
      With forms,| to his | conceit?| And all | for no||thing?
           ,    ,
      For Hec|uba?  \\
              ,   3  3    ,        ,       ,    ,
      What's Hec|uba* to him,| or he | to Hec|uba,
            ,            ,         ,           ,         ,
      That he | should weep | for her?| What would | he do,
       ,    2       ,        ,         ,         ,
      Had he the | motive | and the | cue for | passion
           ,     ,                ,           ,            ,
      That I | have? He | would drown | the stage | with tears,
             ,           ,       ,          ,         ,
      And cleave | the gene|ral ear | with hor|rid speech:
        T   T   .    T       ,        ,          ,
      Make mad the guil|ty, and | appall | the free,
           ,          ,     ,       2   ,        ,
      Confound | the ig|norant,| and amaze | indeed,
           ,     ,    3 3     ,          ,        ,
      The ve|ry fac|ulty of eyes | and ears.| Yet I,
          ,         ,      ,        ,         ,
      A dull | and mud|dy-met|tled ras|cal, peak
             ,         ,         ,        ,        ,
      Like John | a-dreams,| unpreg|nant of | my cause,
                 ,   ,         ,    ,            ,
      And can / say noth|ing: no,| not for | a king,
        ,            ,     ,    .    T    T    T
      Upon | whose prop|erty,| and most dear life,
           ,         ,          ,     ,  2     ,
      A damned | defeat | was made.| Am I a | coward?
            ,         ,           ,          ,       ,
      Who calls | me vil|lain? Breaks | my pate | across?
              ,         ,           ,         ,        ,
      Plucks^off | my beard,| and blows | it in | my face?
         ,                   ,     ,       2     ,      2       ,
      Tweaks me | by the / nose? Gives | me the lie | in the throat,
           ,        ,         ,           ,         ,
      As deep | as to | the lungs?| Who does | me this?
       ,        ,            ,          2    ,       ,
      Ha? Why | I should | take it:| for it can|not be,
          ,       ,       ,                ,    ,
      But I | am pig|eon-liv|ered, and / lack gall
           ,        ,        ,        ,         ,
      To make | oppres|sion bit|ter, or | ere this,
           ,           ,       ,         ,        ,
      I should | have fat|ted all | the reg|ion kites
                     ,      x       ,         ,        x
      With this / slave's offal,| bloody:| a baw|dy villain,
          ,           ,     2       ,    2      ,          x
      Remorse|less, treach|erous, lech|erous, kind|less villain!
       T  T    T
      Oh vengeance!   \\
       ,            ,     ,        ,             ,    ,
      Who? What an ass am I? Aye sure, this is most brave,  ????
           ,        ,      2    ,     ,        ,
      That I,| the son | of a dear | father | murdered,
        ,            ,       ,           x           ,
      Prompted | to my | revenge | by heaven,| and hell,
        T     T  .   T         ,         ,            ,
      Must (like a whore)| unpack | my heart | with words,
            ,        ,        ,       ,      ,
      And fall | a-curs|ing like | a ve|ry drab,
          ,    2    ,      ,          ,       ,         ,
      A scul|lion? Fie | upon | it: Fooh.| About | my brain.
      ,          ,             ,        ,          ,          2    ,
      I have | heard, that | guilty | creatures | sitting | at a play, (hex with prev)
        ,            ,     ,        ,         ,
      Have by | the ve|ry cun|ning of | the scene,
              ,      ,            ,          ,       ,
      Been struck | so to | the soul,| that pres|ently
             ,         ,        ,      ,    ,
      They have | proclaim|ed their | male|factions.
           ,          ,          ,          ,            ,
      For mur|der, though | it have | no tongue,| will speak
             ,       ,   2     ,        ,        2         x
      With most | mirac|ulous org|an. I'll | have these players,
             ,          ,          ,      ,        ,    2->
      Play some|thing like | the murd|er of | my fath|er,
          ,          ,        ,       ,          ___
      Before | mine^uncle.| I'll ob|serve his | looks,
             ,         ,         ,         ,          ,
      I'll tent | him to | the quick:| if he | but blench
          ,          ,            x          ,          ,
      I know | my course.| The spirit | that I | have seen
            ,        ,       ,          x            x
      May* be | the dev|il, and | the devil | hath power
        2    ,        ,         ,      ,             ,
      To assume | a pleas|ing shape,| yea and | perhaps
       ,    2       ,         ,        ,     ,
      Out of my | weakness,| and my | melan|choly,
          ,       ,     ,               ,     x
      As he | is ve|ry pot|ent with / such spirits,
        ,      ,        ,          ,            ,
      Abus|es me | to damn | me. I'll | have grounds
            ,     ,           ,          ,            ,
      More rel|ative | than this:| the play's | the thing,
            ,          ,          ,           ,         ,
      Wherein | I'll catch | the con|science of | the king.
 
[Exit]

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