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A Room in the Castle.


and Lords.

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King. And can you, by no drift of conference,
Get from him, why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

Ros. He does confess, he feels himself distracted;
But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But with a crafty madness keeps aloof,
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.

Did he receive you well?
Ros. Most like a gentleman.
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition.

Ros. Most free of question; but, to our demands,
Niggard in his reply.

Did you assay him
To any pastime? |
104 Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players

We o'er - raught on the way: of these we told him;
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
To hear of it. They are here about the court;
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.

'T is most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
To hear and see the matter.

King. With all my heart; and it doth much content me
To hear him so inclin’d.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Ros. We shall, my lord.


Sweet Gertrude, leave us too; "For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,

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That he, as 't were by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia: her father, and myself,
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behavid,
If't be th' affliction of his love, or no,
That thus he suffers for.

I shall obey you.
And, for my part, Ophelia, I do wish,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness; so shall I hope, your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.
Madam, I wish it may.

[Exit Queen.
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here. - Gracious, so please you, 106

We will bestow ourselves. Read on this book; [To OPHELIA.
That show of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,
'T is too much prov'd, that, with devotion's visage,
And pious action, we do sugar o'er
The devil himself.

O! 't is too true.
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! [Aside.
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
Than is my deed to my most painted word.
0 heavy burden!
Pol. I hear him coming: let 's withdraw, my lord.

[Exeunt King and POLONIUS.

107 Ham. To be, or not to be; that is the question: Whether 't is nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?

to sleep, and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 't is a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die; to sleep: To sleep! perchance to dream: – ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,


To die,

No more ;

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When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There 's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life. |
108 For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of ?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,

With this regard their currents turn awry,
109 And lose the name of action. | Soft you, now!
The fair Ophelia. – Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remember'd.

Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?

Ham. I humbly thank you, well.

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
That I have longed long to re-deliver;
I pray you, now receive them.

Ham. No, not I; I never gave you aught.

Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well you did;
And with them, words of so sweet breath compos’d,
As made the things more rich : their perfume lost,
Take these again; for to the noble mind,
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.

Нат. Ha, ha! are you honest?
Oph. My lord!
Ham. Are you fair?

Oph. What means your lordship? | 110 Ham. That if you be honest, and fair, your honesty should

admit no discourse to your beauty.

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Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty

Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

Ham. You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it. I loved

you not.

Oph. I was the more deceived.
Ham. Get thee to

a nunnery: why would'st thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest: but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me. / I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; 111 with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?

Oph. At home, my lord.

Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in 's own house. Farewell.

Oph. 0! help him, you sweet heavens !

Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs '

marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. nunnery, go; and quickly too.

Farewell. | Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him!

112 Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough: God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance.

Go to; I'll no more on 't: it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. nunnery, go.

Oph. 0, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword:
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,

To a

To a

The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,
Th' observ'd of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me!
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

[Exit. 1


Re-enter King and POLONIUS.
King. Love! his affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. There's something in his soul,
O’er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose,.
Will be some danger: which for to prevent,
I have, in quick determination,
Thus set it down. He 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;
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you on 't? |

Pol. It shall do well: but yet do I believe,
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love. [Enter OPHELIA.] How now, Ophelia ?
You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said;
We heard it all. My lord, do as you please; [Exit OPHELIA.
But, if you hold it fit, after the play
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his griefs: let her be round with him;
And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send him; or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.

It shall be so:
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.



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