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Hamlet: Act II, Scene 2

Hamlet
Act II, Scene 2

Elsinore. A room in Elsinore castle.

  1. Flourish. Enter King and Queen, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
  2. cum aliis.

Claudius

1 - 18
  1. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!
  2. Moreover that we much did long to see you,
  3. The need we have to use you did provoke
  4. Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
  5. Of Hamlet’s transformation; so call it,
  6. Sith nor th’ exterior nor the inward man
  7. Resembles that it was. What it should be,
  8. More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him
  9. So much from th’ understanding of himself,
  10. I cannot dream of. I entreat you both
  11. That, being of so young days brought up with him,
  12. And sith so neighbored to his youth and havior,
  13. That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
  14. Some little time, so by your companies
  15. To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
  16. So much as from occasion you may glean,
  17. Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus,
  18. That, open’d, lies within our remedy.

Gertrude

19 - 26
  1. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk’d of you,
  2. And sure I am two men there is not living
  3. To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
  4. To show us so much gentry and good will
  5. As to expend your time with us a while
  6. For the supply and profit of our hope,
  7. Your visitation shall receive such thanks
  8. As fits a king’s remembrance.

Rosencrantz

27 - 30
  1.                               Both your Majesties
  2. Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
  3. Put your dread pleasures more into command
  4. Than to entreaty.

Guildenstern

31 - 34
  1.                   But we both obey,
  2. And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
  3. To lay our service freely at your feet,
  4. To be commanded.

Claudius

35
  1. Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

Gertrude

36 - 39
  1. Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz.
  2. And I beseech you instantly to visit
  3. My too much changed son. Go some of you
  4. And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

Guildenstern

40 - 41
  1. Heavens make our presence and our practices
  2. Pleasant and helpful to him!

Gertrude

42
  1.                              Ay, amen!
  1. Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with some Attendants.
  1. Enter Polonius.

Polonius

43 - 44
  1. Th’ ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
  2. Are joyfully return’d.

Claudius

45
  1. Thou still hast been the father of good news.

Polonius

46 - 52
  1. Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege
  2. I hold my duty as I hold my soul,
  3. Both to my God and to my gracious king;
  4. And I do think, or else this brain of mine
  5. Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
  6. As it hath us’d to do, that I have found
  7. The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.

Claudius

53
  1. O, speak of that, that do I long to hear.

Polonius

54 - 55
  1. Give first admittance to th’ ambassadors;
  2. My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

Claudius

56 - 58
  1. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
  2. Exit Polonius.
  3. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
  4. The head and source of all your son’s distemper.

Gertrude

59 - 60
  1. I doubt it is no other but the main,
  2. His father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage.
  1. Enter Polonius with Voltemand and Cornelius, the
  2. Ambassadors.

Claudius

61 - 62
  1. Well, we shall sift him.—Welcome, my good friends!
  2. Say, Voltemand, what from our brother Norway?

Voltemand

63 - 83
  1. Most fair return of greetings and desires.
  2. Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
  3. His nephew’s levies, which to him appear’d
  4. To be a preparation ’gainst the Polack;
  5. But better look’d into, he truly found
  6. It was against your Highness. Whereat griev’d,
  7. That so his sickness, age, and impotence
  8. Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests
  9. On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys,
  10. Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine,
  11. Makes vow before his uncle never more
  12. To give th’ assay of arms against your Majesty.
  13. Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
  14. Gives him threescore thousand crowns in annual fee,
  15. And his commission to employ those soldiers,
  16. So levied, as before, against the Polack,
  17. With an entreaty, herein further shown,
  18. Giving a paper.
  19. That it might please you to give quiet pass
  20. Through your dominions for this enterprise,
  21. On such regards of safety and allowance
  22. As therein are set down.

Claudius

84 - 89
  1.                          It likes us well,
  2. And at our more considered time we’ll read,
  3. Answer, and think upon this business.
  4. Mean time, we thank you for your well-took labor.
  5. Go to your rest, at night we’ll feast together.
  6. Most welcome home!
  1. Exeunt Ambassadors and Attendants.

Polonius

90 - 100
  1.                    This business is well ended.
  2. My liege, and madam, to expostulate
  3. What majesty should be, what duty is,
  4. Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
  5. Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
  6. Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
  7. And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
  8. I will be brief. Your noble son is mad:
  9. Mad call I it, for to define true madness,
  10. What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
  11. But let that go.

Gertrude

101
  1. More matter with less art.

Polonius

102 - 119
  1. Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
  2. That he’s mad, ’tis true, ’tis true ’tis pity,
  3. And pity ’tis ’tis truea foolish figure,
  4. But farewell it, for I will use no art.
  5. Mad let us grant him then, and now remains
  6. That we find out the cause of this effect,
  7. Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
  8. For this effect defective comes by cause:
  9. Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.
  10. Perpend.
  11. I have a daughterhave while she is mine
  12. Who in her duty and obedience, mark,
  13. Hath given me this. Now gather, and surmise.
  14. Reads the salutation of the letter.
  15. To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beautified
  16. Ophelia”—
  17. That’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase, beautified is a vile
  18. phrase. But you shall hear. Thus:
  19. In her excellent white bosom, these, etc.”

Gertrude

120
  1. Came this from Hamlet to her?

Polonius

121 - 134
  1. Good madam, stay awhile. I will be faithful.
  2. Reads the letter.
  3. Doubt thou the stars are fire,
  4. Doubt that the sun doth move,
  5. Doubt truth to be a liar,
  6. But never doubt I love.
  7. O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art to
  8. reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, O most best,
  9. believe it. Adieu.
  10. Thine evermore, most dear lady,
  11. whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet.”
  12. This in obedience hath my daughter shown me,
  13. And more above, hath his solicitings,
  14. As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
  15. All given to mine ear.

Claudius

135 - 136
  1.                        But how hath she
  2. Receiv’d his love?

Polonius

137
  1.                    What do you think of me?

Claudius

138
  1. As of a man faithful and honorable.

Polonius

139 - 159
  1. I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
  2. When I had seen this hot love on the wing
  3. As I perceiv’d it (I must tell you that)
  4. Before my daughter told mewhat might you,
  5. Or my dear Majesty your queen here, think,
  6. If I had play’d the desk or table-book,
  7. Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb,
  8. Or look’d upon this love with idle sight,
  9. What might you think? No, I went round to work,
  10. And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:
  11. Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star;
  12. This must not be”; and then I prescripts gave her,
  13. That she should lock herself from his resort,
  14. Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
  15. Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
  16. And he repell’d, a short tale to make,
  17. Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,
  18. Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,
  19. Thence to a lightness, and by this declension,
  20. Into the madness wherein now he raves,
  21. And all we mourn for.

Claudius

160
  1.                       Do you think ’tis this?

Gertrude

161
  1. It may be, very like.

Polonius

162 - 164
  1. Hath there been such a timeI would fain know that
  2. That I have positively said, ’Tis so,”
  3. When it prov’d otherwise?

Claudius

165
  1.                           Not that I know.

Polonius

166 - 169
  1. Points to his head and shoulder.
  2. Take this from this, if this be otherwise.
  3. If circumstances lead me, I will find
  4. Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
  5. Within the center.

Claudius

170
  1.                    How may we try it further?

Polonius

171 - 172
  1. You know sometimes he walks four hours together
  2. Here in the lobby.

Gertrude

173
  1.                    So he does indeed.

Polonius

174 - 179
  1. At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.
  2. Be you and I behind an arras then,
  3. Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
  4. And be not from his reason fall’n thereon,
  5. Let me be no assistant for a state,
  6. But keep a farm and carters.

Claudius

180
  1.                              We will try it.
  2. Enter Hamlet reading on a book.

Gertrude

181
  1. But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

Polonius

182 - 185
  1. Away, I do beseech you, both away.
  2. I’ll board him presently.
  3. Exeunt King and Queen.
  4.                           O, give me leave,
  5. How does my good Lord Hamlet?

Hamlet

186
  1. Well, God-a-mercy.

Polonius

187
  1. Do you know me, my lord?

Hamlet

188
  1. Excellent well, you are a fishmonger.

Polonius

189
  1. Not I, my lord.

Hamlet

190
  1. Then I would you were so honest a man.

Polonius

191
  1. Honest, my lord?

Hamlet

192 - 193
  1. Ay, sir, to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man
  2. pick’d out of ten thousand.

Polonius

194
  1. That’s very true, my lord.

Hamlet

195 - 196
  1. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good
  2. kissing carrionHave you a daughter?

Polonius

197
  1. I have, my lord.

Hamlet

198 - 199
  1. Let her not walk i’ th’ sun. Conception is a blessing, but
  2. as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to’t.

Polonius

200 - 204
  1. Aside.
  2. How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he
  3. knew me not at first, ’a said I was a fishmonger. ’A is far
  4. gone. And truly in my youth I suff’red much extremity for
  5. lovevery near this. I’ll speak to him again.—What do you
  6. read, my lord?

Hamlet

205
  1. Words, words, words.

Polonius

206
  1. What is the matter, my lord?

Hamlet

207
  1. Between who?

Polonius

208
  1. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

Hamlet

209 - 216
  1. Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old
  2. men have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their
  3. eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they
  4. have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams;
  5. all which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently
  6. believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down,
  7. for yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am, if like a crab
  8. you could go backward.

Polonius

217 - 218
  1. Aside.
  2. Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.—Will you
  3. walk out of the air, my lord?

Hamlet

219
  1. Into my grave.

Polonius

220 - 225
  1. Indeed that’s out of the air.
  2. Aside.
  3. How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that
  4. often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so
  5. prosperously be deliver’d of. I will leave him, and suddenly
  6. contrive the means of meeting between him and my
  7. daughter.—My lord, I will take my leave of you.

Hamlet

226 - 228
  1. You cannot take from me any thing that I will not more
  2. willingly part withalexcept my life, except my life, except
  3. my life.

Polonius

229
  1. Fare you well, my lord.

Hamlet

230
  1. These tedious old fools!
  1. Enter Guildenstern and Rosencrantz.

Polonius

231
  1. You go to seek the Lord Hamlet, there he is.

Rosencrantz

232
  1. To Polonius.
  2. God save you, sir!
  1. Exit Polonius.

Guildenstern

233
  1. My honor’d lord!

Rosencrantz

234
  1. My most dear lord!

Hamlet

235 - 236
  1. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah,
  2. Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?

Rosencrantz

237
  1. As the indifferent children of the earth.

Guildenstern

238 - 239
  1. Happy, in that we are not over-happy, on Fortune’s cap we
  2. are not the very button.

Hamlet

240
  1. Nor the soles of her shoe?

Rosencrantz

241
  1. Neither, my lord.

Hamlet

242 - 243
  1. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her
  2. favors?

Guildenstern

244
  1. Faith, her privates we.

Hamlet

245 - 246
  1. In the secret parts of Fortune? O, most true, she is a
  2. strumpet. What news?

Rosencrantz

247
  1. None, my lord, but the world’s grown honest.

Hamlet

248 - 251
  1. Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
  2. question more in particular. What have you, my good friends,
  3. deserv’d at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to
  4. prison hither?

Guildenstern

252
  1. Prison, my lord?

Hamlet

253
  1. Denmark’s a prison.

Rosencrantz

254
  1. Then is the world one.

Hamlet

255 - 256
  1. A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
  2. dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.

Rosencrantz

257
  1. We think not so, my lord.

Hamlet

258 - 259
  1. Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good
  2. or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

Rosencrantz

260 - 261
  1. Why then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow for
  2. your mind.

Hamlet

262 - 263
  1. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a
  2. king of infinite spacewere it not that I have bad dreams.

Guildenstern

264 - 265
  1. Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of
  2. the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Hamlet

266
  1. A dream itself is but a shadow.

Rosencrantz

267 - 268
  1. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality
  2. that it is but a shadow’s shadow.

Hamlet

269 - 271
  1. Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
  2. outstretch’d heroes the beggars’ shadows. Shall we to th’
  3. court? For, by my fay, I cannot reason.

Both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

272
  1. We’ll wait upon you.

Hamlet

273 - 276
  1. No such matter. I will not sort you with the rest of my
  2. servants; for to speak to you like an honest man, I am most
  3. dreadfully attended. But in the beaten way of friendship,
  4. what make you at Elsinore?

Rosencrantz

277
  1. To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.

Hamlet

278 - 282
  1. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanksbut I thank you,
  2. and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny.
  3. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a
  4. free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come,
  5. comenay, speak.

Guildenstern

283
  1. What should we say, my lord?

Hamlet

284 - 287
  1. Any thing but to th’ purpose. You were sent for, and there
  2. is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties
  3. have not craft enough to color. I know the good King and
  4. Queen have sent for you.

Rosencrantz

288
  1. To what end, my lord?

Hamlet

289 - 293
  1. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the
  2. rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by
  3. the obligation of our ever-preserv’d love, and by what more
  4. dear a better proposer can charge you withal, be even and
  5. direct with me, whether you were sent for or no!

Rosencrantz

294
  1. Aside to Guildenstern.
  2. What say you?

Hamlet

295
  1. Aside.
  2. Nay then I have an eye of you!—If you love me, hold not off.

Guildenstern

296
  1. My lord, we were sent for.

Hamlet

297 - 312
  1. I will tell you why, so shall my anticipation prevent your
  2. discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no
  3. feather. I have of latebut wherefore I know notlost all my
  4. mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes
  5. so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the
  6. earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent
  7. canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament,
  8. this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it
  9. appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent
  10. congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man, how
  11. noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and
  12. moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an
  13. angel in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the
  14. world; the paragon of animals; and yet to me what is this
  15. quintessence of dust? Man delights not menor women neither,
  16. though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Rosencrantz

313
  1. My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.

Hamlet

314
  1. Why did ye laugh then, when I said, Man delights not me”?

Rosencrantz

315 - 318
  1. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten
  2. entertainment the players shall receive from you. We coted
  3. them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you
  4. service.

Hamlet

319 - 325
  1. He that plays the king shall be welcomehis Majesty shall
  2. have tribute on me, the adventurous knight shall use his
  3. foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis, the
  4. humorous man shall end his part in peace, the clown shall
  5. make those laugh whose lungs are tickle a’ th’ sere, and the
  6. lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall
  7. halt for’t. What players are they?

Rosencrantz

326 - 327
  1. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the
  2. tragedians of the city.

Hamlet

328 - 329
  1. How chances it they travel? Their residence, both in
  2. reputation and profit, was better both ways.

Rosencrantz

330 - 331
  1. I think their inhibition comes by the means of the late
  2. innovation.

Hamlet

332 - 333
  1. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the
  2. city? Are they so follow’d?

Rosencrantz

334
  1. No indeed are they not.

Hamlet

335
  1. How comes it? Do they grow rusty?

Rosencrantz

336 - 341
  1. Ay, their endeavor keeps in the wonted pace; but there is,
  2. sir, an aery of children, little eyases, that cry out on the
  3. top of question, and are most tyrannically clapp’d for’t.
  4. These are now the fashion, and so berattle the common
  5. stagesso they call themthat many wearing rapiers are
  6. afraid of goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.

Hamlet

342 - 347
  1. What, are they children? Who maintains ’em? How are they
  2. escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they
  3. can sing? Will they not say afterwards, if they should grow
  4. themselves to common players (as it is most like, if their
  5. means are no better), their writers do them wrong, to make
  6. them exclaim against their own succession?

Rosencrantz

348 - 351
  1. Faith, there has been much to do on both sides, and the
  2. nation holds it no sin to tarre them to controversy. There
  3. was for a while no money bid for argument, unless the poet
  4. and the player went to cuffs in the question.

Hamlet

352
  1. Is’t possible?

Guildenstern

353
  1. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

Hamlet

354
  1. Do the boys carry it away?

Rosencrantz

355
  1. Ay, that they do, my lordHercules and his load too.

Hamlet

356 - 360
  1. It is not very strange, for my uncle is King of Denmark, and
  2. those that would make mouths at him while my father liv’d,
  3. give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a-piece for his
  4. picture in little. ’Sblood, there is something in this more
  5. than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
  1. A flourish for the Players.

Guildenstern

361
  1. There are the players.

Hamlet

362 - 367
  1. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come
  2. then: th’ appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony.
  3. Let me comply with you in this garb, lest my extent to the
  4. players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outwards,
  5. should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are
  6. welcome; but my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceiv’d.

Guildenstern

368
  1. In what, my dear lord?

Hamlet

369 - 370
  1. I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I
  2. know a hawk from a hand-saw.
  1. Enter Polonius.

Polonius

371
  1. Well be with you, gentlemen!

Hamlet

372 - 374
  1. Aside to them.
  2. Hark you, Guildenstern, and you tooat each ear a
  3. hearerthat great baby you see there is not yet out of his
  4. swaddling-clouts.

Rosencrantz

375 - 376
  1. Happily he is the second time come to them, for they say an
  2. old man is twice a child.

Hamlet

377 - 379
  1. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players, mark
  2. it.
  3. Aloud.
  4. You say right, sir, a’ Monday morning, ’twas then indeed.

Polonius

380
  1. My lord, I have news to tell you.

Hamlet

381 - 382
  1. My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor
  2. in Rome

Polonius

383
  1. The actors are come hither, my lord.

Hamlet

384
  1. Buzz, buzz!

Polonius

385
  1. Upon my honor

Hamlet

386
  1. Then came each actor on his ass”—

Polonius

387 - 392
  1. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy,
  2. history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral,
  3. tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral
  4. scene individable, or poem unlimited; Seneca cannot be too
  5. heavy, nor Plautus too light, for the law of writ and the
  6. liberty: these are the only men.

Hamlet

393
  1. O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!

Polonius

394
  1. What a treasure had he, my lord?

Hamlet

395 - 397
  1. Why
  2. One fair daughter, and no more,
  3.                                  The which he loved passing well.”

Polonius

398
  1. Aside.
  2. Still on my daughter.

Hamlet

399
  1. Am I not i’ th’ right, old Jephthah?

Polonius

400 - 401
  1. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I
  2. love passing well.

Hamlet

402
  1. Nay, that follows not.

Polonius

403
  1. What follows then, my lord?

Hamlet

404 - 420
  1. Why
  2. As by lot, God wot,“
  3. And then, you know,
  4. It came to pass, as most like it was”—
  5. The first row of the pious chanson will show you more, for
  6. look where my abridgement comes.
  7. Enter the Players, four or five.
  8. You are welcome, masters, welcome all. I am glad to see thee
  9. well. Welcome, good friends. O, old friend! Why, thy face is
  10. valanc’d since I saw thee last; com’st thou to beard me in
  11. Denmark? What, my young lady and mistress! By’ lady, your
  12. ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by
  13. the altitude of a chopine. Pray God your voice, like a piece
  14. of uncurrent gold, be not crack’d within the ring. Masters,
  15. you are all welcome. We’ll e’en to’t like French
  16. falc’nersfly at any thing we see; we’ll have a speech
  17. straight. Come give us a taste of your quality, come, a
  18. passionate speech.

First Player (Player King)

421
  1. What speech, my good lord?

Hamlet

422 - 451
  1. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted,
  2. or if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember,
  3. pleas’d not the million, ’twas caviary to the general, but
  4. it wasas I receiv’d it, and others, whose judgments in such
  5. matters cried in the top of minean excellent play, well
  6. digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as
  7. cunning. I remember one said there were no sallets in the
  8. lines to make the matter savory, nor no matter in the phrase
  9. that might indict the author of affection, but call’d it an
  10. honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more
  11. handsome than fine. One speech in’t I chiefly lov’d, ’twas
  12. Aeneas’ tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially when
  13. he speaks of Priam’s slaughter. If it live in your memory,
  14. begin at this linelet me see, let me see:
  15. The rugged Pyrrhus, like th’ Hyrcanian beast—”
  16. ’Tis not so, it begins with Pyrrhus:
  17. The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
  18. Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
  19. When he lay couched in th’ ominous horse,
  20. Hath now this dread and black complexion smear’d
  21. With heraldry more dismal: head to foot
  22. Now is he total gules, horridly trick’d
  23. With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
  24. Bak’d and impasted with the parching streets,
  25. That lend a tyrannous and a damned light
  26. To their lord’s murder. Roasted in wrath and fire,
  27. And thus o’er-sized with coagulate gore,
  28. With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
  29. Old grandsire Priam seeks.”
  30. So proceed you.

Polonius

452 - 453
  1. ’Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and good
  2. discretion.

First Player (Player King)

454 - 483
  1. Anon he finds him
  2. Striking too short at Greeks. His antique sword,
  3. Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
  4. Repugnant to command. Unequal match’d,
  5. Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide,
  6. But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
  7. Th’ unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
  8. Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
  9. Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash
  10. Takes prisoner Pyrrhus’ ear; for lo his sword,
  11. Which was declining on the milky head
  12. Of reverent Priam, seem’d i’ th’ air to stick.
  13. So as a painted tyrant Pyrrhus stood
  14. And, like a neutral to his will and matter,
  15. Did nothing.
  16. But as we often see, against some storm,
  17. A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
  18. The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
  19. As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
  20. Doth rend the region; so after Pyrrhus’ pause,
  21. A roused vengeance sets him new a-work,
  22. And never did the Cyclops’ hammers fall
  23. On Mars’s armor forg’d for proof eterne
  24. With less remorse than Pyrrhus’ bleeding sword
  25. Now falls on Priam.
  26. Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods,
  27. In general synod take away her power!
  28. Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
  29. And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven
  30. As low as to the fiends!”

Polonius

484
  1. This is too long.

Hamlet

485 - 487
  1. It shall to the barber’s with your beard. Prithee say on,
  2. he’s for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. Say on,
  3. come to Hecuba.

First Player (Player King)

488
  1. But who, ah woe, had seen the mobled queen“—

Hamlet

489
  1. The mobled queen“?

Polonius

490
  1. That’s good, mobled queen is good.

First Player (Player King)

491 - 504
  1. Run barefoot up and down, threat’ning the flames
  2. With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head
  3. Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
  4. About her lank and all o’er-teemed loins,
  5. A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up
  6. Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep’d,
  7. ’Gainst Fortune’s state would treason have pronounc’d.
  8. But if the gods themselves did see her then,
  9. When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
  10. In mincing with his sword her husband’s limbs,
  11. The instant burst of clamor that she made,
  12. Unless things mortal move them not at all,
  13. Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
  14. And passion in the gods.”

Polonius

505 - 506
  1. Look whe’er he has not turn’d his color and has tears in ’s
  2. eyes. Prithee no more.

Hamlet

507 - 512
  1. ’Tis well, I’ll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.
  2. Good my lord, will you see the players well bestow’d? Do you
  3. hear, let them be well us’d, for they are the abstract and
  4. brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were
  5. better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you
  6. live.

Polonius

513
  1. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Hamlet

514 - 517
  1. God’s bodkin, man, much better: use every man after his
  2. desert, and who shall scape whipping? Use them after your
  3. own honor and dignitythe less they deserve, the more merit
  4. is in your bounty. Take them in.

Polonius

518
  1. Come, sirs.
  1. Exit.

Hamlet

519 - 521
  1. Follow him, friends, we’ll hear a play tomorrow.
  2. Exeunt all the Players but the First.
  3. Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play The Murder of
  4. Gonzago”?

First Player (Player King)

522
  1. Ay, my lord.

Hamlet

523 - 525
  1. We’ll ha’t tomorrow night. You could for need study a speech
  2. of some dozen lines, or sixteen lines, which I would set
  3. down and insert in’t, could you not?

First Player (Player King)

526
  1. Ay, my lord.

Hamlet

527 - 529
  1. Very well. Follow that lord, and look you mock him not.
  2. Exit First Player.
  3. My good friends, I’ll leave you till night. You are welcome
  4. to Elsinore.

Rosencrantz

530
  1. Good my lord!

Hamlet

531 - 588
  1. Ay so, God buy to you.
  2. Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
  3.                        Now I am alone.
  4. O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
  5. Is it not monstrous that this player here,
  6. But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
  7. Could force his soul so to his own conceit
  8. That from her working all the visage wann’d,
  9. Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
  10. A broken voice, an’ his whole function suiting
  11. With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing,
  12. For Hecuba!
  13. What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
  14. That he should weep for her? What would he do
  15. Had he the motive and the cue for passion
  16. That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
  17. And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
  18. Make mad the guilty, and appall the free,
  19. Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
  20. The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
  21. A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak
  22. Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
  23. And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
  24. Upon whose property and most dear life
  25. A damn’d defeat was made. Am I a coward?
  26. Who calls me villain, breaks my pate across,
  27. Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face,
  28. Tweaks me by the nose, gives me the lie i’ th’ throat
  29. As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
  30. Hah, ’swounds, I should take it; for it cannot be
  31. But I am pigeon-liver’d, and lack gall
  32. To make oppression bitter, or ere this
  33. I should ’a’ fatted all the region kites
  34. With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain!
  35. Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
  36. Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
  37. That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
  38. Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
  39. Must like a whore unpack my heart with words,
  40. And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
  41. A stallion. Fie upon’t, foh!
  42. About, my brains! HumI have heard
  43. That guilty creatures sitting at a play
  44. Have by the very cunning of the scene
  45. Been struck so to the soul, that presently
  46. They have proclaim’d their malefactions:
  47. For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
  48. With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players
  49. Play something like the murder of my father
  50. Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks,
  51. I’ll tent him to the quick. If ’a do blench,
  52. I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
  53. May be a dev’l, and the dev’l hath power
  54. T’ assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps,
  55. Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
  56. As he is very potent with such spirits,
  57. Abuses me to damn me. I’ll have grounds
  58. More relative than thisthe play’s the thing
  59. Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.
  1. Exit.
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