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Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
Pol, Look, whether he has not turn'd his colour, and has tears in's eyes.-Pr’ythee, no more.
Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this 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.
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping! Use them after your own honour and dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. Pol. Come, sirs.
[Erit Polonius, with some of the
Players. Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play to-morrow.-Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the murder of Gonzago?
Play. Ay, my lord.
Ham. We'll have it to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in't? could
not? 1 Play. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Very well.–Follow that lord; and look you mock him not. [Exit Player.] My good friends, [to Ros. and Guil.) I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore.
- milch--) i. e. Mild, tender-hearted.-Todd.
Ros. Good my lord !
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and GuildENSTERN. Ham. Ay, so, God be wi' you:—Now I am alone. 0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous, that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit, That from her working, all his visage wann'd;" Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing ! For Hecuba! What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her ? What would be do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion, That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general eari with horrid speech; Made mad the guilty, and appal the free, Confound the ignorant; and amaze, indeed, The very faculties of
wann'd;] i. e. Turned pale.
the cue-] i. e. The hint, the direction. This phrase is theatrical, and occurs at least a dozen times in our author's plays.-Johnson and Steevens.
the general ear-) i. e. The ear of all mankind. * John-a-dreams,] A name apparently coined to suit a dreaming stupid cbasacter, quasi, “ dreaming John.”—Nares.
unpregnant-] i. e. Having no due sense of.-WARBURTON.
To make oppression bitter; or, ere this,
About my brains!) Wits, to your work. Brain, go about the present business.-Johnsox.
tent him---] Search his wounds.-Joinson.
SCENE I.-A Room in the Castle.
Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, Ophelia, Rosen
CRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
King. And can you, by no drift of conference
Ros. He does confess, he feels himself distracted;
Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;
Did he receive you well?
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition.
Did you assay him
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
'Tis 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.
o'er-ruught-] Over-reached, over-took.
Ros. We shall, my lord.
[Exeunt RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. King.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too:
I shall obey you:
[Erit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here:-Gracious, so please you, We will bestow ourselves :—Read on this book;
O, 'tis too true! how smart
• Affront-] i. e. Meet directly, encounter.
espials,)] i. e. Spies. s 'Tis too much prov'd,] It is found by too frequent experience.- Johnson.
- more ugly to the thing that helps it.] That is, compared with the thing hat helps it.-Johnson.