« PreviousContinue »
Oph. Belike, this show imports the Argument of the Play ?
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow : the Players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us, what this show meant ?
Ham. Ay, or any lhow that you'll shew him. Be not you ashamed to shew, he'll not shame to tell you wbat it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught, I'll mark the Play. Prol. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently. Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? Oph. 'Tis breef, my lord. Ham. As woman's love.
Enter Duke, and Dutchess, Players.
Duke. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' Car gone
Neptune's salt wash, and Tullus' orbed ground ;
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have time twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
Unite commutual, in most sacred bands.
Dutch. So many journeys may the Sun and Moon
Make us again count o'er, ere love be done.
But woe is me, you are so fick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state,
That I distrust you ; yet though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing mult:
For women fear too much, ev'n as they love.
And women's fear and love hold quantity ,
'Tis either none, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is fiz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the smallest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
Duke. Faith, I must leave thee, Love, and shortly
My operant powers their funcions leave to do,
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd; and, haply, one as kind
For husband shalt thou
Dutch. Oh, confound the rest!
Such love muft needs be treason in my breast :
In second hufband let me be accurft!
None wed the second, but who kill the firft.
Ham. Wormwood, wormwood !
Dutch. The instances, that second marriage move,
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kifles me in bed.
Duke. I do believe, you think what now you
But what we do determine, oft we break;
Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity:
Which now, like fruits unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary, 'tis, that we forget
ourselves what to ourselves is debt :
What to ourselves in paflion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose ;
The violence of either grief or joy,
Their own enactors with themselves destroy.
Where joy most revels, grief doth moft lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange,
That ev'n our loves should with our fortunes change.
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love leads fortune, or else fortune love.
The Great man down, you mark, his fav'rite flies ;
The poor advanc'd, 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 hollow friend doth try,
Direály seasons him his enemy.
But orderly to end where I begun,
Our wills and fates do so contrary run,
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
Think still, thou wilt no second husband wed';
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead.
Dutch. Nor earth to me give food, nor heay'n
Sport and repose lock from me, day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope !
And Ancor's cheer in prison be my scope !
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy,
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife!
If, once a widow, ever I be wife.
Ham. If she fould break it now
Duke. 'Tis deeply sworn ; Sweet, leave me here
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Dutch. Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain! [Exit.
Ham. Madam, how like you this Play ?
Queen. The lady protests too much, methinks.
Ham. Oh, but she'll keep her word.
King. Have you heard the argument, is there no
offence in't ?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jeft, no offence i' th' world.
King. What do you call the Play ?
Ham. The Mouse-Trap;---Marry, how ? tropically. This Play is the image of a murder done in Vienna ; Gonzago is the Duke's name, his Wife's Baptista ; you shall see anon, 'tis a knavish piece of
Work; but what o'that ? your Majesty, and we that
have free souls, it touches us not ; let the galled jade
winch, our withers are uurung.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the Duke.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, If I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
Ham. It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
Oph. Still better and worse.
Ham. So you mistake your husbands.
Begia, murderer. Leave thy damnable faces, and
Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and
time agreeing :
Confedrate season, and no creature seeing :
Thou mixture rank, of mid-night weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic, and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately:
(Pours the poison into his ears. Ham. He poisons him i'th' garden for's estate; his name's Gonzago; the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The King rises.
Ham. What, frighted with false fire !
Queen. How fares my
Pol. Give o'er the Play.
King. Give me fome light. Away!
All. Lights, lights, lights!
SC EN E VII.
Manent Hamlet and Horatio. Ham.
HY, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play ;
For some must watch, whilst some muft sleep;
So runs the world away. Would not this, Sir, and a forest of Feathers, (if the rest of
fortunes turn Turk with me) with two provincial roses on my rayed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of Players, Sir ?
Hor. Half a share.
Ham. A whole one, I.
For thou doft know, oh Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself, and now reigns here
A very, very;
Hor. You might have rhym'd.
Ham. Oh, good Horatio, i'll take the Ghoft's word for a thousand pounds. Didst perceive ?
Hor. Very well, my lord.
Ham. Upon the talk of the poisoning?
Hor. I did very well note him.
Enter Rolincrantz and Guildenstern.
Ham. Oh, ah! come, some music: Come, the
For if the King like not the comedy ;
Why, then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some mufic.
Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with
Ham. Sir, a whole history.
Guil. The King, Sir-
Ham. Ay, Sir, what of him ?
Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous diftemper'd-
Ham. With drink, Sir?
Guil. No, my lord, with choler.
Hamn. Your wisdom should shew itself more rich,