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Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword
Which was declining on the milky head
Of reverend Priam, seem'd i th' air to stick :
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;
And, like a neutral to his will and matter,
Did nothing.
But, as we often see, against some storm,
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
The bold winds speechless, and the orb below,
As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
Doth rend the region; so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work,
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour, forg'd for proof eterne,
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
Now falls on Priam.
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
In general synod, take away her power;
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends!"

Pol. This is too long.

Ham. It shall to th' barber's, with your beard. Pr’ythee, say on: - he's for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. — Say on : come to Hecuba. 1 Play. 6. But who, 0, who had seen the mobbled

Ham. The mobbled queen

? Pol. That's good ; mobbled queen is good. 1 Play. “Run barefoot up and down, threat’ning

the flames
With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head,
Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe,
About her lank and all o’erteemed loins,
A blanket, in th’alarm of fear caught up;

Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd
'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pronounc'd:
But if the gods themselves did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,
The instant burst of clamour that she made,
(Unless things mortal move them not at all)
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
And passion in the gods.”


Pol. Look, whether he has not turn'd his colour, and has tears in ’his eyes ! — Pr’ythee, no more. Ham. "Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest

Good my lord, will you see the players well bestow'd ? Do ye hear, let them be well us'd; for they are the abstracts 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. God's bodykins, 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. Pol. · Come, sirs.

[Exit POLONIUS. Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play tomorrow. -[As they follow POLONIUS, HAMLET detains and steps aside with 1 Player.] Dost thou hear me, old friend ? can you play the Murther of Gonzago?

1 Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. We'll ha' 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

ye not?

1 Play. Ay, my lord.

Ham. Very well.

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. Ros. Good my lord !


Ay, so, God b'wi' ye. -- 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 he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Make mad the guilty, and appall the frec, Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed, The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing; no, not for a king, Upon whose property and most dear life, A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward ? Who calls me. villain ? breaks my pate across ? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by th' nose? gives me the lie i' th’ throat, As deep as to the lungs ? Who does me this ? Ha! ['Swounds !] I should take it; for it cannot be, But I am pigeon-liver’d, and lack gall

To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal. Bloody, bawdy villain !
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
0, vengeance !
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave;
That I, the son of the dear murthered,
Prompted to my revenge by Heaven and Hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion !
Fie upon 't! foh! About, my brain ! — I have heard,
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaim'd' their malefactions ;
For murther, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murther of my father,
Before mine uncle : I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick : if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the Devil : and the Devil hath power
T'assume a pleasing shape ; yea, and, perhaps,
Out of my weakness and my melancholy
(As he is very potent with such spirits)
Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds
More relative than this : the play's the thing,
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King. [Exit.


A Room in the Castle.






ND can you, by no drift of circumstance,

Get from him, why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangcrous 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. Queen.

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

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

Did you assay him To any pastime?

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 about the Court; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. Pol.

'Tis most true :

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