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Hor. Very well, my lord.
Enter GUILDENstERN and Rose.NcRANTz.
Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with Ou. y Ham. Sir, a whole history. Guil. The king, sir Ham. Ay, sir, what of him? Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous distemper’d. Ham. With drink, sir? Guil. No, my lord, with choler. Ham. Your wisdom should show, itself richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler. Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair. Ham. I am tame, sir:—pronounce. Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great af. fliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. Ham. You are welcome. Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon, and my return, shall be the end of my business. Ham. Sir, I cannot. Guil. What, my lord? Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit’s diseased : But, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore, no more, but to the matter: My mother, you say
Ros. Then, thus she says: Your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration. Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother!—But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? impart. Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed. Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.—Have you any further trade with us? Ros. My lord, you did once love me. Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers. Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend. Ham. Sir, I lack advancement. Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark
Ham. Ay, sir; but, “While the grass grows—"The
proverb is something musty.
Enter HoRATIo, and two MusicIANs, with Recorders.
O, the recorders, let me see one. [Takes a Recorder.]
Why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil?
Guil. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.
Ham. I do not well understand that.—Will you play upon this pipe?
Guil. My lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.
Ros. I know no touch of it, my lord.
Ham. "Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sdeath, do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently. Ham. Do you see yonder, cloud, that's almost in shape of a camel? Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed. Ham. Methinks, it is like a weasel. Pol. It is back'd like a weasel. Ham. Or, like a whale? Pol. Very like a whale. Ham. Then, will I come to my mother by and by. They fool me to the top of my bent.—I will come by and by. Pol. I will say so. Ham. By and by is easily said. [Erit Polonius. Leave me, friends. [Ereunt RoseNCRANtz and GUILDENster N. 'Tis now the very witching time of night; When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes Out Contagion to this world: Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such business as the better day
Enter the KING, RoseNCRANTz, and GUILDENsTERN.
Ring. I like him not; nor stands it safe with us,
Ros. We will haste us.
[Ereunt GUILDENSTERN and RoseNCRANTz.
Enter Polon IUs.
Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet;
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
King. Thanks, dear my lord.
[Ereunt KING and Polonius.
The QUEEN's Closet.
Enter QUEEN and Polonius.
Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay home to him : Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear with; And that your grace has screen’d and stood between Much heat and him.—I'll sconce me even here.'Pray you, be round with him. Queen. I'll warrant you; Fear me not:-Withdraw, I hear him coming. [Polonius conceals himself behind the Arras.
Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter? Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much of fended. Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet? Ham. What's the matter now * Queen. Have you forgot me? . Ham. No, by the rood, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife: And—would it were not so!—you are my mother. Queen. No. then I'll set those to you that can speak. Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;