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What might you think? no, I went round to work,
And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;
Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy sphere;
This must not be : and then I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
And he, repulsed, (a short tale to make,)
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast;
Thence to a watch; thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness ; and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.
King.

Do you think, 'tis this?
Queen. It may be, very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know

that,)
That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it prov'd otherwise ?
King

Not that I know.
Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise :

[Pointing to his Head ard Shoulder.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

King. How may we try it further ?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours

together, Here in the lobby. Queen.

So he does, indeed.
Pol. At such a time I 'll loose my daughter to
Be you and I behind an arras then ;
Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
And he not from his reason fallen thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm, and carters.

How
Ha
Po
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H
P
HE

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• Roundly, without reserve.

King.

We will try it.

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Enter Hamlet, reading: Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch

comes reading Pol. Away, I do beseech you,

both

away ; I'll board him presently:-0, give me leave.

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants. How does my good lord Hamlet?

Ham. Weil, god-'a-mercy.
Pol. Do you
know me, my

lord?
Ham. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Pol. Not I, my

lord ? Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man. Pol. Honest, my lord ?

Ham. Ay, sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my lord,

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion, -Have you a daughter?

Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i' the sun:- friend, look

to 't.

Pol. How say you by that? [Aside.] Still harping on my daughter :- yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fishmonger: He is far gone,

far gone: and, truly in my youth I suífered much extremity for love: very near this. I 'll speak to him again. What do you read, my lord ?

Ham. Words, words, words!
Pol. What is the matter, my lord ?
Ham. Between who?
Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

Ham. Slanders, sir : for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards.; that their

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faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumb-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit: all of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down ; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

Pal. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [ Aside. ] Will you walk out of the air, my lord ?

Ham. Into my grave?

Pol. Indeed, that is out o’ the air. - How pregnant sometimes his replies are ! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter. - My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave

Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !

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Enter RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there

she is. Ros. God save you, sir ! [To POLONIUS.

[Exit POLONIUS. Guil. My honour'd lord ! Ros. My most dear lord !

Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz ! Good lads, how do

ye

both ? Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth,

Ready, apt.

Guil. Happy, in that we are not over happy; On fortune's cap we are not the very

button. Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe? Ros. Neither, my lord. Ham. Then you live in the middle of her favoura? Well, what news?

Ros. None, my lord; but that the world is grown honest.

Ham. Then is dooms-day near: But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular : What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither ?

Guil. Prison, my lord !
Ham. Denmark's a prison.
Ros. Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.

Ros. We think not so, my lord.

Ham. Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so : to me it is a prison.

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.

Ham. O heaven! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for the very

substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow.

Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light. a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs, and outstretched heroes, the beggars' shadows : Shall we to the court ? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.

Ros. Guil. We 'll wait upon you.

Ham. No such matter : I will not sort you with the rest of my servants ; for, to speak to you

like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore ?

Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion. · Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks ; but I thank you : and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear at a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me : come, come; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?

Ham. Any thing — but to the purpose. You were sent for ; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour : I know, the good king and queen have sent for

you.
los. To what end, my lord ?

Lan. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy

of

our youth, by the obligation of our everpreserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no?

Ros. What say you? [T, GUILDENSTERN. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you ; [Aside.] - if you

love me, hold not off. Guil. My lord, we were sent for. : Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises : and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, secms to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears

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