Pol. Looke where he ha's not turn'd his colour, and ha's teares in's eyes. Pray you no more

Ham. 'Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest, soone. Good my Lord, will you see the Players wel bestow'd. Do ye heare, let them be well vs'd: for they are the Abstracts and breefe Chronicles of the time. After your death, you were better haue a bad Epitaph, then their ill report while you liued

Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their desart

Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse them after your own Honor and Dignity. The lesse they deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them in

Pol. Come sirs.

Exit Polon.

Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to morrow. Dost thou heare me old Friend, can you play the murther of Gonzago? Play. I my Lord

Ham. Wee'l ha't to morrow night. You could for a need study a speech of some dosen or sixteene lines, which I would set downe, and insert in't? Could ye not? Play. I my Lord

Ham. Very well. Follow that Lord, and looke you mock him not. My good Friends, Ile leaue you til night you are welcome to Elsonower? Rosin. Good my Lord.


Manet Hamlet.

Ham. I so, God buy'ye: Now I am alone. Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slaue am I? Is it not monstrous that this Player heere, But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Passion, Could force his soule so to his whole conceit, That from her working, all his visage warm'd; Teares in his eyes, distraction in's Aspect, A broken voyce, and his whole Function suiting With Formes, to his Conceit? And all for nothing? For Hecuba? What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weepe for her? What would he doe, Had he the Motiue and the Cue for passion That I haue? He would drowne the Stage with teares, And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech: Make mad the guilty, and apale the free, Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed, The very faculty of Eyes and Eares. Yet I, A dull and muddy-metled Rascall, peake Like Iohn a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing: No, not for a King, Vpon whose property, and most deere life, A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward? Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-crosse? Pluckes off my Beard, and blowes it in my face? Tweakes me by'th' Nose? giues me the Lye i'th' Throate, As deepe as to the Lungs? Who does me this? Ha? Why I should take it: for it cannot be, But I am Pigeon-Liuer'd, and lacke Gall To make Oppression bitter, or ere this, I should haue fatted all the Region Kites With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine, Remorselesse, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine! Oh Vengeance! Who? What an Asse am I? I sure, this is most braue, That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered, Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell, Must (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words, And fall a Cursing like a very Drab. A Scullion? Fye vpon't: Foh. About my Braine. I haue heard, that guilty Creatures sitting at a Play, Haue by the very cunning of the Scoene, Bene strooke so to the soule, that presently They haue proclaim'd their Malefactions. For Murther, though it haue no tongue, will speake With most myraculous Organ. Ile haue these Players, Play something like the murder of my Father, Before mine Vnkle. Ile obserue his lookes, Ile rent him to the quicke: If he but blench I know my course. The Spirit that I haue seene May be the Diuell, and the Diuel hath power T' assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps Out of my Weaknesse, and my Melancholly, As he is very potent with such Spirits, Abuses me to damne me. Ile haue grounds More Relatiue then this: The Play's the thing, Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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