Ophe. Nay, 'tis twice two moneths, my Lord

Ham. So long? Nay then let the Diuel weare blacke, for Ile haue a suite of Sables. Oh Heauens! dye two moneths ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great mans Memorie, may out-liue his life halfe a yeare: But byrlady he must builde Churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the Hoby-horsse, whose Epitaph is, For o, For o, the Hoby-horse is forgot.

Hoboyes play. The dumbe shew enters.

Enter a King and Queene, very louingly; the Queene embracing him. She kneeles, and makes shew of Protestation vnto him. He takes her vp, and declines his head vpon her neck. Layes him downe vpon a Banke of Flowers. She seeing him a-sleepe, leaues him. Anon comes in a Fellow, takes off his Crowne, kisses it, and powres poyson in the Kings eares, and Exits. The Queene returnes, findes the King dead, and makes passionate Action. The Poysoner, with some two or three Mutes comes in againe, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away: The Poysoner Wooes the Queene with Gifts, she seemes loath and vnwilling awhile, but in the end, accepts his loue.


Ophe. What meanes this, my Lord? Ham. Marry this is Miching Malicho, that meanes Mischeefe

Ophe. Belike this shew imports the Argument of the Play? Ham. We shall know by these Fellowes: the Players cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all

Ophe. Will they tell vs what this shew meant? Ham. I, or any shew that you'l shew him. Bee not you asham'd to shew, hee'l not shame to tell you what it meanes

Ophe. You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the Play. Enter Prologue.

For vs, and for our Tragedie, Heere stooping to your Clemencie: We begge your hearing Patientlie

Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the Poesie of a Ring? Ophe. 'Tis briefe my Lord

Ham. As Womans loue. Enter King and his Queene.

King. Full thirtie times hath Phoebus Cart gon round, Neptunes salt Wash, and Tellus Orbed ground: And thirtie dozen Moones with borrowed sheene, About the World haue times twelue thirties beene, Since loue our hearts, and Hymen did our hands Vnite comutuall, in most sacred Bands

Bap. So many iournies may the Sunne and Moone Make vs againe count o're, ere loue be done. But woe is me, you are so sicke of late, So farre from cheere, and from your former state, That I distrust you: yet though I distrust, Discomfort you (my Lord) it nothing must: For womens Feare and Loue, holds quantitie, In neither ought, or in extremity: Now what my loue is, proofe hath made you know, And as my Loue is siz'd, my Feare is so

King. Faith I must leaue thee Loue, and shortly too: My operant Powers my Functions leaue to do: And thou shalt liue in this faire world behinde, Honour'd, belou'd, and haply, one as kinde. For Husband shalt thou- Bap. Oh confound the rest: Such Loue, must needs be Treason in my brest: In second Husband, let me be accurst, None wed the second, but who kill'd the first

Ham. Wormwood, Wormwood

Bapt. The instances that second Marriage moue, Are base respects of Thrift, but none of Loue. A second time, I kill my Husband dead, When second Husband kisses me in Bed

King. I do beleeue you. Think what now you speak: But what we do determine, oft we breake: Purpose is but the slaue to Memorie, Of violent Birth, but poore validitie: Which now like Fruite vnripe stickes on the Tree, But fall vnshaken, when they mellow bee. Most necessary 'tis, that we forget To pay our selues, what to our selues is debt: What to our selues in passion we propose, The passion ending, doth the purpose lose. The violence of other Greefe or Ioy, Their owne ennactors with themselues destroy: Where Ioy most Reuels, Greefe doth most lament; Greefe ioyes, Ioy greeues on slender accident. This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange That euen our Loues should with our Fortunes change. For 'tis a question left vs yet to proue, Whether Loue lead Fortune, or else Fortune Loue. The great man downe, you marke his fauourites flies, The poore aduanc'd, makes Friends of Enemies: And hitherto doth Loue on Fortune tend, For who not needs, shall neuer lacke a Frend: And who in want a hollow Friend doth try, Directly seasons him his Enemie. But orderly to end, where I begun, Our Willes and Fates do so contrary run, That our Deuices still are ouerthrowne, Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne. So thinke thou wilt no second Husband wed. But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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