Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2
Enter HAMLET and three of the PLAYERS.
1 Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to
2 you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it,
3 as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier
4 spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with
5 your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very
6 torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of
7 passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance
8 that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the
9 soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear
10 a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the
11 groundlings, who for the most part are capable of
12 nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would
13 have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant;
14 it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
15 I warrant your honor.
16 Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion
17 be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word
18 to the action; with this special observance, that you
19 o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so
20 overdone is
from the purpose of playing, whose end,
21 both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere,
22 the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature,
23 scorn her own image, and the very age and body of
24 the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone,
25 or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful
26 laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the
27 censure of the which one must in your allowance
28 o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be
29 players that I have seen play, and heard others
30 praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely,
31 that, neither having the accent of Christians nor
32 the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so
33 strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of
34 nature's journeymen had made men and not made
35 them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
38 O, reform it altogether. And let those that play
39 your clowns speak no more than is set down for
40 them; for there be of them that will themselves
41 laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators
42 to laugh
too; though, in the mean time, some
43 necessary question of the play be then to be
44 considered: that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful
45 ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
48 And the queen too, and that presently.
49 Bid the players make haste.
50 Will you two help to hasten them?
51 Ay, my lord.
52 What ho! Horatio!
53 Here, sweet lord, at your service.
56 O, my dear lord
56 Nay, do not think I flatter;
57 For what advancement may I hope from thee
58 That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
59 To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?
60 No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
61 And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
62 Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
63 Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
64 And could of men distinguish, her election
65 Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been
66 As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
67 A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
68 Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those
69 Whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled,
70 That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
71 To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
72 That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
73 In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
74 As I do thee.Something too much of this.
75 There is a play tonight before the king;
76 One scene of it comes near the circumstance
77 Which I have told thee of my father's death:
78 I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
79 Even with the very comment of thy soul
80 Observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt
81 Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
82 It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
83 And my imaginations are as foul
84 As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;
85 For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
86 And after we will both our judgments join
87 In censure of his seeming.
92 How fares our cousin Hamlet?
102 What did you enact?
107 Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
108 Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
111 O, ho! do you mark that?
112 Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
113 No, my lord.
114 I mean, my head upon your lap?
115 Ay, my lord.
116 Do you think I meant country matters?
117 I think nothing, my lord.
120 What is, my lord?
122 You are merry, my lord.
123 Who, I?
124 Ay, my lord.
128 Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
129 So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I'll
130 have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago,
131 and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope a great man's
132 memory may outlive his life half a year: but, by'r lady,
133 he must build churches, then; or else shall he suffer
134 not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph
135 is "For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot."
*** and makes show of protestation unto him.] He
*** The Queen returns; finds the King dead, makes
136 What means this, my lord?
143 Will he tell us what this show meant?
152 Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
153 'Tis brief, my lord.
154 As woman's love.
155 Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
156 Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
157 And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen
158 About the world have times twelve thirties been,
159 Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
160 Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
161 So many journeys may the sun and moon
162 Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
163 But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
164 So far from cheer and from your former state,
165 That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
166 Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must,
167 For women's fear and love holds quantity;
168 In neither aught, or in extremity.
169 Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
170 And as my love is sized, my fear is so:
171 Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
172 Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
173 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
174 My operant powers their functions leave to do:
175 And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
176 Honor'd, beloved; and haply one as kind
177 For husband shalt thou
181 Wormwood, wormwood.
186 I do believe you think what now you speak;
187 But what we do determine oft we break.
188 Purpose is but the slave to memory,
189 Of violent birth, but poor validity;
190 Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
191 But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
192 Most necessary 'tis that we forget
193 To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
194 What to ourselves in passion we propose,
195 The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
196 The violence of either grief or joy
197 Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
198 Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
199 Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
200 This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
201 That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
202 For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
203 Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
204 The great man down, you mark his favorite flies;
205 The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
206 And hitherto doth love on fortune tend;
207 For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
208 And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
209 Directly seasons him his enemy.
210 But, orderly to end where I begun,
211 Our wills and fates do so contrary run
212 That our devices still are overthrown;
213 Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
214 So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
215 But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
216 Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
217 Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
218 To desperation turn my trust and hope!
219 An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
220 Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
221 Meet what I would have well and it destroy!
222 Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
223 If, once a widow, ever I be wife!
224 If she should break it now!
229 Madam, how like you this play?
230 The lady protests too much, methinks.
231 O, but she'll keep her word.
236 What do you call the play?
237 The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play
238 is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is
239 the duke's name; his wife, Baptista. You shall see
240 anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what of
241 that? Your Majesty and we that have free souls, it
242 touches us not. Let the galled jade winch, our
243 withers are unwrung.
244 This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
245 You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
248 You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
251 Still better, and worse.
255 Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,
256 Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
257 Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
258 With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
259 Thy natural magic and dire property,
260 On wholesome life usurp immediately.
261 He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His
262 name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in
263 choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer
264 gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
265 The king rises.
266 What, frighted with false fire!
267 How fares my lord?
268 Give o'er the play.
269 Give me some light: away!
270 Lights, lights, lights!
271 "Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
272 The hart ungalled play;
273 For some must watch, while some must sleep:
274 So runs the world away."
275 Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers if
276 the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with mewith two
277 Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a
278 fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
279 Half a share.
285 You might have rhymed.
288 Very well, my lord.
289 Upon the talk of the poisoning?
290 I did very well note him.
298 Sir, a whole history.
299 The king, sir
300 Ay, sir, what of him?
301 Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.
302 With drink, sir?
303 No, my lord, rather with choler.
310 I am tame, sir: pronounce.
313 You are welcome.
314 Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the
315 right breed. If it shall please you to make me
316 a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's
317 commandment: if not, your pardon and my
318 return shall be the end of my business.
319 Sir, I cannot.
320 What, my lord?
321 Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased:
322 but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall
323 command; or, rather, as you say, my mother:
no more, but to the matter: my mother,
325 you say
335 My lord, you once did love me.
336 So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
340 Sir, I lack advancement.
352 My lord, I cannot.
353 I pray you.
354 Believe me, I cannot.
355 I do beseech you.
356 I know no touch of it, my lord.
357 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with
358 your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your
359 mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music.
360 Look you, these are the stops.
363 Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of
364 me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know
365 my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my
366 mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to
367 the top of my compass: and there is much music,
368 excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot
369 you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am
370 easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what
371 instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you
372 cannot play upon me.
373 God bless you, sir!
378 By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
379 Methinks it is like a weasel.
380 It is backed like a weasel.
381 Or like a whale?
382 Very like a whale.
386 I will say so.
387 "By and by" is easily said. Leave me, friends.
388 'Tis now the very witching time of night,
389 When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
390 Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
391 And do such bitter business as the day
392 Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.
393 O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
394 The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
395 Let me be cruel, not unnatural:
396 I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
397 My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;
398 How in my words soever she be shent,
399 To give them seals never, my soul, consent!