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Pol. (Aside.] Though this be mădnèss, yět there's method in it. [To HAMLET.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord ?
Ham. Into my grave?
Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air. (Aside.] How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. [To HAMLET.) My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Ham. You can not, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal ; except my life, except my life, except my life. Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
[Exit. Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Guil. My honored lord !Ros. My most dear lord !-
Ham My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern ? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both? What news ?
Ros. None, my lord, but that the world 's 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. A goodly one ; in which there are many con'fines, wards, and dungeons ; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then, 't is none (nŭn) to you; for there is nothing (nŭth'ing) either good or bad, but thinking makes it so : to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one : 't is too nărrow for your
mind. Ham. O, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count mysell a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. 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. 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 color; I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
Rós. To what end, my lord ?
Ham. 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 ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether ye were sent for, or no ?
Ros. [To GUILDENSTERN.) What say you?
Ham. [Aside.] Nay, then I have an eye of you. [To them.] 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, foregone all custom of exercises : and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a stěrile prom'ontory ; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form, and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the păragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust ?—Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. You are welcome ; but my
uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived. Guil. In what, my dear lord ?
Ham. I am but mad north-north-west : when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.
Reënter POLONIUS. Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud, that's almost in shape of a eamel ?
Pol. By the mass, and t is like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and by.—They fool
[Exit POLONIUS. Ham. By and by is easily said.—Leave me, friends.
[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
Enter QUEEN and HAMLET.
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
What's the matter now?
No, by the rood,' not so:
You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down ; you shall not budge ; You
not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do?—thou wilt not murder me?
Ham. Leave wringing of your hands : peace; sit you down, And let me wring your heart: for so I shall, If it be made of penetrable stuff ; If damned custom have not brazed it so, That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
Such an act,
Ah me! what act,
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this ;
Mars, an ancient Roman god, est honors at Rome; also, a planet. who, at an early period, was iden- * Mer'cury, in mythology, the mes tified with the Greek Ares, or the senger and interpreter of the gods, god delighting in bloody war. Next and the god of eloquence and of comto Jupiter, Mars enjoyed the high. merce, called Hermes by the Greeks.
A combination, and a form, indeed,
like a mildewed ear,
Oh, speak no more!
A murderer and a villain :
A king Of shreds and patches ;
[Enter Ghost. Save me and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards !—What would your gracious figure ?
Queen. Alas, he's mad!
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Ghost. Do not forget : this visitation
* Tinct, (tingkt), spot; stain ; color.