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Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
The spirit, that I have seen, May be a devil: and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, (As he is very potent with such spirits,) Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds More relative than this: The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrants,
and Guildenstern. King. And can you by no drift of conference Get from him, why he puts on this confusion; Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
Ros. He does confess, he feels himself distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded;
Queen. Did he receive you well?
Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Did you assay him To any pastime?
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him; And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it: They are about the court; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. Pol.
'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties,
[Ereunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. King
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too.
of their encounter frankly judge;
I shall obey you:
Madam, I wish it may.
[Erit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here:-Gracious, so please
you, We will bestow ourselves :-Read on this book;
[To Ophelia. That show of such an exercise may colour
Your loneliness.-We are oft to blame in this, 'Tis too much provid, -that, with devotion's visage, And pious action, we do sugar
o'er The devil himself. King
0, 'tis too true! how smart A lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot's cheek, beauty'd with plast’ring art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it, Than is my deed to my most painted word: O heavy burden!
[Aside, Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord.
[Exeunt King and Polonius.
Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?--To die,—to sleep, — No more;-and, by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die; to sleep;To sleep! perchance to dream;-ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: There's the respect, That makes calamity of so long life: For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The
pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
Good my lord,
Ham. I humbly thank you; well.
yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver; I pray you, now receive them. Ham.
No, not I; I never gave you aught. Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well,
you did; And, with them, words of so sweet breath com
pos'd As made the things more rich: their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind,