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Beftial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event,
(A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part

And ever three parts coward:) I do not know
Why yet I live to say this thing's to do;
Sith, I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples, grofs as earth, exhort me;
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puft,
Makes mouths at the inviable event;
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Ev'n for an egg-fhell. 'Tis not to be great,
Never to stir without great argument;
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When Honour's at the slake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
(Excitements of my reason and my blood)
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men ;
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their Graves like beds ; fight for a Plot,
Whereon the numbers cannot try

the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain ? O, then, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.


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Changes to a Palace.
Enter Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman.
Will not speak with her.

Gent. She is importunate,
Indeed, diftra& ; her mood will needs be pitied.


Queen. 1

Queen. What would she have ?
Gent. She speaks' much of' her father ; says, she

hears, There's tricks i'th' world; and hems and beats her

heart; Spurns enviously at straws ; speaks things in doubt, That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection; they aim at it, And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts ; Which as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield

them, Indeed would make one think, there might be

thought; Tho' nothing sure, yet much unhappily.

Hor. "Twere good she were spoken with, for she

may ftrow

Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
Let her come ins..
Queen. To


fick soul, as fin's true nature is,
Each Toy feems prologue to some great Amiss ;
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itfelf, in fearing to be spilt.

Enter Ophelia, diftra&ted.
Oph. Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?
Queen. How now, Ophelia ?
Oph. How shall I your true Love know from another

one ? By his cockle hat and staff, and his fandal shoonv

(Singing. Queen. Alas, sweet lady; what imports this song ?

Oph. Say you ? nay, pray you, mark.
He's dead and gone, lady, he's dead and gone ;
At his head a grass-green turf, at his heels a stone.



Enter King.
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia-
Oph. Pray you, mark.
White his shroud as the mountain snow.
Queen. Alas, look here, my lord.

Oph. Larded all with sweet flowers :
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true love showers.

King. How do ye, pretty lady?

Oph. Well, Gód yield you? they say the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table !

King. Conceit upon her father.

Oph. Pray, let us have no words of this ; but when they ask you what it means, say you this : To-morrow is St. Valentine's day, all in the morn betime, And I a maid at your window, to be your Valentine. Then up he rose, and don'd his clothes, and doʻpt the

chamber door ;
Let in the maid, that out a maid never departed more.

King. Pretty Ophelia !
Oph. Indeed, without an oath, I'll makean end on't.

By Gis, and by S. Charity,

Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will doʻt, if they come to't,

By Cock, they are to blame.
Quoth fhe, before you tumbled me,

You promis'd me to wed:
So would I ha done, by yonder sun,
And thou hads not come to my

bed. King. How long has she been thus ? Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be pa

tient; but I cannot chule but weep, to think, they should lay him i' th' cold ground; my brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach; good-night, ladies; goodnight, sweet ladies; good-night, good-night. (Exit. King. Follow her close, give her good watch, I pray you;

[Exit Horatio. This is ihe poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude ! When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in Battalions. First, her father flain; Next your Son gone, and he most violent author Of his own just Remove; the people muddied, Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and

whispers, For good Polonius' death ; (We've done but greenly, In private to inter him ;) poor Ophelia, Divided from herself, and her fair judgment; (Without the which we'er pictures, or mere beasts :) Last, and as much containing as all these, Her brother is in secret come from France : Feeds on this wonder, keeps himself in clouds, And wants not buzzers to infect his ear With pestilent fpeeches of his father's death ; Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd, Will nothing stick our persons to arraign In ear and ear. O


dear Gertrude, this, Like to a murdering piece, in many places Gives me superfluous death ! [A noise within.

Queen. Alack ! what Noise is this?


Enter a Mesenger'.
. VHERE are my Switzers ? let them guard

the door.
What is the matter ?
Mes. Save yourself, my lord.
O 6



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The ocean, over-peering of his lift,
Eats not the flats with more impetuous halte,
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O'er-bears your officers; the rabble call him lord;
And as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
The ratifiers and props of every ward ;
They cry, “Chuse we Laertes for our King !"
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the Clouds;
" Laertes shall be King, Laertes King!"

Queen. How chearfully on the falfe trial they cry!
Oh, this is counter, you false Danish dogs.

(Noise within.
Enter Laertes, with a Party at the Door.
King. The doors are broke.
Laer. Where is this King ? Sirs ! ftand you all

All. No, let's come in.
Laer. I pray you, give me leave.
All. We will, we will.

Laer. I thank you, keep the door.
O thou vile King, give me my father.

Queen. Calmly, good Laertés.
Laer. That drop of blood that's calm, proclaims

me bastard ;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlo
Even here, between the chaste and unfmirch'd brow
Of my true mother.

King. What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy Rebellion looks fo giant-like?
Let him go, Gertrude ; do not fear our person :
There's such divinity doth hedge a King,
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Ads little of its will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why are you thus incens'd ? Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, 'man.
Laer. Where is my father?

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