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The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;
[To Ophelia. P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here
a while; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile Tlie tedious day with sleep.
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain ; And never come mischance between us twain !
[Exit. Ham. Madam, how like
this play? Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Ham. O, but she'll keep her word. 3 An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope !] May my whole liberty and enjoyment be to live on hermit's fare in a prison. Anchor is for anchoret. Johnson.
you heard the argumenti Is there no offence in't ?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest ; no offence i'the world.
King. What do you call the play?
Ham. The mouse-trap.* Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista : you shall see anon ; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not : Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung:
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and yonr love, if I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
Oph. Still better, and worse.
Ham. So you mistake your husbands.Begin, murderer ;-leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come;
-The croaking raven
* The mouse-trap.] He calls it the mouse-trap, because it is
Thy natural magick and dire property,
[Pours the Poison into the Sleeper's Ears. Ham. He poisons him i'the garden for his estate. His name's Gonzago; the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian : You shall see anon, how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The king rises.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio. Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play:
Thus runs the world away:Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me,) with two Provencial roses on my razed' shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
Hor. Half a share.
s Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, &c.] It appears from Decker's Gul's Hornbooke, that feathers were much worn on the stage in Shakspeare's time.
turn Turk with me,] This means to change condition fantastically.
Provencial roses on my razed shoes.] Provencial, or (with the French ç) Provençal. He means roses of Provence, a beautiful species of rose, much cultivated. Razed shoes
may mean slashed shoes, i.e. with cuts or openings in them. The poet might have written raised shoes, i. e. shoes with high heels; such as by adding to the stature, are supposed to increase the dignity of a player.
a cry of players,] Allusion to a pack of hounds, which was once called a cry of hounds.
9 Ham. Awhole one, I.] The actors in our author's time had not
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,'
This realm dismantled was
A very, very--peacock.
Ham. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive?
Hor. Very well, my lord.
Ham. Ah, ha !--Come, some musick; come, the recorders.
For if the king like noć the comedy,
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer, to signify this to the doctor; for, for me to
annual salaries as at present. The whole receipts of each theatre were divided into shares, of which the proprietors of the theatre, or house-keepers, as they were called, had some; and each actor had one or more shares, or part of a share, according to his merit.
O Damon dear,] Hamlet calls Horatio by this name, in allusion to the celebrated friendship between Damon and Pythias.
2 Why then, belike,] Hamlet was going on to draw the consequence,
when the courtiers entered. JOHNSON.
he likes it not, perdy.] Perdy is the corruption of par Dieu, and is not uncommon in the old plays.
4 With drink, şir?] Hamlet takes particular care that his 14cle's love of drink shall not be forgoiten.
put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.
Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair. .
Ham. I am tame, sir :-pronounce. Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon, and my return, shall be the end of my business.
Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased : But, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter : My mother, you say,
Ros. Then thus she says ; Your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother !—But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade with us?
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of disa temper? you do, surely, but bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.
further trade -] Further business ; further dealing. 6 — by these pickers, &c.] By these hands.