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a The Palace.

Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rofincraus, Guil

denftern and Lords.


A *

ND can you by no drift of conference


Get from him why he puts on this confufion, Grating fo harshly all his days of quiet,

With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?


Rof. He does confefs, he feels himself diftracted, But from what cause he will by no means speak. Nor do we find him forward to be founded;

But with a crafty madness keeps aloof,

When we would bring him on to fome confeffion
Of his true estate.

Queen. Did he receive you well?

Rof. Moft like a gentleman.

Guil. But with much forcing of his difpofition.

a R. firft defcribes the scene.

b The fo's and R. read circumftance. • R,'s duodecimo has confefion, wherein an eis printed instead of an a; out of which P. makes a different reading

which he puts in the margent, viz, com- · feffion.

d Firft and ad qu's, a for be.

e Third q. ftate. S. does not give this reading.


Rof. Most free of queftion, but of our demands Niggard in his reply.

Queen. Did you affay him to any paftime?

Rof. Madam, it fo fell out, that certain players
Wei o'er-raught on the way; of these we told him;
And there did feem in him a kind of joy

To hear of it. They are here about the court;
And, as I think, they have already order

This night to play before him.

Pol. 'Tis moft true:

And he befeech'd me to entreat your majesties

To hear and fee the matter.

King. With all my heart, and it doth much content me To hear him fo inclin'd

Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,

And drive his purpose 1 into these delights.

Rof. We fhall, my lord.



[Exeunt Rof. and Guil.

King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too.
For we have closely fent for Hamlet ° hither,
That we, as 'twere by accident, may here

f The text is here copied from H,'s alteration, followed by W. who gives the reafon for thus altering, and which will fufficiently appear to the reader by his turning back to the fcene between Hamlet and Refineraus. All other editions read,

Niggard of question, but of our demands
Moft free in bis reply.

g H. reads unto.

h 7. omits fo.

O'er-raught, that is, e'er-reached. The fo's, Ift and 2d, read, ore-wrought;

3d and 4th, o`re-took; R. P. T. and H, 'ertook; W. d'er-rode.

* All but the qu's omit bere.

1 The fo's, R. H. and C. read, on to, inftead of into.

m All editions, but the qu's and C. mark this direction, [Exeunt, only. n The qu's read two.

• S. gives only the corrupt reading betber, which is in the 1ft and 2d qu's, and omits to give us the true reading bither, in the 3d q. which he has. e Fo's and R. there.

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Affront Ophelia. Her father and myself


Will fo beftow ourselves, that, feeing, unfeen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge;
And gather by him, as he is behav'd,

If 't be th' affliction of his love, or no,
That thus he fuffers for.

Queen. I fhall obey you:

And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish,
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildnefs: fo fhall I hope, your virtues
" Will bring him to his wonted way again,

To both your honours.

Oph. Madam, I wish it may.

[* Exit Queen,


Pol. Ophelia, walk you here.-Gracious, fo pleafe you, We will bestow ourselves.-Read on this book; [ To Oph. That show of fuch an exercife may colour

Your loneliness. We're oft to blame in this,

'Tis too much prov'd, that with devotion's visage,

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How fmart a lash that fpeech doth give my confcience!

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[ Afide.

The harlot's cheek, beautied with plaftring art,


Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,

Than is my deed to my moft painted word.

Oh heavy burthen.

Pol, I hear him coming, let's withdraw,, my lord.

[f Exeunt all but Ophelia.


Enter Hamlet.

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Ham. To be or not to be? that is the question-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to fuffer

The flings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a fea of troubles,
And by oppofing end them?

To die—to fleep

No more; and by a fleep to fay, we end

The heart-ache, and the thoufand natural fhocks
That flesh is heir to; 'tis a confummation

Devoutly to be wifh'd. To die-to fleep—

To fleep? perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub;
For in that fleep of death what dreams may come,

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i When we have fhuffled off this mortal coil,

Muft give us paufe. There's the refpect
That makes calamity of fo long life.

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"The pangs of defpis'd love, the law's delay,
The infolence of office, and the fpurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes;
When he himself might his P Quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardles bear,
To grunt and fweat under a weary life,

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But that the dread of fomething after death,

'The undiscover'd country, from whose borne
No traveller returns, puzzles the will;

And makes us rather bear thofe ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?

The 2d f. reads, When he have fouffled, &c. the 3d and 4th, When be bath buffled, &c.

* Quips; conjecture of Grey. Quips and forms of tyrants; Quips and fcorns of title; two conjectures of J.

1 The evils here complained of are not the product of time or duration simply, but of a corrupt age or manners. We may be fure then that Shakespeare wrote, the whips and fcorns of time. And the defcription of the evils corrupt age, which follows, confi this emendation. W.

The fo's and R. read poor.
n The 2d q. reads, The pangs of of
fice, and the law's delay. The fo's read,

The pangs of difpriz'd love, the lazu's de
lay. P. alters this, The pang of de-
Spis'd love, &c. followed by T. W. and

• Second q. omits be; 3d, as for be. P The 1ft and ad qu's read quietas. The fo's read, Who would thefe fardles bear.

So the qu's, fo's and R. P. alters grunt to groan; and is followed by all the editors after him, except C.

s P. alters The to That; followed by all. P. fpells this bourne; fo do all after him, but H, who says, bourn fignifies à broot or fiream of water; but what Shakespeare means is borne, a French word, fignifying limit or boundary.


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