Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

HAMLET

How comes it? do they grow rusty?

ROSENCRANTZ

Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: but

there is, sir, an aery of children, little eyases,

that cry out on the top of question, and are most

tyrannically clapped for’t: these are now the

fashion, and so berattle the common stages—so they

call them—that many wearing rapiers are afraid of

goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.

HAMLET

What, are they children? who maintains ’em? how are

they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no

longer than they can sing? will they not say

afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common

players—as it is most like, if their means are no

better—their writers do them wrong, to make them

exclaim against their own succession?

ROSENCRANTZ

‘Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and

the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to

controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid

for argument, unless the poet and the player went to

cuffs in the question.

HAMLET

Is’t possible?

GUILDENSTERN

O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

HAMLET

Do the boys carry it away?

ROSENCRANTZ

Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.

HAMLET

It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of

Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while

my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an

hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.

‘Sblood, there is something in this more than

natural, if philosophy could find it out.

Flourish of trumpets within

GUILDENSTERN

There are the players.

HAMLET

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands,

come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion

and ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb,

lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you,

must show fairly outward, should more appear like

entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my

uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.

GUILDENSTERN

In what, my dear lord?

HAMLET

I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is

southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.

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