Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 2

GUILDENSTERN.
The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit,
hath sent me to you.

HAMLET.
You are welcome.

GUILDENSTERN.
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.

HAMLET.
Sir, I cannot.

GUILDENSTERN.
What, my lord?

HAMLET.
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, —

ROSENCRANTZ.
Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck her into
amazement and admiration.

HAMLET.
O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother! — But is there no
sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration?

ROSENCRANTZ.
She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.

HAMLET.
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
further trade with us?

ROSENCRANTZ.
My lord, you once did love me.

HAMLET.
And so I do still, by these pickers and stealers.

ROSENCRANTZ.
Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely,
bar the door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs to
your friend.

HAMLET.
Sir, I lack advancement.

ROSENCRANTZ.
How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself
for your succession in Denmark?

HAMLET.
Ay, sir, but 'While the grass grows' — the proverb is something
musty.

[Re-enter the Players, with recorders.]

O, the recorders: — let me see one. — To withdraw with you: — why do
you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me
into a toil?

GUILDENSTERN.
O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.

HAMLET.
I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?

Continued on next page...

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