[Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]
Guildenstern. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Hamlet. Sir, a whole history.
Guildenstern. The King, sir -
Hamlet. Ay, sir, what of him?
Guildenstern. Is in retirement marvellous distempered.
Hamlet. With drink, sir.
Guildenstern. No, my lord, with choler.
Hamlet. Your wisdom should show more richer to
signify this to the doctor, for, for me to put him to his
purgation would perhaps plunge him into more choler.
Guildenstern. Good my lord, put your discourse into some
frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
Hamlet. I am tame, sir. Pronounce.
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 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.
Rosencrantz. 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 astonish a mother!
But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's
Rosencrantz. She desires to speak with you in her closet ere
you goto bed.
Hamlet. We shall obey, where she ten times our mother. Have
you any further trade with us?
Rosencrantz. My lord, you once did love me.
Hamlet. And 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 grow - the proverb is