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Scene Study (Male-Female)


Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action.—Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins rememb’red.


Good my lord,

How does your honor for this many a day?


I humbly thank you, well, well, well.


My lord, I have remembrances of yours

That I have longed long to redeliver.

I pray you now receive them.


No, not I,

I never gave you aught.


My honor’d lord, you know right well you did,

And with them words of so sweet breath compos’d

As made these things more rich. Their perfume lost,

Take these again, for to the noble mind

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

There, my lord.


Ha, ha! are you honest?


My lord?


Are you fair?


What means your lordship?


That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.


Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?


Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.


Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.


You should not have believ’d me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I lov’d you not.


I was the more deceiv’d.


Get thee to a nunn’ry, why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunn’ry. Where’s your father?


At home, my lord.


Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in ’s own house. Farewell.


O, help him, you sweet heavens!


If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunn’ry, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunn’ry, go, and quickly too. Farewell.


Heavenly powers, restore him!


I have heard of your paintings, well enough. God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on’t, it hath made me mad. I say we will have no moe marriage. Those that are married already (all but one) shall live, the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunn’ry, go.



O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!

The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,

Th’ expectation and rose of the fair state,

The glass of fashion and the mould of form,

Th’ observ’d of all observers, quite, quite down!

And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,

That suck’d the honey of his music vows,

Now see that noble and most sovereign reason

Like sweet bells jangled out of time, and harsh;

That unmatch’d form and stature of blown youth

Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me

T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!


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