Enter the King, Queene, and Lordes.
Lordes, can you by no meanes finde
The cause of our sonne
You being so neere in loue, euen from his youth,
Me thinkes should gaine more than a stranger should.
My lord, we haue done all the best we could,
To wring from him the cause of all his griefe,
But still he puts vs off, and by no meanes
Would make an answere to that we exposde.
Yet was he something more inclin'd to mirth
Before we left him, and I take it,
He hath giuen order for a play to night,
At which he craues your highnesse company.
With all our heart, it likes vs very well:
Gentlemen, seeke still to increase his mirth,
Spare for no cost, our coffers shall be open,
And we vnto your selues will still be thankefull.
In all wee can, be sure you shall commaund.
Thankes gentlemen, and what the Queene of
May pleasure you, be sure you shall not want.
Weele once againe vnto the noble Prince.
Thanks to you both:
you'l see this play.
My lord I will, and it ioyes me at the soule
He is inclin'd to any kinde of mirth.
Madame, I pray be ruled by me:
And my good Soueraigne, giue me leaue to speake,
We cannot yet finde out the very ground
Of his distemperance, therefore
I holde it meete, if so it please you,
Else they shall not meete, and thus it is.
Mary my good lord this, soone when the sports are
Madam, send you in haste to speake with him,
And I my selfe will stand behind the Arras,
There question you the cause of all his griefe,
And then in loue and nature vnto you, hee'le tell you all:
My Lord, how thinke you on't?
It likes vs well,
, what say you?
With all my heart, soone will I send for him.
My selfe will be that happy messenger,
Who hopes his griefe will be reueal'd to her.
and the Players.
Pronounce me this speech trippingly a the tongue
as I taught thee,
Mary and you mouth it, as a many of your players do
I'de rather heare a towne bull bellow,
Then such a fellow speake my lines.
Nor do not saw the aire thus with your hands,
But giue euery thing his action with temperance.
O it offends mee to the soule, to heare a rebustious periwig
To teare a passion in totters, into very ragges,
To split the eares of the ignora
t, who for the
Most parte are capable of nothing but dumbe shewes and
I would haue such a fellow whipt, for o're doing, tarmagant
It out, Herodes Herod.
My Lorde, wee haue indifferently reformed that
The better, the better, mend it all together:
There be fellowes that I haue seene play,
And heard others commend them, and that highly too,
That hauing neither the gate of Christian, Pagan,
Nor Turke, haue so strutted and bellowed,
That you would a thought, some of Natures journeymen
Had made men, and not made them well,
They imitated humanitie, so abhominable:
Take heede, auoyde it.
I warrant you my Lord.
And doe you heare? let not your Clowne speake
More then is set downe, there be of them I can tell you
That will laugh themselues, to set on some
Quantitie of barren spectators to laugh with them,
Albeit there is some necessary point in the Play
Then to be obserued: O t'is vile, and shewes
A pittifull ambition in the foole that vseth it.
Andthen you haue some agen, that keepes one sute
Os ieasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of
Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his ieasts downe
In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus:
Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige? and, you owe me
A quarters wages: and, my coate wants a cullison:
And, your beere is sowre: and, blabbering with his lips,
And thus keeping in hiscinkapaseof ieasts,
When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest
Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare:
Maisters tell him of it.
Well, goe make you ready.
, thou art euen as iust a man,
As e're my conuersation cop'd withall.
Nay why should I flatter thee?
Why should the poore be flattered?
What gaine should I receiue by flattering thee,
That nothing hath but thy good minde?
Let flattery sit on those time‐pleasing tongs,
To glose with them that loues to heare their praise,
And not with such as thou
There is a play to night, wherein one Sceane they haue
Comes very neere the murder of my father,
When thou shalt see that Act afoote,
Marke thou the King, doe but obserue his lookes,
For I mine eies will riuet to his face:
And if he doe not bleach, and change at that,
It is a damned ghost that we haue seene.
, haue a care, obserue him well.
My lord, mine eies shall still be on his face,
And not the smallest alteration
That shall appeare in him, but I shall note it.
Enter King, Queene,
, and other Lords.
How now son
, how fare you, shall we haue
Yfaith the Camelions dish, not capon cramm'd,
feede a the ayre.
I father: My lord, you playd in the Vniuersitie.
That I did my L: and I was counted a good actor.
What did you enact there?
My lord, I did act
, I was killed
in the Capitoll,
It was a brute parte of him,
To kill so capitall a calfe.
Come, be these Players ready?
come sit downe by me.
No by my faith mother, heere's a mettle more at
Lady will you giue me leaue, and so forth:
To lay my head in your lappe?
Vpon your lap, what do you thinke I meant con
Enter in a Dumbe Shew, theKing and the Queene,
be as below
downe in an Arbor, she leaues him: Then enters Luci
anus with poyson in a Viall, and powres it in his eares, and
goes away: Then the Queene commeth and findes him
dead: and goes away with the other.
What meanes this my Lord?
Enter the Prologue.
This is myching Mallico, that meanes my chiefe.
What doth this meane my lord?
you shall heare anone, this fellow will tell you all.
Will he tell vs what this shew meanes?
I, or any shew you'le shew him,
Be not afeard to shew, hee'le not be afeard to tell:
O these Players cannot keepe counsell, thei'le tell all.
For vs, and for our Tragedie,
g to your clemencie,
We begge your hearing patiently.
I'st a prologue, or a poesie for a ring?
T'is short my Lord.
Enter the Duke and Dutchesse.
Full fortie yeares are past, their date is gone,
Since happy time ioyn'd both our hearts as one:
And now the blood that fill'd my youthfull veines,
Runnes weakely in their pipes, and all the straines
Of musicke, which whilome pleasde mine eare,
Is now a burthen that Age cannot beare:
And therefore sweete Nature must pay his due,
To heauen must I, and leaue the earth with you.
O say not so, lest that you kill my heart,
When death takes you, let life from me depart.
Content thy selfe, when ended is my date,
maist (perchance) haue a more noble mate,
More wise, more youthfull, and one.
O speake no more_for then I am accurst,
None weds the second, but she kils the first:
A second time I kill my Lord that's dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.
O wormewood, wormewood!
I doe beleeue you sweete, what now you speake,
But what we doe determine oft we breake,
For our demises stil are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their end's none of our owne:
So thinke you will no second husband wed,
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.
Both here and there pursue me lasting strife,
If once a widdow, euer I be wife.
If she should breake now.
T'is deepely sworne, sweete leaue me here a while,
My spirites growe dull, and faine I would beguile the tedi
ous time with sleepe.
Sleepe rocke thy braine,
And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.
Madam, how do you like this play?
The Lady protests too much.
O but shee'le keepe her word.
Haue you heard the argument, is there no offence
No offence in the world, poyson in iest, poison in
What do you call the name of the play?
Mouse‐trap: mary how trapically: this play is
The image of a murder done in
Was the Dukes name, his wife
Father, it is a knauish peece a worke: but what
A that, it toucheth not vs, you and I that haue free
Soules, let the galld iade wince, this is one
nephew to the
Ya're as good as a
I could interpret the loue you beare, if I sawe the
Y'are very pleasant my lord.
Who I, your onlie jig‐maker, why what shoulde
a man do but be merry? for looke how cheerefully my mo
ther lookes, my father died within these two houres.
Nay, t'is twice two months, my Lord.
Two months, nay then let the diuell weare blacke,
For i'le haue a sute of Sables: Iesus, two months dead,
And not forgotten yet? nay then there's some
Likelyhood, a gentlemans death may outliue memorie,
But by my faith hee must build churches then,
Or els hee must follow the olde Epitithe,
With hoh, with ho, the hobi‐horse is forgot.
Your iests are keene my Lord.
It would cost you a groning to take them off.
Still better and worse.
So you must take your husband, begin. Murdred
Begin, a poxe, leaue thy damnable faces and begin,
Come, the croking rauen doth bellow for reuenge.
Thoughts blacke, hands apt, drugs fit, and time
Confederate season, else no creature seeing:
Thou mixture rancke, of midnight weedes collected,
bane thrise blasted, thrise infected,
Thy naturall magicke, and dire propertie,
One wholesome life vsurps immediately.
He poysons him for his estate.
Lights, I will to bed.
The king rises, lights hoe.
Exeunt King and Lordes.
What, frighted with false fires?
Then let the stricken deere goe weepe,
The Hart vngalled play,
For some must laugh, while some must weepe,
Thus runnes the world away.
The king is mooued my lord.
, i'le take the Ghosts word
For more then all the coyne in
Now my lord, how i'st with you?
And if the king like not the tragedy,
Why then belike he likes it not perdy.
We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant,
My good lord, let vs againe intreate
To know of you the ground and cause of your distempera
My lord, your mother craues to speake with you.
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.
But my good Lord, shall I intreate thus much?
I pray will you play vpon this pipe?
Alas my lord I cannot.
I haue no skill my Lord.
why looke, it is a thing of nothing,
T'is but stopping of these holes,
And with a little breath from your lips,
It will giue most delicate musick.
But this cannot wee do my Lord.
Pray now, pray hartily, I beseech you.
Why how vnworthy a thing would you make of
You would seeme to know my stops, you would play vpon
You would search the very inward part of my hart,
And diue into the secreet of my soule.
Zownds do you thinke Iam easier to be pla'yd
On, then a pipe? call mee what Instrument
You will, though you can frett mee, yet you can not
Play vpon mee, besides, to be demanded by a spunge.
How a spunge my Lord?
I sir, a spunge, that sokes vp the kings
Countenance, fauours, and rewardes, that makes
His liberalitie your store house: but such as you,
Do the king, in the end, best seruise;
For hee doth keep you as an Ape doth nuttes,
In the corner of his Iaw, first mouthes you,
Then swallowes you: so when hee hath need
Of you, t'is but squeesing of you,
And spunge, you shall be dry againe, you shall.
Wel my Lord wee'le take our leaue.
Farewell, farewell, God blesse you.
My lord, the Queene would speake with you.
Do you see yonder clowd in the shape of a camell?
T'is like a camell in deed.
Now me thinkes it's like aweasel.
T'is back't like a weasell.
Cross. Triangle. Cross.
Very like a whale.
Why then tell my mother i'le come by and by.
Good night vnto your Lordship.
My mother she hath sent to speake with me:
O God, let ne're the heart of
This soft bosome.
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall.
I will speake daggers, those sharpe wordes being spent,
To doe her wrong my soule shall ne're consent.
Enter Queene and
Madame, I heare yong
I'le shrowde my selfe behinde the Arras.
Mother, mother, O are you here?
How i'st with you mother?
How i'st with you?
I'le tell you, but first weele make all safe.
, thou hast thy father much offended.
Mother, you haue my father much offended.
How now mother! come here, sit downe, for you
shall heare me speake.
What wilt thou doe? thou wilt not murder me:
Helpe for the Queene.
I a Rat, dead for a Duckat.
Rash intruding foole, farewell,
I tooke thee for thy better.
, what hast thou done?
Not so much harme, good mother,
As to kill a king, and marry with his brother.
I a King: nay sit you downe, and ere you part,
If you be made of penitrable stuffe,
I'le make your eyes looke downe into your heart,
And see how horride there and blacke it shews.
, what mean'st thou by these killing
Why this I meane, see here, behold this picture,
It is the portraiture, of your deceased husband,
See here a face, to outface
An eye, at which his foes did tremble at,
A front wherin all vertues are set downe
For to adorne a king, and guild his crowne,
Whose heart went hand in hand euen with that vow,
He made to you in marriage, and he is dead.
Murdred, damnably murdred, this was your husband,
Looke you now, here is your husband,
With a face like
A looke fit for a murder and a rape,
A dull dead hanging looke, and a hell‐bred eie,
To affright children and amaze the world:
And this same haue you left to change with this.
What Diuell thus hath cosoned you at hob‐man blinde?
A! haue you eyes and can you looke on him
That slew my father, and your deere husband,
To liue in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?
, speake no more.
To leaue him that bare a Monarkes minde,
For a king of clowts, of very shreads.
Nay but still to persist and dwell in sinne,
To sweate vnder the yoke of infamie,
To make increase of shame, to seale damnation.
Why appetite with you is in the waine,
Your blood runnes backeward now from whence it came,
Who'le chide hote blood within a Virgins heart,
When lust shall dwell within a matrons breast?
, thou cleaues my heart in twaine.
O throw away the worser part of it, and keepe the
Enter the ghost inhis night gowne.
Saue me, saue me, you gratious
Powers aboue, and houer ouer mee,
With your celestiall wings.
Doe you not come your tardy sonne to chide,
That I thus long haue let reuenge slippe by?
O do not glare with lookes so pittifull!
Lest that my heart of stone yeelde to compassion,
And euery part that should assist reuenge,
Forgoe their proper powers, and fall to pitty.
, I once againe appeare to thee,
To put thee in remembrance of my death:
Doe not neglect, nor long time put it off.
But I perceiue by
Thy mother's fearefull, and she stands amazde:
Speake to her
, for her sex is weake,
Comfort thy mother,
, thinke on me.
How i'st with you Lady?
Nay, how i'st with you
That thus you bend your eyes on vacancie,
And holde discourse with nothing but with ayre?
Why doe you nothing heare?
Nor doe you nothing see?
No, why see the king my
father, my father, in the
As he liued, looke you how pale he lookes,
See how he steales away out of the Portall,
Looke, there he goes.
Alas, it is the weakenesse of thy braine,
Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy hearts griefe:
But as I haue a soule, I sweare by heauen,
I neuer knew of this most horride murder:
, this is onely fantasie,
And for my loue forget these idle fits.
Idle, no mother, my pulse doth beate like yours,
It is not madnesse that possesseth
O mother, if euer you did my deare father loue,
Forbeare the adulterous bed to night,
And win your selfe by little as you may,
In time it may be you wil lothe him quite:
And mother, but assist mee in reuenge,
And in his death your infamy shall die.
, I vow by that maiesty,
That knowes our thoughts, and lookes into our hearts,
I will conceale, consent, and doe my best,
What stratagem soe're thou shalt deuise.
It is enough, mother good night:
Come sir, I'le prouide for you a graue,
Who was in life a foolish prating knaue.
with the dead body.