And can you, by no drift of conference,
Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
He does confess he feels himself distracted;
But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.
Did he receive you well?
Most like a gentleman.
But with much forcing of his disposition.
Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Most free in his reply.
Did you assay him to any pastime?
Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him;
And there did seem in him a kind of joy
To hear of it: they are about the court,
And, as I think, they have already order
This night to play before him.
I mentioned within this episode that The Mousetrap is an alternate name (given by Hamlet himself) for the play-within-the-play. It is also the name of the longest-running play in the history of the theatre - The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie has been running in London’s West End for decades already. They’ve already achieved the astonishing milestone of 25000 performances. (And I have never seen it!)
Although it dates back almost a thousand years to Old English, this word has very much fallen out of favour due to its close similarity to that very worst of racial slurs. Happily we now live in a world where no decent person would think of using the latter word, but as a result its homonym is likewise avoided for fear of misunderstanding. Believe it or not, there’s an entire Wikipedia entry dedicated to controversies and difficulties that surround the word niggard. It is unlikely that niggard or niggardly will come back into common use, with their meanings of stinginess or miserliness, and that’s probably for the best.