Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;
Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property,
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears
He poisons him in the garden for's estate. His
name's Gonzago. The story is extant, and writ in
choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer
gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
The king rises.
What, frighted with false fire!
How fares my lord?
Give o'er the play.
Give me some light: away!
Lights, lights, lights!
Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO
Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
So runs the world away.
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers - if
the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me - with two
Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a
fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
Half a share.
A whole one, I.
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very… pajock.
You might have rhymed.
O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a
thousand pound. Didst perceive?
Very well, my lord.
Upon the talk of the poisoning?
I did very well note him.
Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the recorders!
For if the king like not the comedy,
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!
Hecate was the ancient Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, necromancy and nighttime. She appears in a scene of Macbeth when the witches conjure her and dance with her before Macbeth appears.
Hamlet here alludes to rather fancy clothing as a requirement for joining a theatre company; he suggests that he would need a forest of feathers (presumably an extravagantly plumed hat) and “provincial” (aka French, or Provençal) roses embroidered on his fashionable “razed” shoes. This might be something worth incorporating into a production’s costume design - the Players could arrive in dramatic fashion with such elements in their attire, so that these lines make more sense when Hamlet reaches them.
Damon & Pythias
Typifying the classical ideal of platonic friendship, Damon and Pythias appear throughout western literature as the best of friends. There was an early Elizabethan play about them by Richard Edwardes, and they crop out throughout the European canon. The story goes that Pythias was arrested for plotting against Dionysius of Syracuse. Pythias begged to be allowed to leave the prison to settle his affairs, on condition that Damon be arrested and incarcerated in his stead. (And, if Pythias absconded, the deal was that Damon could likewise be executed in his stead.) When Pythias did indeed return, Dionysius was so impressed in the trust between the two friends that he released them both.