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Enter POLONIUS
POLONIUS enters.
God bless you, sir.
Hello and God bless you, sir.

POLONIUS
My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.
POLONIUS
My lord, the queen wants to speak with you right away.

HAMLET
Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?
HAMLET
Do you see that cloud up there that looks like a camel?

340
POLONIUS
By th' mass, and ’tis like a camel indeed.
POLONIUS
By God, it does look like a camel.

HAMLET
Methinks it is like a weasel.
HAMLET
To me it looks like a weasel.

POLONIUS
It is backed like a weasel.
POLONIUS
It does have a back like a weasel’s.

HAMLET
Or like a whale.
HAMLET
Or like a whale.

POLONIUS
Very like a whale.
POLONIUS
Yes, very much like a whale.

HAMLET
Then I will come to my mother by and by. (aside) They fool me to the top of my bent.—I will come by and by.
HAMLET
I’ll go see my mother soon. (to himself) They’re trying as hard as they can to mess with me.—I will go soon.

POLONIUS
I will say so.
POLONIUS
I’ll tell her.

HAMLET
“By and by” is easily said.
HAMLET
It’s easy enough to say “soon.”
Exit POLONIUS
POLONIUS exits.
Leave me, friends.
Now please leave me alone, my friends.
Exeunt all but HAMLET
Everyone except HAMLET exits.
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355

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
And do such bitter business as the bitter day
Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother.—
O heart, lose not thy nature, let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural.
This is the time of night when witches come out, when graveyards yawn open and the stench of hell seeps out. I could drink hot blood and do such terrible deeds that people would tremble even in the daylight. But I’ve got to go see my mother.—Oh, heart, don’t grow weak, like

Nero

Nero was a Roman emperor known for his extreme cruelty.

Nero
Let me be cruel, but not inhuman.

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