List of CharactersFOX, Prince of Denmark
KNOX, FOX's friend and fellow student
GHOST of FOX's father, former King of Denmark
CHICKS, officers of the watch
SUE, Queen of Denmark
SLOW JOE CROW, King of Denmark
GOO-GOOSE, counsellor to the king
BIM, former schoolfellow of FOX
BEN, brother to BIM and also former schoolfellow of FOX
LUKE LUCK, Prince of Norway
DUCK, ambassador to Norway
TWEETLE BEETLES, in the Norwegian army
ACT 1, Scene 1
[Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: Lo, some socks!
KNOX: Behold, a box! 'Tis now struck twelve, get thee to socks, Fox.
FOX: For this relief much thanks, 'tis bitter cold And I am Fox in socks.
KNOX: Well, good night. I am Knox in box. 5
FOX: Friends to the ground, and liegemen to the Dane. Knox on Fox in socks in box.
KNOX: Peace, break thee off. Look where it comes again.
FOX: In the same figure, socks on Knox and Knox in box.
KNOX: It would be spoke to. Question it, Fox. 10
FOX: What art thou that usurp'st this time of night, Together with Fox in socks on box on Knox?
KNOX: It is offended. See, it stalks away.
FOX: We do it wrong being so majestical.
ACT 1, Scene 2
[Flourish. Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: What, ho! Chicks with bricks come.
[Enter CHICKS with bricks]
KNOX: Peace, break thee off. Look where chicks with blocks come.
[Enter CHICKS with blocks]
FOX: But soft, behold, lo where chicks come again! Chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks come.
[Enter CHICKS with bricks and blocks and clocks]
FOX: Mark me, mark me, my lord Knox, sir. 5 Let us hold watch with bricks and blocks, sir. Let us have after with chicks and clocks, sir. A mote is to trouble the mind's eye, In the most high quick trick brick stack, A little ere the mightiest Julius fell 10 As stars with trains of fire from a quick trick block stack. What if it tempt you toward the flood my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of a quick trick chick stack, That beetles o'er his base into the sea, And there assume some quick trick clock stack? 15 My fate cries out, my lord Knox, Socks on chicks and chicks on Fox.
FOX: Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of Fox on clocks on bricks and blocks, Or goblin damned with bricks and blocks on Knox on box, 20 Bring with thee ticks from heaven or tocks from hell, Let my lord Knox not burst in ignorance but tell: Clocks on Fox tick, clocks on Knox tock.
KNOX: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
FOX: O that these too too solid six sick bricks would tick, 25 Thaw and resolve these six sick chicks which tock.
KNOX: Prithee, sir. I don't like this trick, sir. How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seems to me the quickness and slickness of my tongue! Fie on't, ah fie, I get all those ticks and tocks, sir, 30 Mixed up with the chicks and tocks, sir. It is not, nor it cannot come to good, Fox, sir.
FOX: A truant disposition, good my lord.
ACT 2, Scene 1
[Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: How now, such wanton, wild, and usual slips As are companions noted and most known To youth and liberty.
KNOX: As gaming, my lord?
FOX: Ay, 'tis an easy game to play, An easy thing to say - you may go so far. 5 Soft now - new socks, two socks, whose socks?
The fair Sue - Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my socks remembered.
SUE: Good my lord, How does your sewing for this many a socks?
FOX: I humbly thank you. [to KNOX] Sue sews Sue's socks. 10
SUE: My lord, I have remembrances of yours. Who sees who sew whose new socks, my lord?
FOX: [to KNOX] You see Sue sew Sue's new socks, my lord.
KNOX: Marry sir, here's my drift, 'Tis not easy, my lord Fox. 15
ACT 2, Scene 2
[Enter FOX, KNOX, and SUE] KNOX: Hark now! Who comes here?
[Enter SLOW JOE CROW]
FOX: Crow comes. Welcome dear Slow Joe Crow! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need we have to use you did provoke Our hasty sending. Who sew's crow's clothes? 5
CROW: Your majesty might by sovereign power Put your dread pleasures more into command Than to entreaty: Sue sews crow's clothes.
FOX: Thanks Slow Joe Crow, and I beseech you Instantly to sew whose clothes?
CROW: Sue's clothes. 10
FOX: Thou still hast been the father of good news.
CROW: Have I my lord? Assure you, my good liege, Sue sews socks of Fox in socks now.
FOX: Oh speak of that, that do I long to hear; Slow Joe Crow sews Knox in box now. 15 Give first admittance to th'ambassadors: Sue sews rose on Slow Joe Crow's clothes.
SUE: My news shall be the fruit to that great feast: Fox sews hose on Slow Joe Crow's nose.
FOX: I would fain prove that this hose goes, 20 When I had seen that this rose grows - As I perceived it, I must tell you that Nose hose goes some - what might you think Had I looked upon crow's rose growing some?
KNOX: Ay so, God bye to you, my lord Fox. 25 O what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here Hates this game, in a dream of passion, Could force not his tongue to his own conceit That from her working all his visage wanned, 30 Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, A lame tongue, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing?
FOX: My lord Knox, the play's the thing Wherein your tongue shall consent to sing. 35
ACT 3, Scene 1
[Enter FOX, KNOX, and GOO-GOOSE] FOX: And can you by no drift of circumstance Find something new to do now? With all my heart, and it doth much content me, Here is lots of new blue goo now. 'Tis now the very goo of night, 5 When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Blue goo to this world. Now could I drink hot goo, And do such gooey, gooey business as the day Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my blue goo. O heart, lose not thy new goo; let not ever 10 The soul of Nero enter this gluey, gluey bosom. Give me that gooey goo which is chewy chewing's slave, And I will chew him in my heart's core, Ay in my heart of heart, as that Goo-Goose is doing. I prithee when thou chewst that goo, my lord, 15 That thou choosest to chew thy goo with the Very chewing of the Goo-Goose, do, my lord.
KNOX: My lord Fox, oh this goo is rank, It smells to heaven; it hath the primal Eldest curse upon't. Say it can I not, 20 Though inclination be sharp as will, I stand in pause where I shall first chew.
FOX: My lord doth protest too much methinks. Let us find another game to play.
ACT 3, Scene 2
[Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: Hark, Bim comes! [Enter BIM] Ho, Ben comes!
BIM: I hast Ben broom.
BEN: I hast Bim broom.
FOX: Look here upon this picture, and on this, The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See what a broom was bent by Ben; 5 Bim's bends, the broom of Ben himself Is bent by Bim, to bend and break; A broom like Bim's, new-bent by Ben Is broken where every god did seem to bend.
[Flourish. Danish March (trumpets and kettle-drums). Enter PIGS attendant]
This is Ben's band. Look you now what follows. 10 Here is Bim's band, like a big band, Yea a pig band. Have you eyes? Could you leave Bim and Ben to lead These bands with brooms? What judgement Would step from Ben's band banging 15 To sense th'ecstasy of Bim's band booming?
KNOX: Oh what a noble tongue is here o'erthrown! The pig band, boom band, big band, broom band, Th'expectancy and rose of my poor mouth, The glass of fashion it cannot say, 20 Th'observed of all observers, quite, quite down, And my poor mouth most deject and wretched.
FOX: Indeed, this mouth is now most still, most grave. Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
ACT 4, Scene 1
[Enter FOX, KNOX, LUKE LUCK, and DUCK] FOX: How now, Luke Luck. Dost thou like lakes?
LUKE: Verily, my lord.
FOX: Dost thy duck like lakes?
LUKE: Truly to speak, and with no addition, We go to lick a little patch of lake That hath in it no profit but the name. 5
FOX: Why then, thou lick'st lakes.
LUKE: Ay, and my duck also lick'st lakes.
FOX: [to KNOX] Two thousand lakes and twenty thousand licks Will not debate the question of which lake Luke Luck's duck postures to lick; 10 This is th'lake oft liked by Luke Luck. How all occasions do inform that Luke Luck Takes licks in lakes liked by duck.
KNOX: Witness this army of such blibber and blubber, Blabbed not by a delicate and tender tongue, 15 Whose spirit be not made of rubber!
FOX: Too much of water hast thou, poor Knox, And therefore I forbid my tears. But yet, Thou dost not have to be so dumb, my lord Knox.
ACT 4, Scene 2
[Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: Try to say this my lord Knox, prithee - Through three cheese trees, or not through three cheese trees, That is the question - whether 'tis nobler In the trees for three free fleas to fly, Or to take a freezy breeze that blew 5 While these fleas flew and by blowing Freeze these three trees. To breeze, to freeze - No more; and by a breeze to blow we freeze The trees and the thousand natural trees That cheese is heir to - 'tis a cheese 10 Devoutly to be freezed. To breeze, to freeze - To freeze, perchance to sneeze. Ay, there's the rub, For in that freeze of cheese what sneezes may come, When fleas flew off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.
KNOX: Adieu my lord, 15 This is a speech of fire that fain would blaze But that this folly douts it.
ACT 5, Scene 1
[Enter FOX and KNOX] FOX: So much for this sir, now shall you see the other. Bear witness to such talk as follows of tweetle beetles -
[Enter TWEETLE BEETLES]
What dost thou know of tweetle beetles? Well, when tweetle beetles fare to cudgel brains 'Tis notified a tweetle beetle battle. 5 And with such maimed rites in a puddle? This doth betoken a tweetle beetle puddle battle. And the corse they follow did with desperate paddles Fordo in a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.
KNOX: What ceremony else?
FOX: What is he whose battle 10 Bears such beetles in a puddle? whose puddle of battle Conjures the wandering paddles, and makes them stand In a wonder-wounded bottle? This is a tweetle beetle Bottle puddle paddle battle muddle. And sir, in this bottle there was a kind of fighting 15 That would not let beetles sleep. Methought they battled Worse with paddles in a bottle.
[Enter POODLE attendant]
Rashly, And on a poodle eating noodles - let us know, A muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle Bottle paddle battle. And -
KNOX: The devil take thy soul. 20 Oh villainy! Come, for the battle, Fox. When thou art in the bottle where the tweetle beetles Battle in answer of the paddles, Let all the paddles on its noodle-eating poodle Drink to Fox's better breath, and in the bottle 25 A battle shall he throw richer than that which Four successive kings in Denmark's crown have worn. Let this be known a tweetle beetle noodle poodle Bottled paddled muddled duddled fuddled wuddled Fox in socks, my lord! 30
FOX: A hit, a very palpable hit. Oh I die, Knox, The potent poison quite o'ercrows my spirit. [Dies]
KNOX: Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince, And flights of angels sing our game done, sir. Thank you for a lot of fun, sir. 35