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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Part 2 out of 3

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Enter Hamlet.

Ham. To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins rememb'red.
Oph. Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?
Ham. I humbly thank you; well, well, well.
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours
That I have longed long to re-deliver.
I pray you, now receive them.
Ham. No, not I!
I never gave you aught.
Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd
As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,
Take these again; for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
There, my lord.
Ham. Ha, ha! Are you honest?
Oph. My lord?
Ham. Are you fair?
Oph. What means your lordship?
Ham. That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit
no
discourse to your beauty.
Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with
honesty?
Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform
honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty
can
translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a
paradox,
but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.
Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
Ham. You should not have believ'd me; for virtue cannot so
inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved
you
not.
Oph. I was the more deceived.
Ham. Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a breeder of
sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could
accuse
me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne
me.
I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at
my
beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give
them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows
as I
do, crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves
all;
believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your
father?
Oph. At home, my lord.
Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool
nowhere but in's own house. Farewell.
Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens!
Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy
dowry:
be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not
escape
calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or if thou wilt
needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what
monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too.
Farewell.
Oph. O heavenly powers, restore him!
Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath
given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig,
you
amble, and you lisp; you nickname God's creatures and make
your
wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on't! it hath
made
me mad. I say, we will have no moe marriages. Those that are
married already- all but one- shall live; the rest shall keep
as
they are. To a nunnery, go. Exit.
Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observ'd of all observers- quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Enter King and Polonius.

King. Love? his affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. There's something in his soul
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
Will be some danger; which for to prevent,
I have in quick determination
Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected tribute.
Haply the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart,
Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I believe
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love.- How now, Ophelia?
You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said.
We heard it all.- My lord, do as you please;
But if you hold it fit, after the play
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief. Let her be round with him;
And I'll be plac'd so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send him; or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.
King. It shall be so.
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. Exeunt.

Scene II.
Elsinore. hall in the Castle.

Enter Hamlet and three of the Players.

Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you,
trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our
players do, I had as live the town crier spoke my lines. Nor
do
not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all
gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say)
whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a
temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to
the
soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion
to
tatters, to very rags, to split the cars of the groundlings,
who
(for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable
dumb
shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipp'd for
o'erdoing
Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.
Player. I warrant your honour.
Ham. Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be
your
tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action;
with
this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of
nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of
playing,
whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as
'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show Virtue her own
feature,
scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time
his
form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off,
though
it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious
grieve; the censure of the which one must in your allowance
o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that
I
have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not
to
speak it profanely), that, neither having the accent of
Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have
so
strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's
journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they
imitated
humanity so abominably.
Player. I hope we have reform'd that indifferently with us,
sir.
Ham. O, reform it altogether! And let those that play your
clowns
speak no more than is set down for them. For there be of them
that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren
spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some
necessary
question of the play be then to be considered. That's
villanous
and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
Go
make you ready.
Exeunt Players.

Enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.

How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the Queen too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the players make haste, [Exit Polonius.] Will you two
help to hasten them?
Both. We will, my lord. Exeunt they two.
Ham. What, ho, Horatio!

Enter Horatio.

Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.
Hor. O, my dear lord!
Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter;
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for herself. For thou hast been
As one, in suff'ring all, that suffers nothing;
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this I
There is a play to-night before the King.
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee, of my father's death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And after we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
Hor. Well, my lord.
If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
And scape detecting, I will pay the theft.

Sound a flourish. [Enter Trumpets and Kettledrums. Danish
march. [Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz,
Guildenstern, and other Lords attendant, with the Guard
carrying torches.

Ham. They are coming to the play. I must be idle.
Get you a place.
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?
Ham. Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish. I eat the
air,
promise-cramm'd. You cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These words are
not
mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. [To Polonius] My lord, you play'd once
i' th' university, you say?
Pol. That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. What did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Julius Caesar; I was kill'd i' th' Capitol;
Brutus
kill'd me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
there. Be
the players ready.
Ros. Ay, my lord. They stay upon your patience.
Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother. Here's metal more attractive.
Pol. [to the King] O, ho! do you mark that?
Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
[Sits down at Ophelia's feet.]

Oph. No, my lord.
Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap?
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Do you think I meant country matters?
Oph. I think nothing, my lord.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
Oph. What is, my lord?
Ham. Nothing.
Oph. You are merry, my lord.
Ham. Who, I?
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. O God, your only jig-maker! What should a man do but be
merry?
For look you how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father
died
within 's two hours.
Oph. Nay 'tis twice two months, my lord.
Ham. So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I'll have
a
suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not
forgotten
yet? Then there's hope a great man's memory may outlive his
life
half a year. But, by'r Lady, he must build churches then; or
else
shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose

epitaph is 'For O, for O, the hobby-horse is forgot!'

Hautboys play. The dumb show enters.

Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly; the Queen embracing
him and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation
unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her
neck. He lays him down upon a bank of flowers. She, seeing
him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his
crown, kisses it, pours poison in the sleeper's ears, and
leaves him. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes
passionate action. The Poisoner with some three or four
Mutes,
comes in again, seem to condole with her. The dead body is
carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts; she
seems harsh and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts
his love.
Exeunt.

Oph. What means this, my lord?
Ham. Marry, this is miching malhecho; it means mischief.
Oph. Belike this show imports the argument of the play.

Enter Prologue.

Ham. We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep
counsel;
they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him. Be not you asham'd
to
show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught! I'll mark the play.

Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently. [Exit.]

Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
Oph. 'Tis brief, my lord.
Ham. As woman's love.

Enter [two Players as] King and Queen.

King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have times twelve thirties been,
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
Unite comutual in most sacred bands.
Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
But woe is me! you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state.
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must;
For women's fear and love holds quantity,
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now what my love is, proof hath made you know;
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
King. Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
My operant powers their functions leave to do.
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd, and haply one as kind
For husband shalt thou-
Queen. O, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast.
When second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second but who killed the first.

Ham. [aside] Wormwood, wormwood!

Queen. The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
A second time I kill my husband dead
When second husband kisses me in bed.
King. I do believe you think what now you speak;
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity;
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall unshaken when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis that we forget
To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt.
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy.
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favourite flies,
The poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies;
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
Queen. Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,
Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
To desperation turn my trust and hope,
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope,
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy,
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Ham. If she should break it now!

King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile.
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Queen. Sleep rock thy brain,
[He] sleeps.
And never come mischance between us twain!
Exit.

Ham. Madam, how like you this play?
Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Ham. O, but she'll keep her word.
King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?
Ham. No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i'
th'
world.
King. What do you call the play?
Ham. 'The Mousetrap.' Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the
image of a murther done in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke's
name;
his wife, Baptista. You shall see anon. 'Tis a knavish piece
of
work; but what o' that? Your Majesty, and we that have free
souls, it touches us not. Let the gall'd jade winch; our
withers
are unwrung.

Enter Lucianus.

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could
see
the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
Ham. It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
Oph. Still better, and worse.
Ham. So you must take your husbands.- Begin, murtherer. Pox,
leave
thy damnable faces, and begin! Come, the croaking raven doth
bellow for revenge.

Luc. 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 in his ears.

Ham. He poisons him i' th' garden for's estate. His name's
Gonzago.
The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian. You
shall see anon how the murtherer gets the love of Gonzago's
wife.
Oph. The King rises.
Ham. What, frighted with false fire?
Queen. How fares my lord?
Pol. Give o'er the play.
King. Give me some light! Away!
All. Lights, lights, lights!
Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio.
Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Thus 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
raz'd
shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
Hor. Half a share.
Ham. 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.
Hor. You might have rhym'd.
Ham. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand
pound! Didst perceive?
Hor. Very well, my lord.
Ham. Upon the talk of the poisoning?
Hor. I did very well note him.
Ham. Aha! 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!

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Sir, a whole history.
Guil. The King, sir-
Ham. Ay, sir, what of him?
Guil. Is in his retirement, marvellous distemper'd.
Ham. With drink, sir?
Guil. No, my lord; rather with choler.
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this
to
the doctor; for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps
plunge him into far more choler.
Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and
start
not so wildly from my affair.
Ham. I am tame, sir; pronounce.
Guil. The Queen, your mother, in most great affliction of
spirit
hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right
breed.
If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will
do
your mother's commandment; if not, your pardon and my return
shall be the end of my business.
Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Guil. What, my lord?
Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseas'd. But, sir,
such
answer as I can make, you shall command; or rather, as you
say,
my mother. Therefore no more, but to the matter! My mother,
you
say-
Ros. Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck her into
amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother! But is
there no
sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? Impart.
Ros. She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to
bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
further trade with us?
Ros. My lord, you once did love me.
Ham. And do still, by these pickers and stealers!
Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do
surely
bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs
to
your friend.
Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.
Ros. How can that be, when you have the voice of the King
himself
for your succession in Denmark?
Ham. Ay, sir, but 'while the grass grows'- the proverb is
something
musty.

Enter the Players with recorders.

O, the recorders! Let me see one. To withdraw with you- why
do
you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive
me
into a toil?
Guil. O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too
unmannerly.
Ham. I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this
pipe?
Guil. My lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.
Guil. I know, no touch of it, my lord.
Ham. It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your
fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth, and it
will
discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any utt'rance of harmony. I
have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me!
You
would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you
would
pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my
lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much
music,
excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it
speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be play'd on than
a
pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret
me,
you cannot play upon me.

Enter Polonius.

God bless you, sir!
Pol. My lord, the Queen would speak with you, and presently.
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By th' mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed.
Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is back'd like a weasel.
Ham. Or like a whale.
Pol. Very like a whale.
Ham. Then will I come to my mother by-and-by.- They fool me to
the
top of my bent.- I will come by-and-by.
Pol. I will say so. Exit.
Ham. 'By-and-by' is easily said.- Leave me, friends.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]

'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 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;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites-
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent! Exit.

Scene III.
A room in the Castle.

Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.

King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with us
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you;
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow
Out of his lunacies.
Guil. We will ourselves provide.
Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many many bodies safe
That live and feed upon your Majesty.
Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and armour of the mind
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depends and rests
The lives of many. The cesse of majesty
Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw
What's near it with it. It is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
Both. We will haste us.
Exeunt Gentlemen.

Enter Polonius.

Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.
Behind the arras I'll convey myself
To hear the process. I'll warrant she'll tax him home;
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege.
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed
And tell you what I know.
King. Thanks, dear my lord.
Exit [Polonius].
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
A brother's murther! Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will.
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? 'Forgive me my foul murther'?
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murther-
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd and retain th' offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but 'tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compell'd,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? What rests?
Try what repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels! Make assay.
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well. He kneels.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng'd. That would be scann'd.
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge!
He took my father grossly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands, who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him; and am I then reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
No.
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage;
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't-
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days. Exit.
King. [rises] My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. Exit.

Scene IV.
The Queen's closet.

Enter Queen and Polonius.

Pol. He will come straight. Look you lay home to him.
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your Grace hath screen'd and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll silence me even here.
Pray you be round with him.
Ham. (within) Mother, mother, mother!
Queen. I'll warrant you; fear me not. Withdraw; I hear him
coming.
[Polonius hides behind the arras.]

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter?
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended.
Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet?
Ham. What's the matter now?
Queen. Have you forgot me?
Ham. No, by the rood, not so!
You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife,
And (would it were not so!) you are my mother.
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down. You shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
Queen. What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murther me?
Help, help, ho!
Pol. [behind] What, ho! help, help, help!
Ham. [draws] How now? a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!
[Makes a pass through the arras and] kills Polonius.
Pol. [behind] O, I am slain!
Queen. O me, what hast thou done?
Ham. Nay, I know not. Is it the King?
Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!
Ham. A bloody deed- almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
Queen. As kill a king?
Ham. Ay, lady, it was my word.
[Lifts up the arras and sees Polonius.]
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune.
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
Ham. Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths. O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words! Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.
Queen. Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud and thunders in the index?
Ham. Look here upon th's picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill:
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
To give the world assurance of a man.
This was your husband. Look you now what follows.
Here is your husband, like a mildew'd ear
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes
You cannot call it love; for at your age
The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment; and what judgment
Would step from this to this? Sense sure you have,
Else could you not have motion; but sure that sense
Is apoplex'd; for madness would not err,
Nor sense to ecstacy was ne'er so thrall'd
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more!
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.
Ham. Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!
Queen. O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in mine ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet!
Ham. A murtherer and a villain!
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket!
Queen. No more!

Enter the Ghost in his nightgown.

Ham. A king of shreds and patches!-
Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?
Queen. Alas, he's mad!
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
Th' important acting of your dread command?
O, say!
Ghost. Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O, step between her and her fighting soul
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.
Ham. How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th' encorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,
Start up and stand an end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience! Whereon do you look?
Ham. On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.- Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true colour- tears perchance for blood.
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there! Look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look where he goes even now out at the portal!
Exit Ghost.
Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain.
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
Ham. Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have utt'red. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
And do not spread the compost on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
For in the fatness of these pursy times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg-
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
Queen. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Ham. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half,
Good night- but go not to my uncle's bed.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either [master] the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night;
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you.- For this same lord,
I do repent; but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their scourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him. So again, good night.
I must be cruel, only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady.
Queen. What shall I do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed;
Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
Make you to ravel all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know;
For who that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib
Such dear concernings hide? Who would do so?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly, and like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep
And break your own neck down.
Queen. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.
Ham. I must to England; you know that?
Queen. Alack,
I had forgot! 'Tis so concluded on.
Ham. There's letters seal'd; and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon. O, 'tis most sweet
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
This man shall set me packing.
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.-
Mother, good night.- Indeed, this counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish peating knave.
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night, mother.
[Exit the Queen. Then] Exit Hamlet, tugging in
Polonius.

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ACT IV. Scene I.
Elsinore. A room in the Castle.

Enter King and Queen, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

King. There's matter in these sighs. These profound heaves
You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
Where is your son?
Queen. Bestow this place on us a little while.
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen to-night!
King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
Queen. Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries 'A rat, a rat!'
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.
King. O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all-
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love
We would not understand what was most fit,
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd;
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.
King. O Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch
But we will ship him hence; and this vile deed
We must with all our majesty and skill
Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Friends both, go join you with some further aid.
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him.
Go seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.
Exeunt [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern].
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends
And let them know both what we mean to do
And what's untimely done. [So haply slander-]
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Transports his poisoned shot- may miss our name
And hit the woundless air.- O, come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
Exeunt.

Scene II.
Elsinore. A passage in the Castle.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Safely stow'd.
Gentlemen. (within) Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
Ham. But soft! What noise? Who calls on Hamlet? O, here they
come.

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
Ros. Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?
Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides,
to be
demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the
son
of a king?
Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the King's countenance, his
rewards,
his authorities. But such officers do the King best service
in
the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his
jaw;
first mouth'd, to be last swallowed. When he needs what you
have
glean'd, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be
dry
again.
Ros. I understand you not, my lord.
Ham. I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with us
to
the King.
Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
body.
The King is a thing-
Guil. A thing, my lord?
Ham. Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
Exeunt.

Scene III.
Elsinore. A room in the Castle.

Enter King.

King. I have sent to seek him and to find the body.
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
Yet must not we put the strong law on him.
He's lov'd of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
And where 'tis so, th' offender's scourge is weigh'd,
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are reliev'd,
Or not at all.

Enter Rosencrantz.

How now O What hath befall'n?
Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.
King. But where is he?
Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
King. Bring him before us.
Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord.

Enter Hamlet and Guildenstern [with Attendants].

King. Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Ham. At supper.
King. At supper? Where?
Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is
your
only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us,
and
we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean
beggar
is but variable service- two dishes, but to one table. That's
the
end.
King. Alas, alas!
Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and
eat
of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
King. What dost thou mean by this?
Ham. Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress
through
the guts of a beggar.
King. Where is Polonius?
Ham. In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him
not
there, seek him i' th' other place yourself. But indeed, if
you
find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go
up
the stair, into the lobby.
King. Go seek him there. [To Attendants.]
Ham. He will stay till you come.
[Exeunt Attendants.]
King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,-
Which we do tender as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done,- must send thee hence
With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare thyself.
The bark is ready and the wind at help,
Th' associates tend, and everything is bent
For England.
Ham. For England?
King. Ay, Hamlet.
Ham. Good.
King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England!
Farewell, dear mother.
King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.
Ham. My mother! Father and mother is man and wife; man and wife
is
one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!
Exit.
King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard.
Delay it not; I'll have him hence to-night.
Away! for everything is seal'd and done
That else leans on th' affair. Pray you make haste.
Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,-
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Pays homage to us,- thou mayst not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
By letters congruing to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me. Till I know 'tis done,
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun. Exit.

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Scene IV.
Near Elsinore.

Enter Fortinbras with his Army over the stage.

For. Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king.
Tell him that by his license Fortinbras
Craves the conveyance of a promis'd march
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
If that his Majesty would aught with us,
We shall express our duty in his eye;
And let him know so.
Capt. I will do't, my lord.
For. Go softly on.
Exeunt [all but the Captain].

Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, [Guildenstern,] and others.

Ham. Good sir, whose powers are these?
Capt. They are of Norway, sir.
Ham. How purpos'd, sir, I pray you?
Capt. Against some part of Poland.
Ham. Who commands them, sir?
Capt. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?
Capt. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of ground
That hath in it no profit but the name.
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Capt. Yes, it is already garrison'd.
Ham. Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Will not debate the question of this straw.
This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.- I humbly thank you, sir.
Capt. God b' wi' you, sir. [Exit.]
Ros. Will't please you go, my lord?
Ham. I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event,-
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,- I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! Exit.

<SHAKESPEARE IS COPYRIGHT 1990-1993 BY WORLD LIBRARY, INC., AND IS
PROVIDED BY PROJECT GUTENBERG ETEXT OF CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
WITH PERMISSION. ELECTRONIC AND MACHINE READABLE COPIES MAY BE
DISTRIBUTED SO LONG AS SUCH COPIES (1) ARE FOR YOUR OR OTHERS
PERSONAL USE ONLY, AND (2) ARE NOT DISTRIBUTED OR USED
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Scene V.
Elsinore. A room in the Castle.

Enter Horatio, Queen, and a Gentleman.

Queen. I will not speak with her.
Gent. She is importunate, indeed distract.
Her mood will needs be pitied.
Queen. What would she have?
Gent. She speaks much of her father; says she hears
There's tricks i' th' world, and hems, and beats her heart;
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
That carry but half sense. Her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them,
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
Hor. 'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
Queen. Let her come in.
[Exit Gentleman.]
[Aside] To my sick soul (as sin's true nature is)
Each toy seems Prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

Enter Ophelia distracted.

Oph. Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?
Queen. How now, Ophelia?
Oph. (sings)
How should I your true-love know
From another one?
By his cockle bat and' staff
And his sandal shoon.

Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
Oph. Say you? Nay, pray You mark.

(Sings) He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.

O, ho!
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia-
Oph. Pray you mark.

(Sings) White his shroud as the mountain snow-

Enter King.

Queen. Alas, look here, my lord!
Oph. (Sings)
Larded all with sweet flowers;
Which bewept to the grave did not go
With true-love showers.

King. How do you, pretty lady?
Oph. Well, God dild you! They say the owl was a baker's
daughter.
Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God
be at
your table!
King. Conceit upon her father.
Oph. Pray let's have no words of this; but when they ask, you
what
it means, say you this:

(Sings) To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning bedtime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.

Then up he rose and donn'd his clo'es
And dupp'd the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

King. Pretty Ophelia!
Oph. Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't!

[Sings] By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do't if they come to't
By Cock, they are to blame.

Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to wed.'

He answers:

'So would I 'a' done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.'

King. How long hath she been thus?
Oph. I hope all will be well. We must be patient; but I cannot
choose but weep to think they would lay him i' th' cold
ground.
My brother shall know of it; and so I thank you for your good
counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night,
sweet
ladies. Good night, good night. Exit
King. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
[Exit Horatio.]

O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies.
But in battalions! First, her father slain;
Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick and and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
For good Polonius' death, and we have done but greenly
In hugger-mugger to inter him; poor Ophelia
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts;
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her brother is in secret come from France;
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
Feeds on his wonder, keep, himself in clouds,
With pestilent speeches of his father's death,
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our person to arraign
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murd'ring piece, in many places
Give me superfluous death. A noise within.
Queen. Alack, what noise is this?
King. Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.

Enter a Messenger.

What is the matter?
Mess. Save Yourself, my lord:
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste
Than Young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O'erbears Your offices. The rabble call him lord;
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
The ratifiers and props of every word,
They cry 'Choose we! Laertes shall be king!'
Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds,
'Laertes shall be king! Laertes king!'
A noise within.
Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
King. The doors are broke.

Enter Laertes with others.

Laer. Where is this king?- Sirs, staid you all without.
All. No, let's come in!
Laer. I pray you give me leave.
All. We will, we will!
Laer. I thank you. Keep the door. [Exeunt his Followers.]
O thou vile king,
Give me my father!
Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.
Laer. That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
Even here between the chaste unsmirched brows
Of my true mother.
King. What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giantlike?
Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person.
There's such divinity doth hedge a king
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incens'd. Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, man.
Laer. Where is my father?
King. Dead.
Queen. But not by him!
King. Let him demand his fill.
Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the world, I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I'll be reveng'd
Most throughly for my father.
King. Who shall stay you?
Laer. My will, not all the world!
And for my means, I'll husband them so well
They shall go far with little.
King. Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge
That sweepstake you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?
Laer. None but his enemies.
King. Will you know them then?
Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms
And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
Repast them with my blood.
King. Why, now You speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce
As day does to your eye.
A noise within: 'Let her come in.'
Laer. How now? What noise is that?

Enter Ophelia.

O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.

Oph. (sings)
They bore him barefac'd on the bier
(Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
And in his grave rain'd many a tear.

Fare you well, my dove!
Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.
Oph. You must sing 'A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a.'
O,
how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole
his
master's daughter.
Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love,
remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
Laer. A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for
you,
and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o'
Sundays.
O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy.
I
would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my
father
died. They say he made a good end.

[Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
Oph. (sings)
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead;
Go to thy deathbed;
He never will come again.

His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan.
God 'a'mercy on his soul!

And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b' wi' you.
Exit.
Laer. Do you see this, O God?
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.
Laer. Let this be so.
His means of death, his obscure funeral-
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation,-
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.
King. So you shall;
And where th' offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you go with me.
Exeunt

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Scene VI.
Elsinore. Another room in the Castle.

Enter Horatio with an Attendant.

Hor. What are they that would speak with me?
Servant. Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for
you.
Hor. Let them come in.
[Exit Attendant.]
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors.

Sailor. God bless you, sir.
Hor. Let him bless thee too.
Sailor. 'A shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for
you,
sir,- it comes from th' ambassador that was bound for
England- if
your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Hor. (reads the letter) 'Horatio, when thou shalt have
overlook'd
this, give these fellows some means to the King. They have
letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of

very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too
slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the
grapple I
boarded them. On the instant they got clear of our ship; so I
alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like
thieves
of mercy; but they knew what they did: I am to do a good turn
for
them. Let the King have the letters I have sent, and repair
thou
to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I have
words
to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they much
too
light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will
bring
thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their
course
for England. Of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
'He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET.'

Come, I will give you way for these your letters,
And do't the speedier that you may direct me
To him from whom you brought them. Exeunt.

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Scene VII.
Elsinore. Another room in the Castle.

Enter King and Laertes.

King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And You must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he which hath your noble father slain
Pursued my life.
Laer. It well appears. But tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd up.
King. O, for two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
But yet to me they are strong. The Queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,-
My virtue or my plague, be it either which,-
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive
Why to a public count I might not go
Is the great love the general gender bear him,
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gives to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.
Laer. And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desp'rate terms,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections. But my revenge will come.
King. Break not your sleeps for that. You must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more.
I lov'd your father, and we love ourself,
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine-

Enter a Messenger with letters.

How now? What news?
Mess. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
This to your Majesty; this to the Queen.
King. From Hamlet? Who brought them?
Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not.
They were given me by Claudio; he receiv'd them
Of him that brought them.
King. Laertes, you shall hear them.
Leave us.
Exit Messenger.
[Reads]'High and Mighty,-You shall know I am set naked on
your
kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes;
when I shall (first asking your pardon thereunto) recount the
occasion of my sudden and more strange return.
'HAMLET.'
What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Laer. Know you the hand?
King. 'Tis Hamlet's character. 'Naked!'
And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
Can you advise me?
Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come!
It warms the very sickness in my heart
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus didest thou.'
King. If it be so, Laertes
(As how should it be so? how otherwise?),
Will you be rul'd by me?
Laer. Ay my lord,
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace. If he be now return'd
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To exploit now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no wind shall breathe
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice
And call it accident.
Laer. My lord, I will be rul'd;
The rather, if you could devise it so
That I might be the organ.
King. It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say you shine, Your sum of parts
Did not together pluck such envy from him
As did that one; and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.
Laer. What part is that, my lord?
King. A very riband in the cap of youth-
Yet needfull too; for youth no less becomes
The light and careless livery that it wears
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness. Two months since
Here was a gentleman of Normandy.
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
And they can well on horseback; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't. He grew unto his seat,
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse
As had he been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast. So far he topp'd my thought
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.
Laer. A Norman was't?
King. A Norman.
Laer. Upon my life, Lamound.
King. The very same.
Laer. I know him well. He is the broach indeed
And gem of all the nation.
King. He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especially,
That he cried out 'twould be a sight indeed
If one could match you. The scrimers of their nation
He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
If you oppos'd them. Sir, this report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
That he could nothing do but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er to play with you.
Now, out of this-
Laer. What out of this, my lord?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart,'
Laer. Why ask you this?
King. Not that I think you did not love your father;
But that I know love is begun by time,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too-much. That we would do,
We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes,
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' th' ulcer!
Hamlet comes back. What would you undertake
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in words?
Laer. To cut his throat i' th' church!
King. No place indeed should murther sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Will you do this? Keep close within your chamber.
Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home.
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you in fine together
And wager on your heads. He, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.
Laer. I will do't!
And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
This is but scratch'd withal. I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.
King. Let's further think of this,
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape. If this should fall,
And that our drift look through our bad performance.
'Twere better not assay'd. Therefore this project
Should have a back or second, that might hold
If this did blast in proof. Soft! let me see.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings-
I ha't!
When in your motion you are hot and dry-
As make your bouts more violent to that end-
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepar'd him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.- But stay, what noise,

Enter Queen.

How now, sweet queen?
Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow. Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
Laer. Drown'd! O, where?
Queen. There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Laer. Alas, then she is drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears; but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will. When these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord.
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze
But that this folly douts it. Exit.
King. Let's follow, Gertrude.
How much I had to do to calm his rage I
Now fear I this will give it start again;
Therefore let's follow.
Exeunt.

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ACT V. Scene I.
Elsinore. A churchyard.

Enter two Clowns, [with spades and pickaxes].

Clown. Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she
wilfully
seeks her own salvation?
Other. I tell thee she is; therefore make her grave straight.
The crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian burial.
Clown. How can that be, unless she drown'd herself in her own
defence?
Other. Why, 'tis found so.
Clown. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here
lies
the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act; and
an
act hath three branches-it is to act, to do, and to perform;
argal, she drown'd herself wittingly.
Other. Nay, but hear you, Goodman Delver!
Clown. Give me leave. Here lies the water; good. Here stands
the

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