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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)

    The Tragical History of HAMLET Prince of Denmark.
    1[Scene 1]
    Enter two Sentinels [First Sentinel and Barnardo].
    First Sentinel
    Stand! Who is that?
    'Tis I.
    10First Sentinel
    Oh, you come most carefully upon your watch.
    An if you meet Marcellus and Horatio,
    The partners of my watch, bid them make haste.
    First Sentinel
    I will. See who goes there.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    Friends to this ground.
    And liegemen to the Dane.
    [To the First Sentinel] Oh, farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you?
    First Sentinel
    Barnardo hath my place. Give you good night.
    Holla, Barnardo!
    Say, is Horatio there?
    A piece of him.
    Welcome, Horatio, welcome, good Marcellus.
    What, hath this thing appeared again tonight?
    I have seen nothing.
    Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
    And will not let belief take hold of him,
    Touching this dreaded sight twice seen by us.
    35Therefore I have entreated him along with us
    To watch the minutes of this night,
    That if again this apparition come,
    He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.
    Tut, 'twill not appear.
    Sit down, I pray, and let us once again
    Assail your ears, that are so fortified,
    What we have two nights seen.
    Well, sit we down, and let us hear Barnardo speak of this.
    Last night of all, when yonder star that's westward from the pole had made his course to
    Illumine that part of heaven where now it burns,
    50The bell then tolling one--
    Enter Ghost.
    Break off your talk. See where it comes again!
    In the same figure like the King that's dead.
    Thou art a scholar. Speak to it, Horatio.
    Looks it not like the King?
    Most like. It horrors me with fear and wonder.
    It would be spoke to.
    Question it, Horatio.
    What art thou that thus usurps the state in
    Which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometimes
    Walk? By heaven, I charge thee speak.
    It is offended.
    Exit Ghost.
    See, it stalks away.
    Stay, speak, speak! By heaven, I charge thee speak!
    'Tis gone and makes no answer.
    How now, Horatio, you tremble and look pale.
    Is not this something more than fantasy?
    70What think you on't?
    Afore my God, I might not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of my own eyes.
    Is it not like the King?
    As thou art to thyself.
    Such was the very armor he had on
    When he the ambitious Norway combated.
    So frowned he once, when in an angry parle
    He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
    80'Tis strange.
    Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
    With martial stalk he passèd through our watch.
    In what particular to work, I know not,
    But in the thought and scope of my opinion
    85This bodes some strange eruption to the state.
    Good, now sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
    Why this same strict and most observant watch
    So nightly toils the subject of the land,
    And why such daily cost of brazen cannon
    90And foreign mart for implements of war,
    Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
    Does not divide the Sunday from the week:
    What might be toward, that this sweaty march
    Doth make the night joint laborer with the day?
    95Who is't that can inform me?
    Marry, that can I, at least the whisper goes so:
    Our late King, who as you know was by
    Fortenbrasse of Norway,
    100Thereto pricked on by a most emulous cause, dared to
    The combat, in which our valiant Hamlet,
    For so this side of our known world esteemed him,
    Did slay this Fortenbrasse,
    Who by a seale[d] compact, well ratified by law
    And heraldry, did forfeit with his life all those
    105His lands which he stood seized of by the conqueror,
    Against the which a moiety competent
    Was gagèd by our King.
    Now, sir, young Fortenbrasse,
    Of inapprovèd mettle hot and full,
    Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
    115Sharked up a sight of lawless resolutes
    For food and diet to some enterprise,
    That hath a stomach in't. And this (I take it) is the
    Chief head and ground of this our watch.
    125Enter the Ghost.
    But lo, behold, see where it comes again!
    I'll cross it, though it blast me.--Stay, illusion!
    If there be any good thing to be done,
    130That may do ease to thee and grace to me,
    Speak to me!
    If thou are privy to thy country's fate,
    Which happ'ly foreknowing may prevent, oh, speak to me!
    Or if thou hast extorted in thy life,
    Or hoarded treasure in the womb of earth,
    135For which they say you spirits oft walk in death,
    Speak to me! Stay and speak, speak!--Stop it, Marcellus.
    'Tis here.
    Exit Ghost.
    'Tis here.
    'Tis gone. Oh, we do it wrong, being so majestical,
    To offer it the show of violence,
    For it is as the air invulnerable,
    145And our vain blows malicious mockery.
    It was about to speak when the cock crew.
    And then it faded like a guilty thing
    Upon a fearful summons. I have heard
    The cock, that is the trumpet to the morning,
    150Doth with his early and shrill-crowing throat
    Awake the god of day, and at his sound,
    Whether in earth or air, in sea or fire,
    The stravagant and erring spirit hies
    To his confines; and of the truth hereof
    155This present object made probation.
    It faded on the crowing of the cock.
    Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
    Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
    160And then, they say, no spirit dare walk abroad,
    The nights are wholesome, then no planet strikes,
    No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
    So gracious and so hallowed is that time.
    So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
    165But see, the sun, in russet mantle clad,
    Walks o'er the dew of yon high mountain top.
    Break we our watch up, and, by my advice,
    Let us impart what we have seen tonight
    Unto young Hamlet; for upon my life
    170This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
    Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
    As needful in our love, fitting our duty?
    Let's do't, I pray, and I this morning know
    Where we shall find him most conveniently.
    175[Scene 2]
    Enter King, Queen, Hamlet, Laertes, Corambis, and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
    Lords, we here have writ to Fortenbrasse,
    Nephew to old Norway, who, impudent
    And bed-rid, scarcely hears of this his
    Nephew's purpose; and we here dispatch
    Young good Cornelia, and you, Voltemar,
    For bearers of these greetings to old
    Norway, giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the King
    Than those related articles do show.
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
    In this and all things will we show our duty.
    We doubt nothing. Heartily farewell.
    [Exeunt Cornelia and Voltemar.]
    And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
    You said you had a suit. What is't, Laertes?
    My gracious lord, your favorable license,
    231.1Now that the funeral rites are all performed,
    I may have leave to go again to France;
    232.1For though the favor of your grace might stay me,
    Yet something is there whispers in my heart
    Which makes my mind and spirits bend all for France.
    Have you your father's leave, Laertes?
    He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced grant,
    And I beseech you grant your highness'leave.
    With all our heart, Laertes, fare thee well.
    I in all love and duty take my leave.
    And now, princely son Hamlet,
    What means these sad and melancholy moods?
    For your intent going to Wittenberg,
    We hold it most unmeet and unconvenient,
    296.1Being the joy and half heart of your mother.
    Therefore let me entreat you stay in court,
    All Denmark's hope, our cousin and dearest son.
    My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear,
    No, nor the tears that still stand in my eyes,
    Nor the distracted havior in the visage,
    Nor all together mixed with outward semblance,
    263.1Is equal to the sorrow of my heart.
    Him have I lost I must of force forgo;
    These but the ornaments and suits of woe.
    This shows a loving care in you, son Hamlet,
    But you must think your father lost a father,
    That father dead, lost his, and so shall be until the
    272.1General ending. Therefore cease laments.
    It is a fault 'gainst heaven, fault 'gainst the dead,
    A fault 'gainst nature, and in reason's
    Common course most certain,
    None lives on earth but he is born to die.
    Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
    Stay here with us, go not to Wittenberg.
    I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
    Spoke like a kind and a most loving son;
    And there's no health the King shall drink today
    But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell
    310The rouse the King shall drink unto Prince Hamlet.
    Exeunt all but Hamlet.
    Oh, that this too much grieved and sallied flesh
    Would melt to nothing, or that the universal
    313.1Globe of heaven would turn all to a chaos!
    O God, within two months; no not two: married
    330Mine uncle! Oh, let me not think of it,
    My father's brother, but no more like
    My father than I to Hercules.
    Within two months, ere yet the salt of most
    Unrighteous tears had left their flushing
    In her gallèd eyes, she married. O God, a beast
    Devoid of reason would not have made
    Such speed! Frailty, thy name is Woman.
    Why, she would hang on him as if increase
    Of appetite had grown by what it looked on.
    340Oh, wicked, wicked speed, to make such
    Dexterity to incestuous sheets,
    Ere yet the shoes were old,
    The which she followed my dead father's corse
    Like Niobe, all tears: married. Well, it is not,
    Nor it cannot come to good;
    But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus [and Barnardo].
    Health to your lordship!
    I am very glad to see you, Horatio, or I much
    Forget myself.
    The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
    O my good friend, I change that name with you.
    But what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
    [To Marcellus.] Marcellus.
    My good lord.
    I am very glad to see you. Good even, sirs.
    [To Horatio] But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
    A truant disposition, my good lord.
    Nor shall you make me truster
    360Of your own report against yourself.
    Sir, I know you are no truant.
    But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    My good lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
    Oh, I prithee do not mock me, fellow student,
    I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
    Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
    Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
    370Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
    Ere ever I had seen that day, Horatio.
    O my father, my father! Methinks I see my father.
    Where, my lord?
    Why, in my mind's eye, Horatio.
    I saw him once, he was a gallant king.
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
    My lord, I think I saw him yesternight,
    Saw, who?
    My lord, the King your father.
    Ha, ha, the King my father, kee you?
    Ceasen your admiration for a while
    With an attentive ear, till I may deliver,
    Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
    385This wonder to you.
    For God's love, let me hear it.
    Two nights together had these gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,
    In the dead vast and middle of the night.
    390Been thus encountered by a figure like your father,
    Armed to point, exactly cap-à-pie,
    Appears before them thrice, he walks
    Before their weak and fear-oppressèd eyes
    395Within his truncheon's length,
    While they, distilled almost to jelly
    With the act of fear, stands dumb
    And speak not to him. This to me
    In dreadful secrecy impart they did.
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400Where as they had delivered form of the thing.
    Each part made true and good,
    The apparition comes. I knew your father,
    These hands are not more like.
    'Tis very strange.
    As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true,
    And we did think it right done
    In our duty to let you know it.
    Where was this?
    My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
    Did you not speak to it?
    My lord, we did, but answer made it none.
    Yet once methought it was about to speak,
    And lifted up his head to motion,
    410Like as he would speak, but even then
    The morning cock crew loud, and in all haste
    It shrunk in haste away, and vanished
    Our sight.
    Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
    Hold you the watch tonight?
    We do, my lord.
    Armed, say ye?
    Armed, my good lord.
    From top to toe?
    My good lord, from head to foot.
    Why then saw you not his face?
    Oh, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up.
    How looked he, frowningly?
    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
    Pale, or red?
    Nay, very pale.
    And fixed his eyes upon you?
    Most constantly.
    I would I had been there.
    It would 'a' much amazed you.
    Yea, very like, very like. Stayed it long?
    While one with moderate pace
    Might tell a hundred.
    Oh, longer, longer.
    His beard was grizzled, no?
    It was as I have seen it in his life,
    A sable silver.
    I will watch tonight. Perchance 'twill walk again.
    I warrant it will.
    If it assume my noble father's person,
    445I'll speak to it, if hell itself should gape
    And bid me hold my peace. Gentlemen,
    If you have hither concealed this sight,
    Let it be tenable in your silence still,
    And whatsoever else shall chance tonight,
    450Give it an understanding but no tongue.
    I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
    Upon the platform 'twixt eleven and twelve
    I'll visit you.
    Our duties to your honor.
    Exeunt [all but Hamlet].
    Oh, your loves, your loves, as mine to you.
    Farewell.--My father's spirit in arms!
    Well, all's not well. I doubt some foul play.
    Would the night were come!
    Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
    Though all the world o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
    460[Scene 3]
    Enter Laertes and Ofelia.
    My necessaries are inbarked. I must aboard,
    462.1But, ere I part, mark what I say to thee:
    I see Prince Hamlet makes a show of love.
    Beware, Ofelia, do not trust his vows.
    Perhaps he loves you now, and now his tongue
    Speaks from his heart, but yet take heed, my sister.
    The chariest maid is prodigal enough
    500If she unmask her beauty to the moon.
    Virtue itself scapes not calumnious thoughts.
    Believe't, Ofelia. Therefore keep aloof
    496.1Lest that he trip thy honor and thy fame.
    Brother, to this I have lent attentive ear,
    And doubt not but to keep my honor firm.
    But, my dear brother, do not you,
    510Like to a cunning sophister,
    Teach me the path and ready way to heaven
    511.1While you, forgetting what is said to me,
    Yourself like to a careless libertine
    512.1Doth give his heart his appetite at full,
    And little recks how that his honor dies.
    No, fear it not, my dear Ofelia.
    Here comes my father. Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
    Enter Corambis.
    Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame!
    The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
    And you are stayed for. There, my blessing with thee,
    And these few precepts in thy memory.
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;
    Those friends thou hast, and their adoptions tried,
    Grapple them to thee with a hoop of steel,
    But do not dull the palm with entertain
    530Of every new unfledged courage.
    Beware of entrance into a quarrel, but, being in,
    Bear it that the opposèd may beware of thee.
    535Costly thy apparel as thy purse can buy,
    But not expressed in fashion,
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
    And they of France of the chief rank and station
    Are of a most select and general chief in that.
    This above all, to thy own self be true,
    And it must follow as the night the day
    545Thou canst not then be false to any one.
    Farewell. My blessing with thee!
    I humbly take my leave.--Farewell, Ofelia,
    And remember well what I have said to
    It is already locked within my heart,
    And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
    What is't, Ofelia, he hath said to you?
    Something touching the prince Hamlet.
    Marry, well thought on. 'Tis given me to understand
    That you have been too prodigal of your maiden presence
    560Unto Prince Hamlet. If it be so--
    As so 'tis given to me, and that in way of caution--
    I must tell you, you do not understand yourself
    So well as befits my honor and your credit.
    My lord, he hath made many tenders of his loveto me.
    Tenders? Ay, ay, tenders you may call them.
    And withal such earnest vows--
    Springes to catch woodcocks.
    What, do not I know when the blood doth burn
    How prodigal the tongue lends the heart vows?
    In brief, be more scanter of your maiden presence,
    575Or, tend'ring thus, you'll tender me a fool.
    I shall obey, my lord, in all I may.
    Ofelia, receive none of his letters,
    For lovers' lines are snares to entrap the heart.
    "Refuse his tokens. Both of them are keys
    To unlock chastity unto desire.
    Come in, Ofelia. Such men often prove
    601.1"Great in their words, but little in their love.
    I will, my lord.
    [Scene 4]
    Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
    The air bites shrewd; it is an eager and
    605A nipping wind. What hour is't?
    I think it lacks of twelve.
    Sound Trumpets.
    No, 'tis struck.
    Indeed, I heard it not. What doth this mean, my lord?
    Oh, the King doth wake tonight, and takes his rouse,
    Keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels,
    And as he dreams, his draughts of Rhenish down,
    615The kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out
    The triumphs of his pledge.
    Is it a custom here?
    Ay, marry, is't, and, though I am
    Native here and to the manner borne,
    620It is a custom more honored in the breach
    Than in the observance.
    Enter the Ghost.
    Look, my lord, it comes!
    Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
    625Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,
    Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
    Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
    Thou comest in such questionable shape
    That I will speak to thee.
    I'll call thee Hamlet, king, father, royal Dane.
    630Oh, answer me! Let me not burst in ignorance,
    But say why thy canonized bones, hearsèd in death,
    Have burst their ceremonies, why thy sepulcher,
    In which we saw thee quietly interred,
    635Hath burst his ponderous and marble jaws
    To cast thee up again. What may this mean
    That thou, dead corse, again in compleat steel,
    Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
    Making night hideous, and we fools of nature,
    640So horridly to shake our disposition
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
    Say, speak, wherefore? What may this mean?
    It beckons you, as though it had something
    645To impart to you alone.
    Look with what courteous action
    It waves you to a more removèd ground.
    But do not go with it.
    No, by no means, my lord.
    It will not speak. Then will I follow it.
    What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
    660That beckles o'er his base into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrible shape
    Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
    And drive you into madness? Think of it.
    Still am I called.--Go on, I'll follow thee.
    My lord, you shall not go.
    Why, what should be the fear?
    I do not set my life at a pin's fee,
    655And, for my soul, what can it do to that,
    Being a thing immortal like itself?--
    Go on, I'll follow thee.
    My lord, be ruled, you shall not go.
    My fate cries out, and makes each petty artery
    670As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
    Still am I called. Unhand me, gentlemen!
    By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me.
    Away, I say!--Go on, I'll follow thee.
    [Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet.]
    He waxeth desperate with imagination.
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
    Have after. To what issue will this sort?
    Let's follow. 'Tis not fit thus to obey him.
    Exit [with Horatio].
    680[Scene 5]
    Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
    I'll go no farther. Whither wilt thou lead me?
    Mark me.
    I will.
    I am thy father's spirit, doomed for a time
    695To walk the night, and all the day
    Confined in flaming fire,
    Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
    Are purged and burnt away.
    Alas, poor ghost!
    Nay, pity me not, but to my unfolding
    Lend thy lis'tning ear. But that I am forbid
    To tell the secrets of my prison house,
    700I would a tale unfold whose lightest word
    Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
    Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
    Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part,
    And each particular hair to stand on end
    705Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
    But this same blazon must not be, to ears of flesh and blood.
    Hamlet, if ever thou didst thy dear father love--
    O God!
    Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
    Yea, murder in the highest degree,
    As in the least 'tis bad,
    But mine most foul, beastly, and unnatural.
    Haste me to know it, that with wings as swift as
    meditation, or the thought of it, may sweep to my revenge.
    Oh, I find thee apt, and duller shouldst thou be
    Than the fat weed which roots itself in ease
    720On Lethe wharf. Brief let me be.
    'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
    A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
    Is with a forgèd process of my death rankly abused.
    725But know, thou noble youth: he that did sting
    Thy father's heart now wears his crown.
    Oh, my prophetic soul, my uncle! My uncle!
    Yea, he, that incestuous wretch, won to his will with gifts--
    Oh, wicked will and gifts that have the power
    So to seduce!--my most seeming virtuous Queen.
    But virtue, as it never will be moved,
    740Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
    So lust, though to a radiant angel linked,
    Would sate itself from a celestial bed
    And prey on garbage. But soft, methinks
    I scent the mornings air. Brief let me be.
    Sleeping within my orchard, my custom always
    745In the afternoon, upon my secure hour
    Thy uncle came, with juice of hebona
    In a vial, and through the porches of my ears
    Did pour the lep'rous distillment, whose effect
    750Hold such an enmity with blood of man
    That swift as quicksilver it posteth through
    The natural gates and alleys of the body,
    And turns the thin and wholesome blood
    Like eager droppings into milk,
    And all my smooth body, barked and tettered over.
    Thus was I sleeping by a brother's hand
    760Of crown, of queen, of life, of dignity
    At once deprived, no reckoning made of,
    But sent unto my grave,
    With all my accompts and sins upon my head.
    765Oh, horrible, most horrible!
    O God!
    If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
    But howsoever, let not thy heart
    770Conspire against thy mother aught;
    Leave her to heaven,
    And to the burden that her conscience bears.
    I must be gone. The glow-worm shows the martin
    To be near, and 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
    Hamlet, adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.
    O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
    And shall I couple hell? Remember thee?
    Yes, thou poor ghost. From the tables
    Of my memory I'll wipe away all saws of books,
    All trivial fond conceits
    That ever youth or else observance noted,
    And thy remembrance all alone shall sit.
    Yes, yes, by heaven, a damned pernicious villain,
    Murderous, bawdy, smiling, damnèd villain!
    My tables--meet it is I set it down,
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
    At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.
    795So uncle, there you are, there you are.
    Now to the words: it is "Adieu, adieu! Remember me."
    So 'tis enough. I have sworn.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    My lord, my lord!
    Lord Hamlet!
    Ill, lo, lo, ho, ho!
    Ill, lo, lo, so, ho, so, come boy, come!
    Heavens secure him!
    How is't, my noble lord?
    What news, my lord?
    Oh, wonderful, wonderful.
    Good my lord, tell it.
    No not I, you'll reveal it.
    Not I, my lord, by heaven.
    Nor I, my lord.
    How say you then? Would heart of man
    Once think it? But you'll be secret.
    Ay, by heaven, my lord.
    There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
    815But he's an arrant knave.
    There need no ghost come from the grave to tell you this.
    Right, you are in the right, and therefore
    I hold it meet without more circumstance at all,
    820We shake hands and part; you as your business
    And desires shall lead you--for look you,
    Every man hath business and desires, such
    As it is--and for my own poor part, I'll go pray.
    These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
    I am sorry they offend you; heartily, yes, faith, heartily.
    There's no offense, my lord.
    Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
    830And much offense too. Touching this vision,
    It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.
    For your desires to know what is between us,
    O'ermaster it as you may.
    And now, kind friends, as you are friends,
    Scholars and gentlemen,
    835Grant me one poor request.
    What is't, my lord?
    Never make known what you have seen tonight
    My lord, we will not.
    Nay, but swear.
    In faith, my lord, not I.
    Nor I, my lord, in faith.
    Nay, upon my sword, indeed upon my sword.
    The Ghost under the stage.
    Ha, ha, come you here, this fellow in the cellerage,
    Here consent to swear.
    Propose the oath, my lord.
    Never to speak what you have seen tonight,
    Swear by my sword.
    Hic et ubique? Nay then, we'll shift our ground.
    Come hither, gentlemen, and lay your hands
    855Again upon this sword, never to speak
    Of that which you have seen, swear by my sword.
    Well said, old mole. Canst work in the earth?
    So fast, a worthy pioneer. Once more remove.
    Day and night, but this is wondrous strange.
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in the heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Then are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    But come here, as before, you never shall--
    How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
    As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
    To put an antic disposition on--
    That you at such times seeing me never shall
    870With arms encumb'red thus, or this headshake,
    Or by pronouncing some undoubtful phrase,
    As "Well, well, we know," or "We could an if we would,"
    Or "There be, an if they might," or such ambiguous
    Giving out, to note that you know aught of me:
    875This not to do, so grace and mercy
    At your most need help you, swear.
    Rest, rest, perturbed spirit. So, gentlemen,
    880In all my love I do commend me to you,
    And what so poor a man as Hamlet may
    To pleasure you, God willing shall not want.
    Nay, come, let's go together.
    But still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
    885The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right!
    Nay, come, let's go together.
    [Scene 6]
    Enter Corambis and Montano.
    Montano, here, these letters to my son,
    And this same money with my blessing to him,
    And bid him ply his learning, good Montano.
    I will, my lord.
    You shall do very well, Montano, to say thus:
    905"I knew the gentleman," or "know his father,"
    To inquire the manner of his life,
    898.1As thus; being amongst his acquaintance,
    You may say, you saw him at such a time, mark you me,
    At game, or drinking, swearing, or drabbing,
    You may go so far.
    My lord, that will impeach his reputation.
    I'faith, not a whit, no, not a whit.
    Now happily he closeth with you in the consequence,
    As you may bridle it, not disparage him a jot.
    What was I about to say?
    He closeth with him in the consequence.
    Ay, you say right, he closeth with him thus,
    This will he say--let me see what he will say--
    Marry, this: "I saw him yesterday," or "t'other day,"
    950Or "then," or "at such time," "a-dicing,"
    Or "at tennis," ay, or "drinking drunk," or "ent'ring
    Of a house of lightness," viz. brothel.
    Thus, sir, do we that know the world, being men of reach,
    By indirections find directions forth,
    And so shall you my son. You ha' me, ha' you not?
    I have, my lord.
    Well, fare you well. Commend me to him.
    I will, my lord.
    And bid him ply his music.
    My lord, I will.
    Enter Ofelia.
    Farewell.--How now, Ofelia, what's the news with you?
    O my dear father, such a change in nature,
    971.1So great an alteration in a prince,
    So pitiful to him, fearful to me,
    978.1A maiden's eye ne'er lookèd on!
    Why, what's the matter, my Ofelia?
    Oh, young Prince Hamlet, the only flower of Denmark,
    974.1He is bereft of all the wealth he had!
    The jewel that adorned his feature most
    Is filched and stol'n away: his wit's bereft him.
    He found me walking in the gallery all alone.
    There comes he to me, with a distracted look,
    His garters lagging down, his shoes untied,
    And fixed his eyes so steadfast on my face
    987.1As if they had vowed this is their latest object.
    Small while he stood, but grips me by the wrist,
    984.1And there he holds my pulse till, with a sigh,
    He doth unclasp his hold and parts away
    993.1Silent as is the mid time of the night.
    And as he went, his eye was still on me,
    For thus his head over his shoulder looked.
    995He seemed to find the way without his eyes,
    For out of doors he went without their help,
    996.1And so did leave me.
    Mad for thy love.
    What, have you given him any cross words of late?
    I did repel his letters, deny his gifts,
    1005As you did charge me.
    Why, that hath made him mad.
    By heav'n, 'tis as proper for our age to cast
    Beyond ourselves as 'tis for the younger sort
    To leave their wantonness. Well, I am sorry
    That I was so rash. But what remedy?
    1015Let's to the King. This madness may prove,
    Though wild awhile, yet more true to thy love.
    [Scene 7]
    Enter King and Queen, Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
    Right noble friends, that our dear cousin Hamlet
    1021.1Hath lost the very heart of all his sense,
    It is most right, and we most sorry for him.
    1030Therefore we do desire, even as you tender
    1030.1Our care to him and our great love to you,
    1035That you will labor but to wring from him
    The cause and ground of his distemperancy.
    Do this, the King of Denmark shall be thankful.
    My lord, whatsoever lies within our power
    Your majesty may more command in words
    Than use persuasions to your liege men, bound
    1049.1By love, by duty, and obedience.
    What we may do for both your majesties
    1046.1To know the grief troubles the prince your son,
    We will endeavor all the best we may;
    1051.1So in all duty do we take our leave.
    Thanks, Gilderstone, and gentle Rossencraft.
    Thanks, Rossencraft, and gentle Gilderstone.
    Enter Corambis and Ofelia.
    My lord, the ambassadors are joyfully
    Returned from Norway.
    Thou still hast been the father of good news.
    Have I, my lord? I assure your grace,
    I hold my duty as I hold my life,
    Both to my God and to my sovereign King;
    1070And I believe, or else this brain of mine
    Hunts not the train of policy so well
    As it had wont to do, but I have found
    The very depth of Hamlet's lunacy.
    [To the King] God grant he hath!
    Enter the Ambassadors [Voltemar and Cornelia, with a diplomatic dispatch].
    Now, Voltemar, what from our brother Norway?
    Most fair returns of greetings and desires.
    Upon our first he sent forth to suppress
    His nephew's levies, which to him appeared
    To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
    But, better looked into, he truly found
    1090It was against your highness, whereat grieved
    That so his sickness, age, and impotence
    Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests
    On Fortenbrasse, which he in brief obeys,
    Receives rebuke from Norway, and, in fine,
    1095Makes vow before his uncle never more
    To give the assay of arms against your majesty;
    Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
    Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee
    And his commission to employ those soldiers,
    1100So levied as before, against the Polack,
    With an entreaty herein further shown
    That it would please you to give quiet pass
    Through your dominions for that enterprise
    On such regards of safety and allowances
    1105As therein are set down.
    [The King is handed a document.]
    It likes us well, and at fit time and leisure
    We'll read and answer these his articles.
    Meantime, we thank you for your well
    Took labor. Go to your rest. At night we'll feast together.
    Right welcome home.
    Exeunt Ambassadors.
    This business is very well dispatched.
    Now, my lord, touching the young Prince Hamlet,
    Certain it is that he is mad. Mad let us grant him, then.
    Now to know the cause of this effect,
    1130Or else to say the cause of this defect,
    For this effect defective comes by cause--
    Good my lord, be brief.
    Madam I will. My lord, I have a daughter,
    Have while she's mine; for that we think
    1133.1Is surest we often lose. Now to the prince.
    My lord, but note this letter,
    The which my daughter in obedience
    1135Delivered to my hands.
    Read it, my lord.
    Mark, my lord.
    [He reads the letter.]
    "Doubt that in earth is fire,
    1145Doubt that the stars do move,
    Doubt truth to be a liar,
    But do not doubt I love.
    To the beautiful Ofelia.
    Thine ever, the most unhappy Prince Hamlet."
    My lord, what do you think of me?
    1160Ay, or what might you think when I saw this?
    As of a true friend and a most loving subject.
    I would be glad to prove so.
    Now when I saw this letter, thus I bespake my maiden:
    1170"Lord Hamlet is a prince out of your star,
    1170.1And one that is unequal for your love."
    Therefore I did command her refuse his letters,
    Deny his tokens, and to absent herself.
    She as my child obediently obeyed me.
    1174.1Now, since which time, seeing his love thus crossed,
    Which I took to be idle and but sport,
    He straightway grew into a melancholy,
    From that unto a fast, then unto distraction,
    Then into a sadness, from that unto a madness,
    And so, by continuance and weakness of the brain,
    Into this frenzy which now possesseth him.
    And if this be not true, take this from this.
    [To the Queen] Think you 'tis so?
    How? So, my lord, I would very fain know
    That thing that I have said 'tis so, positively,
    1185And it hath fallen out otherwise.
    Nay, if circumstances lead me on,
    I'll find it out if it were hid
    1190As deep as the center of the earth.
    How should we try this same?
    Marry, my good lord, thus:
    The Prince's walk is here in the gallery;
    There let Ofelia walk until he comes.
    Yourself and I will stand close in the study.
    1197.1There shall you hear the effect of all his heart,
    And if it prove any otherwise than love,
    1198.1Then let my censure fail another time.
    See where he comes, poring upon a book.
    Enter Hamlet.
    Madam, will it please your grace
    To leave us here?
    With all my heart.
    And here Ofelia, read you on this book,
    And walk aloof; the King shall be unseen.
    [The King and Corambis conceal themselves.]
    To be, or not to be, ay, there's the point,
    To die, to sleep, is that all? Ay, all.
    No, to sleep, to dream, ay, marry, there it goes,
    1720For in that dream of death, when we awake,
    And borne before an everlasting judge,
    From whence no passenger ever returned,
    The undiscovered country, at whose sight
    1733.1The happy smile, and the accursèd damned.
    But for this, the joyful hope of this,
    Who'd bear the scorns and flattery of the world,
    1725Scorned by the right rich, the rich cursed of the poor,
    1725.1The widow being oppressed, the orphan wronged,
    The taste of hunger, or a tyrant's reign,
    And thousand more calamities besides,
    To grunt and sweat under this weary life,
    When that he may his full quietus make
    1730With a bare bodkin? Who would this endure,
    But for a hope of something after death?
    Which puzzles the brain, and doth confound the sense,
    1735Which makes us rather bear those evils we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of.
    Ay, that. Oh, this conscience makes cowards of us all.--
    Lady, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.
    My lord, I have sought opportunity, which now I have, to redeliver to your worthy hands a small remembrance, such tokens which I have received of you.
    Are you fair?
    My lord?
    Are you honest?
    What means my lord?
    That if you be fair and honest, your beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty.
    My lord, can beauty have better privilege than 1765with honesty?
    Yea, marry, may it; for beauty may [sooner] transform
    Honesty from what she was into a bawd
    Than honesty can transform beauty.
    This was sometimes a paradox,
    But now the time gives it scope.
    I never gave you nothing.
    My lord, you know right will you did,
    And with them such earnest vows of love
    As would have moved the stoniest breast alive.
    1754.1But now too true I find:
    Rich gifts wax poor when givers grow unkind.
    I never loved you.
    You made me believe you did.
    Oh, thou shouldst not ha' believed me!
    Go to a nunnery, go. Why shouldst thou
    Be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest,
    But I could accuse myself of such crimes
    s It had been better my mother had ne'er borne me.
    Oh, I am very proud, ambitious, disdainful,
    1780With more sins at my beck than I have thoughts
    To put them in. What should such fellows as I
    Do, crawling between heaven and earth?
    To a nunnery, go. We are arrant knaves all.
    Believe none of us. To a nunnery, go.
    Oh, heavens secure him!
    Where's thy father?
    At home, my lord.
    For God's sake, let the doors be shut on him,
    He may play the fool nowhere but in his
    Own house. To a nunnery, go.
    Help him, good God!
    If thou dost marry, I'll give thee
    This plague to thy dowry:
    Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow,
    Thou shalt not scape calumny. To a nunnery, go.
    Alas, what change is this?
    But if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool,
    For wise men know well enough
    What monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go.
    Pray God restore him!
    Nay, I have heard of your paintings, too.
    God hath given you one face
    And you make yourselves another.
    1800You fig, and you amble, and you nickname God's creatures,
    Making your wantonness your ignorance.
    A pox, 'tis scurvy. I'll no more of it.
    It hath made me mad. I'll no more marriages.
    All that are married, but one, shall live;
    The rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.
    1805To a nunnery, go!
    Great God of heaven, what a quick change is this?
    The courtier, scholar, soldier, all in him,
    All dashed and splintered thence. Oh, woe is me,
    To ha' seen what I have seen, see what I see!
    Enter King and Corambis [coming forward from concealment].
    Love? No, no, that's not the cause.
    1820Some deeper thing it is that troubles him.
    Well, something it is. My lord, content you awhile.
    I will myself go feel him. Let me work.
    I'll try him every way. See where he comes.
    1204.1Send you those gentlemen. Let me alone
    To find the depth of this. Away, be gone!
    Exit King.
    Enter Hamlet.
    Now, my good lord, do you know me?
    Yea, very well, y'are a fishmonger.
    Not I, my lord.
    Then, sir, I would you were so honest a man.
    1215For to be honest, as this age goes,
    is one man to be picked out of ten thousand.
    What do you read, my lord?
    Words, words.
    What's the matter, my lord?
    Between who?
    I mean the matter you read, my lord.
    Marry, most vile heresy:
    For here the satirical satyr writes
    1235That old men have hollow eyes, weak backs,
    Grey beards, pitiful weak hams, gouty legs,
    All which, sir, I most potently believe not.
    1240For, sir, yourself shall be old as I am,
    If, like a crab, you could go backward.
    [Aside] How pregnant his replies are, and full of wit!
    Yet at first he took me for a fishmonger.
    1226.1All this comes by love, the vehemency of love;
    And when I was young, I was very idle,
    And suffered much ecstasy in love, very near this.--
    Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
    Into my grave.
    By the mass, that's out of the air, indeed,
    Very shrewd answers.--
    My lord, I will take my leave of you.
    1265Enter Gilderstone and Rossencraft.
    You can take nothing from me, sir,
    I will more willingly part withal.--
    Old doting fool!
    [To Gilderstone and Rossencraft] You seek Prince Hamlet. See, there he is.
    Health to your lordship!
    What, Gilderstone, and Rossencraft!
    Welcome, kind schoolfellows, to Elsinore.
    We thank your grace, and would be very glad
    You were as when we were at Wittenberg.
    I thank you, but is this vistitation free of
    Yourselves, or were you not sent for?
    Tell me true, come. I know the good King and Queen
    Sent for you. There is a kind of confession in your eye.
    Come, I know you were sent for.
    [Aside to Rossencraft.] What say you?
    [Aside] Nay, then, I see how the wind sits.
    [To them] Come, you were sent for.
    My lord, we were, and willingly, if we might,
    Know the cause and ground of your discontent.
    Why, I want preferment.
    I think not so, my lord.
    Yes, faith, this great world you see contents me not,
    No, nor the spangled heavens, nor earth, nor sea;
    1355No, nor man, that is so glorious a creature,
    Contents not me--no, nor woman too, though you laugh.
    My lord, we laugh not at that.
    Why did you laugh, then,
    When I said, man did not content me?
    My lord, we laughed, when you said man did not content you.
    What entertainment the players shall have?
    We boarded them o'the way. They are coming to you.
    Players? What players be they?
    My lord, the tragedians of the city,
    Those that you took delight to see so often.
    How comes it that they travel? Do they grow resty?
    No, my lord, their reputation holds as it was wont.
    How then?
    I'faith, my lord, novelty carries it away.
    For the principal public audience that
    Came to them are turned to private plays,
    And to the humor of children.
    I do not greatly wonder of it,
    1410For those that would make mops and mows
    At my uncle when my father lived
    Now give a hundred, two hundred pounds
    For his picture. But they shall be welcome.
    He that plays the King shall have tribute of me,
    The vent'rous Knight shall use his foil and target,
    The Lover shall sigh gratis,
    1370The Clown shall make them laugh
    That are tickled in the lungs, or the blank verse shall halt for't,
    And the Lady shall have leave to speak her mind freely.
    1415The Trumpets sound.
    Enter Corambis.
    1430Do you see yonder great baby?
    He is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts.
    That may be, for they say an old man
    Is twice a child.
    I'll prophesy to you he comes to tell me o'the players.--
    1435You say true, o'Monday last, 'twas so indeed.
    My lord, I have news to tell you.
    My lord, I have news to tell you:
    When Roscius was an actor in Rome--
    The actors are come hither, my lord.
    Buzz, buzz.
    The best actors in Christendom,
    Either for comedy, tragedy, history, pastoral,
    1445Pastoral-historical, historical-comical,
    Comical-historical-pastoral, tragedy-historical:
    Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plato too light;
    For the law hath writ those are the only men.
    O Jephthah, judge of Israel! What a treasure hadst thou?
    Why, what a treasure had he, my lord?
    Why one fair daughter, and no more,
    1455The which he lovèd passing well.
    [Aside] Ah, still harping o'my daughter!'--Well, my lord,
    If you call me Iephthah, I have a daughter that
    I love passing well.
    Nay that follows not.
    What follows, then, my lord?
    Why, by lot, or God wot, or as it came to pass,
    And so it was, the first verse of the godly ballad
    Will tell you all. For look you where my abridgement comes.
    Enter Players.
    Welcome masters! Welcome all.--
    What, my old friend, thy face is valanced
    Since I saw thee last. Com'st thou to beard me in Denmark?--
    1470My young lady and mistress! By'r Lady, but your
    Ladyship is grown by the altitude of a chopine higher than you were.
    Pray God, sir, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent
    Gold, be not cracked in the ring.-- Come on, masters,
    We'll even to't, like French falconers,
    1475Fly at any thing we see. Come, a taste of your
    Quality, a speech, a passionate speech.
    What speech, my good lord?
    I heard thee speak a speech once,
    but it was never acted, or, if it were,
    1480Never above twice, for, as I remember,
    It pleased not the vulgar; it was caviary
    To the million. But to me
    And others that received it in the like kind,
    Cried in the top of their judgments, an excellent play,
    Set down with as great modesty as cunning.
    1485One said there was no sallets in the lines to make them savory,
    But called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet.
    Come, a speech in it I chiefly remember
    was Aeneas' tale to Dido,
    1490And then especially where he talks of princes' slaughter.
    If it live in thy memory, begin at this line--
    Let me see'--
    The rugged Pyrrhus, like th'Hycarnian beast'--
    No, 'tis not so. It begins with Pyrrhus:
    1493.1Oh, I have it.
    The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
    1495Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
    When he lay couchèd in the ominous horse,
    Hath now his black and grim complexion smeared
    With heraldry more dismal. Head to foot
    Now is he total guise, horridly tricked
    1500With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons.
    Baked and imparchèd in calagulate gore,
    Rifted in earth and fire, old grandsire Pram seeks.
    1503.1So, go on.
    Afore God, my lord, well spoke, and with good accent.
    Anon he finds him striking too short at Greeks.
    1510His antic sword, rebellious to his arm,
    Lies where it falls, unable to resist.
    Pyrrus at Priam drives, but, all in rage,
    Strikes wide; but with the whiff and wind
    Of his fell sword, th'unnervèd father falls.
    Enough, my friend. 'tis too long.
    It shall to the barber's with your beard.
    1540 [To the First Player] A pox! He's for a jig or a tale of bawdry,
    Or else he sleeps. Come on to Hecuba, come.
    But who, oh, who had seen the moblèd queen--
    Moblèd queen is good, 'faith, very good.
    All in the alarum and fear of death rose up,
    And o'er her weak and all o'er-teeming loins a blanket
    And a kercher on that head where late the diadem stood,
    Who this had seen, with tongue-envenomed speech
    Would treason have pronounced,
    For if the gods themselves had seen her then,
    When she saw Pyrrhus with malicious strokes
    1555Mincing her husband's limbs,
    It would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
    And passion in the gods.
    Look, my Lord, if he hath not changed his color,
    and hath tears in his eyes.--No more, good heart, no more!
    'Tis well, 'tis very well. [To Corambis] I pray, my lord,
    Will you see the players well bestowed?
    I tell you, they are the chronicles
    1565And brief abstracts of the time.
    After your death, I can tell you,
    You were better have a bad epitaph
    Than their ill report while you live.
    My lord, I will use them according to their deserts.
    Oh, far better, man. Use every man after his deserts,
    Then who should scape whipping?
    Use them after your own honor and dignity.
    The less they deserve, the greater credit's yours.
    [To the Players] Welcome, my good fellows.
    [As the Players are about to follow Corambis] Come hither, masters. Can you not play "The Murder of Gonzago"?
    Yes, my lord.
    And couldst not thou for a need study me
    Some dozen or sixteen lines,
    Which I would set down and insert?
    Yes, very easily, my good lord.
    'Tis well. I thank you. Follow that lord.
    And, do you hear, sirs? Take heed you mock him not.
    1584.1[To Gilderstone and Rossencraft] Gentlemen, for your kindness I thank you,
    1585And for a time I would desire you leave me.
    Our love and duty is at your command.
    Exeunt all but Hamlet.
    Why, what a dunghill idiot slave am I!
    Why, these players here draw water from eyes:
    For Hecuba. Why, what is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?
    1600What would he do an if he had my loss?
    1600.1His father murdered, and a crown bereft him?
    He would turn all his tears to drops of blood,
    Amaze the standers-by with his laments,
    1603.1Strike more than wonder in the judicial ears,
    1605Confound the ignorant, and make mute the wise.
    1605.1Indeed, his passion would be general.
    Yet I, like to an ass and John-a-Dreams,
    Having my father murdered by a villain,
    Stand still, and let it pass. Why, sure I am a coward.
    Who plucks me by the beard, or twits my nose,
    Gives me the lie i'th' throat down to the lungs?
    Sure I should take it, or else I have no gall,
    Or by this I should ha' fatted all the region kites
    1620With this slave's offal, this damned villain,
    Treacherous, bawdy, murderous villain!
    Why, this is brave, that I, the son of my dear father,
    Should like a scallion, like a very drab,
    Thus rail in words. About, my brain!
    I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play
    1630Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, confessed a murder
    1630.1Committed long before.
    This spirit that I have seen may be the devil,
    And out of my weakness and my melancholy,
    As he is very potent with such men,
    Doth seek to damn me. I will have sounder proofs.
    The play's the thing
    1645Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
    1645.1[Scene 8]
    Enter the King, Queen, and Lords [Corambis, Rossencraft, and Gilderstone].
    Lords, can you by no means find
    The cause of our son Hamlet's lunacy?
    You being so near in love, even from his youth,
    1031.1Methinks should gain more than a stranger should.
    My lord, we have done all the best we could
    To wring from him the cause of all his grief,
    But still he puts us off, and by no means
    Would make an answer to that we exposed.
    Yet was he something more inclined to mirth
    Before we left him, and, I take it,
    He hath given order for a play tonight,
    At which he craves your highness' company.
    With all our heart; it likes us very well.
    Gentlemen, seek still to increase his mirth.
    1674.1Spare for no cost, our coffers shall be open,
    And we unto yourselves will still be thankful.
    In all we can, be sure you shall command.
    Thanks, gentlemen, and what the Queen of Denmark
    1045May pleasure you, be sure you shall not want.
    We'll once again unto the noble prince.
    Thanks to you both.
    [Exeunt Rossencraft and Gilderstone.]
    Gertred, you'll see this play?
    My lord, I will, and it joys me at the soul
    He is inclined to any kind of mirth.
    Madam, I pray be ruled by me,
    And, my good sovereign, give me leave to speak.
    We cannot yet find out the very ground
    Of his distemperance. Therefore
    1674.5I hold it meet, if so it please you,
    Else they shall not meet, and thus it is--
    What is't, Corambis?
    Marry, my good lord, this: soon, when the sports are done,
    Madam, send you in haste to speak with him,
    And I myself will stand behind the arras.
    There question you the cause of all his grief,
    1839.1And then, in love and nature unto you, he'll tell you all.
    My lord, how think you on't?
    It likes us well. Gertred, what say you?
    With all my heart. Soon will I send for him.
    Myself will be that happy messenger,
    Who hopes his grief will be revealed to her.
    Exeunt omnes.
    [Scene 9]
    Enter Hamlet and the Players.
    Pronounce me this speech trippingly o'the tongue as I taught thee.
    1850Marry, an you mouth it, as a many of your players do,
    I'd rather hear a town bull bellow
    Than such a fellow speak my lines.
    Nor do not saw the air thus with your hands,
    But give everything his action with temperance.
    Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig fellow
    To tear a passion in totters, into very rags,
    To split the ears of the ignorant, who for the
    Most part are capable of nothing but dumb shows and noises.
    1860I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant.
    It out-Herods Herod.
    My lord, we have indifferently reformed that 1885among us.
    The better, the better. Mend it altogether.
    There be fellows that I have seen play,
    And heard others commend them, and that highly too,
    That, having neither the gait of Christian, pagan,
    1880Nor Turk, have so strutted and bellowed
    That you would ha' thought some of Nature's journeymen
    Had made men, and not made them well,
    They imitated humanity so abhominable.
    Take heed, avoid it.
    I warrant you, my lord.
    And do you hear? Let not your Clown speak
    More than is set down. There be of them, I can tell you,
    That will laugh themselves, to set on some
    Quantity of barren spectators to laugh with them,
    1890Albeit there is some necessary point in the play
    Then to be observed. Oh, 'tis vile, and shows
    A pitiful ambition in the fool that useth it.
    1892.1And then you have some again that keeps one suit
    Of jests, as a man is known by one suit of
    Apparel, and gentlemen quotes his jests down
    In their tables before they come to the play, as thus:
    1892.5"Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge?" and "You owe me
    A quarter's wages," and "My coat wants a cullison,"
    And "Your beer is sour," and blabbering with his lips
    And thus keeping in his cinquepace of jests
    When, God knows, the warm Clown cannot make a jest
    1892.10Unless by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare.
    Masters, tell him of it.
    We will, my lord.
    Well, go make you ready.
    Exeunt Players.
    [Enter Horatio.]
    Here, my lord.
    Horatio, thou art even as just a man
    1905As e'er my conversation coped withal.
    Oh, my lord!
    Nay, why should I flatter thee?
    1910Why should the poor be flattered?
    What gain should I receive by flattering thee,
    That nothing hath but thy good mind?
    Let flattery sit on those time-pleasing tongues
    To gloze with them that loves to hear their praise,
    1912.1And not with such as thou, Horatio.
    There is a play tonight, wherein one scene they have
    Comes very near the murder of my father.
    When thou shalt see that act afoot,
    Mark thou the King; do but observe his looks,
    For I mine eyes will rivet to his face.
    And if he do not bleach and change at that,
    It is a damnèd ghost that we have seen.
    Horatio, have a care; observe him well.
    My lord, mine eyes shall still be on his face,
    1940And not the smallest alteration
    That shall appear in him but I shall note it.
    Hark, they come.
    Enter King, Queen, Corambis, [Ofelia,] and other Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone].
    How now, son Hamlet, how fare you? Shall we have a play?
    I'faith, the chameleon's dish, not capon-crammed-- 1950feed o'the air.
    Ay, father! [To Corambis] My lord, you played in the university.
    That I did, my lord, and I was counted a good actor.
    What did you enact there?
    My lord, I did act Julius Caesar. I was killed in the Capitol. Brutus killed me.
    It was a brute part of him
    To kill so capital a calf.
    Come, be these players ready?
    Hamlet, come sit down by me.
    No, by my faith, mother, here's a mettle more attractive.
    [To Ofelia.] Lady, will you give me leave, and so forth,
    To lay my head in your lap?
    No, my lord.
    Upon your lap. What, do you think I meant contrary matters?
    1990Enter, in a dumb-show, the King and the Queen. He sits down in an arbor. She leaves him. Then enters Lucianus with poison in a vial, and pours it in his ears, and goes away. Then the Queen cometh and finds him dead, and goes away with the other.
    [Exeunt Players.]
    What means this, my lord?
    Enter the Prologue.
    This is miching Mallico. That means mischief.
    What doth this mean, my lord?
    You shall hear anon. This fellow will tell you all.
    Will he tell us what this show means?
    Ay, or any show you'll show him.
    Be not afeard to show, he'll not be afeard to tell.
    Oh, these players cannot keep counsel. They'll tell all.
    For us, and for our tragedy,
    Here stooping to your clemency,
    We beg your hearing patiently.
    Is't a prologue, or a poesie for a ring?
    'Tis short, my lord.
    As women's love.
    Enter the Duke and Duchess.
    Full forty years are past--their date is gone--
    Since happy time joined both our hearts as one.
    2028.1And now the blood that filled my youthful veins
    Runs weakly in their pipes, and all the strains
    Of music, which whilom pleased mine ear,
    Is now a burden that age cannot bear.
    2028.5And therefore sweet Nature must pay his due.
    2040To heaven must I, and leave the earth with you.
    Oh, say not so, lest that you kill my heart!
    When death takes you, let life from me depart!
    Content thyself. When ended is my date,
    Thou mayst perchance have a more noble mate,
    2043.1More wise, more youthful, and one--
    Oh, speak no more, for then I am accurst!
    None weds the second but she kills the first.
    A second time I kill my lord that's dead
    When second husband kisses me in bed.
    Oh, wormwood, wormwood!
    I do believe you, sweet, what now you speak,
    2055But what we do determine oft we break,
    2080For our demises still are overthrown;
    Our thought are ours, their end's none of our own.
    So think you will no second husband wed,
    But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
    Both here and there pursue me lasting strife,
    If, once a widow, ever I be wife!
    If she should break now!
    'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile.
    My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
    The tedious time with sleep.
    Sleep rock thy brain,
    And never come mischance between us twain!
    Exit Lady.
    Madam, how do you like this play?
    The lady protests too much.
    Oh, but she'll keep her word.
    Have you heard the argument? Is there no offense in it?
    No offense in the world. Poison in jest, poison in jest.
    What do you call the name of the play?
    Mousetrap. Marry, how? Trapically. This play is
    The image of a murder done in Guiana. Albertus
    Was the duke's name, his wife Baptista.
    Father, it is a knavish piece o'work, but what
    O' that? It toucheth not us, you and I that have free
    2110Souls. Let the galled jade wince. This is one
    [Enter Lucianus.]
    Lucianus, nephew to the King.
    Y'are as good as a chorus, my lord.
    I could interpret the love you bear, if I saw the 2115poopies dallying.
    Y'are very pleasant, my lord.
    Who, I? Your only jig-maker. Why, what should a man do but be merry? For look how cheerfully my 1980mother looks; my father died within these two hours.
    Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
    Two months? Nay, then, let the devil wear black,
    For I'll have a suit of sables. Jesus, two months dead,
    1985And not forgotten yet? Nay, then, there's some
    Likelihood a gentleman's death may outlive memory.
    But, by my faith, he must build churches, then,
    Or else he must follow the old epitithe:
    "With ho, with ho, the hobby-horse is forgot."
    Your jests are keen, my lord.
    It would cost you a groaning to take them off.
    Still better and worse.
    So you must take your husband, begin. Murdered!
    Begin. A pox, leave thy damnable faces and begin.
    Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
    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 bane thrice blasted, thrice infected,
    Thy natural magic and dire property
    2130One wholesome life usurps immediately.
    [He pours the poison in the sleeper's ears.]
    He poisons him for his estate.
    Lights! I will to bed.
    The King rises. Lights, ho!
    Exeunt King and Lords.
    What, frighted with false fires?
    Then let the stricken deer go weep,
    The heart ungallèd play,
    2145For some must laugh, while some must weep;
    Thus runs the world away.
    The King is moved, my lord.
    Ay, Horatio, I'll take the Ghost's word
    for more than all the coin in Denmark.
    Enter Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
    Now, my lord, how is't with you?
    An if the King like not the tragedy,
    Why, then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
    We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant.
    My good lord, let us again entreat
    To know of you the ground and cause of your distemperature.
    My lord, your mother craves to speak with you.
    We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.
    But, my good lord, shall I entreat thus much?
    [Offering Rossencraft a recorder] I pray, will you play upon this pipe?
    Alas, my lord, I cannot.
    [To Gilderstone] Pray, will you?
    I have no skill, my lord.
    Why look, it is a thing of nothing.
    'Tis but stopping of these holes,
    And with a little breath from your lips
    2230it will give most delicate music.
    But this cannot we do, my lord.
    Pray now, pray, heartily, I beseech you.
    My lord, we cannot.
    Why, how unworthy a thing would you make of me!
    2235You would seem to know my stops, you would play upon me,
    You would search the very inward part of my heart
    And dive into the secret of my soul.
    2240Zounds, do you think I am easier to be played
    On than a pipe? Call me what instrument
    You will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot
    Play upon me. Besides, to be demanded by a sponge--
    How, a sponge, my lord?
    Ay, sir, a sponge, that soaks up the King's
    Countenance, favors, and rewards, that makes
    His liberality your storehouse. But such as you
    Do the King, in the end, best service;
    For he doth keep you as an ape doth nuts,
    In the corner of his jaw: first mouths you,
    Then swallows you. So, when he hath need
    Of you, 'tis but squeezing of you,
    2650And, sponge, you shall be dry again, you shall.
    Well, my lord, we'll take our leave.
    Farewell, farewell. God bless you.
    2242.1Exit Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
    Enter Corambis
    My lord, the Queen would speak with you.
    Do you see yonder cloud in the shape of a camel?
    'Tis like a camel, indeed.
    Now me thinks it's like a weasel.
    'Tis backed like a weasel.
    Or like a whale.
    Very like a whale.
    Exit Corambis.
    Why then, tell my mother I'll come by and by.
    2254.1Good night, Horatio.
    Good night unto your lordship.
    Exit Horatio.
    My mother! She hath sent to speak with me.
    O God, let ne'er the heart of Nero enter
    2265This soft bosom.
    Let me be cruel, not unnatural.
    I will speak daggers. Those sharp words being spent,
    2270To do her wrong my soul shall ne'er consent.
    2270.1[Scene 10]
    Enter the King.
    Oh, that this wet that falls upon my face
    Would wash the crime clear from my conscience!
    When I look up to heaven, I see my trespass;
    2326.1The earth doth still cry out upon my fact.
    Pay me the murder of a brother and a king,
    2314.1And the adulterous fault I have committed:
    Oh, these are sins that are unpardonable!
    2329.1Why, say thy sins were blacker than is jet,
    Yet may contrition make them as white as snow.
    Ay, but still to persever in a sin,
    It is an act 'gainst the universal power.
    Most wretched man, stoop, bend thee to thy prayer,
    2345Ask grace of heaven to keep thee from despair.
    He kneels.
    Enters Hamlet.
    [Drawing his sword.] Ay so. Come forth and work thy last.
    And thus he dies; and so am I revenged.
    No, not so. He took my father sleeping, his sins brim full.
    And how his soul stood to the state of heaven,
    Who knows, save the immortal powers?
    2360And shall I kill him now,
    When he is purging of his soul,
    2355Making his way for heaven? This is a benefit,
    And not revenge. No, get thee up again.
    [He sheathes his sword.]
    When he's at game, swearing, taking his carouse, drinking drunk,
    2365Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,
    Or at some act that hath no relish
    Of salvation in't, then trip him,
    That his heels may kick at heaven
    And fall as low as hell. My mother stays.
    This physic but prolongs thy weary days.
    Exit Hamlet.
    My words fly up, my sins remain below.
    2372.1No King on earth is safe, if God's his foe.
    Exit King.
    [Scene 11]
    Enter Queen and Corambis.
    Madam, I hear young Hamlet coming.
    I'll shroud myself behind the arras.
    Exit Cor[ambis].
    Do so, my lord.
    [Offstage] Mother, mother!
    [Enter Hamlet]
    Oh, are you here?
    2385How is't with you, mother?
    How is't with you?
    I'll tell you, but first we'll make all safe.
    Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
    Mother, you have my father much offended.
    How now, boy?
    How now, mother! Come here, sit down, for you shall hear me speak.
    What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
    Help, ho!
    [Behind the arras] Help for the Queen!
    Ay, a rat! Dead, for a ducat!
    [He stabs through the arras. Corambis falls, and is discovered, slain.]
    Rash intruding fool, farewell.
    I took thee for thy better.
    Hamlet, what hast thou done?
    Not so much harm, good mother,
    2410As to kill a king and marry with his brother.
    How! Kill a king!
    Ay, a king. Nay, sit you down, and, ere you part,
    If you be made of penetrable stuff,
    I'll make your eyes look down into your heart
    And see how horrid there and black it shows.
    Hamlet, what mean'st thou by these killing words?
    Why, this I mean.
    [Showing her two likenesses]
    See here, behold this picture.
    2437.1It is the portraiture of your deceasèd husband.
    See here a face to outface Mars himself,
    An eye at which his foes did tremble at,
    2440A front wherein all virtues are set down
    2440.1For to adorn a king and guild his crown,
    Whose heart went hand in hand even with that vow
    He made to you in marriage; and he is dead.
    Murd'red, damnably murd'red. This was your husband.
    Look you now, here is your husband,
    2447.1With a face like Vulcan.
    A look fit for a murder and a rape,
    A dull, dead, hanging look, and a hell-bred eye,
    To affright children and amaze the world.
    2450And this same have you left to change with this.
    2455What devil thus hath cozened you at hob-man blind?
    Ah! Have you eyes, and can you look on him
    2449.1That slew my father and your dear husband,
    To live in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?
    Oh, Hamlet, speak no more!
    To leave him that bare a monarch's mind
    For a king of clouts, of very shreds?
    Sweet Hamlet, cease!
    Nay, but still to persist and dwell in sin,
    To sweat under the yoke of infamy,
    2469.1To make increase of shame, to seal damnation--
    Hamlet, no more.
    Why, appetite with you is in the wane;
    2453.1Your blood runs backward now from whence it came.
    Who'll chide hot blood within a virgin's heart
    When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast?
    Hamlet, thou cleaves my heart in twain.
    Oh, throw away the worser part of it,
    And keep the>better.
    Enter the Ghost in his nightgown.
    Save me, save me, you gracious
    Powers above, and hover over me
    With your celestial wings!--
    Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
    That I thus long have let revenge slip by?
    Oh, do not glare with looks so pitiful,
    Lest that my heart of stone yield to compassion,
    2510And every part that should assist revenge
    Forgo their proper powers and fall to pity!
    Hamlet, I once again appear to thee
    To put thee in remembrance of my death.
    2491.1Do not neglect, nor long time put it off.
    But I perceive by thy distracted looks
    Thy mother's fearful, and she stands amazed.
    Speak to her, Hamlet, for her sex is weak.
    Comfort thy mother, Hamlet, think on me.
    How is't with you, lady?
    Nay, how is't with you
    That thus you bend your eyes on vacancy,
    And hold discourse with nothing but with air?
    Why, do you nothing hear?
    Not I.
    Nor do you nothing see?
    No, neither.
    No? Why, see the King my father, my father, in the habit
    As he lived. Look you how pale he looks!
    See how he steals away out of the portal!
    Look, there he goes!
    Exit Ghost.
    Alas, it is the weakness of thy brain,
    2520.1Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy heart's grief.
    But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven
    I never knew of this most horrid murder.
    But Hamlet, this is only fantasy,
    2521.1And, for my love forget these idle fits.
    Idle? No, mother, my pulse doth beat like yours.
    It is not madness that possesseth Hamlet.
    O mother, if ever you did my dear father love,
    Forbear the adulterous bed tonight,
    2545And win yourself by little as you may.
    2545.1In time it may be you will loathe him quite.
    And, mother, but assist me in revenge,
    And in his death your infamy shall die.
    Hamlet, I vow, by that Majesty
    2573.1That knows our thoughts and looks into our hearts,
    I will conceal, consent, and do my best,
    2574.1What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise.
    It is enough. Mother, good night.--
    Come, sir, I'll provide for you a grave,
    Who was in life a foolish, prating knave.
    2585Exit Hamlet with the dead body.
    Enter the King and Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone].
    Now Gertred, what says our son? How do you find him?
    Alas, my lord, as raging as the sea.
    2593.1Whenas he came, I first bespake him fair,
    But then he throws and tosses me about,
    As one forgetting that I was his mother.
    2392.1At last I called for help, and, as I cried, Corambis
    Called. Which Hamlet no sooner heard but whips me
    Out his rapier, and cries, "A rat, a rat!" and in his rage
    The good old man he kills.
    Why, this his madness will undo our state.
    Lords, go to him, inquire the body out.
    We will, my lord.
    Exeunt Lords.
    Gertred, your son shall presently to England.
    His shipping is already furnishèd,
    2617.1And we have sent by Rossencraft and Gilderstone
    Our letters to our dear brother of England
    For Hamlet's welfare and his happiness.
    Haply the air and climate of the country
    1828.1May please him better than his native home.
    See where he comes.
    Enter Hamlet and the Lords [Rossencraft, Gilderstone, and perhaps another].
    My lord, we can by no means
    2675Know of him where the body is.
    Now, son Hamlet, where is this dead body?
    At supper, not where he is eating, but
    2685Where he is eaten; a certain company of politic worms are even now at him.
    Father, your fat king and your lean beggar
    Are but variable services: two dishes to one mess.
    Look you, a man may fish with that worm
    That hath eaten of a king,
    And a beggar eat that fish
    Which that worm hath caught.
    What of this?
    Nothing, father, but to tell you, how a king
    May go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
    But son Hamlet, where is this body?
    In heav'n. If you chance to miss him there,
    Father, you had best look in the other parts below
    For him, and if you cannot find him there
    You may chance to nose him as you go up the lobby.
    [To a Lord] Make haste and find him out.
    [Exit a Lord.]
    [To the Lord, as he exits] Nay, do you hear? Do not make too much haste.
    2700I'll warrant you he'll stay till you come.
    Well, son Hamlet, we, in care of you, but specially
    In tender preservation of your health,
    2701.1The which we price even as our proper self,
    It is our mind you forthwith go for England.
    2705The wind sits fair. You shall aboard tonight.
    Lord Rossencraft and Gilderstone shall go along with you.
    Oh, with all my heart. Farewell, mother.
    Your loving father, Hamlet.
    My mother, I say. You married my mother,
    My mother is your wife; man and wife is one flesh;
    And so, my mother, farewell. For England, ho!
    Exeunt all but the King [and Queen].
    Gertred, leave me,
    And take your leave of Hamlet.
    [Exit Queen.]
    To England is he gone, ne'er to return.
    Our letters are unto the King of England,
    That, on the sight of them, on his allegiance,
    2727.1He presently, without demanding why,
    2730That Hamlet lose his head, for he must die.
    2730.1There's more in him than shallow eyes can see.
    He once being dead, why then our state is free.
    [Scene 12]
    Enter Fortenbrasse, Drum, and Soldiers.
    Captain, from us go greet
    The King of Denmark.
    Tell him that Fortenbrasse, nephew to old Norway,
    Craves a free pass and conduct over his land,
    2737.1According to the articles agreed on.
    You know our rendezvous. Go, march away!
    Exeunt all.
    2738.0[Scene 13]
    2738.1Enter King and Queen.
    Hamlet is shipped for England. Fare him well.
    I hope to hear good news from thence ere long,
    If everything fall out to our content,
    2738.5As I do make no doubt but so it shall.
    God grant it may. Heav'ns keep my Hamlet safe!
    2820But this mischance of old Corambis' death
    Hath piercèd so the young Ofelia's heart
    That she, poor maid, is quite bereft her wits.
    Alas, dear heart! And on the other side
    2825We understand her brother's come from France,
    2825.1And he hath half the heart of all our land;
    And hardly he'll forget his father's death
    2828.1Unless by some means he be pacified.
    Oh, see where the young Ofelia is!
    Enter Ofelia playing on a lute, and her hair 2766.1down, singing.
    How should I your true love know
    From another man?
    2770By his cockle hat and his staff,
    And his sandal shoon.
    White his shroud as mountain snow,
    2780Larded with sweet flowers,
    That bewept to the grave did not go
    With true lovers' showers.
    He is dead and gone, lady,
    he is dead and gone.
    At his head a grass green turf,
    At his heels a stone.
    How is't with you, sweet Ofelia?
    Well, God yield you.
    It grieves me to see how they laid him in the cold ground.
    I could not choose but weep.
    [She sings.]
    And will he not come again?
    And will he not come again?
    No, no, he's gone, and we cast away moan,
    And he never will come again.
    2945His beard as white as snow;
    All flaxen was his poll.
    He is dead, he is gone,
    And we cast away moan.
    God ha' mercy on his soul!
    And of all Christen souls, I pray God.
    God be with you, ladies, God be with you.
    Exit Ofelia.
    A pretty wretch! This is a change indeed.
    O Time, how swiftly runs our joys away!
    Content on earth was never certain bred.
    Today we laugh and live, tomorrow dead.
    2835How now, what noise is that?
    2809.5A noise within.
    Enter Laertes.
    [To his followers, who are offstage] Stay there until I come.--
    O thou vile king, give me my father!
    Speak, say, where's my father?
    Who hath murdered him? Speak. I'll not
    Be juggled with, for he is murdered.
    True, but not by him.
    By whom? By heav'n, I'll be resolved.
    [The Queen attempts to restrain him.]
    Let him go, Gertred. Away! I fear him not.
    There's such divinity doth wall a king
    That treason dares not look on.
    Let him go, Gertred.--That your father is murdered,
    'Tis true, and we most sorry for it,
    2901.1Being the chiefest pillar of our state.
    Therefore will you, like a most desperate gamester,
    Swoopstake-like, draw at friend and foe and all?
    To his good friends thus wide I'll ope mine arms
    And lock them in my heart, but to his foes
    I will no reconcilement but by blood.
    Why, now you speak like a most loving son.
    And that in soul we sorrow for his death,
    Yourself ere long shall be a witness.
    2960Meanwhile, be patient and content yourself.
    2905Enter Ofelia as before.
    Who's this, Ofelia? O my dear sister!
    Is't possible a young maid's life
    Should be as mortal as an old man's saw?
    2913.1O heav'ns themselves!--How now, Ofelia?
    Well, God-a-mercy. I ha' been gathering of flowers.
    Here, here is rue for you.
    You may call it herb-a-grace o'Sundays.
    Here's some for me, too. You must wear your rue
    2935With a difference. There's a daisy.
    Here, love, there's rosemary for you
    for remembrance. I pray, love, remember.
    And there's pansy for thoughts.
    A document in madness. Thoughts, remembrance!
    O God, O God!
    There is fennel for you. I would ha' giv'n you
    Some violets, but they all withered when
    My father died. Alas, they say the owl was
    2785A baker's daughter. We see what we are,
    But cannot tell what we shall be.
    [She sings]
    For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
    Thoughts and afflictions, torments worse than hell!
    Nay, love, I pray you make no words of this now.
    I pray now, you shall sing "a-down,"
    And you "a- down-a." 'Tis o'the King's daughter
    2925And the false steward, and if anybody
    Ask you of anything, say you this:
    [She sings]
    2790Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's day,
    All in the morning betime,
    And a maid at your window
    To be your Valentine.
    The young man rose,
    And donned his clothes,
    And dupped the chamber door,
    Let in the maid, that out a maid
    Never departed more.
    Nay, I pray, mark now:
    [She sings]
    By Gis and by Saint Charity
    Away, and fie for shame!
    Young men will do't when they come to't;
    By Cock, they are to blame.
    2800Quoth she, "Before you tumbled me,
    You promised me to wed."
    "So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
    If thou hadst not come to my bed."
    So, God be with you all. God b'w'y', ladies.
    2950God b'w'y' you, love.
    Exit Ofelia.
    Grief upon grief! My father murdered,
    My sister thus distracted:
    3034.1Cursed be his soul that wrought this wicked act!
    Content you, good Laertes, for a time,
    2960.1Although I know your grief is as a flood,
    Brimful of sorrow; but forbear awhile,
    And think already the revenge is done
    On him that makes you such a hapless son.
    You have prevailed, my lord. Awhile I'll strive
    2963.1To bury grief within a tomb of wrath,
    Which once unhearsed, then the world shall hear
    Laertes had a father he held dear.
    No more of that. Ere many days be done,
    2963.5You shall hear that you do not dream upon.
    Exeunt omnes.
    2971.1[Scene 14]
    Enter Horatio [with a letter] and the Queen.
    Madam, your son is safe arrived in Denmark.
    2985This letter I even now received of him,
    2985.1Whereas he writes how he escaped the danger
    And subtle treason that the King had plotted.
    Being crossed by the contention of the winds,
    3515He found the packet sent to the King of England,
    3525Wherein he saw himself betrayed to death,
    3525.1As, at his next convers'ion with your grace,
    He will relate the circumstance at full.
    Then I perceive there's treason in his looks
    That seemed to sugar o'er his villainy.
    3525.5But I will soothe and please him for a time,
    For murderous minds are always jealous.
    But know not you, Horatio, where he is?
    Yes, madam, and he hath appointed me
    To meet him on the east side of the city
    3525.10Tomorrow morning.
    Oh, fail not, good Horatio, and withal commend me
    A mother's care to him. Bid him awhile
    Be wary of his presence, lest that he
    Fail in that he goes about.
    Madam, never make doubt of that.
    I think by this the news be come to court:
    He is arrived. Observe the King, and you shall
    Quickly find, Hamlet being here,
    Things fell not to his mind.
    But what become of Gilderstone and Rossencraft?
    He being set ashore, they went for England,
    And in the packet there writ down that doom
    To be performed on them 'pointed for him.
    And by great chance he had his father's seal,
    3551.1So all was done without discovery.
    Thanks be to heaven for blessing of the Prince!
    Horatio, once again I take my leave,
    With thousand mother's blessings to my son.
    Madam, adieu.
    3005.1[Scene 15]
    Enter King and Laertes.
    Hamlet from England! Is it possible?
    What chance is this? They are gone, and he come home!
    Oh, he is welcome, by my soul he is!
    3065At it my jocund heart doth leap for joy,
    That I shall live to tell him: thus he dies.
    Laertes, content yourself. Be ruled by me,
    3068.1And you shall have no let for your revenge.
    My will, not all the world.
    Nay, but Laertes, mark the plot I have laid:
    3100I have heard him often, with a greedy wish,
    Upon some praise that he hath heard of you
    Touching your weapon, wish with all his heart
    He might be once tasked for to try your cunning.
    And how for this?
    Marry, Laertes, thus: I'll lay a wager,
    3124.1Shall be on Hamlet's side, and you shall give the odds,
    The which will draw him with a more desire
    To try the maistry, that in twelve venies
    You gain not three of him. Now, this being granted,
    3124.5When you are hot in midst of all your play,
    Among the foils shall a keen rapier lie,
    Steeped in a mixture of deadly poison
    That, if it draws but the least dram of blood
    In any part of him, he cannot live.
    3138.1This being done will free you from suspicion,
    And not the dearest friend that Hamlet loved
    Will ever have Laertes in suspect.
    My lord, I like it well.
    3130.1But say Lord Hamlet should refuse this match?
    I'll warrant you, we'll put on you
    Such a report of singularity
    Will bring him on, although against his will.
    3123.1And, lest that all should miss,
    3150I'll have a potion that shall ready stand,
    In all his heat when that he calls for drink,
    3148.1Shall be his period and our happiness.
    'Tis excellent. Oh, would the time were come!
    Here comes the Queen.
    Enter the Queen.
    How now, Gertred, why look you heavily?
    O my lord, the young Ofelia,
    3160Having made a garland of sundry sorts of flowers,
    Sitting upon a willow by a brook,
    3165The envious sprig broke. Into the brook she fell,
    And for a while her clothes, spread wide abroad,
    Bore the young lady up; and there she sat smiling,
    Even mermaid-like, 'twixt heaven and earth,
    Chanting old sundry tunes, uncapable,
    3170As it were, of her distress. But long it could not be
    Till that her clothes, being heavy with their drink,
    Dragged the sweet wretch to death.
    So, she is drowned.
    Too much of water hast thou, Ofelia;
    Therefore I will not drown thee in my tears.
    3179.1Revenge it is must yield this heart relief,
    For woe begets woe, and grief hangs on grief.
    3188.1[Scene 16]
    Enter Clown [Gravedigger] and another.
    31901 Clown
    I say no, she ought not to be buried
    In Christian burial.
    Why, sir?
    31951 Clown
    Marry, because she's drowned.
    But she did not drown herself.
    No, that's certain, the water drowned her.
    Yea, but it was against her will.
    1 Clown
    No, I deny that, for look you, sir, I stand here.
    If the water come to me, I drown not myself.
    3205But if I go to the water, and am there drowned,
    Ergo I am guilty of my own death.
    3208.1Y'are gone, go, y'are gone, sir.
    Ay, but see, she hath Christian burial,
    Because she is a great woman.
    Marry, more's the pity that great folk
    Should have more authority to hang or drown
    Themselves more than other people.
    Go fetch me a stoup of drink. But before thou
    3230Goest, tell me one thing: who builds strongest
    Of a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?
    Why, a mason, for he builds all of stone,
    And will endure long.
    That's pretty. To't again, to't again.
    Why, then, a carpenter, for he builds the gallows,
    And that brings many a one to his long home.
    1 Clown
    Pretty again. The gallows doth well. Marry, how 3235does it well? The gallows does well to them that do ill. Go get thee gone.
    And if anyone ask thee hereafter, say,
    A grave-maker, for the houses he builds
    Last till Doomsday. Fetch me a stoup of beer, go.
    [Exit Second Clown.]
    3245Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
    [He sings.]
    A pick-ax and a spade,
    A spade, for and a winding sheet,
    Most fit it is, for 'twill be made
    He throws up a shovel.
    For such a guest most meet.
    Hath this fellow any feeling of himself,
    That is thus merry in making of a grave?
    See how the slave jowls their heads against the earth!
    My lord, custom hath made it in him seem nothing.
    1 Clown[He sings.]
    A pick-ax and a spade, a spade,
    For and a winding sheet,
    Most fit it is for to be made
    For such a guest most meet.
    [He throws up skull.]
    Look you, there's another, Horatio.
    Why may't not be the skull of some lawyer?
    3289.1Methinks he should indict that fellow
    Of an action of battery, for knocking
    3290Him about the pate with's shovel. Now where is your
    Quirks and quillets now, your vouchers and
    Double vouchers, your leases and freehold
    And tenements? Why, that same box there will scarce
    Hold the conveyance of his land, and must
    The honor lie there? Oh, pitiful transformance!
    3302.1I prithee tell me, Horatio,
    3305Is parchment made of sheepskins?
    Ay, my lord, and of calves' skins too.
    I'faith, they prove themselves sheep and calves
    That deal with them, or put their trust in them.
    3275 [The Gravedigger throws up another skull.]
    There's another. Why may not that be Such-a-one's
    Skull, that praised my Lord Such-a-one's horse
    When he meant to beg him? Horatio, I prithee
    Let's question yonder fellow. --
    Now, my friend, whose grave is this?
    Mine, sir.
    But who must lie in it?
    If I should say I should, I should lie in my throat, sir.
    What man must be buried here?
    No man, sir.
    What woman?
    No woman neither, sir, but indeed
    One that was a woman.
    An excellent fellow, by the Lord, Horatio.
    3330This seven years have I noted it: the toe of the peasant
    Comes so near the heel of the courtier
    That he galls his kibe. [To the Gravedigger] I prithee tell me one thing:
    How long will a man lie in the ground before he rots?
    I'faith, sir, if he be not rotten before
    He be laid in, as we have many pocky corses,
    He will last you eight years. A tanner
    Will last you eight years full out, or nine.
    And why a tanner?
    Why, his hide is so tanned with his trade
    That it will hold out water, that's a parlous
    Devourer of your dead body, a great soaker.
    [He picks up a skull.]
    Look you, here's a skull hath been here this dozen year--
    Let me see, ay, ever since our last king Hamlet
    3335Slew Fortenbrasse in combat, young Hamlet's father,
    He that's mad.
    Ay, marry, how came he mad?
    I'faith, very strangely: by losing of his wits.
    Upon what ground?
    O' this ground, in Denmark.
    Where is he now?
    Why, now they sent him to England.
    To England! Wherefore?
    Why, they say he shall have his wits there.
    Or if he have not, 'tis no great matter there.
    It will not be seen there.
    Why not there?
    1 Clown
    Why, there, they say, the men are as mad as he.
    Whose skull was this?
    This? A plague on him, a mad rogue's it was.
    He poured once a whole flagon of Rhenish of my head.
    3365Why, do not you know him? This was one Yorick's skull.
    Was this? I prithee let me see it. [He takes the skull.] Alas, poor Yorick!
    I knew him, Horatio.
    A fellow of infinite mirth. He hath carried me twenty times upon his back. Here hung those lips that I have kissed a 3375hundred times, and to see, now they abhor me.--Where's your jests now, Yorick? Your flashes of merriment? Now go 3380to my lady's chamber and bid her paint herself an inch thick, to this she must come, Yorick.--Horatio, I prithee tell me one thing. Dost thou think that Alexander looked thus?
    Even so, my lord.
    And smelt thus?
    Ay, my lord, no otherwise.
    No? Why might not imagination work as thus of Alexander: Alexander died. Alexander was buried. Alexander became earth. Of earth we make clay. And Alexander being but clay, why might not time bring to pass that he might stop the bunghole of a beer-barrel?
    3400Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
    3405Enter King and Queen, Laertes, and other Lords, with a Priest after the coffin.
    What funeral's this that all the court laments?
    3410It shows to be some noble parentage.
    Stand by awhile.
    [Hamlet and Horatio conceal themselves.]
    What ceremony else? Say, what ceremony else?
    My lord, we have done all that lies in us,
    And more than well the church can tolerate.
    3415.1She hath had a dirge sung for her maiden soul;
    And, but for favor of the King and you,
    She had been buried in the open fields,
    Where now she is allowed Christian burial.
    So? I tell thee, churlish priest, a ministr'ing angelshall my sister be when thou liest howling.
    Hamlet [To Horatio] The fair Ofelia dead!
    Sweets to the sweet, farewell!
    I had thought to adorn thy bridal bed, fair maid,
    And not to follow thee unto thy grave.
    Forbear the earth awhile. Sister, farewell.
    Laertes leaps into the grave.
    3445Now pour your earth on, Olympus-high,
    And make a hill to o'ertop old Pelion!
    Hamlet leaps in after Laertes.
    TLN n="3449"/>HamletWhat's he that conjures so?
    Behold, 'tis I, Hamlet the Dane.
    The devil take thy soul!
    Oh, thou prayest not well.
    I prithee take thy hand from off my throat,
    For there is something in me dangerous,
    Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand!
    I loved Ofelia as dear as twenty brothers could.
    Show me what thou wilt do for her.
    Wilt fight? Wilt fast? Wilt pray?
    Wilt drink up vessels? Eat a crocodile? I'll do't.
    Com'st thou here to whine?
    And where thou talk'st of burying thee alive,
    Here let us stand, and let them throw on us
    Whole hills of earth, till with the height thereof
    3480Make Oosell as a wart!
    Forbear, Laertes. Now is he mad as is the sea,
    Anon as mild and gentle as a dove.
    3484.1Therefore awhile give his wild humor scope.
    [To Laertes] What is the reason, sir, that you wrong me thus?
    I never gave you cause. But stand away.
    A cat will mew, a dog will have a day.
    Exit Hamlet and Horatio.
    Alas, it is his madness makes him thus,
    3482.1And not his heart, Laertes.
    [To Laertes] My lord, 'tis so. [Aside to him] But we'll no longer trifle.
    This very day shall Hamlet drink his last,
    3496.1For presently we mean to send to him.
    Therefore, Laertes, be in readiness.
    3498.1Laertes [Aside to the King]
    My lord, till then my soul will not be quiet.
    Come Gertred, we'll have Laertes and our son
    Made friends and lovers, as befits them both,
    Even as they tender us and love their country.
    God grant they may!
    Exeunt omnes.
    [Scene 17]
    Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
    Believe me, it grieves me much, Horatio,
    3580That to Laertes I forgot myself;
    For by myself methinks I feel his grief,
    3581.1Though there's a difference in each other's wrong.
    Enter a Braggart Gentleman.
    Horatio, but mark yon water-fly.
    3588.1The Court knows him, but he knows not the Court.
    Now God save thee, sweet prince Hamlet!
    And you, sir. [Aside to Horatio] Foh, how the musk-cod smells!
    I come with an embassage from his majesty to you.
    I shall, sir, give you attention.
    3600By my troth, methinks 'tis very cold.
    It is indeed very rawish cold.
    'Tis hot, methinks.
    Very swoltery hot.
    The King, sweet Prince, hath laid a wager on your side:
    Six Barbary horse against six French rapiers,
    With all their accoutrements too, o'the carriages.
    3620In good faith, they are very curiously wrought.
    The carriages, sir? I do not know what you mean.
    The girdles and hangers, sir, and such like.
    The word had been more cousin-german to the 3625phrase if he could have carried the cannon by his side.
    And how's the wager? I understand you now.
    Marry, sir, that young Laertes in twelve venies
    At rapier and dagger do not get three odds of you;
    And on your side the King hath laid,
    and desires you to be in readiness.
    Very well. If the King dare venture his wager,
    I dare venture my skull. When must this be?
    My lord, presently. The King and her majesty,
    3657.10With the rest of the best judgment in the Court,
    Are coming down into the outward palace.
    Go tell his majesty I will attend him.
    I shall deliver your most sweet answer.
    You may, sir, none better, for y'are spiced!
    3644.1Else he had a bad nose could not smell a fool.
    He will disclose himself without inquiry.
    Believe me, Horatio, my heart is on the sudden
    Very sore all hereabout.
    My lord, forbear the challenge, then.
    No Horatio, not I. If danger be now,
    Why then it is not to come. There's a predestinate providence in the fall of a sparrow. Here comes the King.
    Enter King, Queen, Laertes, Lords.
    Now, son Hamlet, we have laid upon your head,
    3677.1And make no question but to have the best.
    Your majesty hath laid o'the weaker side.
    We doubt it not.--Deliver them the foils.
    First, Laertes, here's my hand and love,
    3678.1Protesting that I never wronged Laertes.
    If Hamlet in his madness did amiss,
    That was not Hamlet, but his madness did it,
    And all the wrong I e'er did to Laertes
    I here proclaim was madness. Therefore let's be at peace,
    3695And think I have shot mine arrow o'er the house
    And hurt my brother.
    Sir I am satisfied in nature,
    But in terms of honor I'll stand aloof,
    3700And will no reconcilement,
    Till by some elder masters of our time
    3701.1I may be satisfied.
    Give them the foils.
    I'll be your foil, Laertes. These foils
    3725Have all a length? Come on, sir. Here they play. A hit!
    No, none.
    A hit, a most palpable hit.
    Well, come again.
    They play again.
    Another. Judgment?
    Ay, I grant, a touch, a touch.
    Here, Hamlet, the King doth drink a health to thee.
    Here Hamlet, take my napkin, wipe thy face.
    Give him the wine.
    Set it by. I'll have another bout first.
    3752.1I'll drink anon.
    Here, Hamlet, thy mother drinks to thee.
    3758.1She drinks.
    Do not drink, Gertred. [Aside] Oh, 'tis the poisoned cup!
    Laertes, come, you dally with me.
    I pray you, pass with your most cunning'st play.
    Ay? Say you so? Have at you.
    I'll hit you now, my lord.
    [Aside] And yet it goes almost against my conscience.
    Come on, sir.
    They catch one another's rapiers, and both are wounded. 3777.1Laertes falls down. The Queen falls down and dies.
    Look to the Queen!
    Oh, the drink, the drink, Hamlet, the drink!
    [She dies.]
    Treason, ho! Keep the gates!
    How is't, my lord Laertes?
    Even as a coxcomb should,
    3785Foolishly slain with my own weapon.
    Hamlet, thou hast not in thee half an hour of life;
    The fatal instrument is in thy hand,
    Unbated and envenomed. Thy mother's poisoned.
    3798.1That drink was made for thee.
    The poisoned instrument within my hand?
    Then, venom, to thy venom. Die, damnèd villain!
    [He stabs the King and then forces him to drink from the poisoned cup.]
    Come, drink. Here lies thy union, here!
    The King dies.
    Oh, he is justly served.
    Hamlet, before I die, here take my hand,
    And, withal, my love. I do forgive thee.
    Laertes dies.
    And I thee. Oh, I am dead, Horatio. Fare thee well.
    No, I am more an antique Roman
    Than a Dane. Here is some poison left.
    Upon my love, I charge thee let it go.
    3830Oh, fie, Horatio, an if thou shouldest die,
    What a scandal wouldst thou leave behind?
    3835What tongue should tell the story of our deaths,
    If not from thee? Oh, my heart sinks, Horatio.
    Mine eyes have lost their sight, my tongue his use.
    Farewell, Horatio. Heaven receive my soul!
    Hamlet dies.
    Enter Voltemar and the Ambassadors from England. Enter Fortenbrasse with his train.
    Where is this bloody sight?
    If aught of woe or wonder you'd behold,
    3856.1Then look upon this tragic spectacle.
    O imperious Death! How many princes
    Hast thou at one draught bloodily shot to death!
    Our embassy that we have brought from England,
    Where be these princes that should hear us speak?
    3863.1Oh, most most unlooked-for time! Unhappy country!
    Content yourselves. I'll show to all the ground,
    3875The first beginning of this tragedy.
    Let there a scaffold be reared up in the marketplace,
    3872.1And let the state of the world be there,
    Where you shall hear such a sad story told
    3875.1That never mortal man could more unfold.
    I have some rights of memory to this kingdom,
    Which now to claim my leisure doth invite me.
    3895Let four of our chiefest captains
    Bear Hamlet like a soldier to his grave;
    For he was likely, had he lived,
    To ha' proved most royal.
    Take up the body. Such a sight as this
    Becomes the fields, but here doth much amiss.