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Good Laertes, if you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
That (like a most desperate gamester)
Swoop-stake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser ?
None but his enemies.
Will you know them then ?
To his good friends, thus wide I'll ope my arms;
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with
Why, now you speak
Like a good son, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
(Being the chiefest pillar of our state)
It shall as level to your judgment 'pear
As day does to your eye.
Let her come in.
How now ! what noise is that?
[Fantastically drest with straws and flowers]
O heat, dry up my brains ! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May !
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !
O heavens ! is't possible a young maid’s wits
Should be as mortal as a poor man's life?
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
[Sings] They bore him barefaced on the bier ;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny
And in his grave rain'd many a tear ;-
Fare you well, my dove !
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.
You must sing—"a-down a-down,”
And you call him—“a-down-a.' O, how the wheel
becomes it !
It is the false steward that stole his master's daughter.
This nothing's more than matter.
There's rosemary ; that's for remembrance : pray you love,
remember : and there is pansies ; that's for thoughts.
A document in madness : thoughts and remembrance
fitted— O God! O God !
There's fennel for you, and columbines ; there's rue for
you ; and here's some for me : we may call it herb
grace o' Sundays : you must wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy : I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died : they say he made a good end.
[Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
Thought and afflictions, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
[Sings] And will he not come again ?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead,
Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
Flaxen was his poll ;
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan :
God ha' mercy on his soul !
And of all Christian souls, I
God be wi' you !
[Exit Ophelia] Do
you see this, O God !
Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but
Make choice of whom your wisest friends
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you
If by direct, or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
in satisfaction : but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.
You have prevail'd my lord ; a while I'll strive,
To bury grief within a tomb of wrath,
Which once unhearsed, then the world shall hear
Laertes had a father he held dear.
His means of death, his obscure funeral,
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call’t in question.
And where th’offence is, let the great axe fall.
pray you, go with me.
[Exeunt King and Laertes]
Enter Horatio and a Servant
What are they that would speak with me?
Sea-faring men, sir ; they say they have letters for
you. Let them come in.
[Exit Servant] I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted. If not from Lord Hamlet.
He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for
you, sir ; it came from th'ambassador that was bound for England ; if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is. [Reads] Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give
these fellows some means to the king ; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them : on the instant they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy ; but they knew what they did ; I am to do a turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bord of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England ; of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
So that thou knowest thine HAMLET.
Come, I will
letters ; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them.
[Exeunt Horatio and Sailors]
THE KING'S APARTMENT IN THE CASTLE
Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for friend,
have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he which hath your noble father slain
Pursued my life.
It well appears ; but tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So criminal and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, greatness, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd up.
Oh, for two special reasons,
Which may to you (perhaps) seem much unsinew'd,
And yet to me they're strong. The queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks ; and for myself
(My virtue or my plague, be it either which)
She is so conclive to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive,
Why to a public count I might not go,
Is the great love the general gender bear him ;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Work like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces ; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for one so love-arm’d,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
But not where I had aim'd them.
And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desperate terms,
Whose worth, (if praises may go back again)
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections. But my revenge will come.
Break not your sleeps for that ; you must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more :
I loved your father, and we love ourself;
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine-
Enter a Messenger with letters
These to your majesty ; this to the queen.