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When yon fame star, that's weftward from the 10 At least the whisper goes fo. Our laft king,

Had made his courfe to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,

The bell then beating one,

Mar. Peace, break thee off; look where it

comes again!

Enter Ghoft.

Ber. In the fame figure, like the king that's dead.
Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho-


[wonder. 20

Hor. Moft like: it harrows 2 me with fear and
Ber. It would be spoke to.

Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.

[night, time of

Hor. What art thou, that usurp'ft this
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majefty of bury'd Denmark [fpeak.
Did fometime march? By heaven I charge thee,
Mar. It is offended.

Ber. See it ftalks away.

Hor. Stay; fpeak; I charge thee, fpeak.

[Exit Gboft.

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and
look pale:

Is not this fomething more than phantasy ?
What think you of it?

Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Without the fenfible and true avcuch

Of mine own eyes.

Mar. Is it not like the king?

Hor. As thou art to thyself:

Such was the very armour he had on,

When he the ambitious Norway combated;

So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He fmote the fledded Polack 3 on the ice.
'Tis strange.

Mar. Thus, twice before, and juft at this dead
With martial stalk he hath gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I

know not;

But, in the grofs and scope 5 of mine opinion,
This bodes fome ftrange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now, fit down, and tell me, he
that knows,

Why this fame strict and most observant watch



Whofe image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which, our valiant Hamlet
(For fo this fide of our known world esteem'd him)
Did flay this Fortinbras; who, by a feal'd compact,
Well ratify'd by law, and heraldry,

Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Which he ftood feiz'd of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher; as, by that covenant,
And carriage of the articles defign'd",

His fell to Hamlet: Now, fir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved 7 mettle hot and full,

Hath in the fkirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a lift of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to fome enterprize
That hath a stomach 9 in't; which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,
And terms compulfatory, thofe forefaid lands
So by his father loft: And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations;
The fource of this our watch; and the chief head
Of this poft-hafte and romage 10 in the land.
Ber. I think, it be no other, but even fo:
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
40 Comes armed through our watch; fo like the king
That was, and is the question of these wars.

Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
45 The graves flood tenantlefs, and the sheeted dead
Did fqueak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Stars fhone with trains of fire; dews of blood fell;
Difafters 12 veil'd the fun; and the moist star,
Upon whofe influence Neptune's empire stands,
50 Was fick almoft to dooms-day with eclipse.
And even the like precurfe of fierce 13 events,―
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen 14 coming on,-
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
|55|Unto our climatures and countrymen.—

1 i. e. add a new teftimony to that of our eyes. 2 To barrow is to conquer, to fubdue. The word is of Saxon origin. 3 He fpeaks of a prince of Poland whom he flew in battle. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland: Polaque, French. A fled, or fledge, is a carriage made ufe of in the cold countries. 4 i. e. what particular train of thinking to follow. 5 i. e. general thoughts, and tendency at large. Carriage is import: defign'd, is formed, drawn up between them. To bark up may mean to pick up without diftinction, as the barkfith collects his prey. 9 Stomach, in the time of our author, was ufed for conftancy, refolution.101.c. tumultuous hurry. 11 Palmy for victorious, flourishing. 12 Difafters is here finely used in its original fignification of evil conjunction of stars. 13 Fierce, for confpicuous, glaring. 14 Omen, for fate.

7 Unimproved, for unrefined.


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Re-enter Gboft.

But, foft; behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me.-Stay, illufion!
If thou haft any sound, or use of voice,

Speak to me:

If there be any good thing to be done,

That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
Speak to me:

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, haply, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!



A Room of State.

Enter the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants.

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death

The memory be green; and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom 10 To be contracted in one brow of woe;

Or, if thou haft uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
[Cock crows. 15
Speak of it :-stay, and speak.-Stop it, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I ftrike at it with my partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

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For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.

Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful fummons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-founding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air 1,
The extravagant 2 and erring spirit hies
To his confine 3: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock 4.
Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares ftir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes 5, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in ruffet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill :
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:
Do you confent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning

Yet fo far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wifeft forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,—
With one aufpicious, and one dropping eye;
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal fcale weighing delight and dole,→→→
20 Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wifdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along:---For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,--
Holding a weak fuppofal of our worth;
25 Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our ftate to be disjoint and out of frame,---
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage®,
He hath not fail'd to pefter us with message
Importing the furrender of thofe lands

30 Loft by his father, with all bands of law,
To our most valiant brother.-So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the business is: We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,-
35 Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose,-to suppress
His further gait 7 herein; in that the levies,
The lifts, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his fubject :-and we here dispatch
40 You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further perfonal power

To bufinefs with the king, more than the scope
Of thefe dilated articles allows.

45 Farewel; and let your hafte commend your duty.
Vol. In that and all things will we fhew our


King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel.
[Exeunt Voltimand, and Cornelius.

50 And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of fome fuit; What is't, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lofe your voice: What would'ft thou beg.

Where we shall find him most convenient. [Exeunt.[55] That fhall not be my offer, not thy asking?

According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of fpirits, who had difpofitions different, according to their various places of abode. 2 i. e. got out of its bounds. 3 Bourne of Newcastle, in his Antiquities of the Common People, informs us, "It is a received tradition among the vulgar, that at the time of cock-crowing the midnight spirits forfake these lower regions, and go to their proper places." 4 This is a very ancient fuperftition. 5 No fairy firikes with lameness or diseases. The meaning is, He goes to war fo indifcreetly, and unprepared, that he has no allies to support him but a dream, with which he is colleagued or confederated. or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage. • i. e. the articles when dilated.

7 Gate


The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father".
What would'st thou have, Laertes?

Laer. My dread lord,

Your leave and favour to return to France; [mark,
From whence though willingly I came to Den-
To fhew my duty in your coronation;
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave? What
fays Polonius?
[flow leave,
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my
By labourfome petition: and, at laft,
Upon his will I feal'd my hard confent:
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be

And thy beft graces fpend it at thy will.-
But now, my coufin Hamlet, and my fon,-
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind 2.



But, you must know, your father loft a father;
That father loft, loft his 5; and the furvivor bound
In filial obligation, for fome term

To do obfequious forrow: but to perféver
5 In obftinate condolement7, is a course
Of impious stubbornnefs: 'tis unmanly grief:
It fhews a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortify'd, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
For what, we know, must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish oppofition,
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
15 To reafon most abfurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cry'd,
From the first corfe, 'till he that died to-day,
This must be fo. We pray you throw to earth
This unprevailing woe; and think of us
20 As of a father: for, let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne;
And, with no less nobility of love
Than that which deareft father bears his fon,
Do I impart 10 toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is moft retrograde to our defire:
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the chear and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefeft courtier, coufin, and our fon.
Queen. Let not thy mother lofe her prayers,

King. How is it that the clouds ftill hang on
[fun 3.25
Ham. Not fo, my lord, I am too much i' the
Queen. Good Hamlet, caft thy nighted colour

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Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary fuits of folemn black,
Nor windy fufpiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, fhews of grief,
That can denote me truly: Thefe, indeed, feem,
For they are actions that a man might play :
But I have that within, which paffeth show;
Thefe, but the trappings and the fuits of woe.
King. 'Tis fweet and commendable in your na-
ture, Hamlet,

To give those mourning duties to your father:




pray thee, ftay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I fhall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply;

35 Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, come;
This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits fmiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great canon to the clouds shall tell;
40 And the king's rouze the heaven fhall bruit again,
Re-fpeaking earthly thunder. Come, away,

Manent Hamict.

Ham. O, that this too too folid fliesh would melt, 45 Thaw, and refolve 1 itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 12'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable

Seem to me all the ufes of this world!
150 Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

The fenfe is, The head is not formed to be more useful to the heart, the hand is not more at the fervice of the mouth, than my power is at your father's fervice. 2 Hanmer obferves, It is not unreasonable to fuppofe that this was a proverbial expreffion, known in former times for a relation fo confufed and blended, that it was hard to define it. Dr. Johnson afferts kind to be the Teutonick word for child: Hamlet therefore, he adds, ani'wers with propriety, to the titles of coufin and fen, which the king had given him, that he was fomewhat more than coufin, and lefs than fon. Mr. Steevens fays, that a jingle of the fame fort is found in another old play, and feems to have been proverbial, as he has met with it more than once. 3 Mr. Fari per queftions whether a quibble between fun and for be not here intended. 4 With lowering eyes, caft-down eyes. 5 That is, Your father left a father, i. e. your grandfather, which left grandfather fo loft his father. • Obfequious is here from obfequics or funeral teremmies • 7 Condolement, for fn vow. Incorrect, for untutor`d. 9 Nobility here 10 i, e. communicate whatever I can bestow.


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means generofity. * Rejuve means the fame as diffolase. 12 i, e. that he bad not restrained funüde by bis express law and peremptory prohibition.


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That grows to feed; things rank, and gross in na


Poffefs it merely. That it fhould come to this!
But two months dead!-nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was to this,
Hyperion to a fatyr: fo loving to my mother,
That he might not let e'en the winds of heaven
Vifit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Muft I remember? Why, fhe would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on: And yet, within a month,Let me not think on't:Frailty, thy name is woman!

A little month; or ere thofe fhoes were old,
With which the follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears :-why the, even she,-
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourn'd longer,➡marry'd with my


Hor. I faw him once, he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
15 fhall not look upon bis like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?

Hor. My lord, the king your father.
Ham. The king my father!

Hor. Seafon your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; 'till I may deliver,
10 Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.

Ham. For heaven's love, let me hear.

Her. Two nights together had thefe gentlemen, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,

15 In the dead waste and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
Arm'd at all points, exactly cap-à-pé,
Appears before them, and, with folemn march,
Goes flow and ftately by them: thrice he walk'd
By their oppreft and fear-furprized eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, diftill'd
Almoft to jelly, with the act of fear,

My father's brother; but no more like my father, 20
Than I to Hercules: Within a month;
Ere yet the falt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes,
She marry'd.-O most wicked speed, to poft
With fuch dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to good:

But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue!
Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus.

Hor. Hail to your lordship!

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Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful fecresy impart they did;

25 And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:
Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes: I knew your father;
Thefe hands are not more like.


And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?—35|
Marcellus ?

Mar. My good lord,—


Ham. I am very glad to fee you; good even,
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. A truant difpofition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say fo;

Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it trufter of your own report
Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elfinour?
We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's

Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellowI think it was to fee my mother's wedding.

Her. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral bak'd meats 3

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
'Would I had met my dearest 4 foe in heaven,

Or ever I had feen that day, Horatio!

My father, Methinks, I see my father.

Hor. O where, my lord?

Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.


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By the Satyr is meant Pan, as by Hyperion, Apollo. Pan and Apollo were brothers, and the allution it to the contention between those gods for the preference in mufic. you fhall be my friend.

2. e. I'll be your fervant, 3 It was anciently the general cuftom to give a cold entertainment to mourners at a funeral. In diftant counties this practice is continued among the yeomanry. is maft immediate, confequential, important. 5 Eye is certainly more worthy of Shakspeare. is, temper it.

A Dearest

6 That


Ham. I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amaz'd you.
Ham. Very like,

Very like: Stay'd it long?

Hor. While one with moderate hafte Might tell a hundred.

Both. Longer, longer.

Hor. Not when I faw it.

Ham. His beard was grizzl'd? no?

Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, A fable filver'd.

Ham. I will watch to-night; Perchance, 'twill walk again. Hor. I warrant, it will.

Ham. If it affume my noble father's person, I'll fpeak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this fight, Let it be tenable in your filence still; And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, Give it an understanding, but no tongue; I will requite your loves: So, fare you well: Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, I'll vifit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewel.

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An Apartment in Polonius' Houfe.

Enter Laertes and Ophelia.


Laer. My neceffaries are embark'd; farewel: And, fifter, as the winds give benefit, And convoy is affiftant, do not sleep, But let me hear from you.

Oph. Do you doubt that?

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour, Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;

A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lafting,
The perfume and suppliance' of a minute;
No more.

Opb. No more but fo?

Laer. Think it no more:

For nature, crefcent, does not grow alone

In thews 2, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
The inward fervice of the mind and foul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
And now no foil, nor cautel 3, doth besmirch
The virtue of his will: but, you must fear,

¡His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own; For he himself is subject to his birth: He may not, as unvalued perfons do, Carve for himself; for on his choice depends 5 The fafety and the health of the whole state; And therefore must his choice be circumfcrib'd Unto the voice and yielding of that body, Whereof he is the head: Then if he says, he loves you,

rolt fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his faying deed; which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
If with too credent ear you lift his fongs;
Or lofe your heart; or your chafte treasure open
To his unmafter'd 5 importunity.




Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the thot and danger of defire.
The charieft maid is prodigal enough,
If the unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then: best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itfelf rebels, though none else near.

Opb. I fhall the effect of this good leffon keep, As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother, Do not, as fome ungracious pastors do,

Shew me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whilft, like a puft and reckless libertine,

35 Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own read 7.

Laer. O, fear me not.

I ftay too long;-But here my father comes.
Enter Polonius.

40 A double bleffing is a double grace;

Occafion fmiles upon a fecond leave.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for


The wind fits in the shoulder of your fail,

45 And you are ftaid for: There,-my bleffings with
you; [Laying his band on Laertes' bead.
And thefe few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

50 Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption try'd,
Grapple them to thy foul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd unfledg'd comrade. Beware
55 Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,

Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee.
|Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:

i. e. what is fupplied to us for a minute. The idea feems to be taken from the short duration of vegetable perfumes. 2 i. e. in finews, muscular strength. 3 i. e. no fraud, deceit.

4 Virtue 5 i. e. licentious.

The literal sense is, Do not

feems here to comprise both excellence and power, and may be explained the pure effect. Chary is cautious.

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7 That is, heeds not his own leffons.

make thy palm callous by fhaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promifcuous conversation make thy mind infenfible to the difference of characters.


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