Page images
PDF

Ham. A bloody deed ;-almost as bad, good mother, As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a king! · Ham.

Ah, lady, 'twas my word.Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!

[To POLONIUS.
I took thee for thy better;
Leave wringing of your hands : Peace, sit you down,
And let me wring your heart: for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so,
That it be proof and bulwark against sense.

Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me ?
Ham.

Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths : 0, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words : Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.
Queen.

Ah me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index ?

Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this ;
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow :
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination, and a form, indeed,
Where every God did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man :
This was your husband.-Look you now, what follows:
Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes ?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes ?
You cannot call it love : for, at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waits upon the judgment: and what judgment
Would step from this to this?
O shame! where is thy blush ?

Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more,

Thou turn'st my eyes into my very soul;
And there I see such black and grained spots,
As will not leave their tinct.
Speak to me no more;
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears :
No more, sweet Hamlet.
Ham.

A murderer, and a villain :
A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord :a vice of kings :
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule ;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
Queen.

No more.

Enter Ghost. Нат.

A king Of shreds and patches : Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards !—What would your gracious figure 1

Queen. Alas! he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command ?
O, say.

Ghost. Do not forget : this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look ! amazement on thy mother sits :
O, step between her and her fighting soul;
Speak to her, Hamlet.
* Ham.

How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas, how is 't with you?
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse ?
O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look ?

Ham. On him! on him !-Look you, how pale he glares !
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.—Do not look upon me;
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to do
Will want true color; tears, perchance, for blood.

Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear ?
Queen. No, nothing, but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there! look how it steals away!

My father, in his native habit as he lived !
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal! (Exit Ghost

Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.

Ham. Ecstasy!
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
And makes as healthful music : It is not madness,
That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul,
That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks :
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place;
Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven ;
Repent what's past: avoid what is to come.

Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night :-
And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,

[Pointing lo POLONTUS.
I do repent :
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gave him. So, again, good night!
I must be cruel, only to be kind :
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.

ACT IV.

The guilty King and Queen, alarmed at the consequences which may result from Hamlet's evident knowledge of their crimes, determine to send him to England under the charge of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, with private instructions to the king of England to effect “ The present death of Hamlet.This is done, and the young prinoe sails fø England. Ophelia, overcome with grief, at the death of her father, becomes distracted, and seeks an interview with the Queen. Young Laertes returns from Franoe, and charges the King with being privy to the murder of Polonius.

SCENE V.-Elsinore. A Room in the Castle.

Enter QUEEN and Horatio.
Queen. - I will not speak with her.
Hor. She is importunate; indeed, distract.
Queen. Let her come in.

[Exit HORATIO 'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.

Enter OPHELIA.
Oph. Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark ?
Queen. How now, Ophelia ?
Oph. How should I your true love know

[Singing
From another one ?
By his cockle hat and staff,

And his sandal shoon?
Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song ?
Oph. Say you ? nay, pray you, mark.
He is dead and gone, lady,

[Sings.
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone. 0, ho!

Queen. Nay, but Ophelia, —
Oph.

Pray you, mark.
White his shroud as the mountain snow,

[Sings.
Enter King.
Queen. Alas, look here, my lord.
Oph. Larded all with sweet flowers;

Which bewept to the grave did go,

With true-love showers. King. How do you, pretty lady ?

Oph. Well, Heaven 'ield you! They say, the owl was a baker's daughter. We know what we are, but, know not what we may be.

King. How long hath she been thus ?

Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be patient: but I cannot choose but weep, to think, they should lay him i' the cold ground: My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies ; good night, good night.

[Exit. King. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.

Exit HORATIO. 0! This is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death :

Enter a Gentleman.
What's the matter?
Gent.

Save yourself, my lord.
The young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O’erbears your officers : The rabble call him, lord ;
They cry, Choose we; Laertes shall be king!
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds,
Laertes shall be king, Laertes king!

Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
King. The doors are broke.

(Nrise urithin.

Enter LAERTES.
Laer. Where is this king ?-Sirs, stand you all without.
O thou vile king, give me my father.

Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.

King. What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like ?-
Let him go, Gertrude ; do not fear our person;
There's such divinity doth hedge a king,
That treason can but peep to what it would.
Why art thou thus incens'd ;-Let him go, Gertrude ;-
Speak, man.
· Laer. Where is my father ?
King.

Dead.
Queen.

But not by him.
King. Let him demand his fill.

Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with: .
To this point I stand,
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Let come what comes ; only I'll be reveng'd
Most throughly for my father...
King.

Who shall stay you ?
Laer. My will, not all the world's:
And, for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.
King.

Good Laertes,
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment 'pear,
As day does to your eye.

Enter OPHELIA fantastically dressed with straws and flowers

Laer.

O rose of May !
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !--
O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love : and, where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier ;

Hey no nonny, nonny hey nonny :

And in his grave rain'd many a tear ;Fare you well, my dove !

« PreviousContinue »