Page images

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 visit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your lovés, as mine to you: farewell.

[exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo. My father's spirit in arms! all is not well; [come! I doubt some foul play; 'would the night were Till then, sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes. [exit.

"Enter Laertes and Ophelia.

Laer. My necessaries are embark'd'; farewell!
And, sister, as the winds give benefit,
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.

Oph. Do you doubt that?

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

I stay too long; but here my father comes.
Enter Polonius.

A double blessing is a grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave. [shame,
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, [you;
And you are staid for: there,-my blessing with
[iaying his hand on Laertes' head.

And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou charácter. Give thy thoughts no
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. [tongue,
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull' thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour, Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, stai Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;

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

Oph. No more but so?

Laer. Think it no more:


For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
And now no soil, nor cautel, 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 persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of the whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he is the head: then, if he says he loves
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying 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 car you list his songs;
Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she 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 itself rebels, though none else near.


[blocks in formation]

Bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judge-
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, [ment.
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all,-to thine ownself be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord. Pol. The time invites you; go, your servantstend. Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well What I have said to you.

Oph. 'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
Laer. Farewell.

[exit Laertes.

Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you? Oph. So please you, something touching the lord Hamlet.

Pol. Marry, well bethought:

'Tis told to me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you: and you yourself
Have of your audience been most free and boun-
If it be so, (as so 'tis put on me,
And that in way of caution,) I must tell you,
You do not understand yourself so clearly,
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour:
What is between you? give me up the truth.
Oph. He hath, my lord, of late, made many
Of his affection to me.

Pol. Affection? Pugh! you speak like a green Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. [girl, Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should



Pol. Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more


Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Wronging it thus,) you'll tender me a fool.
Oph. My lord, he hath impórtun'd me with
In honourable fashion.
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven. [my lord,
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both,
Even in their promise, as it is a making,
You must not take for fire, From this time,
Be somewhat scanter in your maiden presence.
Set your entreatments at a higher rate,
Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, that he is young;
And with a larger tether may he walk,
Than may be given you: in few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Not of that die which their investments show,-
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all,

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
Have you so slander any moment's leisure,
As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you; come your ways.
Oph. I shall obey, my lord.


SCENE IV. THE PLATFORM. Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus." Ham. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold. Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air. Ham. What hour now?

Hor. I think, it lacks of twelve.

Mar. No, it is struck.

[ocr errors]

[the season,

Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; it then draws near Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk."" [A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within. What does this mean, my lord? [his rouse, Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring recls; And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out The triumph of his pledge.

Hor. Is it a custom? Ham. Ay, marry, is't':

But to my mind, though I am native here,
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations:
They clepe us, drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes


From our achievements, though perform'd at
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So, oft it chances in particular men,
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,)
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason;
Or by some hábit, that too much o'erleavens
The form of plausive manners;-that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect;
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star.—

[blocks in formation]

Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from Be thy intents wicked or charitable, fhell, Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, That I will speak to thee; I'll call thee, Hamlet, King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me! Let me not burst in ignorance! but tell, Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death, Have burst their cerements! why the sepulchre, Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd, Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again! What may this mean, That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel, Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, Making night hideous; and we fools of nature, So horribly to shake our disposition, With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls? Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do: Hor. It beckons you to go away with it, As if it some impartment did desire To you alone.

Mar. Look, with what courteous action It waves you to a more removed ground: But, do not go with it.

Hor. No, by no means.

Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it. Hor. Do not, my lord.

Ham. Why, what should be the fear. I do not set my life at a pin's fee; And, for my soul, what can it do to that, Being a thing immortal as itself? It waves me forth again;—I'll follow it. Hor. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff, [lord, That beetles o'er his base into the sea? And there assume some other horrible form, Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into madness? Think of it: The very place puts toys of desperation, Without more motive, into every brain That looks so many fathoms to the sea, And hears it roar beneath.

Ham. It waves me still
Go on, I'll follow thee.

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Ham. Hold off your hands.
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not go.
Ham. My fate cries out,

And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Némean lion's nerve.

[Ghost beckons. Still am I call'd;—unhand me, gentlemen;[breaking from them By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that let's me; I say, away.-Go on, I'll follow thee.

[exeunt Ghost and Hamlet Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.

Mar. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Hor. Have after:-to what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Den-
Hor. Heaven will direct it.
Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
Re-enter Ghost and Hamlet.

Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll
Ghost. Mark me.
[go no further.

Ham. I will.

Ghost. My hour is almost come,

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames

Must render up myself.

Ham. Alas, poor ghost'.

[ocr errors]

So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd.
Will sate itself in a celestial bod,
And prey on garbage.

But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be:-Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a via
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment: whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And with a sudden vigour, it doth posset

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing | And curd, like eager droppings into milk
To what I shall unfold.

[blocks in formation]

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word [blood;
Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their
Thy knotted and combined locks to part, [spheres;
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.-List, list, O list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love,—
Ham. O heaven!

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural
Ham. Murder!
Ghost. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with wings
As meditation, or the thoughts of love, [as swift
May sweep to my revenge.

Ghost. I find thee apt;

And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
'Tis given out, that, sleeping in mine orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is, by a forged process of my death,
Rankly abus'd but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent, that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

Ham. O, my prophetic soul! my uncle!
Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,
(O wicked wit, and gifts that have the power
So to seduce!) won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen :
O, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!

But virtue, as it never will be mov'd

Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven;

The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,

Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatch'd:
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unancal'd;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head;
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well, at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me.


Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth!

What else;

And shall I couple hell?-O fie!-Hold, hold, my
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, [heart?
But bear me stiffly up!-Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven.
O most pernicious woman,

O villain, villain, smiling, damned 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.

So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
It is, Adicu, adieu ! remember me.
I have sworn't.

Hor. within] My lord, my lord,-
Mar. [within] Lord Hamlet,-
Hor. [within] Heaven secure him!
Ham. So be it!

Mar. [within] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, coma

[blocks in formation]

You will reveal it.

Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.

Mar. Nor I, my lord.

Ham. How say you then? would heart of man But you'll be secret,— [once think it? Hor. & Mar. Ay, by heaven, my lord. Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all But he's an arrant knave. [Denmark, Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come To tell us this. [from the grave, Ham. Why, right; you are in the right; And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit, that we shake hands, and part: You, as your business and desire shall point you; For every man hath business and desire, Such as it is, and, for my own poor part, Look you, I will go pray.

[ocr errors]

[my lord, Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; 'Faith, heartily. [yes,

Hor. There's no offence, my lord.
Ham. Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is,

And much offence too. Touching this vision herc,-
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you:

For your desire to know what is between us,
O'er-master it as you may. And now, good friends;
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,
Give me one poor request.

Hor. What is't, my lord?
We will.

Ham. Never make known what you have seen Hor. & Mar. My lord, we will not. [to-night. Ham. Nay, but swear't.

Hor. In faith,

My lord, not I.

Mar. Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Ham. Upon my sword.

Mar. We have sworn, my lord, already.
Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.


[blocks in formation]

Ham. Hic et ubique? then we will shift our Come hither, gentlemen, [ground: And lay your hands again upon my sword: Swear by my sword,

Never to speak of this that you have heard. Ghost. [beneath] Swear by his sword. Ham. Well said, old mole! canst work i'the earth so fast? [friends. worthy pioneer!-Once more remove, good Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous {come.



Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welThere are more things in heaven and cartlı, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. [Horatio, But come;~

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy
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,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As, Well, well, we know; or, We could, an if we
would; or, If we list to speak; or, There be, an if
they might;

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me :-this do you swear,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you!
Ghost. [beneath] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentle-
With all my love I do commend me to you;
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint;-O cursed spite!
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together


Enter Polonius and Reynaldo. Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Rey. I will, my lord. [Reynaldo. Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Before you visit him, to make inquiry [Reynaldo, Of his behaviour.

[you, sir, Look

Rey. My lord, I did intend it. Pol. Marry, well said: very well said. Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris; And how, and who, what means, and where they keep;

What company, at what expense; and finding, By this encompassment and drift of question, That they do know my son, come you more nearer Than your particular demands will touch it: Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of



As thus, I know his father, and his friends, And, in part, him;'-Do you inark this, ReyRey. Ay, very well, my lord. [naldo?

Pol. And, in part, him ;'-but, you may say, But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild; ['not well. Addicted so and so ;'—and there put on him What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank As may dishonour him: take heed of that; But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual, slips, As are companions noted and most known To youth and liberty.

Rey. As, gaming, my lord.

Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quar. Drabbing :-you may go so far. [raling,

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him. Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the You must not put another scandal on him, [charge. That he is open to incontinency;

That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly,

That they may seem the taints of liberty:
The flash and out-break of a fiery mind;
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.

Rey. But, my good lord,—

Pol. Wherefore should you do this?
Rey. Ay, my lord,

I would know that.

Pol. Marry, sir, here's my drift;
And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working,
Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen, in the prenominate crimes,
'The youth you breathe of, guilty, be assur'd,
He closes with you in this consequence;
'Good sir,' or so; or friend,' or 'gentleman,'
According to the phrase, or the addition,
Of man and country.

Rey. Very good, my lord.

Pol. And then, sir, does he this, he does what was I about to say?-By the mass, I was about to say something;-where did I leave?

Rey. At, closes in the consequence. [marry;' Pol. At, closes in the consequence. Ay, Ile closes with you thus: 'I know the gentleman; I saw him yesterday, or t'other day, [say, Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you There was he gaming; there o'ertook in his rouse; There falling out at tennis; or, perchance, I saw him enter such a house of sale, (Videlicet, a brothel), or so forth.'

See you now;

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlaces, and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out;
So, by my former lecture and advice,

Shall you, my son; you have me, have you not?
Rey. My lord, I have.

Pol. God be wi' you; fare you well.

Rey. Good, my lord,-

Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself.

Rey. I shall, my lord.

Pol. And let him ply his music.

Rey. Well, my lord.

Enter Ophelia.


Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia; what's
the matter?
Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so
Pol. With what, in the name of heaven?
Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'a;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
and with a look so piteous in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,

To speak of horrors,--he cemes before nie.
Pol. Mad for thy love?

Oph. My lord, I do not know;
But, truly, I do fear it.

Pol. What said he?

Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me
Then goes he to the length of all his arm; [hard;
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face,

As he would draw it. Long staid he so:
At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,
And end his being: that done, he lets me go:
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
For out o'doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.

Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love;
Whose violent property foredoes itself,
And leads the will to desperate undertakings,
As oft as any passion under heaven,
That does afflict our natures. I am sorry,—
What, have you given him any hard words of late?
Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did com-
I did repel his letters, and denied [mand,
His access to me.

Pol. That hath made him mad.

I am sorry, that with better heed and judgment
I had not quoted him: I fear'd, he did but trifle,
And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my
It seems, it is as proper to our age [jealousy!
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
As it is common for the younger sort
To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
This must be known; which, being kept close, might
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love. [move



Enter King, Queen, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Attendants.

King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and GuildenMoreover that we much did long to see you, [stern! The need, we have to use you, did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet's transformation; so I call it, Since not the exterior nor the inward man Resembles that it was: what it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you both, That,-being of so young days brought up with him; [humour,And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather, So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflict him thus, That, open'd, lies within our remedy.


Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of And, sure I am, two men there are not living, To whom he more adheres. If it will please you To shew us so much gentry, and good will, As to expend your time with us a while, For the supply and profit of our hope, Your visitation shall receive such thanks. As fits a king's remembrance,

Ros. Both your majesties

« PreviousContinue »