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Hor. Most like:-it harrows me with fear, and | A little ere the mightiest Julias fell,
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 smote the sledded Polack on the ice.
[hour, Mar. Thus twice before, and jump at this dead With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not;
But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. 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 cast of brazen cannon,
And 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 haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day;
Who is't, that can inform me?
That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose 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 so this side of our known world esteem'd him,)
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Which be stood seiz'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 the same co-mart,
And carriage of the article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet: Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in't: which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state,)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,
And terms compulsatory, those 'foresaid lands,
So by his father lost: And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations;
The source of this our watch; and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so:
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
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,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,-
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen coming on,—
Have heaven and earth together démonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.—
But, soft; behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me.—Stay, illusion!
If thou hast 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, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life,
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it :-stay, and speak.-Stop it, Marcellus,
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the shew of violence;
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 summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes, Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, This bird of dawning singeth all night long: And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad; The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, No fairy takes, 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. i But, look, the morn, in russet 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 consent 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 know Where we shall find him most convenient. [Exeunt. | SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in the
Enter the King, 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
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,-
With one auspicious, and one dropping eye;
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,—
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along:-For all, our thanks.
Now follows that you know, young Fortinbras,-
Holding a weak supposal of our worth;
Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands,
Lost 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,-
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose,-to suppress
His further gait herein; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject:-and we here despatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow.
Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty. Cor.& Vol. In that, and all things, will we shew our duty.
King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell. [Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; What is't, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice: What would'st thou beg,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What would'st thou have, Laertes?
My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To shew 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 says
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow
By laboursome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
do beseech you, give him leave to go. King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine, And thy best graces: spend it at thy will.But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind. (Aside.) King. How is it, that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i'the sun. Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids
eek for thy noble father in the dust: hou know'st, 'tis common; all, that live, must die, Passing through nature to eternity. Ham. Ay, madam, it is common. Queen. Why seems it so particular with thee? [seems. Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not
"Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shews of grief,
That can denote me truly: These, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within, which passeth shew;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your na-
To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound
In filial obligation, for some term
To do obsequious sorrow: But to perséver
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shews a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, 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 opposition,
Take it to heart? Fy! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still bath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe; and think of us
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 dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers,
pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply;
Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, come;
This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the king's rouse the heavens shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. Polonius, and Laertes.
Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fy on't! O fy! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in na-
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead!-nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she 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 those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears;-why she, even she,—
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
irn'd longer,-married with my
her; but no more like my father,
Jules: within a month;
it of most unrighteous tears
Aushing in her galled eyes,
-O most wicked speed, to post
Aexterity 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!
I am glad to see you well: Horatio, or I do forget myself. [ever. Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?— Marcellus?
Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg? Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord. Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so; Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, To make it truster of your own report Against yourself: I know, you are no truant. But what is your affair in Elsinore? We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart. Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral. Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-stu
The king my father! Hor. Season your admiration for a while With an attent ear; till I may deliver, Upon the witness of these gentlemen, This marvel to you.
For God's love, let me hear. Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, In the dead waist and middle of the night, Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father, Armed at point, exactly, cap-à-pé,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow, and stately by them: thrice he walk'd,
By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distill'd
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand 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:
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;
These hands are not more like.
But where was this?
Mar. My lord, upon the platform, where we
Ham. Did you not speak to it?
My lord, I did; But answer made it none: yet once, methought,
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak:
But, even then, the morning cock crew load;
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanish'd from our sight.
"Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
To let you know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
All. My lord, from head to foot.
His beard was grizzlˇð! no!
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, A sable silver'd. Ham. I will watch to-night; Perchance, 'twill walk again. Hor. I warrant, it wil Ham. If it assume my noble father's person, I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence 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 visit you.
All. Our duty to your honour. Ham. Your loves, as mine to you; Farewell [Exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Berneri My father's spirit in arms! all is not well; I doubt some foul play :'would, the night were con Till then sit still, my soul: Foul deeds will rise. Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eres
SCENE III-A Room in Polonius's House.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA. Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; farewe 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' Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fave 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?
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 If it be so, (as so 'tis put on me,
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 ear 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.
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Shew me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
is Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own read.
I stay too long;-But here my father comes.
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
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 ten-
Of his affection to me.
Pol. Affection? puh! you speak like a green
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you: think yourselfa baby;
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 love,
In honourable fashion.
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
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 of 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 be walk,
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for Than may be given you: In few, Ophelia,
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are staid for: There, my blessing with
you: (Laying his hand on Laertes' head.)
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
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
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:
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
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 servants tend.
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.
'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it."
Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
Do not believe his vows: for they are brokers'
Not of that die which their investments shew,
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.
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 height,
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 habit, that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners;-that these men,—
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect;
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,-
Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,)
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault: The dram of base
Doth all the noble substance often dout,
To his own scandal.
Look, my lord, it comes!
Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!-
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
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 cómplete 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.
Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground:
But do not go with it.
Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Hor. Do not, my lord.
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.
Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold.
Speak, I am bound to hear.
Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shal:
Ghost. I am thy father's spirit;
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, contin'd 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
Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young blood
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand an-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 r
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 wing
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
I find thee apt;
And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, bear
'Tis given out, that, sleeping in mine orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmari
Hor. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my Is by a forged process of my death
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
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.
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 beas
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!
It waves me still:- 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!
Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not go.
My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Némean lion's nerve.-
Still am I call'd ;-unhand me, gentlemen;-
(Breaking from them.)
But virtue, as it never will be mov'd,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven;
So last, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;