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Brief let me be:-Sleeping within mine orchard,
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
So, uncle, there you are. Now, to my word; It is, Adieu, adieu! remember me,
I have sworn't.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave,
To tell us this.
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.
[lord. Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes, 'Faith, heartily.
Hor. There's no offence, my lord. Ham. Yes, by St. Patrick, but there is, Horatio, And much offence too. Touching this vision here,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. We will.
What is't, my lord? [to-night.
Ham. Never make known what you have seen Hor. & Mar. My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Ham. Upon my sword.
Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, true-penny?
Come on,-you hear this fellow in the cellarage,Consent to swear.
Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword.
Ghost. (Beneath.) Swear.
Ham. Hic et ubique? then we will shift our Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Never to speak of this that you have heard.
[come. Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welThere are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy!
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, gentlemen, 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.
My lord, I did intend it.
Pol. Marry, well said: very well said. Look you, sir,
Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
What company, at what expense; and finding,
Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.
That they may seem the taints of liberty:
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.
But, my good lord,
Ay, my lord,
I would know that.
Marry, sir, here's my drift;
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Very good, my lord.
Pol. And then, sir, does he this, he doesWhat was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say some something:-Where did I leave?
Rey. At, closes in the consequence.
Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth;
Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia? what's the
But, truly, I do fear it.
My lord, I do not know:
What said be? Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard Then goes he to the length of all his arm; And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow, He falls to such perusal of my face, As he would draw it. Long stay'd 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 tura'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,
I did repel his letters, and denied
That hath made him mad.
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.
SCENE II.-A Room in the Castle.
Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDES
STERN, and Attendants. King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Gi
Moreover that we much did long to see you,
PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Both your majesties
But we both obey;
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guilden-
Pol. The embassadors from Norway, my good
King. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main ;
King. Well, we shall sift him.-Welcome, my
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
It was against your highness: Whereat griev'd,-
(Gives a paper.)
With an entreaty, herein further shewn,
[Exeunt Vollimand and Cornelius.
More matter, with less art.
I have a daughter; have, while she is mine;
vile phrase; but you shall hear. Thus:
In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.—
But never doubt, I love.
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans: but that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
But how hath she
What do you
think of me?
When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
Enter HAMLET, reading.
Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.
Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away; I'll board him presently:-Ö, give me leave. [Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.
How does my good lord Hamlet?
Pol. Do you know me, my lord?
Ham. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion,-Have you a daughter?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to't.
Pol. How say you by that? (Aside.) Still harping on my daughter:-yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fishmonger: He is far gone, far gone and, truly, in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you read, my lord?
Ham. Words, words, words!
Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord. Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. (Aside.) Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Ham. Into my grave.
Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.-How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting
between him and my daughter.-My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is.
Guil. My honour'd lord!—
Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost then, Guildensteru? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, bow do ye both?
Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth, Guil. Happy, in that we are not over-happy; On fortune's cap we are not the very button. Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe?
Ros. Neither, my lord.
Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?
Guil. 'Faith, her privates we.
Ham. In the secret parts of fortune? O, mist true; she is a strumpet. What news?
Ros. None, my lord; but that the world's grow honest.
Ham. Then is dooms-day near: But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither! Guil. Prison, my lord?
Ham. Denmark's a prison.
Ros. Then is the world one.
Ham. A goodly one; in which there are ma! confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes i so: to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; too narrow for your mind.
Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nut-shel. and count myself a king of infinite space; were s not that I have bad dreams.
Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition: fær the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow.
Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.
Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and out monarchs, and outstretch'd heroes, the beggan shadows: Shall we to the court? for, by my taș,↓ 1
Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you.
Ham. No such matter: I will not sort you w the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you lik an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. Ba in the beaten way of friendship, what make you a Elsinore?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion. Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks: but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thank are too dear, a halfpenny. Were you not sent for Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitatio Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my lord?
Ham. Any thing-but to the purpose. You wer? sent for; and there is a kind of confession in you looks, which your modesties have not craft enou to colour: I know, the good king and queen hav sent for you.
Ros. To what end, my lord?
Ham. That you must teach me. But let me cer
jure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no? Ros. What say you? (To Guildenstern.) Ham. Nay, then, I have an eye of you; (Aside.) -if you love me, hold not off.
Guil. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises: and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'er-banging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form, and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Ros. My lord, there is no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, Man delights not me?
Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service.
Ham. He that plays the king, shall be welcome; bis majesty shall have tribute of me: the adven turous knight shall use his foil, and target: the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall end his part in peace: the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o'the sere; and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for't.-What players are they?
Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham. How chances it, they travel? their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both
Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.
Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed? Ros. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty? Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question, and are nost tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the ashion; and so berattle the common stages, (so hey call them) that many, wearing rapiers, are fraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither. Hum. What, are they children? who maintains hem? how are they escoted? Will they pursue he quality no longer than they can sing? will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves o common players, (as it is most like, if their means ire no better,) their writers do them wrong, to nake them exclaim against their own succession? Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both ides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre them on to controversy: there was, for a while, no moey bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question. Ham. Is it possible? [brains. Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of Ham. Do the boys carry it away? Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and
is load too.
Ham. It is not very stränge: for my anole is king
of Denmark; and those, that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. (Flourish of trumpets within.)
Guil. There are the players.
Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. Come then the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb; lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you, must shew fairly outward, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome; but my uncle-father, and aunt-mother, are deceived.
Guil. In what, my dear lord?
Ham. I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw. Enter POLONIUS.
Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen!
Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern;-and you, too; -at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts.
Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man, is twice a child,
Ham. I will prophecy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.-You say right, sir: o'Monday morning; 'twas then, indeed.
Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.
Roscius was an actor in Rome,
Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord.
Pol. Upon my honour,
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass,
Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tra
gedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragicalpoem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men.
Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel,-what a treasure hadst thou!
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord?
Pol. Still on my daughter. Ham. Am I not i'the right, old Jephthah? Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.
Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows then, my lord?
Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, you know, It came to pass, As most like it was,-The first row of the pious chanson will shew you more; for look, my abridgment comes.
Enter Four or Five Players.
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all:-I am glad to see thee well:-welcome, good friends.— O, old friend! Why, thy face is valanced since saw thee last; Com'st thou to beard me in Denmark?-What! my young lady and mistress! By-'rlady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven, than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.-Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en to it like French falconers, fly at any thing we see: We'll have a speech straight: Come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate speech.
1 Play. What speech, my lord?
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once,but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the general: but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments, in such matters, cried in the top of mine,) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with