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Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
King. Attend: Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door: What is the matter?
Gent. Save yourself, my lord; The ocean, overpeering of his list, Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste, Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O'erbears your officers! The rabble call him, lord; And, as the world were now but to begin, Antiquity forgot, custom not known, The ratifiers and props of every word, 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!
Dan. No, let's come in.
(They retire without the door.) Laer. I thank you:-keep the door. O thou Give me my father. [vile king, Queen. Calmly, good Laertes. Laer. That drop of blood, that's calm, proclaims
Cries, cuckold, to my father; brands the harlot Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow Of my true mother.
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, Acts little of his will.-Tell me, Laertes, Why thou art thus incens'd?-Let him go, GerSpeak, man.
Laer. Where is my father? King.
But not by him. [with
Queen. King. Let him demand his fill. Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience, and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation: 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.
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.
If you desire to know the certainty Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
That, sweepstake, you will draw both friend and
Laer. None but his enemies.
And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
Danes. (Within.) Let her come in.
Enter OPHELIA, fantastically dressed with stran and flowers.
O heat, dry up my brains! tears, seven times salt,
Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier;
Oph. You must sing, Down a-down, an you call him a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter. Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies,
Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines:there's rue for you; and here's some for me :—ve may call it, herb of grace o'Sundays:-you may wear your rue with a difference.-There's a daisy all, when my father died:-They say, he made a -I would give you some violets; but they withered good end,
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,—(Sings.) Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness. Oph. And will he not come again? And will he not come again? No, no, he is dead,
Go to thy death-bed,
He is gone, he is gone,
And of all christian souls! I pray God. God be wi' you! [Exit Ophelia
Laer. Do you see this, O God!
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief, Or you deny me right. Go but apart, Make choice of whom your wisest friends you wil, And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me: If by direct or by collateral hand
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
Let this be so; His means of death, his obscure funeral,— No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
And, where the offence is, let the great axe fall.
I do not know from what part of the world
1 Sail. God bless you, sir.
1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir; it comes from the ambassador that was bound for England; if your name be Ho
ratio, as I am let to know it is.
Hor. (Reads.) Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the king; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase: Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou would'st fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England; of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET. Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him, from whom you brought them.
SCENE VII.-Another Room in the same.
King. Now must you conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for friend;
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,
Laer. And so have I a noble father lost; A sister driven into desperate terms; Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections :-But my revenge will come. King. Break not your sleeps for that: you must not think,
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them not; They were given me by Claudio, he receiv'd them Of him that brought them.
King. Leave us.
Laertes, you shall hear them: [Exit Messenger. (Reads.) High and mighty, you shall know, I am set naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg asking your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion leave to see your kingly eyes: when I shall, first What should this mean? Are all the rest come of my sudden and more strange return. HAMLET.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet : This to your majesty; this to the queen. King. From Hamlet! Who brought them?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Laer. Know you the hand?
"Tis Hamlet's character. Naked,
Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come;
Thus diddest thou.
King. If it be so, Laertes, As how should it be so? how otherwise?
Will you be rul'd by me?
Laer. Ay, my lord; So you will not o'er-rule me to a peace. King. To thine own peace. If he be now return'd,
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
A Norman, was't?
King. A Norman.
Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.
The very same. Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch, inAnd of all the nation. gem King. He made confession of you; And gave you such a masterly report, For art and exercise in your defence, And for your rapier most especial, That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed, If one could match you: the scrimers of their
He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
What out of this, my lord? | Clambering to hang, an envious aliver broke;
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Why ask you this? King. Not that I think, you did not love your father;
But that I know, love is begun by time;
And hath abatements and delays as many,
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, to-
And wager o'er your heads: he, being remiss,
I will do't:
And that our drift look through our bad per-
'Twere better not assay'd; therefore this project,
When in your motion you are hot and dry,
How now, sweet queen?
Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow: -Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
Laer. Drown'd! O, where?
Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook,
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Enter Two Clowns, with spades, &c.
2 Clo. I tell thee, she is; therefore make ber grave straight: the crowner hath set on her, and finds it christian burial.
1 Clo. How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defence?
2 Clo. Why, 'tis found so.
1 Clo. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies the point: If I drown myself wit tingly, it argues an act: and an act hath three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to perform: Argal, she drowned herself wittingly.
2 Clo. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver. 1 Clo. Give me leave. Herelies the water; good. here stands the man; good: If the man go to this water, and drown himself, it is, will be, nill he, be goes; mark you that: but if the water come li him, and drown him, he drowns not himself: Argal, he, that is not guilty of his own death, shartens not his own life.
2 Clo. But is this law?
1 Clo. Ay, marry is't; crowner's-quest law. 2 Clo. Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been brried out of christian burial.
1 Clo. Why, there thou say'st: and the mart pity, that great folks shall have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves, more that their even christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profession. 2 Clo. Was he a gentleman?
1 Clo. He was the first that ever bore arms. 2 Clo. Why, he had none.
1 Clo. What, art a heathen? How dost thou derstand the scripture? The scripture says, Adam digged: Could he dig without arms? I put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself—
2 Clo. Go to.
1 Clo. What is he, that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter!
2 Clo. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
1 Clo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the gallows does well: But how does it well? it does well to those that do ill: now thou dost ill, to say, the gallows is built stronger than the church: argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To't again
2 Clo. Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?
1 Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
2 Clo. Marry, now I can tell.
1 Clo. To't.
2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance.
1 Clo. Cudgel thy brains no more about it; for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating: and, when you are asked this question next, say, a grave-maker: the houses that he makes, last till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor. [Exit 2 Clown. (1 Clown digs, and sings.) In youth, when I did love, did love, Methought, it was very sweet,
To contract, O, the time, for, ah, my behove, O, methought, there was nothing meet. Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business? he sings at grave-making.
Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property of
Ham. 'Tis e'en so: the hand of little
ment hath the daintier sense.
1 Clo. But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
Ham. That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder! This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God, might it not?
Hor. It might, my lord.
Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, Goodmorrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord? This might be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
Hor. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Why, e'en so: and now my lady Worm's; chapless, and knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade: Here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with them? mine ache to think on't.
1 Clo. A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade, (Sings.) For-and a shrouding sheet: O, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. (Throws up a skull.) Ham. There's another: Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Humph! This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: Is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his fands will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more? ha?
Ham. I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
1 Clo. You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is
O, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet.,
Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.
Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins? Hor. Ay, my lord, and calves-skins too. Ham. They are sheep, and calves, which seek out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow : -Whose grave's this, sirrah? 1 Clo. Mine, sir.
Ham. Thou dost lie in't, to be in't, and say it is thine: 'tis for the dead, and not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
1 Clo. 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away again, from me to you.
Ham. How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked, that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe.-How long hast thou been a employ-grave maker?
1 Clo. Of all the days i'the year, I came to't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortin
Ham. What man dost thou dig it for?
1 Clo. For no man, sir.
Ham. What woman then?
1 Clo. For none, neither.
Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
1 Clo. One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
Ham. How long's that since?
1 Clo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell born: he that is mad, and sent into England. that: It was that very day that young Hamlet was
Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into Eng
1 Clo. Why, because he was mad he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.
1 Clo. "Twill not be seen in him there; men are as mad as he.
Ham. How came he mad?
1 Clo. Very strangely, they say. Ham. How strangely?
1 Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits. Ham. Upon what ground?
1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark; I have been sexton here, man and boy, thirty years.
Ham. How long will a man lie i'the earth ere he rot?
1 Clo. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before be die, will scarce hold the laying in,) he will last you (as we have many pocky corses now-a days, that some eight year, or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
Ham. Why he more than another?
1 Clo. Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while; dead body. Here's a skull now hath lain you i'the and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson earth three-and-twenty years. Ham. Whose was it?
do you think it was? 1 Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was; Whose
Ham. Nay, I know not.
1 Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! he poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Ham. This? (Takes the skull.) 1 Clo. E'en that.
Ham. Alas, poor Yorick!-I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy he hath borne me on his back a thousand times! and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips, that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your (Sings.) own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an
inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her | Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes then laugh at that.-Pr'ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing.
Hor. What's that, my lord?
Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander looked o'this fashion i'the earth?
Hor. E'en so.
Ham. And smelt so? pah!
(Throws down the skull.)
Hor. E'en so, my lord. Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horatio? Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole? [sider so. Hor. "Twere to consider too curiously, to conHam. No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: As thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam: And why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away: O, that the earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw! But soft! but soft! aside:-Here comes the king. Enter Priests, &c. in procession; the corpse of Ophelia; LAERTES, and Mourners, following; King, Queen, their Trains, &c.
I thought, thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, And not have strew'd thy grave.
Laer. O, treble woe Fall ten times treble on that cursed head, Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense Depriv'd thee of!-Hold off the earth a while, Till I have caught her once more in mine arms: (Leaps into the grave.) Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead; Till of this flat a mountain you have made, To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head Of blue Olympus.
Ham. (Advancing.) What is he, whose grief Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of
Like wonder-wounded hearers? this is I, Hamlet the Dane. (Leaps into the grave.) Laer. The devil take thy soul! (Grappling with him.)
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
I pr'thee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Good my lord, be quiet. (The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave.)
Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme,
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Ham. I lov'd Ophelia; forty thousand brothers
Queen. For love of God, forbear him. Ham. 'Zounds, shew me what thou'lt do: Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself? Woul't drink up Esil? eat a crocodile? I'll do't.-Dost thou come here to whine? To outface me with leaping in her grave? Be buried quick with her, and so will I: And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw Millions of acres on us; till our ground, Singeing his pate against the burning zone, Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thoa'lt mouth, I'll rant as well as thou. Queen. This is mere madness: And thus a while the fit will work on him; Anon, as patient as the female dove, When that her golden couplets are disclos'd, His silence will sit drooping.
Ham. Hear you, sir; What is the reason that you use me thus? I lov'd you ever: But it is no matter; Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. [Ent. King. I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upo him.[Exit Herat Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech. (To Laerta We'll put the matter to the present push.Good Gertrude, set some watch over your soRThis grave shall have a living monument: An hour of quiet shortly shall we see ;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be. [Exeunt.
SCENE II-A Hall in the Castle.
Ham. So much for this, sir: now shall you see
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of figh That would not let me sleep: methought, I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashĺy, And prais'd be rashness for it,-Let us know, Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, When our deep plots do pall; and that should teach us, There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.
That is most certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,