Re: HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK by William Shakespeare
There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
To tell us this.
Why, right; you are i' the right;
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part:
You, as your business and desires shall point you,--
For every man hath business and desire,
Such as it is;--and for my own poor part,
Look you, I'll go pray.
These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
Yes, faith, heartily.
There's no offence, my lord.
Yes, by Saint 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'ermaster't as you may. And now, good friends,
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,
Give me one poor request.
What is't, my lord? we will.
Never make known what you have seen to-night.
Hor. and Mar.
My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
My lord, not I.
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Upon my sword.
We have sworn, my lord, already.
Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
Ha, ha boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, truepenny?--
Come on!--you hear this fellow in the cellarage,--
Consent to swear.
Propose the oath, my lord.
Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Swear by my sword.
Hic et ubique? then we'll shift our ground.--
Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Never to speak of this that you have heard,
Swear by my sword.
Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
A worthy pioner!--Once more remove, good friends.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
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 is not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
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.
Scene I. A room in Polonius's house.
(Enter Polonius and Reynaldo.)
Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
I will, my lord.
You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before You visit him, to make inquiry
Of his behaviour.
My lord, I did intend it.
Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
Enquire 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 him;
As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
And in part hi;m;--do you mark this, Reynaldo?
Ay, very well, my lord.
'And in part him;--but,' you may say, 'not well:
But if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
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.
As gaming, my lord.
Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Drabbing:--you may go so far.
My lord, that would dishonour him.
Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.
You must not put another scandal on him,
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 outbreak of a fiery mind;
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.
But, my good lord,--
Wherefore should you do this?
Ay, my lord,
I would know that.
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,
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.
Very good, my lord.
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?
At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,' and
At--closes in the consequence'--ay, marry!
He closes with you thus:--'I know the gentleman;
I saw him yesterday, or t'other day,
Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
There was he gaming; there o'ertook in's 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?
My lord, I have.
God b' wi' you, fare you well.
Good my lord!
Observe his inclination in yourself.
I shall, my lord.
And let him ply his music.
Well, my lord.
How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
Alas, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
With what, i' the name of God?
My lord, as I was sewing in my chamber,
Lord Hamlet,--with his doublet all unbrac'd;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungart'red, and down-gyved to his ankle;
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 comes before me.
Mad for thy love?
My lord, I do not know;
But truly I do fear it.
What said he?
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 turn'd
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
For out o' doors he went without their help,
And to the last bended their light on me.
Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love;
Whose violent property fordoes 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?
No, my good lord; but, as you did command,
I did repel his letters and denied
His access to me.
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 jealousy!
It seems it as proper to our age
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 move
More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
Scene II. A room in the Castle.
(Enter King, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Attendants.)
Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!
Moreover that we much did long to see you,
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 nor 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,
And since so neighbour'd to his youth and humour,
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, afflicts him thus,
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.
Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
And sure I am two men there are not living
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To show us so much gentry and good-will
As to expend your time with us awhile,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.
Both your majesties
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
Put your dread pleasures more into command
Than to entreaty.
We both obey,
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet,
To be commanded.
Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.
Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz:
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too-much-changed son.--Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
Heavens make our presence and our practices
Pleasant and helpful to him!
(Exeunt Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and some Attendants).
Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
Are joyfully return'd.
Thou still hast been the father of good news.
Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good liege,
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Both to my God and to my gracious king:
And I do think,--or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
As it hath us'd to do,--that I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
Give first admittance to the ambassadors;
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tells me, my sweet queen, he hath found
The head and source of all your son's distemper.
I doubt it is no other but the main,--
His father's death and our o'erhasty marriage.
Well, we shall sift him.
(Enter Polonius, with Voltimand and Cornelius.)
Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
But, better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your highness; whereat griev'd,--
That so his sickness, age, and impotence
Was falsely borne in hand,--sends out arrests
On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;
Receives rebuke from Norway; and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle never more
To give th' assay of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;
And his commission to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack:
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
(Gives a paper.)
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprise,
On such regards of safety and allowance
As therein are set down.
It likes us well;
And at our more consider'd time we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!
(Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.)
This business is well ended.--
My liege, and madam,--to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief:--your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it; for to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.
More matter, with less art.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity;
And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him then: and now remains
That we find out the cause of this effect;
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause:
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.
I have a daughter,--have whilst she is mine,--
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this: now gather, and surmise.
'To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beautified' is a vile
phrase: but you shall hear. Thus:
'In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.'
Came this from Hamlet to her?
Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.
'Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
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
'Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him,
This, in obedience, hath my daughter show'd me;
And more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.
But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?
What do you think of me?
As of a man faithful and honourable.
I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
When I had seen this hot love on the wing,--
As I perceiv'd it, I must tell you that,
Before my daughter told me,-- what might you,
Or my dear majesty your queen here, think,
If I had play'd the desk or table-book,
Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;--
What might you think? No, I went round to work,
And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:
'Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy sphere;
This must not be:' and then I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
And he, repulsed,--a short tale to make,--
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast;
Thence to a watch; thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness; and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we wail for.
Do you think 'tis this?
It may be, very likely.
Hath there been such a time,--I'd fain know that--
That I have positively said ''Tis so,'
When it prov'd otherwise?
Not that I know.
Take this from this, if this be otherwise:
(Points to his head and shoulder.)
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.
How may we try it further?
You know sometimes he walks for hours together
Here in the lobby.
So he does indeed.
At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him:
Be you and I behind an arras then;
Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
And he not from his reason fall'n thereon
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm and carters.
We will try it.
But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.
Away, I do beseech you, both away
I'll board him presently:--O, give me leave.
(Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.)
(Enter Hamlet, reading.)
How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Do you know me, my lord?
Excellent well; you're a fishmonger.
Not I, my lord.
Then I would you were so honest a man.
Honest, my lord!
Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man
picked out of ten thousand.
That's very true, my lord.
For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god-kissing
carrion,--Have you a daughter?
I have, my lord.
Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing, but not
as your daughter may conceive:--friend, look to't.
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?
Words, words, words.
What is the matter, my lord?
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Slanders, sir: for the satirical slave 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 which,
sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it
not honesty to have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir,
should be old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.
(Aside.) Though this be madness, yet there is a method in't.--
Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Into my grave?
Indeed, that is out o' the air. (Aside.) 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.