Re: HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK by William Shakespeare
O, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast:
In second husband let me be accurst!
None wed the second but who kill'd the first.
(Aside.) Wormwood, wormwood!
The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
A second time I kill my husband dead
When second husband kisses me in bed.
I do believe you think what now you speak;
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory;
Of violent birth, but poor validity:
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall unshaken when they mellow be.
Most necessary 'tis that we forget
To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
Their own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
The great man down, you mark his favourite flies,
The poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies;
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend:
For who not needs shall never lack a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.
But, orderly to end where I begun,--
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
So think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!
If she should break it now! (To Ophelia.)
'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
Madam, how like you this play?
The lady protests too much, methinks.
O, but she'll keep her word.
Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?
No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i' the
What do you call the play?
The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the
image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name;
his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of
work: but what o' that? your majesty, and we that have free
souls, it touches us not: let the gall'd jade wince; our withers
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.
You are a good chorus, my lord.
I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see
the puppets dallying.
You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
Still better, and worse.
So you must take your husbands.--Begin, murderer; pox, leave
thy damnable faces, and begin. Come:--'The croaking raven doth
bellow for revenge.'
Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;
Confederate season, else no creature seeing;
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire property
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
(Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears.)
He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His name's Gonzago:
The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian; you
shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
The King rises.
What, frighted with false fire!
How fares my lord?
Give o'er the play.
Give me some light:--away!
Lights, lights, lights!
(Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio.)
Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
So runs the world away.--
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers--if the rest of my
fortunes turn Turk with me,--with two Provincial roses on my
razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
Half a share.
A whole one, I.
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very--pajock.
You might have rhymed.
O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand
pound! Didst perceive?
Very well, my lord.
Upon the talk of the poisoning?--
I did very well note him.
Ah, ha!--Come, some music! Come, the recorders!--
For if the king like not the comedy,
Why then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!
(Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.)
Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Sir, a whole history.
The king, sir--
Ay, sir, what of him?
Is, in his retirement, marvellous distempered.
With drink, sir?
No, my lord; rather with choler.
Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this to
the doctor; for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps
plunge him into far more choler.
Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start
not so wildly from my affair.
I am tame, sir:--pronounce.
The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit,
hath sent me to you.
You are welcome.
Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed.
If it shall please you to make me a wholesome answer, I will do
your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon and my return
shall be the end of my business.
Sir, I cannot.
What, my lord?
Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseased: but, sir, such
answer as I can make, you shall command; or rather, as you say,
my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter: my mother, you
Then thus she says: your behaviour hath struck her into
amazement and admiration.
O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother!--But is there no
sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration?
She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
further trade with us?
My lord, you once did love me.
And so I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely,
bar the door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs to
Sir, I lack advancement.
How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself
for your succession in Denmark?
Ay, sir, but 'While the grass grows'--the proverb is something
(Re-enter the Players, with recorders.)
O, the recorders:--let me see one.--To withdraw with you:--why do
you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you would drive me
into a toil?
O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.
I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?
My lord, I cannot.
I pray you.
Believe me, I cannot.
I do beseech you.
I know, no touch of it, my lord.
'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with your
finger and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will
discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony; I
have not the skill.
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You
would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would
pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my
lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music,
excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it
speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a
pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me,
you cannot play upon me.
God bless you, sir!
My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
By the mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed.
Methinks it is like a weasel.
It is backed like a weasel.
Or like a whale.
Very like a whale.
Then will I come to my mother by and by.--They fool me to the
top of my bent.--I will come by and by.
I will say so.
By-and-by is easily said.
--Leave me, friends.
(Exeunt Ros, Guil., Hor., and Players.)
'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.--
O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites,--
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent!
Scene III. A room in the Castle.
(Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.)
I like him not; nor stands it safe with us
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you;
I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you:
The terms of our estate may not endure
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow
Out of his lunacies.
We will ourselves provide:
Most holy and religious fear it is
To keep those many many bodies safe
That live and feed upon your majesty.
The single and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from 'noyance; but much more
That spirit upon whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
Dies not alone; but like a gulf doth draw
What's near it with it: it is a massy wheel,
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which, when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty consequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.
Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
Ros and Guil.
We will haste us.
(Exeunt Ros. and Guil.)
My lord, he's going to his mother's closet:
Behind the arras I'll convey myself
To hear the process; I'll warrant she'll tax him home:
And, as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege:
I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.
Thanks, dear my lord.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,--
A brother's murder!--Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will:
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,--
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this twofold force,--
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder!--
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,--
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but 'tis not so above;
There is no shuffling;--there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell'd,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels! Make assay:
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well.
(Retires and kneels.)
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't;--and so he goes to heaven;
And so am I reveng'd.--that would be scann'd:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grossly, full of bread;
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands, who knows save heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him: and am I, then, reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage?
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent:
When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage;
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing; or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't;--
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven;
And that his soul may be as damn'd and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays:
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
(The King rises and advances.)
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
Scene IV. Another room in the castle.
(Enter Queen and Polonius.)
He will come straight. Look you lay home to him:
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your grace hath screen'd and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here.
Pray you, be round with him.