Re: HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK by William Shakespeare
None but his enemies.
Will you know them then?
To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.
Why, now you speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce
As day does to your eye.
(Within) Let her come in.
How now! What noise is that?
(Re-enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and
O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!--
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!--
O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
They bore him barefac'd on the bier
Hey no nonny, nonny, hey nonny
And on his grave rain'd many a tear.--
Fare you well, my dove!
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.
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
This nothing's more than matter.
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love,
remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
A document in madness,--thoughts and remembrance fitted.
There's fennel for you, and columbines:--there's rue for you;
and here's some for me:--we may call it herb of grace o'
Sundays:--O, you must wear your rue with a difference.--There's a
daisy:--I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when
my father died:--they say he made a good end,--
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,--
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead,
Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God.--God b' wi' ye.
Do you see this, O God?
Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.
Let this be so;
His means of death, his obscure burial,--
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation,--
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.
So you shall;
And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you go with me.
Scene VI. Another room in the Castle.
(Enter Horatio and a Servant.)
What are they that would speak with me?
Sailors, sir: they say they have letters for you.
Let them come in.
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
God bless you, sir.
Let him bless thee too.
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 Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
(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 wouldst 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 Castle.
(Enter King and Laertes.)
Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he which hath your noble father slain
Pursu'd my life.
It well appears:--but tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd up.
O, for two special reasons;
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,--
My virtue or my plague, be it either which,--
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive,
Why to a public count I might not go,
Is the great love the general gender bear him;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.
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.
Break not your sleeps for that:--you must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more:
I lov'd your father, and we love ourself;
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine,--
(Enter a Messenger.)
How now! What news?
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
This to your majesty; this to the queen.
From Hamlet! Who brought them?
Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not:
They were given me by Claudio:--he receiv'd them
Of him that brought them.
Laertes, you shall hear them.
(Reads)'High and mighty,--You shall know I am set naked on your
kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes:
when I shall, first asking your pardon thereunto, recount the
occasions of my sudden and more strange return. HAMLET.'
What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Know you the hand?
'Tis Hamlet's character:--'Naked!'--
And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
Can you advise me?
I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come;
It warms the very sickness in my heart
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus didest thou.'
If it be so, Laertes,--
As how should it be so? how otherwise?--
Will you be rul'd by me?
Ay, my lord;
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
To thine own peace. If he be now return'd--
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it,--I will work him
To exploit, now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall:
And for his death no wind shall breathe;
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice
And call it accident.
My lord, I will be rul'd;
The rather if you could devise it so
That I might be the organ.
It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say you shine: your sum of parts
Did not together pluck such envy from him
As did that one; and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.
What part is that, my lord?
A very riband in the cap of youth,
Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes
The light and careless livery that it wears
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness.--Two months since,
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,--
I've seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
And they can well on horseback: but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't: he grew unto his seat;
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse,
As had he been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast: so far he topp'd my thought
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.
A Norman was't?
Upon my life, Lamond.
The very same.
I know him well: he is the brooch indeed
And gem of all the nation.
He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especially,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed
If one could match you: the scrimers of their nation
He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
If you oppos'd them. Sir, this report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
That he could nothing do but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with him.
Now, out of this,--
What out of this, my lord?
Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?
Why ask you this?
Not that I think you did not love your father;
But that I know love is begun by time,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too much: that we would do,
We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes,
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' the ulcer:--
Hamlet comes back: what would you undertake
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in words?
To cut his throat i' the church.
No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Will you do this, keep close within your chamber.
Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home:
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you in fine together
And wager on your heads: he, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.
I will do't:
And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
This is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.
Let's further think of this;
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape: if this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance.
'Twere better not assay'd: therefore this project
Should have a back or second, that might hold
If this did blast in proof. Soft! let me see:--
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,--
When in your motion you are hot and dry,--
As make your bouts more violent to that end,--
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepar'd him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.
How now, sweet queen!
One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow:--your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
Drown'd! O, where?
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Alas, then she is drown'd?
Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears: but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
The woman will be out.--Adieu, my lord:
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
But that this folly douts it.
Let's follow, Gertrude;
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
Now fear I this will give it start again;
Therefore let's follow.
Scene I. A churchyard.
(Enter two Clowns, with spades, &c.)
Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she wilfully
seeks her own salvation?
I tell thee she is; and therefore make her grave straight: the
crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial.
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defence?
Why, 'tis found so.
It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies
the point: if I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act: and an
act hath three branches; it is to act, to do, and to perform:
argal, she drowned herself wittingly.
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,--
Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here stands the
man; good: if the man go to this water and drown himself, it is,
will he, nill he, he goes,--mark you that: but if the water come
to him and drown him, he drowns not himself; argal, he that is
not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
But is this law?
Ay, marry, is't--crowner's quest law.
Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been a
gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' Christian burial.
Why, there thou say'st: and the more pity that great folk
should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves
more than their even Christian.--Come, my spade. There is no
ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers: they
hold up Adam's profession.
Was he a gentleman?
He was the first that ever bore arms.
Why, he had none.
What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture?
The Scripture says Adam digg'd: could he dig without arms? I'll
put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the
purpose, confess thyself,--
What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the
shipwright, or the carpenter?
The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
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, come.
Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Marry, now I can tell.
Mass, I cannot tell.
(Enter Hamlet and Horatio, at a distance.)
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 he makes last
till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan; fetch me a stoup of
(Exit Second 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.
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath the daintier
But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
And hath shipp'd me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.
(Throws up a skull.)
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the
knave jowls it to the ground,as if 'twere Cain's jawbone, that
did the first murder! This might be the pate of a politician,
which this ass now o'erreaches; one that would circumvent God,
might it not?