William Shakespeare.

The plays of William Shakespeare online

. (page 175 of 190)
Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare → online text (page 175 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

For what, we know, must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense.
Why should we, in our peevish opposition.
Take it to heart ? Fye ! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd ; whcse common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevniling woe ; and think of us
As of a father : for let the world take note.
You are '.he most immediate to our throne ;
And, with no less nobility of love.
Than that which dearest father bears his son.
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our uhiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers,
I pray thee, stay with us ; go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply ;
Be as ourself in Denmark Madam, come ;

This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart : in grace whereof.
No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day.
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell ;'
And the king's rouse the heaven shall bruit again.
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

[E,-ceunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. Polonius,
and Laertes.
Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew !
Or that the everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter ! O God ! O Gcd !
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world !
Fye on't ! O fye ! 'tis an unweeded garden.
That grows to seed ; things rank, and gross in

Possess it merely. That it should come to this I
But two months dead ! nay, not so much, not two ;
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr : so loving to my mother.
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth I
.Must I remember ? why, she would hang on him,
-As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on : And yet, within a month,
Let me not think on't ; Frailty, thy name is

woman !
\ little month ; or ere those shoes were old.
With which she foUow'd my poor father's body.
Like Niobe, all tears; why she, even she,

heaven ! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer, married with my

My father's brother ; but no more like my father.
Than I to Hercules: Within a month ;
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes.
She married : O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets !
It is not, nor it cannot come to, good :
But break, my heart ; for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus.

Hnr. Hail to your lordship !

Ham. ' I am glad to see you well :

Horatio, or I do forget myseif.

Hor. The same, ray lord, and your poor servant
ever. [with you.

Ham. Sir, my good friend ; I'll change that name
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?
Marcellus ?

Mar. My good lord,

Ham. I am very glad to see you ; good even, sir,
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ?

Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.

Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so ;
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself : I know, you are no truant.
But what is vour affair in Elsinore ?
We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.

Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-stu-

1 think, it was to see my mother's wedding, [dent ;
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ! the funeral bak'd

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
'Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio !
My father, Methinks, I see my father.

Hor. Where,

My lord ?

Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.

Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king.

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.

Ham. Saw ! who?

Hor. My lord, the king your father.

Ham. The king njy father '.




Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; till 1 may deliver.
Upon the witness of these gentlemen, _

This marvel to you.

Bam. For God's lore, let me hear.

Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
-Marcellus and iiernardo, on their watch,
ii the dead waist and middle of the nii;ht.
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father.
Armed at point, exactly, cap-a-pe,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
ioes slow and stately by them : thrice hewalk'd.
By their oppress'd and fear-surprized eyes,
Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, dis-
Almost to jefly with the act of fear, [till'd

Stand dumb, and si>eak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did ;
And I with them, the third night kept the watch :
Where, as they had deiiver'd, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good.
The apparition comes : I knew your father ; "
These hmds are not more like.

Ham. But where was this ?

Mtir. My lord, upon the platform where we

Ham. Did you not speak to it .-> [watch'd.

Bor. My lord, 1 did :

But answer made it none : yet once, methought.
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak :
But, eTen then, the morning cock crew loud ;
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
.\nd Tanish'd from our sight.

Bam. Tis very strange.

Hor. As I do lire, my honour'd lord,"*tis true ;
And we did think it writ down in our duty.
To let you know of it.

Bam. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-mgbt ?

All. We do, my lord.

Bam. Arm'd, say you ?

All. Arm'd, my lord.

Bam. From top to toe ?

All. My lord, from head to foot.

Bam, Then saw you not

His face.

Bor. O, yes, my lord : he wore his beaver up.

Bam, What, look'd he fiowningly ?

Bor. A countenance more

In sorrow than in anger.

Bam. Pale, or red ?

Bor. Nay, rery pale.

Bam, And fii'd his eyes upon you ?

Bor. Most constantly.

Ham. I would, I had been there.

Bor. It would have much amaz'd you.

Bam. ' V'ery like.

Very like : Stay'd it long ?

Bor. Vrtd\e one with moderate haste might tell

Mar. Ber. Longer, longer. [a hundred.

Hor. Not when I saw it.

Bam. His beard was gtizzled ? no .'

Bor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver'd.

Ham. I will watch to-night ;

Perchance, 'twill walk again.

Bor. I warrant you, it will

Bam. If it assume my noble father's person,
I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, j
And bid me hold my peace. 1 pray you all.
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight.
Let it be tenable in your silence still ;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue ;
I will requite your loves : So, fare you well :
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as'mine to you : Farewell. |!

[Exeunt Horatio, .Marcellus, and Bernardo.l.

My father's spirit in arms ! all is not well ;

I doubt some foul play : 'would, the night were'^

Till then sit still, my soul : Foul deeds will rise.

Though all the earth o'erwheUn them, to men's

eyes. [Exit.

SCENE III. A Room in Polonius' Home.

Enter Laertes and Ophelia.

Zjier. My necessaries are embark'd ; fare we 1 :
And, sister, as the winds give benefit.
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep.
But let me hear fiom you.

Oph. Do you doubt that .'

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour.
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood ;
.\ violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting.
The perfume and suppliance of a minute ;
\o more.

Oph. No more but so ?

i-atr. Think it no more :

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews, and bulk , but, as this temple waxes.
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves vou now ;
And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch
The virtue of his will : but, you must fear.
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own ;
For he himself is subject to his birth ;
He may not, as unvalued persons do.
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of the whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body.
Whereof he is the head : Then if he says, he loves
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it, [i'ou,

.As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed ; which is no further.
Than the main'voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain.
If with too credent ear you list his songs ;
Or lose your heart ; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
.\nd keep you in the rear of your affection.
Chit of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough.
If she unmask her beauty to the moon :
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
The canker galls the infants of the spring.
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd ;
.And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then : best safety lies in fear ;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep.
As watchmen to my heart ; But, good my brother.
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do.
Show me the steep and thornv way to heaven ;
\\'hilst, likea puff'd and reckless fibertine.
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
And recks not his own read.

Laer. O fear me not.

I stay too long ; But here my father comes.

Enter Polonius.

.\ double blessing is a double grace ; I

Occasion smiles upon a second leave. [shame: 1

Pol. Yet here, Laertes ! aboard, aboard, for 1 1
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, [you ' ]
And you are staid for : There, ray blessing wit:

[Laying hit hand on Laertes* At .
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. <nve thy thoughts no tongiu
Nor any nnpropottion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel ;
But do not dull thy'palm with entertainment tt

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware fl
Of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, I

Bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee. |P

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: ,

Act I.



.Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judg-
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, [ment.

But liot express'd in fancy : rich, not gaudy :
For the apjiarel oft proclaims the man ;
And they in France, of the best rank and station
Are most select and (jeneroiis, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be :
For loan oft loses both itself and friend ;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all, To thine ownself be true ;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any n)an.
Farewell ; my blessing season this in thee !

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

Pot. The time invites you ; go, your servants

Laer, Farewell, Ophelia : and remember well
What I have said to you.

Oph. 'Tis in my memory lock'd.

And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

Laer. Farewell. [Exit Laertes.

Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you ?

Oph, So please you, something touching the lord

Pol. Marry, well bethought : [Hamlet.

Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you ; and you yourself
Have of your audience been most free and boun-
If it" be so, (as so 'tis put on me, [teous :

And that in way of caution,) I must tell you,
Vou do not understand yourself so clearly,
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour :
What is between you ? gi^e me up the truth.

Oph. He hath, my lord, of late, made many
Of his affection to me. [tenders

Pol. Affection ? puh 1 you speak like a green girl,
rjnsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them ?

Oph. I do not know, my lord, what 1 should think.

Pol. Marry, I'll teach you : think yourself a
baby ;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay.
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more

dearly ;
Or, (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase.
Wronging it thus,) you'll tender me a fool.

Oph. My lord, he hath importun'd me with love.
In honourable fashion.

Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it ; go to, go to.

Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven, [my lord,

Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows : these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both.
Even in their promise, as it is a m iking,
You must not take for fire. From this time.
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence;
Set your entreatments at a higher rate.
Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him. That he is young;
And with a larger tether may he. walk,
Than may be given you : In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows : for they are brokers
Not of that die which their investments show.
But mere implorators of unholy suits.
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds.
The better to beguile. This is for all,
I would not, in plnin terms, from this time forth.
Have you so slander any moment's leisure,
As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you ; come your ways.

Oph. 1 shall obey, my lord. " [Exeunt.

SCENE IV The Plafftfrm.

Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.

nam. The air bites shrewdly ; it is very cold.

Hnr. It is a nipping and an eager air.

Ham. What hour now ?

Hor. I think, it lacks of twelve.

Mar. No, it is struck. [near the season,

Hor, Indeed ? 1 heard it not ; it then draws

Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

[AJlourish of trumpets, and ordnance sluit
off-, mithin.
What does this mean, my lord ? [his rouse.

Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes
Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring reels ;
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down.
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.

Hor. Is it a custom .'

Ham. Ay, marry, is't :
But to my mind, though I am native here.
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach, than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west.
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations :
They clepe us, drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition ; and, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at
The pith and marrow of our attribute. [height.
So, oft it chances in particular men.
That for some vicious mole of nature in them.
As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty.
Since nature cannot choose his origin,)
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion.
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason ;
Or by some h,ibit, that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners ; that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect ;
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace.
As infinite as man may undergo,)
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault : The dram of base
Doth all the noble substance often dout.
To his own scandal.

Enter Ghost.

Hor. Look, my lord, it comes !

Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us !
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd.
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from
Be thy iiitents wicked, or charitable, [hell.

Thou cofn'st in such a questionable shape.
That I will speak to thee ; I'll call thee, Hamlet,
I King, father, royal Dane : O, answer me:
Let me not burst in ignorance I but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death.
Have burst their cerements ; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd.
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws.
To cast thee up again ! What may this mean.
That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon.
Making night hideous ; and we fools of nature.
So horribly to shake our disposition,
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls ?
Say, why is this ? "wherefore .' what .should we do ?

Hor. it beckons you to go away with it.
As if it soiTie impartment did desire
To you alone.

Mar. Look, with what courteous action

It waves you to a more removed ground :
But do not go with it.

Hor. No, by no means.

Ham. It will not speak ; then I will follow it.

Hor. Do not, my lord.

Ham. Why, what should be the fear ?

I do not set my life at a pin's fee ;
And, for my soul, what can it do to that.
Being a thiiig immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again ; I'll follow it.

Hor. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my
Or to the dreadful summit of the clifT, [lord.

That beetles o'er his base into the sea ?
And there assume some other horrible form.
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason.
And draw you into madness .= think of it :
The very place puts toys of desperation.
Without more motive,' into every brain.
That looks so many fathoms to the sea.
And hears it roar beneath.




Ham. It waves me still :

Go on, 1*11 follow thee.

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.

Ham. ' Hold off your hands.

Hot. Be lul'd, you shall not go.

Ham. My fate cries out,

And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nem'ean lion's nerve

[Ghost beckont.
Still am I call'd : unhand me, gentlemen ;

[Breakifif: from them.
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me :
I say, away : Go on, I'll follow thee.

[Exeunt Ghost anri Hamlet.

Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.

Mar. Let's follow ; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.

Hor. Have after : To what issue will this come ?

Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Hor. Heaven will direct it.

Star. Nay, let's follow him.


SCENE V A more remote Part of the Platform.
Re-enter Ghost aru/ Hamlet.

Ham. %\'hither wilt thou lead me ? speak, I'll go

Ghott. Mark me. [no further.

Ham. I will.

Ghott. My hour is almost come.

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.

Ham. Alas, poor ghost !

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.

Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear.

Ghott. So art thou to revenge, when thou shall

Ham. What ? [hear.

Ghott. I am thy father's spirit ;
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night ;
And, for the day, confin'd to fast in fires.
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
.-Vie burnt and purg'd away. But that 1 am for-
To tell the secrets of my prison-house, [bid

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
AVould harrow up thy soul ; fn ere thy young blood:
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their
Thy knotted and combined locks to part, [spheres.
And each particular hair to stand on end.
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine ;
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood : List, list, O list !
If thou didst ever thy dear father love,

Ham. O heaven !

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural

Ham. Murder ? [murder.

Ghdst. Murder most foul, as in the best it is ;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know it ; that I, with wings
As meditation, or the thoughts of love, ^ss swift
May sweep to my revenge.

Ghost. 1 find thee apt ;

.And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on I^ethe wharf, [hear

Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet,
'Tis given out, that sleeping in mineorchaid,
.\ serpent stung me ; so the whole ear of Denmark
Isby a forged process of my death
Rankly 3bu>'d : but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
Xow wears his crown.

Ham. O, my prophetick soul ! my uncle :

Ghott. .\y, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
^\ith witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,
(O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce !) won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen :
O, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there !
From me, whose love was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage ; and to decline
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine '

But virtue, as it never will be mov'd.
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven ;
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
.And prey on garbage.

But, soft ! methinks, I scent the morning air ;
Brief let me be: Sleeping within mine orchard.
My custom always of the afternoon.
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole.
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment : whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man.
That, swift as quicksilver, if courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body ;
-And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
.And curd, like eager droppings into milk.
The thin and wholesome blood : so did it mine ;
.And a most instant tetter bark'd about.
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
-AH my smooth body.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand.
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatch'd :
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd ;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head ;
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act.
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught ; leave her to heaven,
.And to tho>e thorns that in her bosom lodge.
To prick and iting her. Fare thee well at once !
The clow-worm shows the matin to be near.
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire :
-Adieu, adieu, adieu ! remember me. [Exit.

Ham. O all you host of heaven ! O earth ! What
else ? [my heart ,

And shall I couple hell ? O fye ! Hold, hold,
.And you, my sinews, glow not instant old.
But bear me stiffly u))! Remember thee ?
.Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee ?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
-AH saws of books, all forms, all pressures past.
That youth and observation copied there ,
.And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
I'nmii'd with baser matter : yes, by heaven.
O most pernicious woman !

villain, villain, smiling, damned villain !
My tables, meet it is, 1 set it down,

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ;
-At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark :

[ WritiMi;.
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word ;
It Is, Adieu, adieu ! remember me.

1 have swom't.

Hor. [Within.\ My lord, my lord,

.War. [Within.^ Lord Hamlet,

Hor. [Within.'^ Heaven secure hin

Ham. So be it '

Mar. [Within.'^ Illo, ho, ho, my lord !
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come.

Enter Horatio and Marcellns.

Mar. How is't, mv noble lord

Hor. ' What news, my lord ?

Ham. O, wonderful !

Hor. Good my lord, tell it.

Ham. No ;

You will reveal it.

Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.

Mar. 'Sot I, my lord

i Ham. How say you then ; would heart ot mar.

1 But vou'U be secret, [once think it ?~

I Hor. Mar. Ay, by heaven, my lord.

Ad I.



Ham. There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Den-
But he's an arrant knave. [mark,

Hor. There needs no ghost, iny lord, come from
To tell us this. [the grave,

Hum. 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, ind for my own poor part,
Look you, I will go pray.

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 disire to know what is between us,
O'er-master it as you may. And now, good friends.

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe plays of William Shakespeare → online text (page 175 of 190)