Sacred-texts home  Shakespeare Index  First Folio  Previous  Next 


 CLAUDIUS	king of Denmark. (KING CLAUDIUS:)
 HAMLET	son to the late, and nephew to the present king.
 POLONIUS	lord chamberlain. (LORD POLONIUS:)
 HORATIO	friend to Hamlet.
 LAERTES	son to Polonius.
 LUCIANUS	nephew to the king.
 ROSENCRANTZ	|  courtiers.
 	A Gentleman, (Gentlemen:)
 	A Priest. (First Priest:)
 	|  officers.
 FRANCISCO	a soldier.
 REYNALDO	servant to Polonius.
 	(First Player:)
 	(Player King:)
 	(Player Queen:)
 	Two Clowns, grave-diggers.
 	(First Clown:)
 	(Second Clown:)
 	A Captain.
 	English Ambassadors. (First Ambassador:)
 GERTRUDE	queen of Denmark, and mother to Hamlet.
 OPHELIA	daughter to Polonius.
 	Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Messengers,
 	and other Attendants. (Lord:)
 	(First Sailor:)
 	Ghost of Hamlet's Father. (Ghost:)
 SCENE	Denmark.
 SCENE I	Elsinore. A platform before the castle.
 	[FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO]
 BERNARDO	Who's there?
 FRANCISCO	Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
 BERNARDO	Long live the king!
 FRANCISCO	Bernardo?
 FRANCISCO	You come most carefully upon your hour.
 BERNARDO	'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
 FRANCISCO	For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
 	And I am sick at heart.
 BERNARDO	Have you had quiet guard?
 FRANCISCO	Not a mouse stirring.
 BERNARDO	Well, good night.
 	If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
 	The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
 FRANCISCO	I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?
 HORATIO	Friends to this ground.
 MARCELLUS	And liegemen to the Dane.
 FRANCISCO	Give you good night.
 MARCELLUS	O, farewell, honest soldier:
 	Who hath relieved you?
 FRANCISCO	Bernardo has my place.
 	Give you good night.
 MARCELLUS	Holla! Bernardo!
 	What, is Horatio there?
 HORATIO	A piece of him.
 BERNARDO	Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
 MARCELLUS	What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
 BERNARDO	I have seen nothing.
 MARCELLUS	Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
 	And will not let belief take hold of him
 	Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
 	Therefore I have entreated him along
 	With us to watch the minutes of this night;
 	That if again this apparition come,
 	He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
 HORATIO	Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
 BERNARDO	Sit down awhile;
 	And let us once again assail your ears,
 	That are so fortified against our story
 	What we have two nights seen.
 HORATIO	Well, sit we down,
 	And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
 BERNARDO	Last night of all,
 	When yond same star that's westward from the pole
 	Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
 	Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
 	The bell then beating one,--
 	[Enter Ghost]
 MARCELLUS	Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
 BERNARDO	In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
 MARCELLUS	Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
 BERNARDO	Looks it not like the king?  mark it, Horatio.
 HORATIO	Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
 BERNARDO	It would be spoke to.
 MARCELLUS	Question it, Horatio.
 HORATIO	What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
 	Together with that fair and warlike form
 	In which the majesty of buried Denmark
 	Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
 MARCELLUS	It is offended.
 BERNARDO	                  See, it stalks away!
 HORATIO	Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
 	[Exit Ghost]
 MARCELLUS	'Tis gone, and will not answer.
 BERNARDO	How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:
 	Is not this something more than fantasy?
 	What think you on't?
 HORATIO	Before my God, I might not this believe
 	Without the sensible and true avouch
 	Of mine own eyes.
 MARCELLUS	                  Is it not like the king?
 HORATIO	As thou art to thyself:
 	Such was the very armour he had on
 	When he the ambitious Norway combated;
 	So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
 	He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
 	'Tis strange.
 MARCELLUS	Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
 	With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
 HORATIO	In what particular thought to work I know not;
 	But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
 	This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
 MARCELLUS	Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
 	Why this same strict and most observant watch
 	So nightly toils the subject of the land,
 	And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
 	And foreign mart for implements of war;
 	Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
 	Does not divide the Sunday from the week;
 	What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
 	Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
 	Who is't that can inform me?
 HORATIO	That can I;
 	At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
 	Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
 	Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
 	Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
 	Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet--
 	For so this side of our known world esteem'd him--
 	Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
 	Well ratified by law and heraldry,
 	Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
 	Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
 	Against the which, a moiety competent
 	Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
 	To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
 	Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
 	And carriage of the article design'd,
 	His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
 	Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
 	Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
 	Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
 	For food and diet, to some enterprise
 	That hath a stomach in't; which is no other--
 	As it doth well appear unto our state--
 	But to recover of us, by strong hand
 	And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
 	So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
 	Is the main motive of our preparations,
 	The source of this our watch and the chief head
 	Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
 BERNARDO	I think it be no other but e'en so:
 	Well may it sort that this portentous figure
 	Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
 	That was and is the question of these wars.
 HORATIO	A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
 	In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
 	A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
 	The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
 	Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
 	As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
 	Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
 	Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
 	Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
 	And even the like precurse of fierce events,
 	As harbingers preceding still the fates
 	And prologue to the omen coming on,
 	Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
 	Unto our climatures and countrymen.--
 	But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
 	[Re-enter Ghost]
 	I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
 	If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
 	Speak to me:
 	If there be any good thing to be done,
 	That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
 	Speak to me:
 	[Cock crows]
 	If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
 	Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!
 	Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
 	Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
 	For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
 	Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
 MARCELLUS	Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
 HORATIO	Do, if it will not stand.
 BERNARDO	'Tis here!
 HORATIO	'Tis here!
 MARCELLUS	'Tis gone!
 	[Exit Ghost]
 	We do it wrong, being so majestical,
 	To offer it the show of violence;
 	For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
 	And our vain blows malicious mockery.
 BERNARDO	It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
 HORATIO	And then it started like a guilty thing
 	Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
 	The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
 	Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
 	Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
 	Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
 	The extravagant and erring spirit hies
 	To his confine: and of the truth herein
 	This present object made probation.
 MARCELLUS	It faded on the crowing of the cock.
 	Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
 	Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
 	The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
 	And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
 	The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
 	No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
 	So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
 HORATIO	So have I heard and do in part believe it.
 	But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
 	Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
 	Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
 	Let us impart what we have seen to-night
 	Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
 	This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
 	Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
 	As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
 MARCELLUS	Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
 	Where we shall find him most conveniently.
 SCENE II	A room of state in the castle.
 	and Attendants]
 KING CLAUDIUS	Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
 	The memory be green, and that it us befitted
 	To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
 	To be contracted in one brow of woe,
 	Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
 	That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
 	Together with remembrance of ourselves.
 	Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
 	The imperial jointress to this warlike state,
 	Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,--
 	With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
 	With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
 	In equal scale weighing delight and dole,--
 	Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
 	Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
 	With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
 	Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
 	Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
 	Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
 	Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
 	Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
 	He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
 	Importing the surrender of those lands
 	Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
 	To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
 	Now for ourself and for this time of meeting:
 	Thus much the business is: we have here writ
 	To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,--
 	Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
 	Of this his nephew's purpose,--to suppress
 	His further gait herein; in that the levies,
 	The lists and full proportions, are all made
 	Out of his subject: and we here dispatch
 	You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
 	For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
 	Giving to you no further personal power
 	To business with the king, more than the scope
 	Of these delated articles allow.
 	Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
 	|  In that and all things will we show our duty.
 KING CLAUDIUS	We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.
 	And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
 	You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes?
 	You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
 	And loose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
 	That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
 	The head is not more native to the heart,
 	The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
 	Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
 	What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
 LAERTES	My dread lord,
 	Your leave and favour to return to France;
 	From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
 	To show my duty in your coronation,
 	Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
 	My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
 	And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?
 LORD POLONIUS	He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
 	By laboursome petition, and at last
 	Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
 	I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
 	And thy best graces spend it at thy will!
 	But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,--
 HAMLET	[Aside]  A little more than kin, and less than kind.
 KING CLAUDIUS	How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
 HAMLET	Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
 	And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
 	Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
 	Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
 	Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
 	Passing through nature to eternity.
 HAMLET	Ay, madam, it is common.
 	Why seems it so particular with thee?
 HAMLET	Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
 	'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
 	Nor customary suits of solemn black,
 	Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
 	No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
 	Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
 	Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
 	That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
 	For they are actions that a man might play:
 	But I have that within which passeth show;
 	These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
 KING CLAUDIUS	'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
 	To give these mourning duties to your father:
 	But, you must know, your father lost a father;
 	That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
 	In filial obligation for some term
 	To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever
 	In obstinate condolement is a course
 	Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief;
 	It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
 	A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
 	An understanding simple and unschool'd:
 	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? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
 	A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
 	To reason most absurd: whose 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 unprevailing woe, and think of us
 	As of a father: for let the world take note,
 	You are the 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 chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:
 	I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
 HAMLET	I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply:
 	Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
 	This gentle and unforced 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 heavens all bruit again,
 	Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
 	[Exeunt all but HAMLET]
 HAMLET	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! God!
 	How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
 	Seem to me all the uses of this world!
 	Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
 	That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
 	Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
 	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!
 	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!--
 	A little month, or ere those shoes were old
 	With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
 	Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
 	O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
 	Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
 	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.
 HORATIO	Hail to your lordship!
 HAMLET	I am glad to see you well:
 	Horatio,--or I do forget myself.
 HORATIO	The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
 HAMLET	Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you:
 	And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?
 MARCELLUS	My good lord--
 HAMLET	I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
 	But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
 HORATIO	A truant disposition, good my lord.
 HAMLET	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 your affair in Elsinore?
 	We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
 HORATIO	My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
 HAMLET	I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
 	I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
 HORATIO	Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
 HAMLET	Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
 	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.
 HORATIO	Where, my lord?
 HAMLET	                  In my mind's eye, Horatio.
 HORATIO	I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
 HAMLET	He was a man, take him for all in all,
 	I shall not look upon his like again.
 HORATIO	My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
 HAMLET	Saw? who?
 HORATIO	My lord, the king your father.
 HAMLET	The king my father!
 HORATIO	Season your admiration for awhile
 	With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
 	Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
 	This marvel to you.
 HAMLET	For God's love, let me hear.
 HORATIO	Two nights together had these gentlemen,
 	Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
 	In the dead vast and middle of the night,
 	Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
 	Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
 	Appears before them, and with solemn march
 	Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd
 	By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
 	Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
 	Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
 	Stand dumb and speak 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 deliver'd, both in time,
 	Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
 	The apparition comes: I knew your father;
 	These hands are not more like.
 HAMLET	But where was this?
 MARCELLUS	My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.
 HAMLET	Did you not speak to it?
 HORATIO	My lord, I 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 even then the morning cock crew loud,
 	And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
 	And vanish'd from our sight.
 HAMLET	'Tis very strange.
 HORATIO	As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
 	And we did think it writ down in our duty
 	To let you know of it.
 HAMLET	Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
 	Hold you the watch to-night?
 	|	We do, my lord.
 HAMLET	Arm'd, say you?
 	|  Arm'd, my lord.
 HAMLET	From top to toe?
 	|             My lord, from head to foot.
 HAMLET	Then saw you not his face?
 HORATIO	O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
 HAMLET	What, look'd he frowningly?
 HORATIO	A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
 HAMLET	Pale or red?
 HORATIO	Nay, very pale.
 HAMLET	                  And fix'd his eyes upon you?
 HORATIO	Most constantly.
 HAMLET	                  I would I had been there.
 HORATIO	It would have much amazed you.
 HAMLET	Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
 HORATIO	While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
 	| Longer, longer.
 HORATIO	Not when I saw't.
 HAMLET	                  His beard was grizzled--no?
 HORATIO	It was, as I have seen it in his life,
 	A sable silver'd.
 HAMLET	                  I will watch to-night;
 	Perchance 'twill walk again.
 HORATIO	I warrant it will.
 HAMLET	If it assume my noble father's person,
 	I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
 	And bid me hold my peace. I 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.
 HAMLET	Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.
 	[Exeunt all but HAMLET]
 	My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
 	I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!
 	Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
 	Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
 SCENE III	A room in Polonius' house.
 LAERTES	My necessaries are embark'd: farewell:
 	And, sister, as the winds give benefit
 	And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
 	But let me hear from you.
 OPHELIA	Do you doubt that?
 LAERTES	For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
 	Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,
 	A violet in the youth of primy nature,
 	Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
 	The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.
 OPHELIA	       No more but so?
 LAERTES	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 you 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 health of this whole state;
 	And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
 	Unto the voice and yielding of that body
 	Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
 	It fits your wisdom so far to believe it
 	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,
 	And keep you in the rear of your affection,
 	Out 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 disclosed,
 	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.
 OPHELIA	I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
 	As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
 	Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
 	Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
 	Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
 	Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
 	And recks not his own rede.
 LAERTES	O, fear me not.
 	I stay too long: but here my father comes.
 	[Enter POLONIUS]
 	A double blessing is a double grace,
 	Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
 LORD POLONIUS	Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
 	The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
 	And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
 	And these few precepts in thy memory
 	See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
 	Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
 	Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
 	Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
 	Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
 	But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
 	Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
 	Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
 	Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
 	Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
 	Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
 	Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
 	But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
 	For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
 	And they in France of the best rank and station
 	Are of a most select and generous 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 man.
 	Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
 LAERTES	Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	The time invites you; go; your servants tend.
 LAERTES	Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
 	What I have said to you.
 OPHELIA	'Tis in my memory lock'd,
 	And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
 LAERTES	Farewell.
 LORD POLONIUS	What is't, Ophelia, be hath said to you?
 OPHELIA	So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
 LORD POLONIUS	Marry, well bethought:
 	'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 bounteous:
 	If it be so, as so 'tis put on me,
 	And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
 	You do not understand yourself so clearly
 	As it behoves my daughter and your honour.
 	What is between you? give me up the truth.
 OPHELIA	He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
 	Of his affection to me.
 LORD POLONIUS	Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
 	Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
 	Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
 OPHELIA	I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
 LORD POLONIUS	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,
 	Running it thus--you'll tender me a fool.
 OPHELIA	My lord, he hath importuned me with love
 	In honourable fashion.
 LORD POLONIUS	Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
 OPHELIA	And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
 	With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
 LORD POLONIUS	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-making,
 	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 dye which their investments show,
 	But mere implorators of unholy suits,
 	Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
 	The better to beguile. This is for all:
 	I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
 	Have you so slander any moment leisure,
 	As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
 	Look to't, I charge you: come your ways.
 OPHELIA	I shall obey, my lord.
 SCENE IV	The platform.
 HAMLET	The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
 HORATIO	It is a nipping and an eager air.
 HAMLET	What hour now?
 HORATIO	                  I think it lacks of twelve.
 HAMLET	No, it is struck.
 HORATIO	Indeed? I heard it not: then it draws near the season
 	Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
 	[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within]
 	What does this mean, my lord?
 HAMLET	The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
 	Keeps wassail, 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.
 HORATIO	Is it a custom?
 HAMLET	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 traduced 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 height,
 	The pith and marrow of our attribute.
 	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 habit 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 eale
 	Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
 	To his own scandal.
 HORATIO	Look, my lord, it comes!
 	[Enter Ghost]
 HAMLET	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 hell,
 	Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
 	Thou comest in such a questionable shape
 	That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
 	King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
 	Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell
 	Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
 	Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
 	Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
 	Hath oped 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 horridly to shake our disposition
 	With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
 	Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?
 	[Ghost beckons HAMLET]
 HORATIO	It beckons you to go away with it,
 	As if it some impartment did desire
 	To you alone.
 MARCELLUS	                  Look, with what courteous action
 	It waves you to a more removed ground:
 	But do not go with it.
 HORATIO	No, by no means.
 HAMLET	It will not speak; then I will follow it.
 HORATIO	Do not, my lord.
 HAMLET	                  Why, what should be the fear?
 	I do not set my life in a pin's fee;
 	And for my soul, what can it do to that,
 	Being a thing immortal as itself?
 	It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.
 HORATIO	What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
 	Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
 	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.
 HAMLET	It waves me still.
 	Go on; I'll follow thee.
 MARCELLUS	You shall not go, my lord.
 HAMLET	Hold off your hands.
 HORATIO	Be ruled; you shall not go.
 HAMLET	My fate cries out,
 	And makes each petty artery in this body
 	As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
 	Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.
 	By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!
 	I say, away! Go on; I'll follow thee.
 	[Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET]
 HORATIO	He waxes desperate with imagination.
 MARCELLUS	Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
 HORATIO	Have after. To what issue will this come?
 MARCELLUS	Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
 HORATIO	Heaven will direct it.
 MARCELLUS	Nay, let's follow him.
 SCENE V	Another part of the platform.
 	[Enter GHOST and HAMLET]
 HAMLET	Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.
 Ghost	Mark me.
 HAMLET	       I will.
 Ghost	                  My hour is almost come,
 	When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
 	Must render up myself.
 HAMLET	Alas, poor ghost!
 Ghost	Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
 	To what I shall unfold.
 HAMLET	Speak; I am bound to hear.
 Ghost	 So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
 Ghost	I am thy father's spirit,
 	Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
 	And for the day confined to fast in fires,
 	Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
 	Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
 	To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
 	I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
 	Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
 	Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
 	Thy knotted and combined locks to part
 	And each particular hair to stand on end,
 	Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
 	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--
 Ghost	Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
 HAMLET	Murder!
 Ghost	Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
 	But this most foul, strange and unnatural.
 HAMLET	Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
 	As meditation or the thoughts of love,
 	May sweep to my revenge.
 Ghost	I find thee apt;
 	And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
 	That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
 	Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
 	'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
 	A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
 	Is by a forged process of my death
 	Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
 	The serpent that did sting thy father's life
 	Now wears his crown.
 HAMLET	O my prophetic soul! My uncle!
 Ghost	Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
 	With 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 moved,
 	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 my 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 my ears did pour
 	The leperous distilment; whose effect
 	Holds such an enmity with blood of man
 	That swift as quicksilver it courses through
 	The natural gates and alleys of the body,
 	And with a sudden vigour 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,
 	All my smooth body.
 	Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
 	Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'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 pursuest this act,
 	Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
 	Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
 	And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
 	To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
 	The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
 	And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
 	Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.
 HAMLET	O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
 	And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
 	And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
 	But bear me stiffly up. 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,
 	All 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,
 	Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
 	O most pernicious woman!
 	O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
 	My tables,--meet it is I set it down,
 	That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
 	At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:
 	So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
 	It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
 	I have sworn 't.
 	| [Within]  My lord, my lord,--
 MARCELLUS	[Within]	Lord Hamlet,--
 HORATIO	[Within]	Heaven secure him!
 HAMLET	So be it!
 HORATIO	[Within]  Hillo, ho, ho, my lord!
 HAMLET	Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.
 MARCELLUS	How is't, my noble lord?
 HORATIO	What news, my lord?
 HAMLET	O, wonderful!
 HORATIO	                  Good my lord, tell it.
 HAMLET	No; you'll reveal it.
 HORATIO	Not I, my lord, by heaven.
 MARCELLUS	Nor I, my lord.
 HAMLET	How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
 	But you'll be secret?
 	|                   Ay, by heaven, my lord.
 HAMLET	There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
 	But he's an arrant knave.
 HORATIO	There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
 	To tell us this.
 HAMLET	                  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 desire shall point you;
 	For every man has business and desire,
 	Such as it is; and for mine own poor part,
 	Look you, I'll go pray.
 HORATIO	These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
 HAMLET	I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
 	Yes, 'faith heartily.
 HORATIO	There's no offence, my lord.
 HAMLET	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.
 HORATIO	What is't, my lord? we will.
 HAMLET	Never make known what you have seen to-night.
 	| My lord, we will not.
 HAMLET	Nay, but swear't.
 HORATIO	In faith,
 	My lord, not I.
 MARCELLUS	                  Nor I, my lord, in faith.
 HAMLET	Upon my sword.
 MARCELLUS	                  We have sworn, my lord, already.
 HAMLET	Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
 Ghost	[Beneath]  Swear.
 HAMLET	Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there,
 	Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage--
 	Consent to swear.
 HORATIO	                  Propose the oath, my lord.
 HAMLET	Never to speak of this that you have seen,
 	Swear by my sword.
 Ghost	[Beneath]  Swear.
 HAMLET	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.
 Ghost	[Beneath]  Swear.
 HAMLET	Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
 	A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
 HORATIO	O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
 HAMLET	And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
 	There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
 	Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;
 	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 headshake,
 	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 not to do,
 	So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.
 Ghost	[Beneath]  Swear.
 HAMLET	Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
 	[They swear]
 		        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' house.
 LORD POLONIUS	Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
 REYNALDO	I will, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
 	Before you visit him, to make inquire
 	Of his behavior.
 REYNALDO	                  My lord, I did intend it.
 LORD POLONIUS	Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
 	Inquire 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 him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?
 REYNALDO	Ay, very well, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	'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.
 REYNALDO	As gaming, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
 	Drabbing: you may go so far.
 REYNALDO	My lord, that would dishonour him.
 LORD POLONIUS	'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.
 REYNALDO	But, my good lord,--
 LORD POLONIUS	Wherefore should you do this?
 REYNALDO	Ay, my lord,
 	I would know that.
 LORD POLONIUS	                  Marry, sir, here's my drift;
 	And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
 	You laying these slight sullies on my son,
 	As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
 	Your party in converse, him you would sound,
 	Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
 	The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
 	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.
 REYNALDO	Very good, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	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?
 REYNALDO	At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
 	and 'gentleman.'
 LORD POLONIUS	At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
 	He closes 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 a' 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 windlasses 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?
 REYNALDO	My lord, I have.
 LORD POLONIUS	                  God be wi' you; fare you well.
 REYNALDO	Good my lord!
 LORD POLONIUS	Observe his inclination in yourself.
 REYNALDO	I shall, my lord.
 LORD POLONIUS	And let him ply his music.
 REYNALDO	Well, my lord.
 	[Enter OPHELIA]
 	How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
 OPHELIA	O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
 LORD POLONIUS	With what, i' the name of God?
 OPHELIA	My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
 	Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
 	No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
 	Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
 	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.
 LORD POLONIUS	Mad for thy love?
 OPHELIA	                  My lord, I do not know;
 	But truly, I do fear it.
 LORD POLONIUS	What said he?
 OPHELIA	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 raised 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 helps,
 	And, to the last, bended their light on me.
 LORD POLONIUS	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?
 OPHELIA	No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
 	I did repel his fetters and denied
 	His access to me.
 LORD POLONIUS	                  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!
 	By heaven, it is 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
 	More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
 SCENE II	A room in the castle.
 	GUILDENSTERN, and Attendants]
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 call it,
 	Sith 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 sith so neighbour'd to his youth and havior,
 	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.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	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.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Both your majesties
 	Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
 	Put your dread pleasures more into command
 	Than to entreaty.
 GUILDENSTERN	                  But we both obey,
 	And here give up ourselves, in the full bent
 	To lay our service freely at your feet,
 	To be commanded.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	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.
 GUILDENSTERN	Heavens make our presence and our practises
 	Pleasant and helpful to him!
 	[Enter POLONIUS]
 LORD POLONIUS	The ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
 	Are joyfully return'd.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Thou still hast been the father of good news.
 LORD POLONIUS	Have I, my lord? I assure 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 used to do, that I have found
 	The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
 KING CLAUDIUS	O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
 LORD POLONIUS	Give first admittance to the ambassadors;
 	My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
 	He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
 	The head and source of all your son's distemper.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	I doubt it is no other but the main;
 	His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Well, we shall sift him.
 		   Welcome, my good friends!
 	Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
 VOLTIMAND	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 grieved,
 	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 the 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,
 	[Giving 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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	It likes us well;
 	And at our more consider'd time well 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!
 LORD POLONIUS	                  This business is well ended.
 	My liege, and madam, to expostulate
 	What majesty should be, what duty is,
 	Why day is day, night 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.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	                  More matter, with less art.
 LORD POLONIUS	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. Perpend.
 	I have a daughter--have while 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 Ophelia,'--
 	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.'
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Came this from Hamlet to her?
 LORD POLONIUS	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 it. Adieu.
 	'Thine evermore most dear lady, whilst
 	this machine is to him, HAMLET.'
 	This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me,
 	And more above, hath his solicitings,
 	As they fell out by time, by means and place,
 	All given to mine ear.
 KING CLAUDIUS	But how hath she
 	Received his love?
 LORD POLONIUS	                  What do you think of me?
 KING CLAUDIUS	As of a man faithful and honourable.
 LORD POLONIUS	I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
 	When I had seen this hot love on the wing--
 	As I perceived 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 star;
 	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 mourn for.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Do you think 'tis this?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	It may be, very likely.
 LORD POLONIUS	Hath there been such a time--I'd fain know that--
 	That I have positively said 'Tis so,'
 	When it proved otherwise?
 KING CLAUDIUS	Not that I know.
 LORD POLONIUS	[Pointing to his head and shoulder]
 	Take this from this, if this be otherwise:
 	If circumstances lead me, I will find
 	Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
 	Within the centre.
 KING CLAUDIUS	                  How may we try it further?
 LORD POLONIUS	You know, sometimes he walks four hours together
 	Here in the lobby.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	                  So he does indeed.
 LORD POLONIUS	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 be not from his reason fall'n thereon,
 	Let me be no assistant for a state,
 	But keep a farm and carters.
 KING CLAUDIUS	We will try it.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.
 LORD POLONIUS	Away, I do beseech you, both away:
 	I'll board him presently.
 	[Enter HAMLET, reading]
 		    O, give me leave:
 	How does my good Lord Hamlet?
 HAMLET	Well, God-a-mercy.
 LORD POLONIUS	Do you know me, my lord?
 HAMLET	Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
 LORD POLONIUS	Not I, my lord.
 HAMLET	Then I would you were so honest a man.
 LORD POLONIUS	Honest, my lord!
 HAMLET	Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be
 	one man picked out of ten thousand.
 LORD POLONIUS	That's very true, my lord.
 HAMLET	For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a
 	god kissing carrion,--Have you a daughter?
 LORD POLONIUS	I have, my lord.
 HAMLET	Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a
 	blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive.
 	Friend, look to 't.
 LORD POLONIUS	[Aside]  How say you by that? 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?
 HAMLET	Words, words, words.
 LORD POLONIUS	What is the matter, my lord?
 HAMLET	Between who?
 LORD POLONIUS	I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
 HAMLET	Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue 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
 	yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab
 	you could go backward.
 LORD POLONIUS	[Aside]  Though this be madness, yet there is method
 	in 't. Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
 HAMLET	Into my grave.
 LORD POLONIUS	Indeed, that is out o' the air.
 	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.
 HAMLET	You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will
 	more willingly part withal: except my life, except
 	my life, except my life.
 LORD POLONIUS	Fare you well, my lord.
 HAMLET	These tedious old fools!
 LORD POLONIUS	You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is.
 ROSENCRANTZ	[To POLONIUS]  God save you, sir!
 GUILDENSTERN	My honoured lord!
 ROSENCRANTZ	My most dear lord!
 HAMLET	My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
 	Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?
 ROSENCRANTZ	As the indifferent children of the earth.
 GUILDENSTERN	Happy, in that we are not over-happy;
 	On fortune's cap we are not the very button.
 HAMLET	Nor the soles of her shoe?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Neither, my lord.
 HAMLET	Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of
 	her favours?
 GUILDENSTERN	'Faith, her privates we.
 HAMLET	In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she
 	is a strumpet. What's the news?
 ROSENCRANTZ	None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest.
 HAMLET	Then is doomsday near: but your news is not true.
 	Let me question more in particular: what have you,
 	my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune,
 	that she sends you to prison hither?
 GUILDENSTERN	Prison, my lord!
 HAMLET	Denmark's a prison.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Then is the world one.
 HAMLET	A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
 	wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.
 ROSENCRANTZ	We think not so, my lord.
 HAMLET	Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
 	either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
 	it is a prison.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Why then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too
 	narrow for your mind.
 HAMLET	O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
 	myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
 	have bad dreams.
 GUILDENSTERN	Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
 	substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
 HAMLET	A dream itself is but a shadow.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
 	quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.
 HAMLET	Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
 	outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we
 	to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
 	| We'll wait upon you.
 HAMLET	No such matter: I will not sort you with the rest
 	of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest
 	man, I am most dreadfully attended. But, in the
 	beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?
 ROSENCRANTZ	To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
 HAMLET	Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I
 	thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are
 	too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it
 	your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
 	deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.
 GUILDENSTERN	What should we say, my lord?
 HAMLET	Why, any thing, but to the purpose. You were sent
 	for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks
 	which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:
 	I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
 ROSENCRANTZ	To what end, my lord?
 HAMLET	That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by
 	the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
 	our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved
 	love, and by what more dear a better proposer could
 	charge you withal, be even and direct with me,
 	whether you were sent for, or no?
 ROSENCRANTZ	[Aside to GUILDENSTERN]  What say you?
 HAMLET	[Aside]  Nay, then, I have an eye of you.--If you
 	love me, hold not off.
 GUILDENSTERN	My lord, we were sent for.
 HAMLET	I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
 	prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
 	and queen moult no feather. I have of late--but
 	wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
 	custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
 	with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
 	earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
 	excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
 	o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
 	with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
 	me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
 	What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
 	how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
 	express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
 	in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
 	world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
 	what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
 	me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
 	you seem to say so.
 ROSENCRANTZ	My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
 HAMLET	Why did you laugh then, when I said 'man delights not me'?
 ROSENCRANTZ	To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what
 	lenten entertainment the players shall receive from
 	you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they
 	coming, to offer you service.
 HAMLET	He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty
 	shall have tribute of me; the adventurous knight
 	shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
 	sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part
 	in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
 	lungs are tickled o' the sere; and the lady shall
 	say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt
 	for't. What players are they?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Even those you were wont to take delight in, the
 	tragedians of the city.
 HAMLET	How chances it they travel? their residence, both
 	in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
 ROSENCRANTZ	I think their inhibition comes by the means of the
 	late innovation.
 HAMLET	Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was
 	in the city? are they so followed?
 ROSENCRANTZ	No, indeed, are they not.
 HAMLET	How comes it? do they grow rusty?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: but
 	there is, sir, an aery of children, little eyases,
 	that cry out on the top of question, and are most
 	tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the
 	fashion, and so berattle the common stages--so they
 	call them--that many wearing rapiers are afraid of
 	goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.
 HAMLET	What, are they children? who maintains 'em? how are
 	they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no
 	longer than they can sing? will they not say
 	afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common
 	players--as it is most like, if their means are no
 	better--their writers do them wrong, to make them
 	exclaim against their own succession?
 ROSENCRANTZ	'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and
 	the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to
 	controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid
 	for argument, unless the poet and the player went to
 	cuffs in the question.
 HAMLET	Is't possible?
 GUILDENSTERN	O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
 HAMLET	Do the boys carry it away?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.
 HAMLET	It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of
 	Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while
 	my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an
 	hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.
 	'Sblood, there is something in this more than
 	natural, if philosophy could find it out.
 	[Flourish of trumpets within]
 GUILDENSTERN	There are the players.
 HAMLET	Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands,
 	come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion
 	and ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb,
 	lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you,
 	must show fairly outward, should more appear like
 	entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my
 	uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.
 GUILDENSTERN	In what, my dear lord?
 HAMLET	I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is
 	southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
 	[Enter POLONIUS]
 LORD POLONIUS	Well be with you, gentlemen!
 HAMLET	Hark you, Guildenstern; and you too: at each ear a
 	hearer: that great baby you see there is not yet
 	out of his swaddling-clouts.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Happily he's the second time come to them; for they
 	say an old man is twice a child.
 HAMLET	I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players;
 	mark it. You say right, sir: o' Monday morning;
 	'twas so indeed.
 LORD POLONIUS	My lord, I have news to tell you.
 HAMLET	My lord, I have news to tell you.
 	When Roscius was an actor in Rome,--
 LORD POLONIUS	The actors are come hither, my lord.
 HAMLET	Buz, buz!
 LORD POLONIUS	Upon mine honour,--
 HAMLET	Then came each actor on his ass,--
 LORD POLONIUS	The best actors in the world, either for tragedy,
 	comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,
 	historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-
 	comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or
 	poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor
 	Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the
 	liberty, these are the only men.
 HAMLET	O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!
 LORD POLONIUS	What a treasure had he, my lord?
 	'One fair daughter and no more,
 	The which he loved passing well.'
 LORD POLONIUS	[Aside]  Still on my daughter.
 HAMLET	Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah?
 LORD POLONIUS	If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter
 	that I love passing well.
 HAMLET	Nay, that follows not.
 LORD POLONIUS	What follows, then, my lord?
 	'As by lot, God wot,'
 	and then, you know,
 	'It came to pass, as most like it was,'--
 	the first row of the pious chanson will show you
 	more; for look, where my abridgement comes.
 	[Enter four or five Players]
 	You are welcome, masters; welcome, all. I am glad
 	to see thee well. Welcome, good friends. O, my old
 	friend! thy face is valenced since I saw thee last:
 	comest thou to beard me in Denmark? What, my young
 	lady and mistress! By'r lady, your ladyship is
 	nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the
 	altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like
 	apiece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the
 	ring. Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en
 	to't like French falconers, fly at any thing we see:
 	we'll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste
 	of your quality; come, a passionate speech.
 First Player	What speech, my lord?
 HAMLET	I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
 	never acted; or, if it was, not above once; for the
 	play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas
 	caviare to the general: but it was--as I received
 	it, and others, whose judgments in such matters
 	cried in the top of mine--an excellent play, well
 	digested in the scenes, set down with as much
 	modesty as cunning. I remember, one said there
 	were no sallets in the lines to make the matter
 	savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might
 	indict the author of affectation; but called it an
 	honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
 	much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I
 	chiefly loved: 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido; and
 	thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of
 	Priam's slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin
 	at this line: let me see, let me see--
 	'The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,'--
 	it is not so:--it begins with Pyrrhus:--
 	'The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
 	Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
 	When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
 	Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd
 	With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
 	Now is he total gules; horridly trick'd
 	With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
 	Baked and impasted with the parching streets,
 	That lend a tyrannous and damned light
 	To their lord's murder: roasted in wrath and fire,
 	And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
 	With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
 	Old grandsire Priam seeks.'
 	So, proceed you.
 LORD POLONIUS	'Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and
 	good discretion.
 First Player	'Anon he finds him
 	Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
 	Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
 	Repugnant to command: unequal match'd,
 	Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide;
 	But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
 	The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
 	Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
 	Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash
 	Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword,
 	Which was declining on the milky head
 	Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick:
 	So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood,
 	And like a neutral to his will and matter,
 	Did nothing.
 	But, as we often see, against some storm,
 	A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
 	The bold winds speechless and the orb below
 	As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
 	Doth rend the region, so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
 	Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work;
 	And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
 	On Mars's armour forged for proof eterne
 	With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
 	Now falls on Priam.
 	Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
 	In general synod 'take away her power;
 	Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
 	And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
 	As low as to the fiends!'
 LORD POLONIUS	This is too long.
 HAMLET	It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Prithee,
 	say on: he's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he
 	sleeps: say on: come to Hecuba.
 First Player	'But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen--'
 HAMLET	'The mobled queen?'
 LORD POLONIUS	That's good; 'mobled queen' is good.
 First Player	'Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
 	With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head
 	Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
 	About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins,
 	A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;
 	Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
 	'Gainst Fortune's state would treason have
 	But if the gods themselves did see her then
 	When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
 	In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,
 	The instant burst of clamour that she made,
 	Unless things mortal move them not at all,
 	Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
 	And passion in the gods.'
 LORD POLONIUS	Look, whether he has not turned his colour and has
 	tears in's eyes. Pray you, no more.
 HAMLET	'Tis well: I'll have thee speak out the rest soon.
 	Good my lord, will you see the players well
 	bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for
 	they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
 	time: after your death you were better have a bad
 	epitaph than their ill report while you live.
 LORD POLONIUS	My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
 HAMLET	God's bodykins, man, much better: use every man
 	after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
 	Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less
 	they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
 	Take them in.
 LORD POLONIUS	Come, sirs.
 HAMLET	Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play to-morrow.
 	[Exit POLONIUS with all the Players but the First]
 	Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the
 	Murder of Gonzago?
 First Player	Ay, my lord.
 HAMLET	We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could, for a need,
 	study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which
 	I would set down and insert in't, could you not?
 First Player	Ay, my lord.
 HAMLET	Very well. Follow that lord; and look you mock him
 	[Exit First Player]
 	My good friends, I'll leave you till night: you are
 	welcome to Elsinore.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Good my lord!
 HAMLET	Ay, so, God be wi' ye;
 		  Now I am alone.
 	O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
 	Is it not monstrous that this player here,
 	But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
 	Could force his soul so to his own conceit
 	That from her working all his visage wann'd,
 	Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
 	A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
 	With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
 	For Hecuba!
 	What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
 	That he should weep for her? What would he do,
 	Had he the motive and the cue for passion
 	That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
 	And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
 	Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
 	Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
 	The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
 	A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
 	Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
 	And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
 	Upon whose property and most dear life
 	A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
 	Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
 	Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
 	Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
 	As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
 	'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
 	But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
 	To make oppression bitter, or ere this
 	I should have fatted all the region kites
 	With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
 	Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
 	O, vengeance!
 	Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
 	That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
 	Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
 	Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
 	And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
 	A scullion!
 	Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
 	That guilty creatures sitting at a play
 	Have by the very cunning of the scene
 	Been struck so to the soul that presently
 	They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
 	For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
 	With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
 	Play something like the murder of my father
 	Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
 	I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
 	I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
 	May be the devil: and the devil hath power
 	To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
 	Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
 	As he is very potent with such spirits,
 	Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
 	More relative than this: the play 's the thing
 	Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
 SCENE I	A room in the castle.
 KING CLAUDIUS	And can you, by no drift of circumstance,
 	Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
 	Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
 	With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
 ROSENCRANTZ	He does confess he feels himself distracted;
 	But from what cause he will by no means speak.
 GUILDENSTERN	Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
 	But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
 	When we would bring him on to some confession
 	Of his true state.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	                  Did he receive you well?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Most like a gentleman.
 GUILDENSTERN	But with much forcing of his disposition.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
 	Most free in his reply.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Did you assay him?
 	To any pastime?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
 	We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him;
 	And there did seem in him a kind of joy
 	To hear of it: they are about the court,
 	And, as I think, they have already order
 	This night to play before him.
 LORD POLONIUS	'Tis most true:
 	And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties
 	To hear and see the matter.
 KING CLAUDIUS	With all my heart; and it doth much content me
 	To hear him so inclined.
 	Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
 	And drive his purpose on to these delights.
 ROSENCRANTZ	We shall, my lord.
 KING CLAUDIUS	                  Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
 	For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
 	That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
 	Affront Ophelia:
 	Her father and myself, lawful espials,
 	Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen,
 	We may of their encounter frankly judge,
 	And gather by him, as he is behaved,
 	If 't be the affliction of his love or no
 	That thus he suffers for.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	I shall obey you.
 	And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
 	That your good beauties be the happy cause
 	Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope your virtues
 	Will bring him to his wonted way again,
 	To both your honours.
 OPHELIA	Madam, I wish it may.
 LORD POLONIUS	Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you,
 	We will bestow ourselves.
 		    Read on this book;
 	That show of such an exercise may colour
 	Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,--
 	'Tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage
 	And pious action we do sugar o'er
 	The devil himself.
 KING CLAUDIUS	[Aside]          O, 'tis too true!
 	How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!
 	The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
 	Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
 	Than is my deed to my most painted word:
 	O heavy burthen!
 LORD POLONIUS	I hear him coming: let's withdraw, my lord.
 	[Enter HAMLET]
 HAMLET	To be, or not to be: that is the question:
 	Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
 	The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
 	Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
 	And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
 	No more; and by a sleep to say we end
 	The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
 	That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
 	Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
 	To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
 	For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
 	When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
 	Must give us pause: there's the respect
 	That makes calamity of so long life;
 	For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
 	The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
 	The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
 	The insolence of office and the spurns
 	That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
 	When he himself might his quietus make
 	With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
 	To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
 	But that the dread of something after death,
 	The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
 	No traveller returns, puzzles the will
 	And makes us rather bear those ills we have
 	Than fly to others that we know not of?
 	Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
 	And thus the native hue of resolution
 	Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
 	And enterprises of great pith and moment
 	With this regard their currents turn awry,
 	And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
 	The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
 	Be all my sins remember'd.
 OPHELIA	Good my lord,
 	How does your honour for this many a day?
 HAMLET	I humbly thank you; well, well, well.
 OPHELIA	My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
 	That I have longed long to re-deliver;
 	I pray you, now receive them.
 HAMLET	No, not I;
 	I never gave you aught.
 OPHELIA	My honour'd lord, you know right well you did;
 	And, with them, words of so sweet breath composed
 	As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
 	Take these again; for to the noble mind
 	Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
 	There, my lord.
 HAMLET	Ha, ha! are you honest?
 OPHELIA	My lord?
 HAMLET	Are you fair?
 OPHELIA	What means your lordship?
 HAMLET	That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should
 	admit no discourse to your beauty.
 OPHELIA	Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than
 	with honesty?
 HAMLET	Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
 	transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
 	force of honesty can translate beauty into his
 	likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
 	time gives it proof. I did love you once.
 OPHELIA	Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
 HAMLET	You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
 	so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of
 	it: I loved you not.
 OPHELIA	I was the more deceived.
 HAMLET	Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a
 	breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;
 	but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
 	were better my mother had not borne me: I am very
 	proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at
 	my beck than I have thoughts to put them in,
 	imagination to give them shape, or time to act them
 	in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
 	between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
 	all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.
 	Where's your father?
 OPHELIA	At home, my lord.
 HAMLET	Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the
 	fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
 OPHELIA	O, help him, you sweet heavens!
 HAMLET	If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for
 	thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as
 	snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a
 	nunnery, go: farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs
 	marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough
 	what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go,
 	and quickly too. Farewell.
 OPHELIA	O heavenly powers, restore him!
 HAMLET	I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God
 	has given you one face, and you make yourselves
 	another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and
 	nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness
 	your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on't; it hath
 	made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages:
 	those that are married already, all but one, shall
 	live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a
 	nunnery, go.
 OPHELIA	O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
 	The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword;
 	The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
 	The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
 	The observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
 	And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
 	That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
 	Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
 	Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
 	That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth
 	Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me,
 	To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
 KING CLAUDIUS	Love! his affections do not that way tend;
 	Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
 	Was not like madness. There's something in his soul,
 	O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
 	And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
 	Will be some danger: which for to prevent,
 	I have in quick determination
 	Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England,
 	For the demand of our neglected tribute
 	Haply the seas and countries different
 	With variable objects shall expel
 	This something-settled matter in his heart,
 	Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
 	From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
 LORD POLONIUS	It shall do well: but yet do I believe
 	The origin and commencement of his grief
 	Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia!
 	You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said;
 	We heard it all. My lord, do as you please;
 	But, if you hold it fit, after the play
 	Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
 	To show his grief: let her be round with him;
 	And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear
 	Of all their conference. If she find him not,
 	To England send him, or confine him where
 	Your wisdom best shall think.
 KING CLAUDIUS	It shall be so:
 	Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
 SCENE II	A hall in the castle.
 	[Enter HAMLET and Players]
 HAMLET	Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to
 	you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it,
 	as many of your players do, I had as lief the
 	town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air
 	too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
 	for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
 	the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget
 	a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it
 	offends me to the soul to hear a robustious
 	periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to
 	very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who
 	for the most part are capable of nothing but
 	inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such
 	a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it
 	out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
 First Player	I warrant your honour.
 HAMLET	Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion
 	be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the
 	word to the action; with this special o'erstep not
 	the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is
 	from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the
 	first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the
 	mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature,
 	scorn her own image, and the very age and body of
 	the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone,
 	or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful
 	laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the
 	censure of the which one must in your allowance
 	o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be
 	players that I have seen play, and heard others
 	praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely,
 	that, neither having the accent of Christians nor
 	the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so
 	strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of
 	nature's journeymen had made men and not made them
 	well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
 First Player	I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us,
 HAMLET	O, reform it altogether. And let those that play
 	your clowns speak no more than is set down for them;
 	for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to
 	set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh
 	too; though, in the mean time, some necessary
 	question of the play be then to be considered:
 	that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition
 	in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
 	[Exeunt Players]
 	How now, my lord! I will the king hear this piece of work?
 LORD POLONIUS	And the queen too, and that presently.
 HAMLET	Bid the players make haste.
 	Will you two help to hasten them?
 	|  We will, my lord.
 HAMLET	What ho! Horatio!
 	[Enter HORATIO]
 HORATIO	Here, sweet lord, at your service.
 HAMLET	Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
 	As e'er my conversation coped withal.
 HORATIO	O, my dear lord,--
 HAMLET	                  Nay, do not think I flatter;
 	For what advancement may I hope from thee
 	That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
 	To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?
 	No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
 	And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
 	Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
 	Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
 	And could of men distinguish, her election
 	Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been
 	As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
 	A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
 	Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those
 	Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
 	That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
 	To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
 	That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
 	In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
 	As I do thee.--Something too much of this.--
 	There is a play to-night before the king;
 	One scene of it comes near the circumstance
 	Which I have told thee of my father's death:
 	I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
 	Even with the very comment of thy soul
 	Observe mine uncle: if his occulted guilt
 	Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
 	It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
 	And my imaginations are as foul
 	As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;
 	For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
 	And after we will both our judgments join
 	In censure of his seeming.
 HORATIO	Well, my lord:
 	If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
 	And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft.
 HAMLET	They are coming to the play; I must be idle:
 	Get you a place.
 	[Danish march. A flourish. Enter KING CLAUDIUS,
 	GUILDENSTERN, and others]
 KING CLAUDIUS	How fares our cousin Hamlet?
 HAMLET	Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish: I eat
 	the air, promise-crammed: you cannot feed capons so.
 KING CLAUDIUS	I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words
 	are not mine.
 HAMLET	No, nor mine now.
 	My lord, you played once i' the university, you say?
 LORD POLONIUS	That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
 HAMLET	What did you enact?
 LORD POLONIUS	I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed i' the
 	Capitol; Brutus killed me.
 HAMLET	It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
 	there. Be the players ready?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
 HAMLET	No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.
 LORD POLONIUS	[To KING CLAUDIUS]  O, ho! do you mark that?
 HAMLET	Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
 	[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet]
 OPHELIA	No, my lord.
 HAMLET	I mean, my head upon your lap?
 OPHELIA	Ay, my lord.
 HAMLET	Do you think I meant country matters?
 OPHELIA	I think nothing, my lord.
 HAMLET	That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
 OPHELIA	What is, my lord?
 HAMLET	Nothing.
 OPHELIA	You are merry, my lord.
 OPHELIA	Ay, my lord.
 HAMLET	O God, your only jig-maker. What should a man do
 	but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my
 	mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
 OPHELIA	Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
 HAMLET	So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for
 	I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two
 	months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's
 	hope a great man's memory may outlive his life half
 	a year: but, by'r lady, he must build churches,
 	then; or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with
 	the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is 'For, O, for, O,
 	the hobby-horse is forgot.'
 	[Hautboys play. The dumb-show enters]
 	[Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly; the Queen
 	embracing him, and he her. She kneels, and makes
 	show of protestation unto him. He takes her up,
 	and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down
 	upon a bank of flowers: she, seeing him asleep,
 	leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his
 	crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's
 	ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King
 	dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner,
 	with some two or three Mutes, comes in again,
 	seeming to lament with her. The dead body is
 	carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with
 	gifts: she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but
 	in the end accepts his love]
 OPHELIA	What means this, my lord?
 HAMLET	Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
 OPHELIA	Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
 	[Enter Prologue]
 HAMLET	We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot
 	keep counsel; they'll tell all.
 OPHELIA	Will he tell us what this show meant?
 HAMLET	Ay, or any show that you'll show him: be not you
 	ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
 OPHELIA	You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark the play.
 Prologue	     For us, and for our tragedy,
 	Here stooping to your clemency,
 	We beg your hearing patiently.
 HAMLET	Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
 OPHELIA	'Tis brief, my lord.
 HAMLET	As woman's love.
 	[Enter two Players, King and Queen]
 Player King	   Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
 	Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
 	And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen
 	About the world have times twelve thirties been,
 	Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
 	Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
 Player Queen	   So many journeys may the sun and moon
 	Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
 	But, woe is me, you are so sick of late,
 	So far from cheer and from your former state,
 	That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
 	Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must:
 	For women's fear and love holds quantity;
 	In neither aught, or in extremity.
 	Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know;
 	And as my love is sized, my fear is so:
 	Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
 	Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.
 Player King	'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
 	My operant powers their functions leave to do:
 	And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
 	Honour'd, beloved; and haply one as kind
 	For husband shalt thou--
 Player Queen	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.
 HAMLET	[Aside]  Wormwood, wormwood.
 Player Queen	   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.
 Player King	   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 advanced 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.
 Player Queen	   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!
 HAMLET	If she should break it now!
 Player King	'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
 	My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
 	The tedious day with sleep.
 Player Queen	Sleep rock thy brain,
 	And never come mischance between us twain!
 HAMLET	Madam, how like you this play?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	The lady protests too much, methinks.
 HAMLET	O, but she'll keep her word.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?
 HAMLET	No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence
 	i' the world.
 KING CLAUDIUS	What do you call the play?
 HAMLET	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 galled jade wince, our
 	withers are unwrung.
 	[Enter LUCIANUS]
 	This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
 OPHELIA	You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
 HAMLET	I could interpret between you and your love, if I
 	could see the puppets dallying.
 OPHELIA	You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
 HAMLET	It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
 OPHELIA	Still better, and worse.
 HAMLET	So you must take your husbands. Begin, murderer;
 	pox, leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come:
 	'the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.'
 LUCIANUS	   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]
 HAMLET	He poisons him i' the garden for's estate. His
 	name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and writ in
 	choice Italian: you shall see anon how the murderer
 	gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
 OPHELIA	The king rises.
 HAMLET	What, frighted with false fire!
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	How fares my lord?
 LORD POLONIUS	Give o'er the play.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Give me some light: away!
 All	Lights, lights, lights!
 	[Exeunt all but HAMLET and HORATIO]
 HAMLET	     Why, let the stricken 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?
 HORATIO	Half a share.
 HAMLET	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.
 HORATIO	You might have rhymed.
 HAMLET	O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a
 	thousand pound. Didst perceive?
 HORATIO	Very well, my lord.
 HAMLET	Upon the talk of the poisoning?
 HORATIO	I did very well note him.
 HAMLET	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!
 GUILDENSTERN	Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
 HAMLET	Sir, a whole history.
 GUILDENSTERN	The king, sir,--
 HAMLET	Ay, sir, what of him?
 GUILDENSTERN	Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.
 HAMLET	With drink, sir?
 GUILDENSTERN	No, my lord, rather with choler.
 HAMLET	Your wisdom should show itself more richer to
 	signify this to his doctor; for, for me to put him
 	to his purgation would perhaps plunge him into far
 	more choler.
 GUILDENSTERN	Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame and
 	start not so wildly from my affair.
 HAMLET	I am tame, sir: pronounce.
 GUILDENSTERN	The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of
 	spirit, hath sent me to you.
 HAMLET	You are welcome.
 GUILDENSTERN	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.
 HAMLET	Sir, I cannot.
 GUILDENSTERN	What, my lord?
 HAMLET	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 say,--
 ROSENCRANTZ	Then thus she says; your behavior hath struck her
 	into amazement and admiration.
 HAMLET	O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But
 	is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's
 	admiration? Impart.
 ROSENCRANTZ	She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you
 	go to bed.
 HAMLET	We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have
 	you any further trade with us?
 ROSENCRANTZ	My lord, you once did love me.
 HAMLET	So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
 ROSENCRANTZ	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 your friend.
 HAMLET	Sir, I lack advancement.
 ROSENCRANTZ	How can that be, when you have the voice of the king
 	himself for your succession in Denmark?
 HAMLET	Ay, but sir, 'While the grass grows,'--the proverb
 	is something musty.
 	[Re-enter 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?
 GUILDENSTERN	O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too
 HAMLET	I do not well understand that. Will you play upon
 	this pipe?
 GUILDENSTERN	My lord, I cannot.
 HAMLET	I pray you.
 GUILDENSTERN	Believe me, I cannot.
 HAMLET	I do beseech you.
 GUILDENSTERN	I know no touch of it, my lord.
 HAMLET	'Tis as easy as lying: govern these ventages with
 	your lingers and thumb, give it breath with your
 	mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music.
 	Look you, these are the stops.
 GUILDENSTERN	But these cannot I command to any utterance of
 	harmony; I have not the skill.
 HAMLET	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, yet you
 	cannot play upon me.
 	[Enter POLONIUS]
 	God bless you, sir!
 LORD POLONIUS	My lord, the queen would speak with you, and
 HAMLET	Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
 LORD POLONIUS	By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
 HAMLET	Methinks it is like a weasel.
 LORD POLONIUS	It is backed like a weasel.
 HAMLET	Or like a whale?
 LORD POLONIUS	Very like a whale.
 HAMLET	Then I will come to my mother by and by. They fool
 	me to the top of my bent. I will come by and by.
 LORD POLONIUS	I will say so.
 HAMLET	By and by is easily said.
 	Leave me, friends.
 	[Exeunt all but HAMLET]
 	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 soever she be shent,
 	To give them seals never, my soul, consent!
 SCENE III	A room in the castle.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 dangerous as doth hourly grow
 	Out of his lunacies.
 GUILDENSTERN	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.
 ROSENCRANTZ	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 mortised 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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage;
 	For we will fetters put upon this fear,
 	Which now goes too free-footed.
 	|	We will haste us.
 	[Enter POLONIUS]
 LORD POLONIUS	My lord, he's going to his mother's closet:
 	Behind the arras I'll convey myself,
 	To hear the process; and 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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 two-fold 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 can not repent?
 	O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
 	O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
 	Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay!
 	Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel,
 	Be soft as sinews of the newborn babe!
 	All may be well.
 	[Retires and kneels]
 	[Enter HAMLET]
 HAMLET	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 revenged. That would be scann'd:
 	A villain kills my father; and for that,
 	I, his sole son, do this same villain send
 	To heaven.
 	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 revenged,
 	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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	[Rising]  My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
 	Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
 SCENE IV	The Queen's closet.
 LORD 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 sconce me even here.
 	Pray you, be round with him.
 HAMLET	[Within]  Mother, mother, mother!
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	I'll warrant you,
 	Fear me not: withdraw, I hear him coming.
 	[POLONIUS hides behind the arras]
 	[Enter HAMLET]
 HAMLET	Now, mother, what's the matter?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
 HAMLET	Mother, you have my father much offended.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
 HAMLET	Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Why, how now, Hamlet!
 HAMLET	What's the matter now?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Have you forgot me?
 HAMLET	No, by the rood, not so:
 	You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
 	And--would it were not so!--you are my mother.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak.
 HAMLET	Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
 	You go not till I set you up a glass
 	Where you may see the inmost part of you.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me?
 	Help, help, ho!
 LORD POLONIUS	[Behind]  What, ho! help, help, help!
 HAMLET	[Drawing]  How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!
 	[Makes a pass through the arras]
 LORD POLONIUS	[Behind]  O, I am slain!
 	[Falls and dies]
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O me, what hast thou done?
 HAMLET	Nay, I know not:
 	Is it the king?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!
 HAMLET	A bloody deed! almost as bad, good mother,
 	As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	As kill a king!
 HAMLET	                  Ay, lady, 'twas my word.
 	[Lifts up the array and discovers POLONIUS]
 	Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
 	I took thee for thy better: take thy fortune;
 	Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
 	Leave wringing of your hands: peace! sit you down,
 	And let me wring your heart; for so I shall,
 	If it be made of penetrable stuff,
 	If damned custom have not brass'd it so
 	That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	What have I done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
 	In noise so rude against me?
 HAMLET	Such an act
 	That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
 	Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
 	From the fair forehead of an innocent love
 	And sets a blister there, makes marriage-vows
 	As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
 	As from the body of contraction plucks
 	The very soul, and sweet religion makes
 	A rhapsody of words: heaven's face doth glow:
 	Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
 	With tristful visage, as against the doom,
 	Is thought-sick at the act.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Ay me, what act,
 	That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
 HAMLET	Look here, upon this picture, and on this,
 	The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
 	See, what a grace was seated on this brow;
 	Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;
 	An eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
 	A station like the herald Mercury
 	New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
 	A combination and a form indeed,
 	Where every god did seem to set his seal,
 	To give the world assurance of a man:
 	This was your husband. Look you now, what follows:
 	Here is your husband; like a mildew'd ear,
 	Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
 	Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
 	And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?
 	You cannot call it love; for at your age
 	The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
 	And waits upon the judgment: and what judgment
 	Would step from this to this? Sense, sure, you have,
 	Else could you not have motion; but sure, that sense
 	Is apoplex'd; for madness would not err,
 	Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall'd
 	But it reserved some quantity of choice,
 	To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
 	That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
 	Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
 	Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
 	Or but a sickly part of one true sense
 	Could not so mope.
 	O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
 	If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
 	To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
 	And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame
 	When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
 	Since frost itself as actively doth burn
 	And reason panders will.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O Hamlet, speak no more:
 	Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;
 	And there I see such black and grained spots
 	As will not leave their tinct.
 HAMLET	Nay, but to live
 	In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
 	Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
 	Over the nasty sty,--
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O, speak to me no more;
 	These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears;
 	No more, sweet Hamlet!
 HAMLET	A murderer and a villain;
 	A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
 	Of your precedent lord; a vice of kings;
 	A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
 	That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
 	And put it in his pocket!
 HAMLET	A king of shreds and patches,--
 	[Enter Ghost]
 	Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings,
 	You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Alas, he's mad!
 HAMLET	Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
 	That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
 	The important acting of your dread command? O, say!
 Ghost	Do not forget: this visitation
 	Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
 	But, look, amazement on thy mother sits:
 	O, step between her and her fighting soul:
 	Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works:
 	Speak to her, Hamlet.
 HAMLET	How is it with you, lady?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Alas, how is't with you,
 	That you do bend your eye on vacancy
 	And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
 	Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
 	And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
 	Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
 	Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,
 	Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
 	Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
 HAMLET	On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares!
 	His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
 	Would make them capable. Do not look upon me;
 	Lest with this piteous action you convert
 	My stern effects: then what I have to do
 	Will want true colour; tears perchance for blood.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	To whom do you speak this?
 HAMLET	Do you see nothing there?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Nothing at all; yet all that is I see.
 HAMLET	Nor did you nothing hear?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	No, nothing but ourselves.
 HAMLET	Why, look you there! look, how it steals away!
 	My father, in his habit as he lived!
 	Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
 	[Exit Ghost]
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	This the very coinage of your brain:
 	This bodiless creation ecstasy
 	Is very cunning in.
 HAMLET	Ecstasy!
 	My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time,
 	And makes as healthful music: it is not madness
 	That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
 	And I the matter will re-word; which madness
 	Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
 	Lay not that mattering unction to your soul,
 	That not your trespass, but my madness speaks:
 	It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
 	Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
 	Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;
 	Repent what's past; avoid what is to come;
 	And do not spread the compost on the weeds,
 	To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
 	For in the fatness of these pursy times
 	Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
 	Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
 HAMLET	O, throw away the worser part of it,
 	And live the purer with the other half.
 	Good night: but go not to mine uncle's bed;
 	Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
 	That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
 	Of habits devil, is angel yet in this,
 	That to the use of actions fair and good
 	He likewise gives a frock or livery,
 	That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
 	And that shall lend a kind of easiness
 	To the next abstinence: the next more easy;
 	For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
 	And either [         ] the devil, or throw him out
 	With wondrous potency. Once more, good night:
 	And when you are desirous to be bless'd,
 	I'll blessing beg of you. For this same lord,
 	[Pointing to POLONIUS]
 	I do repent: but heaven hath pleased it so,
 	To punish me with this and this with me,
 	That I must be their scourge and minister.
 	I will bestow him, and will answer well
 	The death I gave him. So, again, good night.
 	I must be cruel, only to be kind:
 	Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
 	One word more, good lady.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	What shall I do?
 HAMLET	Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
 	Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed;
 	Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;
 	And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses,
 	Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fingers,
 	Make you to ravel all this matter out,
 	That I essentially am not in madness,
 	But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know;
 	For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
 	Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
 	Such dear concernings hide? who would do so?
 	No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
 	Unpeg the basket on the house's top.
 	Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
 	To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
 	And break your own neck down.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,
 	And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
 	What thou hast said to me.
 HAMLET	I must to England; you know that?
 	I had forgot: 'tis so concluded on.
 HAMLET	There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
 	Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
 	They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
 	And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
 	For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
 	Hoist with his own petard: and 't shall go hard
 	But I will delve one yard below their mines,
 	And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
 	When in one line two crafts directly meet.
 	This man shall set me packing:
 	I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room.
 	Mother, good night. Indeed this counsellor
 	Is now most still, most secret and most grave,
 	Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
 	Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
 	Good night, mother.
 	[Exeunt severally; HAMLET dragging in POLONIUS]
 SCENE I	A room in the castle.
 KING CLAUDIUS	There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves:
 	You must translate: 'tis fit we understand them.
 	Where is your son?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Bestow this place on us a little while.
 	Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!
 KING CLAUDIUS	What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend
 	Which is the mightier: in his lawless fit,
 	Behind the arras hearing something stir,
 	Whips out his rapier, cries, 'A rat, a rat!'
 	And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
 	The unseen good old man.
 KING CLAUDIUS	O heavy deed!
 	It had been so with us, had we been there:
 	His liberty is full of threats to all;
 	To you yourself, to us, to every one.
 	Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
 	It will be laid to us, whose providence
 	Should have kept short, restrain'd and out of haunt,
 	This mad young man: but so much was our love,
 	We would not understand what was most fit;
 	But, like the owner of a foul disease,
 	To keep it from divulging, let it feed
 	Even on the pith of Life. Where is he gone?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
 	O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
 	Among a mineral of metals base,
 	Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.
 KING CLAUDIUS	O Gertrude, come away!
 	The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
 	But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
 	We must, with all our majesty and skill,
 	Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!
 	Friends both, go join you with some further aid:
 	Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
 	And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him:
 	Go seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
 	Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.
 	Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
 	And let them know, both what we mean to do,
 	And what's untimely done [                ]
 	Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
 	As level as the cannon to his blank,
 	Transports his poison'd shot, may miss our name,
 	And hit the woundless air. O, come away!
 	My soul is full of discord and dismay.
 SCENE II	Another room in the castle.
 	[Enter HAMLET]
 HAMLET	Safely stowed.
 	|   [Within]  Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
 HAMLET	What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
 	O, here they come.
 ROSENCRANTZ	What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
 HAMLET	Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
 	And bear it to the chapel.
 HAMLET	Do not believe it.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Believe what?
 HAMLET	That I can keep your counsel and not mine own.
 	Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! what
 	replication should be made by the son of a king?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
 HAMLET	Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his
 	rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
 	king best service in the end: he keeps them, like
 	an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to
 	be last swallowed: when he needs what you have
 	gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you
 	shall be dry again.
 ROSENCRANTZ	I understand you not, my lord.
 HAMLET	I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
 	foolish ear.
 ROSENCRANTZ	My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
 	with us to the king.
 HAMLET	The body is with the king, but the king is not with
 	the body. The king is a thing--
 GUILDENSTERN	A thing, my lord!
 HAMLET	Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
 SCENE III	Another room in the castle.
 	[Enter KING CLAUDIUS, attended]
 KING CLAUDIUS	I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.
 	How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
 	Yet must not we put the strong law on him:
 	He's loved of the distracted multitude,
 	Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
 	And where tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
 	But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
 	This sudden sending him away must seem
 	Deliberate pause: diseases desperate grown
 	By desperate appliance are relieved,
 	Or not at all.
 	How now! what hath befall'n?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
 	We cannot get from him.
 KING CLAUDIUS	But where is he?
 ROSENCRANTZ	Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Bring him before us.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
 HAMLET	At supper.
 KING CLAUDIUS	At supper! where?
 HAMLET	Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain
 	convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your
 	worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all
 	creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for
 	maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but
 	variable service, two dishes, but to one table:
 	that's the end.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Alas, alas!
 HAMLET	A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
 	king, and cat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
 KING CLAUDIUS	What dost you mean by this?
 HAMLET	Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
 	progress through the guts of a beggar.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Where is Polonius?
 HAMLET	In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger
 	find him not there, seek him i' the other place
 	yourself. But indeed, if you find him not within
 	this month, you shall nose him as you go up the
 	stairs into the lobby.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Go seek him there.
 	[To some Attendants]
 HAMLET	He will stay till ye come.
 	[Exeunt Attendants]
 KING CLAUDIUS	Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,--
 	Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve
 	For that which thou hast done,--must send thee hence
 	With fiery quickness: therefore prepare thyself;
 	The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
 	The associates tend, and every thing is bent
 	For England.
 HAMLET	                  For England!
 KING CLAUDIUS	So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
 HAMLET	I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for
 	England! Farewell, dear mother.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Thy loving father, Hamlet.
 HAMLET	My mother: father and mother is man and wife; man
 	and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!
 KING CLAUDIUS	Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard;
 	Delay it not; I'll have him hence to-night:
 	Away! for every thing is seal'd and done
 	That else leans on the affair: pray you, make haste.
 	And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught--
 	As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
 	Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
 	After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
 	Pays homage to us--thou mayst not coldly set
 	Our sovereign process; which imports at full,
 	By letters congruing to that effect,
 	The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
 	For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
 	And thou must cure me: till I know 'tis done,
 	Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.
 SCENE IV	A plain in Denmark.
 	[Enter FORTINBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching]
 PRINCE FORTINBRAS	Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king;
 	Tell him that, by his licence, Fortinbras
 	Craves the conveyance of a promised march
 	Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
 	If that his majesty would aught with us,
 	We shall express our duty in his eye;
 	And let him know so.
 Captain	I will do't, my lord.
 	[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Soldiers]
 HAMLET	Good sir, whose powers are these?
 Captain	They are of Norway, sir.
 HAMLET	How purposed, sir, I pray you?
 Captain	Against some part of Poland.
 HAMLET	Who commands them, sir?
 Captain	The nephews to old Norway, Fortinbras.
 HAMLET	Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
 	Or for some frontier?
 Captain	Truly to speak, and with no addition,
 	We go to gain a little patch of ground
 	That hath in it no profit but the name.
 	To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
 	Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
 	A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
 HAMLET	Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
 Captain	Yes, it is already garrison'd.
 HAMLET	Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
 	Will not debate the question of this straw:
 	This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
 	That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
 	Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.
 Captain	God be wi' you, sir.
 ROSENCRANTZ	Wilt please you go, my lord?
 HAMLET	I'll be with you straight go a little before.
 	[Exeunt all except HAMLET]
 	How all occasions do inform against me,
 	And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
 	If his chief good and market of his time
 	Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
 	Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
 	Looking before and after, gave us not
 	That capability and god-like reason
 	To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
 	Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
 	Of thinking too precisely on the event,
 	A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
 	And ever three parts coward, I do not know
 	Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
 	Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
 	To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:
 	Witness this army of such mass and charge
 	Led by a delicate and tender prince,
 	Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd
 	Makes mouths at the invisible event,
 	Exposing what is mortal and unsure
 	To all that fortune, death and danger dare,
 	Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
 	Is not to stir without great argument,
 	But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
 	When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
 	That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
 	Excitements of my reason and my blood,
 	And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
 	The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
 	That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
 	Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
 	Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
 	Which is not tomb enough and continent
 	To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
 	My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
 SCENE V	Elsinore. A room in the castle.
 	[Enter QUEEN GERTRUDE, HORATIO, and a Gentleman]
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	I will not speak with her.
 Gentleman	She is importunate, indeed distract:
 	Her mood will needs be pitied.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	What would she have?
 Gentleman	She speaks much of her father; says she hears
 	There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her heart;
 	Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
 	That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing,
 	Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
 	The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
 	And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
 	Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures
 	yield them,
 	Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
 	Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
 HORATIO	'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
 	Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Let her come in.
 	[Exit HORATIO]
 	To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
 	Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:
 	So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
 	It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
 	[Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA]
 OPHELIA	Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	How now, Ophelia!
 OPHELIA	[Sings]
 	How should I your true love know
 	From another one?
 	By his cockle hat and staff,
 	And his sandal shoon.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
 OPHELIA	Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
 	He is dead and gone, lady,
 	He is dead and gone;
 	At his head a grass-green turf,
 	At his heels a stone.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Nay, but, Ophelia,--
 OPHELIA	Pray you, mark.
 	White his shroud as the mountain snow,--
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Alas, look here, my lord.
 OPHELIA	[Sings]
 	Larded with sweet flowers
 	Which bewept to the grave did go
 	With true-love showers.
 KING CLAUDIUS	How do you, pretty lady?
 OPHELIA	Well, God 'ild you! They say the owl was a baker's
 	daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not
 	what we may be. God be at your table!
 KING CLAUDIUS	Conceit upon her father.
 OPHELIA	Pray you, let's have no words of this; but when they
 	ask you what it means, say you this:
 	To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
 	All in the morning betime,
 	And I a maid at your window,
 	To be your Valentine.
 	Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
 	And dupp'd the chamber-door;
 	Let in the maid, that out a maid
 	Never departed more.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Pretty Ophelia!
 OPHELIA	Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't:
 	By Gis and by Saint Charity,
 	Alack, and fie for shame!
 	Young men will do't, if they come to't;
 	By cock, they are to blame.
 	Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
 	You promised me to wed.
 	So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
 	An thou hadst not come to my bed.
 KING CLAUDIUS	How long hath she been thus?
 OPHELIA	I hope all will be well. We must be patient: but I
 	cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him
 	i' the cold ground. My brother shall know of it:
 	and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my
 	coach! Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies;
 	good night, good night.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Follow her close; give her good watch,
 	I pray you.
 	[Exit HORATIO]
 	O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
 	All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
 	When sorrows come, they come not single spies
 	But in battalions. First, her father slain:
 	Next, your son gone; and he most violent author
 	Of his own just remove: the people muddied,
 	Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers,
 	For good Polonius' death; and we have done but greenly,
 	In hugger-mugger to inter him: poor Ophelia
 	Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
 	Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts:
 	Last, and as much containing as all these,
 	Her brother is in secret come from France;
 	Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
 	And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
 	With pestilent speeches of his father's death;
 	Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
 	Will nothing stick our person to arraign
 	In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
 	Like to a murdering-piece, in many places
 	Gives me superfluous death.
 	[A noise within]
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Alack, what noise is this?
 KING CLAUDIUS	Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
 	[Enter another Gentleman]
 	What is the matter?
 Gentleman	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 GERTRUDE	How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
 	O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
 KING CLAUDIUS	The doors are broke.
 	[Noise within]
 	[Enter LAERTES, armed; Danes following]
 LAERTES	Where is this king? Sirs, stand you all without.
 Danes	No, let's come in.
 LAERTES	                  I pray you, give me leave.
 Danes	We will, we will.
 	[They retire without the door]
 LAERTES	I thank you: keep the door. O thou vile king,
 	Give me my father!
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	                  Calmly, good Laertes.
 LAERTES	That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard,
 	Cries cuckold to my father, brands the harlot
 	Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow
 	Of my true mother.
 KING CLAUDIUS	                  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 incensed. Let him go, Gertrude.
 	Speak, man.
 LAERTES	Where is my father?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	But not by him.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Let him demand his fill.
 LAERTES	How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
 	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 revenged
 	Most thoroughly for my father.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Who shall stay you?
 LAERTES	My will, not all the world:
 	And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
 	They shall go far with little.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Good Laertes,
 	If you desire to know the certainty
 	Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
 	That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
 	Winner and loser?
 LAERTES	None but his enemies.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Will you know them then?
 LAERTES	To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
 	And like the kind life-rendering pelican,
 	Repast them with my blood.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Why, now you speak
 	Like a good child and a true gentleman.
 	That I am guiltless of your father's death,
 	And am most sensible in grief for it,
 	It shall as level to your judgment pierce
 	As day does to your eye.
 Danes	[Within]                Let her come in.
 LAERTES	How now! what noise is that?
 	[Re-enter OPHELIA]
 	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 moral 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.
 OPHELIA	[Sings]
 	They bore him barefaced on the bier;
 	Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny;
 	And in his grave rain'd many a tear:--
 	Fare you well, my dove!
 LAERTES	Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
 	It could not move thus.
 OPHELIA	[Sings]
 	You must sing a-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.
 LAERTES	This nothing's more than matter.
 OPHELIA	There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,
 	love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.
 LAERTES	A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
 OPHELIA	There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
 	for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
 	herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
 	a difference. There's a daisy: I would give you
 	some violets, but they withered all when my father
 	died: they say he made a good end,--
 	For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
 LAERTES	Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
 	She turns to favour and to prettiness.
 OPHELIA	[Sings]
 	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 be wi' ye.
 LAERTES	Do you see this, O God?
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 can 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.
 LAERTES	Let this be so;
 	His means of death, his obscure funeral--
 	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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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]
 HORATIO	What are they that would speak with me?
 Servant	Sailors, sir: they say they have letters for you.
 HORATIO	Let them come in.
 	[Exit Servant]
 	I do not know from what part of the world
 	I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
 	[Enter Sailors]
 First Sailor	God bless you, sir.
 HORATIO	Let him bless thee too.
 First Sailor	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.
 HORATIO	[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 speed 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 make 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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Now must your conscience my acquaintance 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
 	Pursued my life.
 LAERTES	                  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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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.
 LAERTES	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 CLAUDIUS	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 loved your father, and we love ourself;
 	And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine--
 	[Enter a Messenger]
 	How now! what news?
 Messenger	Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
 	This to your majesty; this to the queen.
 KING CLAUDIUS	From Hamlet! who brought them?
 Messenger	Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not:
 	They were given me by Claudio; he received them
 	Of him that brought them.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Laertes, you shall hear them. Leave us.
 	[Exit Messenger]
 	'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 occasion 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?
 LAERTES	Know you the hand?
 KING CLAUDIUS	'Tis Hamlets character. 'Naked!
 	And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
 	Can you advise me?
 LAERTES	I'm 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.'
 KING CLAUDIUS	If it be so, Laertes--
 	As how should it be so? how otherwise?--
 	Will you be ruled by me?
 LAERTES	Ay, my lord;
 	So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 an exploit, now ripe in my device,
 	Under the which he shall not choose but fall:
 	And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,
 	But even his mother shall uncharge the practise
 	And call it accident.
 LAERTES	My lord, I will be ruled;
 	The rather, if you could devise it so
 	That I might be the organ.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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.
 LAERTES	What part is that, my lord?
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 served 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 he had been incorpsed and demi-natured
 	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.
 LAERTES	A Norman was't?
 LAERTES	Upon my life, Lamond.
 KING CLAUDIUS	The very same.
 LAERTES	I know him well: he is the brooch indeed
 	And gem of all the nation.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
 	If you opposed 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,--
 LAERTES	What out of this, my lord?
 KING CLAUDIUS	Laertes, was your father dear to you?
 	Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
 	A face without a heart?
 LAERTES	Why ask you this?
 KING CLAUDIUS	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?
 LAERTES	To cut his throat i' the church.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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 practise
 	Requite him for your father.
 LAERTES	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
 	That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
 	With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
 	It may be death.
 KING CLAUDIUS	                  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 should blast in proof. Soft! let me see:
 	We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings: I ha't.
 	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 prepared 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!
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
 	So fast they follow; your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
 LAERTES	Drown'd! O, where?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	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 crow-flowers, 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 pendent boughs her coronet weeds
 	Clambering 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 chanted snatches of old tunes;
 	As one incapable of her own distress,
 	Or like a creature native and indued
 	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.
 LAERTES	                  Alas, then, she is drown'd?
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Drown'd, drown'd.
 LAERTES	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.
 KING CLAUDIUS	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]
 First Clown	Is she to be buried in Christian burial that
 	wilfully seeks her own salvation?
 Second Clown	I tell thee she is: and therefore make her grave
 	straight: the crowner hath sat on her, and finds it
 	Christian burial.
 First Clown	How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her
 	own defence?
 Second Clown	Why, 'tis found so.
 First Clown	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, to perform: argal, she drowned
 	herself wittingly.
 Second Clown	Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,--
 First Clown	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.
 Second Clown	But is this law?
 First Clown	Ay, marry, is't; crowner's quest law.
 Second Clown	Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been
 	a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o'
 	Christian burial.
 First Clown	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
 	gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers:
 	they hold up Adam's profession.
 Second Clown	Was he a gentleman?
 First Clown	He was the first that ever bore arms.
 Second Clown	Why, he had none.
 First Clown	What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the
 	Scripture? The Scripture says 'Adam digged:'
 	could he dig without arms? I'll put another
 	question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the
 	purpose, confess thyself--
 Second Clown	Go to.
 First Clown	What is he that builds stronger than either the
 	mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
 Second Clown	The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
 	thousand tenants.
 First Clown	I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows
 	does well; but how does it well? it does well to
 	those that do in: 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.
 Second Clown	'Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or
 	a carpenter?'
 First Clown	Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
 Second Clown	Marry, now I can tell.
 First Clown	To't.
 Second Clown	Mass, I cannot tell.
 	[Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance]
 First Clown	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: fetch me a
 	stoup of liquor.
 	[Exit Second Clown]
 	[He 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.
 HAMLET	Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he
 	sings at grave-making?
 HORATIO	Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
 HAMLET	'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath
 	the daintier sense.
 First Clown	[Sings]
 	But age, with his stealing steps,
 	Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
 	And hath shipped me intil the land,
 	As if I had never been such.
 	[Throws up a skull]
 HAMLET	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! It
 	might be the pate of a politician, which this ass
 	now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
 	might it not?
 HORATIO	It might, my lord.
 HAMLET	Or of a courtier; which could say 'Good morrow,
 	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?
 HORATIO	Ay, my lord.
 HAMLET	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 'em? mine ache to think on't.
 First Clown: [Sings]
 	A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
 	For and a shrouding sheet:
 	O, a pit of clay for to be made
 	For such a guest is meet.
 	[Throws up another skull]
 HAMLET	There's another: why may not that be the skull of a
 	lawyer? Where be his quiddities 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? Hum! 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 lands will hardly lie in
 	this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
 HORATIO	Not a jot more, my lord.
 HAMLET	Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
 HORATIO	Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.
 HAMLET	They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance
 	in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose
 	grave's this, sirrah?
 First Clown	Mine, sir.
 	O, a pit of clay for to be made
 	For such a guest is meet.
 HAMLET	I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
 First Clown	You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not
 	yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, and yet it is mine.
 HAMLET	'Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it is thine:
 	'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
 First Clown	'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away gain, from me to
 HAMLET	What man dost thou dig it for?
 First Clown	For no man, sir.
 HAMLET	What woman, then?
 First Clown	For none, neither.
 HAMLET	Who is to be buried in't?
 First Clown	One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
 HAMLET	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 a note of
 	it; the age is grown so picked that the toe of the
 	peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he
 	gaffs his kibe. How long hast thou been a
 First Clown	Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day
 	that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
 HAMLET	How long is that since?
 First Clown	Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: it
 	was the very day that young Hamlet was born; he that
 	is mad, and sent into England.
 HAMLET	Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
 First Clown	Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits
 	there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there.
 First Clown	'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men
 	are as mad as he.
 HAMLET	How came he mad?
 First Clown	Very strangely, they say.
 HAMLET	How strangely?
 First Clown	Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
 HAMLET	Upon what ground?
 First Clown	Why, here in Denmark: I have been sexton here, man
 	and boy, thirty years.
 HAMLET	How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
 First Clown	I' faith, if he be not rotten before he die--as we
 	have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce
 	hold the laying in--he will last you some eight year
 	or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
 HAMLET	Why he more than another?
 First Clown	Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that
 	he will keep out water a great while; and your water
 	is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.
 	Here's a skull now; this skull has lain in the earth
 	three and twenty years.
 HAMLET	Whose was it?
 First Clown	A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
 HAMLET	Nay, I know not.
 First Clown	A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
 	flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull,
 	sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
 First Clown	E'en that.
 HAMLET	Let me see.
 	[Takes the skull]
 	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 rims 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 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 laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
 	me one thing.
 HORATIO	What's that, my lord?
 HAMLET	Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'
 	the earth?
 HORATIO	E'en so.
 HAMLET	And smelt so? pah!
 	[Puts down the skull]
 HORATIO	E'en so, my lord.
 HAMLET	To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
 	not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
 	till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
 HORATIO	'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
 HAMLET	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 into 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 Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
 	Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
 	O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
 	Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
 	But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
 	[Enter Priest, &c. in procession; the Corpse of
 	OPHELIA, LAERTES and Mourners following; KING
 	CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, their trains, &c]
 	The queen, the courtiers: who is this they follow?
 	And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken
 	The corse they follow did with desperate hand
 	Fordo its own life: 'twas of some estate.
 	Couch we awhile, and mark.
 	[Retiring with HORATIO]
 LAERTES	What ceremony else?
 HAMLET	That is Laertes,
 	A very noble youth: mark.
 LAERTES	What ceremony else?
 First Priest	Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
 	As we have warrantise: her death was doubtful;
 	And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
 	She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
 	Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers,
 	Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her;
 	Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
 	Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
 	Of bell and burial.
 LAERTES	Must there no more be done?
 First Priest	No more be done:
 	We should profane the service of the dead
 	To sing a requiem and such rest to her
 	As to peace-parted souls.
 LAERTES	Lay her i' the earth:
 	And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
 	May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
 	A ministering angel shall my sister be,
 	When thou liest howling.
 HAMLET	What, the fair Ophelia!
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Sweets to the sweet: farewell!
 	[Scattering flowers]
 	I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
 	I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,
 	And not have strew'd thy grave.
 LAERTES	O, treble woe
 	Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
 	Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
 	Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
 	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.
 HAMLET	[Advancing]     What is he whose grief
 	Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
 	Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
 	Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
 	Hamlet the Dane.
 	[Leaps into the grave]
 LAERTES	                  The devil take thy soul!
 	[Grappling with him]
 HAMLET	Thou pray'st not well.
 	I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
 	For, though I am not splenitive and rash,
 	Yet have I something in me dangerous,
 	Which let thy wiseness fear: hold off thy hand.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Pluck them asunder.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Hamlet, Hamlet!
 All	Gentlemen,--
 HORATIO	                  Good my lord, be quiet.
 	[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave]
 HAMLET	Why I will fight with him upon this theme
 	Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	O my son, what theme?
 HAMLET	I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
 	Could not, with all their quantity of love,
 	Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
 KING CLAUDIUS	O, he is mad, Laertes.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	For love of God, forbear him.
 HAMLET	'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do:
 	Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?
 	Woo't drink up eisel? 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 thou'lt mouth,
 	I'll rant as well as thou.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	This is mere madness:
 	And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
 	Anon, as patient as the female dove,
 	When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
 	His silence will sit drooping.
 HAMLET	Hear you, sir;
 	What is the reason that you use me thus?
 	I loved you ever: but it is no matter;
 	Let Hercules himself do what he may,
 	The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
 KING CLAUDIUS	I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
 	[Exit HORATIO]
 	Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;
 	We'll put the matter to the present push.
 	Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
 	This grave shall have a living monument:
 	An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;
 	Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
 SCENE II	A hall in the castle.
 	[Enter HAMLET and HORATIO]
 HAMLET	So much for this, sir: now shall you see the other;
 	You do remember all the circumstance?
 HORATIO	Remember it, my lord?
 HAMLET	Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
 	That would not let me sleep: methought I lay
 	Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
 	And praised 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,--
 HORATIO	That is most certain.
 HAMLET	Up from my cabin,
 	My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
 	Groped I to find out them; had my desire.
 	Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew
 	To mine own room again; making so bold,
 	My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
 	Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,--
 	O royal knavery!--an exact command,
 	Larded with many several sorts of reasons
 	Importing Denmark's health and England's too,
 	With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
 	That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
 	No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
 	My head should be struck off.
 HORATIO	Is't possible?
 HAMLET	Here's the commission: read it at more leisure.
 	But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?
 HORATIO	I beseech you.
 HAMLET	Being thus be-netted round with villanies,--
 	Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,
 	They had begun the play--I sat me down,
 	Devised a new commission, wrote it fair:
 	I once did hold it, as our statists do,
 	A baseness to write fair and labour'd much
 	How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
 	It did me yeoman's service: wilt thou know
 	The effect of what I wrote?
 HORATIO	Ay, good my lord.
 HAMLET	An earnest conjuration from the king,
 	As England was his faithful tributary,
 	As love between them like the palm might flourish,
 	As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear
 	And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
 	And many such-like 'As'es of great charge,
 	That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
 	Without debatement further, more or less,
 	He should the bearers put to sudden death,
 	Not shriving-time allow'd.
 HORATIO	How was this seal'd?
 HAMLET	Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
 	I had my father's signet in my purse,
 	Which was the model of that Danish seal;
 	Folded the writ up in form of the other,
 	Subscribed it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
 	The changeling never known. Now, the next day
 	Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
 	Thou know'st already.
 HORATIO	So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
 HAMLET	Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
 	They are not near my conscience; their defeat
 	Does by their own insinuation grow:
 	'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
 	Between the pass and fell incensed points
 	Of mighty opposites.
 HORATIO	Why, what a king is this!
 HAMLET	Does it not, think'st thee, stand me now upon--
 	He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother,
 	Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
 	Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
 	And with such cozenage--is't not perfect conscience,
 	To quit him with this arm? and is't not to be damn'd,
 	To let this canker of our nature come
 	In further evil?
 HORATIO	It must be shortly known to him from England
 	What is the issue of the business there.
 HAMLET	It will be short: the interim is mine;
 	And a man's life's no more than to say 'One.'
 	But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
 	That to Laertes I forgot myself;
 	For, by the image of my cause, I see
 	The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours.
 	But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
 	Into a towering passion.
 HORATIO	Peace! who comes here?
 	[Enter OSRIC]
 OSRIC	Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
 HAMLET	I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?
 HORATIO	No, my good lord.
 HAMLET	Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to
 	know him. He hath much land, and fertile: let a
 	beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall stand at
 	the king's mess: 'tis a chough; but, as I say,
 	spacious in the possession of dirt.
 OSRIC	Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I
 	should impart a thing to you from his majesty.
 HAMLET	I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of
 	spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use; 'tis for the head.
 OSRIC	I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
 HAMLET	No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is
 OSRIC	It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
 HAMLET	But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my
 OSRIC	Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry,--as
 	'twere,--I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his
 	majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid a
 	great wager on your head: sir, this is the matter,--
 HAMLET	I beseech you, remember--
 	[HAMLET moves him to put on his hat]
 OSRIC	Nay, good my lord; for mine ease, in good faith.
 	Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes; believe
 	me, an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent
 	differences, of very soft society and great showing:
 	indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or
 	calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the
 	continent of what part a gentleman would see.
 HAMLET	Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you;
 	though, I know, to divide him inventorially would
 	dizzy the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw
 	neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the
 	verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of
 	great article; and his infusion of such dearth and
 	rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his
 	semblable is his mirror; and who else would trace
 	him, his umbrage, nothing more.
 OSRIC	Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
 HAMLET	The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gentleman
 	in our more rawer breath?
 HORATIO	Is't not possible to understand in another tongue?
 	You will do't, sir, really.
 HAMLET	What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
 OSRIC	Of Laertes?
 HORATIO	His purse is empty already; all's golden words are spent.
 HAMLET	Of him, sir.
 OSRIC	I know you are not ignorant--
 HAMLET	I would you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did,
 	it would not much approve me. Well, sir?
 OSRIC	You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is--
 HAMLET	I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with
 	him in excellence; but, to know a man well, were to
 	know himself.
 OSRIC	I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation
 	laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.
 HAMLET	What's his weapon?
 OSRIC	Rapier and dagger.
 HAMLET	That's two of his weapons: but, well.
 OSRIC	The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary
 	horses: against the which he has imponed, as I take
 	it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their
 	assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so: three of the
 	carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very
 	responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages,
 	and of very liberal conceit.
 HAMLET	What call you the carriages?
 HORATIO	I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.
 OSRIC	The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
 HAMLET	The phrase would be more german to the matter, if we
 	could carry cannon by our sides: I would it might
 	be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary horses
 	against six French swords, their assigns, and three
 	liberal-conceited carriages; that's the French bet
 	against the Danish. Why is this 'imponed,' as you call it?
 OSRIC	The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes
 	between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you
 	three hits: he hath laid on twelve for nine; and it
 	would come to immediate trial, if your lordship
 	would vouchsafe the answer.
 HAMLET	How if I answer 'no'?
 OSRIC	I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.
 HAMLET	Sir, I will walk here in the hall: if it please his
 	majesty, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let
 	the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the
 	king hold his purpose, I will win for him an I can;
 	if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits.
 OSRIC	Shall I re-deliver you e'en so?
 HAMLET	To this effect, sir; after what flourish your nature will.
 OSRIC	I commend my duty to your lordship.
 HAMLET	Yours, yours.
 	[Exit OSRIC]
 	He does well to commend it himself; there are no
 	tongues else for's turn.
 HORATIO	This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.
 HAMLET	He did comply with his dug, before he sucked it.
 	Thus has he--and many more of the same bevy that I
 	know the dressy age dotes on--only got the tune of
 	the time and outward habit of encounter; a kind of
 	yesty collection, which carries them through and
 	through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do
 	but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
 	[Enter a Lord]
 Lord	My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young
 	Osric, who brings back to him that you attend him in
 	the hall: he sends to know if your pleasure hold to
 	play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.
 HAMLET	I am constant to my purpose; they follow the king's
 	pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now
 	or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.
 Lord	The king and queen and all are coming down.
 HAMLET	In happy time.
 Lord	The queen desires you to use some gentle
 	entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play.
 HAMLET	She well instructs me.
 	[Exit Lord]
 HORATIO	You will lose this wager, my lord.
 HAMLET	I do not think so: since he went into France, I
 	have been in continual practise: I shall win at the
 	odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill all's here
 	about my heart: but it is no matter.
 HORATIO	Nay, good my lord,--
 HAMLET	It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of
 	gain-giving, as would perhaps trouble a woman.
 HORATIO	If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: I will
 	forestall their repair hither, and say you are not
 HAMLET	Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special
 	providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
 	'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
 	now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
 	readiness is all: since no man has aught of what he
 	leaves, what is't to leave betimes?
 	Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, &c]
 KING CLAUDIUS	Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
 	[KING CLAUDIUS puts LAERTES' hand into HAMLET's]
 HAMLET	Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong;
 	But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
 	This presence knows,
 	And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
 	With sore distraction. What I have done,
 	That might your nature, honour and exception
 	Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
 	Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
 	If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,
 	And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
 	Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
 	Who does it, then? His madness: if't be so,
 	Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
 	His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
 	Sir, in this audience,
 	Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
 	Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
 	That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
 	And hurt my brother.
 LAERTES	I am satisfied in nature,
 	Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
 	To my revenge: but in my terms of honour
 	I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
 	Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
 	I have a voice and precedent of peace,
 	To keep my name ungored. But till that time,
 	I do receive your offer'd love like love,
 	And will not wrong it.
 HAMLET	I embrace it freely;
 	And will this brother's wager frankly play.
 	Give us the foils. Come on.
 LAERTES	Come, one for me.
 HAMLET	I'll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance
 	Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,
 	Stick fiery off indeed.
 LAERTES	You mock me, sir.
 HAMLET	No, by this hand.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Give them the foils, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet,
 	You know the wager?
 HAMLET	Very well, my lord
 	Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side.
 KING CLAUDIUS	I do not fear it; I have seen you both:
 	But since he is better'd, we have therefore odds.
 LAERTES	This is too heavy, let me see another.
 HAMLET	This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
 	[They prepare to play]
 OSRIC	Ay, my good lord.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Set me the stoops of wine upon that table.
 	If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
 	Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
 	Let all the battlements their ordnance fire:
 	The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
 	And in the cup an union shall he throw,
 	Richer than that which four successive kings
 	In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups;
 	And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
 	The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
 	The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
 	'Now the king dunks to Hamlet.' Come, begin:
 	And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
 HAMLET	Come on, sir.
 LAERTES	                  Come, my lord.
 	[They play]
 HAMLET	Judgment.
 OSRIC	A hit, a very palpable hit.
 LAERTES	Well; again.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;
 	Here's to thy health.
 	[Trumpets sound, and cannon shot off within]
 		Give him the cup.
 HAMLET	I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.
 	[They play]
 	Another hit; what say you?
 LAERTES	A touch, a touch, I do confess.
 KING CLAUDIUS	Our son shall win.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	                  He's fat, and scant of breath.
 	Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows;
 	The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
 HAMLET	Good madam!
 KING CLAUDIUS	          Gertrude, do not drink.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon me.
 KING CLAUDIUS	[Aside]  It is the poison'd cup: it is too late.
 HAMLET	I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	Come, let me wipe thy face.
 LAERTES	My lord, I'll hit him now.
 KING CLAUDIUS	I do not think't.
 LAERTES	[Aside]  And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.
 HAMLET	Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
 	I pray you, pass with your best violence;
 	I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
 LAERTES	Say you so? come on.
 	[They play]
 OSRIC	Nothing, neither way.
 LAERTES	Have at you now!
 	[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then in scuffling, they
 	change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES]
 KING CLAUDIUS	Part them; they are incensed.
 HAMLET	Nay, come, again.
 OSRIC	                  Look to the queen there, ho!
 HORATIO	They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?
 OSRIC	How is't, Laertes?
 LAERTES	Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric;
 	I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.
 HAMLET	How does the queen?
 KING CLAUDIUS	She swounds to see them bleed.
 QUEEN GERTRUDE	No, no, the drink, the drink,--O my dear Hamlet,--
 	The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.
 HAMLET	O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd:
 	Treachery! Seek it out.
 LAERTES	It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
 	No medicine in the world can do thee good;
 	In thee there is not half an hour of life;
 	The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
 	Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise
 	Hath turn'd itself on me lo, here I lie,
 	Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:
 	I can no more: the king, the king's to blame.
 HAMLET	The point!--envenom'd too!
 	Then, venom, to thy work.
 All	Treason! treason!
 KING CLAUDIUS	O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.
 HAMLET	Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
 	Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
 	Follow my mother.
 LAERTES	                  He is justly served;
 	It is a poison temper'd by himself.
 	Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
 	Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
 	Nor thine on me.
 HAMLET	Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
 	I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
 	You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
 	That are but mutes or audience to this act,
 	Had I but time--as this fell sergeant, death,
 	Is strict in his arrest--O, I could tell you--
 	But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
 	Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
 	To the unsatisfied.
 HORATIO	Never believe it:
 	I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
 	Here's yet some liquor left.
 HAMLET	As thou'rt a man,
 	Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have't.
 	O good Horatio, what a wounded name,
 	Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!
 	If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
 	Absent thee from felicity awhile,
 	And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
 	To tell my story.
 	[March afar off, and shot within]
 	What warlike noise is this?
 OSRIC	Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
 	To the ambassadors of England gives
 	This warlike volley.
 HAMLET	O, I die, Horatio;
 	The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:
 	I cannot live to hear the news from England;
 	But I do prophesy the election lights
 	On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
 	So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
 	Which have solicited. The rest is silence.
 HORATIO	Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
 	And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
 	Why does the drum come hither?
 	[March within]
 	[Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors,
 	and others]
 PRINCE FORTINBRAS	Where is this sight?
 HORATIO	What is it ye would see?
 	If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
 PRINCE FORTINBRAS	This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death,
 	What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
 	That thou so many princes at a shot
 	So bloodily hast struck?
 First Ambassador	The sight is dismal;
 	And our affairs from England come too late:
 	The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
 	To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd,
 	That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
 	Where should we have our thanks?
 HORATIO	Not from his mouth,
 	Had it the ability of life to thank you:
 	He never gave commandment for their death.
 	But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
 	You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
 	Are here arrived give order that these bodies
 	High on a stage be placed to the view;
 	And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
 	How these things came about: so shall you hear
 	Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
 	Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
 	Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
 	And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
 	Fall'n on the inventors' reads: all this can I
 	Truly deliver.
 PRINCE FORTINBRAS	                  Let us haste to hear it,
 	And call the noblest to the audience.
 	For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
 	I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
 	Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
 HORATIO	Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
 	And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more;
 	But let this same be presently perform'd,
 	Even while men's minds are wild; lest more mischance
 	On plots and errors, happen.
 PRINCE FORTINBRAS	Let four captains
 	Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
 	For he was likely, had he been put on,
 	To have proved most royally: and, for his passage,
 	The soldiers' music and the rites of war
 	Speak loudly for him.
 	Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
 	Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
 	Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
 	[A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead
 	bodies; after which a peal of ordnance is shot off]

Next: Julius Caeser