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Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our persons 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. Alack! what noise is this? |

Enter a Gentleman.


King. Attend!

Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
What is the matter?


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. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O! this is counter, you false Danish dogs.
The doors are broke.


Enter LAERTES, armed;
Laer. Where is this king?
Dan. No, let's come in.

Dan. We will, we will.

[Noise within. |

Danes following.
Sirs, stand you all without.

I pray you, give me leave.

[They retire without the Door.

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Laer. I thank you: keep the door. O thou vile king, Give me my father.


Calmly, good Laertes.

Laer. 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.

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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 incens'd
Speak, man.

Let him go, Gertrude.


But not by him.

Laer. Where is my father?



King. Let him demand his fill.

Laer. 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 reveng'd
Most throughly for my father.


Who shall stay you?
Laer. My will, not all the world's:
And, for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little. |


Good Laertes,

If you desire to know the certainty

Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge,
That, sweepstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?

Laer. None but his enemies.


Will you know them, then?

Laer. To his good friends thus wide I 'll ope my arms; And, like the kind life- rendering pelican,

Repast them with my blood.

Why, now you speak
Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment 'pear
As day does to your eye.

Danes. [Within.] Let her come in.
Laer. 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 turns the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !

O heavens is 't possible, a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and, where 't is fine,





It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.

Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny:

And in his grave rain'd many a tear;
Fare you well, my dove! |

Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, It could not move thus.

Oph. You must sing, Down a-down, an you call him a down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter.

Laer. This nothing's more than matter.

Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts. Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.

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there's Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines: rue for you; and here's some for me: we may call it, herb of grace o'Sundays: you may wear your rue with a difThere's a daisy: I would give you some vio

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lets; but they withered all when my father died.
say, he made a good end,

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For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,

184 Laer.
Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour, and to prettiness.


And will he not come again?

And will he not come again?

No, no, he is dead;
Gone to his death-bed.
He never will come again.

His beard 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' you!

185 Laer. Do you see this, O God?

[Exit OPHELIA. |

King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,

Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct, or by collateral hand

They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,

Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,

Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.

Let this be so:

His means of death, his obscure funeral,

No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,

Cry to be heard, as 't were from heaven to earth,
That I must call 't in question.


So you shall;

And, where th' offence is, let the great axe fall.
I pray you, go with me. |


Another Room in the Same.

Enter HORATIO, and a Servant.



Hor. What are they, that would speak with me?
Serv. Sailors, Sir: they say, they have letters for you.
Hor. Let them come in.

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I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet.

1 Sail.

Enter Sailors.

God bless you, Sir.

Hor. Let him bless thee too.

[Exit Servant.

1 Sail. 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. Hor. [Reuds.] "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 our- 187 selves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me, like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou would'st 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



Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king.

Ham. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing

Guil. A thing, my lord!

Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all



Another Room in the Same.

Enter King, attended.

[Exeunt. |

King. 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 lov'd of the distracted multitude,

Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;

And where 't is so, th' 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 reliev'd,


Or not at all. How now! what hath befallen?
Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.


But where is he?

Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
King. Bring him before us.

Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord. |


King. Now, Hamlet, where 's Polonius?

Ham. At supper.

King. At supper! Where?

Ham. 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, Alas, alas!

Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

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