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No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell;
And the king's rousel the heaven shall bruit2 again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. Polonius,

and Laertes.

Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw, and resolve3 itself into a dew!
Or, that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in


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

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

Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus.

Hor. Hail to your lordship.
I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget myself.
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant

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Possess it merely 5 That it should come to this!
But two months dead!-nay, not so much, not



For God's love, let me hear.
Har. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
Armed at point, exactly, cap-à-pé,

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 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; while they, distill'₫
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.

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I think, it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.

(1) Draught. (2) Report. (3) Dissolve. (4) Law. (5) Entirely. (6) Apollo. (7) Suffer. (8) It was anciently the custom to give a cold entertainment at a funeral.

Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?

Hor. My lord, the king your father.


The king my father!
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent10 ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.

But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. Á truant disposition, good my lord.

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

Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-In



Ham. Sir, my good friend, I'll change that
name with you.

'Tis very strange.
Hor. 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.

And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?

Mar. My good lord,-
Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even,


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

But where was this?
Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we

Ham. Did you not speak to it?

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.

Ham. Arm'd, say you?
All. My lord, from head to foot.

His face?

Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver!! up.
Ham. What, look'd he frowningly?

A countenance more

We do, my lord.

Arm'd, my lord.

From top to toe?

Then saw you not

sorrow than in anger. Ham.

Pale, or red?

Hor. Nay, very pale.
And fix'd his eyes upon you?
Hor. Most constantly.

(9) Chiefest. (10) Attentive. (11) That part of the helmet which may be lifted up.


I would, I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amaz'd you

Very like,

Very like Stay'd it long?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell
a hundred.

Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw it.

His beard was grizzled? no? Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, The canker galls the infants of the spring,
A sable silver'd.
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then: best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless9 libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own read. 10

I will watch to-night;
Perchance, 'twill walk again.



I warrant, it will.
Ham. 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,
you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves: So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.
All. Our duty to your honour.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell.
[Exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo.
My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
I doubt some foul play: 'would, the night were


Do you doubt that?
Laer. 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.

If with too credents 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:


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.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for

Till then sit still, my soul: Foul deeds will rise, The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's And you are staid for: There, my blessing with [Exit. you; [Laying his hand on Laertes' head. SCENE III-A room in Polonius's house. En-Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, And these few precepts in thy memory ter Laertes and Ophelia. Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.


Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; farewell: Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. And, sister, as the winds give benefit, The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, And convoy is assistant, do not sleep, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel; But let me hear from you. But do not dull thy palm12 with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in, Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: Take each man's censure,13 but reserve thy judg

(2) Sinews.

(1) Increasing.
(3) Subtlety, deceit. (4) Discolour.
(5) Believing. (6) Listen to. (7) Licentious.
(8) Most cautious, (9) Careless.


Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

Oph. No more but so?
Think it no more:
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews,2 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,3 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 Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
The safety and the health of the whole state; Pol. The time invites you; go, your servants
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
Whereof he is the head: Then if he says he What I have said to you.
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,

And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous,14 chief15 in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.16
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 season17 this in thee!

'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
Laer. Farewell.
[Exit Laertes.
Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
Oph. So please you, something touching the lord

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Pol. 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 boun


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.
Oph. He hath, my lord, of late, made many


Of his affection to me.

Pol. Affection? puh! you speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should||


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

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

Oph. My lord, he hath importun'd me with love, In honourable fashion.2

Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech,|| my lord,

With almost all the holy vows of heaven.

Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter, Giving more light than heat,-extinct in both, Even in their promise, as it is a making,You must not take for fire. From this time, Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence; Set your entreatments3 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 tether4 may he walk, Than may be given you: In iew, Ophelia, Do not believe his vows: for they are brokers,5 Not of that die which their investments show, But mere implorators of unholy suits," Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds, The better to beguile. This is for all,I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth Have you so slander any moment's leisure, As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet. Look to't, I charge you; come your ways. Oph. I shall obey, my lord. [Exeunt. SCENE IV-The platform. Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.

Ham. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager7 air.
Ham. What hour now?

I think, it lacks of twelve.
Mar. No, it is struck.
Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; it then 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? Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse,8

Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring 10 reels;

And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Ham. Ay, marry, is't:

Is it a custom?

But to my mind,—though I am native here,
And to the manner born,-it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach, than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations:
They clepell 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,12
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 base
Doth all the noble substance often dout,13
To his own scandal.

(1) Untempted. (2) Manner. (3) Company. (4) Longer line; a horse fastened by a string to a stake, is tethered.

(5) Pimps.

(6) Implorers. (7) Sharp.

Enter Ghost.

Look, my lord, it comes!
Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!—
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable14 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 canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements! why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again! What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again, in cómplete steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature,
So horridly to shake our disposition, 15

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?
Hor. It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed 16 ground:
But do not go with it.


No, by no means. Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it. Hor. Do not, my lord. Ham. Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin's fee;17 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. Hor. What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,

Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,

(8) Jovial draught. (9) Jollity. (10) A dance. (11) Call. (12) Humour. (13) Do out. (14) Conversable. (15) Frame. (16) Remote. (17) Value.

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 toys2 of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.

It waves me still:


Go on, I'll follow thee.

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not go.
My fate cries
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Némean lion's nerve.-

I find thee apt;
And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
'Tis given out, that, sleeping in mine orchard,5
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is, by a forged process of my death,
Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
out,Now wears his crown.

Ham. 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
him.Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor

[Ghost beckons. Still am I call'd;-unhand me, gentlemen ;[Breaking from them. By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets3



say, away :-Go on, I'll follow thee.
[Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet.
Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.
Mar. Let's follow; tis not fit thus to obey
Hor. Have after:-To what issue will this come? To those of mine!

Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with wings
as swift

As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.

Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Den-But virtue, as it never will be mov'd,


Hor. Heaven will direct it.

Nay, let's follow him. [Exeunt. SCENE V.-A more remote part of the platform. Re-enter Ghost and Hamlet. Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further. Ghost. Mark me. Ham.

I will.

My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.


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


Speak, I am bound to hear. Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt


hear. Ham. What?

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit:

Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confin'd to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purg'd 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 ;

(1) Hangs. (2) Whims.
(4) Display.
(5) Garden.
(7) Henbane. (8) Scab, scurf.

Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand an-end,
Like quills upon the fretful Porcupine:

But this eternal blazon4 must not be
To ears of flesh and blood:-List, list, O list!-
If thou didst ever thy dear father love,-
Ham. O heaven!

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural
Ham. Murder?

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

(3) Hinders.
(6) Satiate.
(9) Leprous.

Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven;
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.

But, soft! methinks, I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be :-Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,.
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon7 in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment: whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine:
And a most instant tetter8 bark'd about,
Most lazar-like,9 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 despatch'd:18
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed,12 unanel'd ;13
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,
And to 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, adieu! remember me.


Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?

And shall I couple hell?-O fie!-Hold, hold, my heart;

(10) Bereft.

(11) Without having received the sacrament.
(12) Unappointed, unprepared.
(13) Without extreme unction,

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 saws2 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 sinile, and be a villain;
At least, am 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.

Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,-
Mar. Within.] Lord Hamlet,-
Hor. [Within.]

Mar. [Within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Mar. How is't, my noble lord?

What news, my lord?

Ham. O, wonderful!


You will reveal it.


Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Nor I, my lord.
Ham. How say you then; would heart of man||
once think it?-
But you'll be secret,-

Hor. Mar.

Heaven secure him!
So be it.

Good my lord, tell it.


(1) Head.
(2) Sayings, sentences.
(3) Memorandum-book.

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But come;

Ay, by heaven, my lord.
Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all
But he's an arrant knave.

Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from if they might
the grave,
To tell us this.
Ham. Why, right; you are in the right;
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit, that we shake hands, and part:
You, as your business, and desire, shall point

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 head-shake,
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

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me :-This do you swear,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you!
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! 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.



For every man hath business, and desire,
Such as it is, and, for my own poor part,
Look you, I will go pray.

Hor. These are but wild and whirling words,
my lord.

Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes,
'Faith, heartily.

There's no offence, my lord.
Ham. 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'er-master it as you may. And now, good friends, SCENE I.—A room in Polonius's house. Enter As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,

Polonius and Reynaldo.

Give me one poor request.

Hor. We will.

What is't, my lord?

Ham. Never make known what you have seen to-night.

Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.

Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo.

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Rey

Before you visit him, to make inquiry

(4) Here and every where,

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