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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!

Queen. Alack! what noise is this?

[A noise within.

Enter a Gentleman.

King. Attend.

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

Gent. 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.

King. The doors are broke.

[Noise within.

Enter LAERTES armed; Danes following.

Laer. Where is this king?-Sirs, stand you all with


Dan. No, let's come in.

Laer. I pray you, give me leave.

Dan. We will, we will.

[They retire without the door.

Laer. I thank you :-keep the door. O thou vile

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Queen. 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.

King. What is the cause, Laertes,

That thy rebellion look 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 art thou thus incens'd;—Let him go, Gertrude ;— Speak, man.

Laer. Where is my father?

King. Dead.

Queen. But not by him.

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.

King. 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.

King. Good Laertes,

If you desire to know the certainty

Of 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.

King. Will you know them then?

Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my


And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
Repast them with my blood.

King. 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?

Enter OPHELIA, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers.

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 with weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !—
O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love: and, where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.

Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier;

Hey no nonny, nonny hey nonny;

And in his grave rain'd many a tear;

Fare you well, my dove!

Laer. Had'st 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.

Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines :there's rue for and here's some for me:-we may you; call it, herb of grace o'Sundays:-you may 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,— [Sings.

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

Oph. 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 a' mercy on his soul!

And of all christian souls! I pray God. God be wi'



Laer. Do you see this, O God!


King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
you deny me right. Go but apart,

Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shalt 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.

Laer. 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. So you shall;

And, where the offence is, let the great axe fall.


pray you, go with me.


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