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Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth, The serpent, that did sting thy father's life, Now wears his crown.

Ham. O, my prophetick 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 mov'd,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven;
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,

And prey on garbage.

But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be :-Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That, swift as quicksilver, 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 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 despatch'd:
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,
And to 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.


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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 vil-

At least, I 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,-
Heaven secure him!

Hor. Within.

Ham. So be it!

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


Mar. How is't, my noble lord?
Hor. What news, my lord?
Ham. O, wonderful!

Hor. Good my lord, tell it.
Ham. No;

You will reveal it.

Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Mar. Nor I, my lord.

Ham. How say you then; would heart of

man once think it?

But you'll be secret,—

Hor. Mar. 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 the grave,

To tell us this.

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O'ermaster it as you may. And now, good | A worthy pioneer !-Once more remove, good

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Ham. Never make known what you have seen There are more things in heaven and earth, Ho


Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.

Ham. Nay, but swear't.

Hor. In faith,

My lord, not I.

Mar. Nor I, my lord, in faith.

Ham. Upon my sword.

Mar. We have sworn, my lord, already.
Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou
there, true-penny?

Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage,

Consent to swear.

Hor. Propose the oath, my lord.


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 antick 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 if they might ;

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me :-This do you


Ham. Never to speak of this that you have So grace and mercy at your most need help you!


Swear by my sword.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Hic & ubique? then we will shift our ground:

Come hither, gentlemen,

And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Swear by my sword,

Never to speak of this that you have heard.

Ghost. Beneath.] Swear by his sword. Ham. Well said, old mole! can'st work i'the earth so fast?

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gen


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's house.


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

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good

Before you visit him, to make inquiry
Of his behaviour.

Rey. My lord, I did intend it.

Pol. 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 expence; 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 ?

Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.

Pol. 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.

Rey. As gaming, my lord.
Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quar-

Drabbing :-You may go so far.

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Pol. Marry, sir, here's my drift;

And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant :
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 assur'd,
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.

Rey. Very good, my lord.

Pol. And then, sir, does he this, he doesWhat was I about to say?-By the mass, I was about to say something: Where did I leave? Rey. At, closes in the consequence. Pol. At, closes in the consequence,-Ay,

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you say,

There was he gaming; there o'ertook in his 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 windlaces, 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?
Rey. My lord, I have.

Pol. God be wi' you; fare you well.

Rey. Good my lord,

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Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself.

Rey. I shall, my lord.

Pol. And let him ply his music.

Rey. Well, my lord.




Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia? what's the matter?

Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

Pol. With what, in the name of heaven?

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet,—with his doublet all unbrac'd; 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. Pol. Mad for thy love?

Oph. My lord, I do not know;

But, truly, I do fear it.

Pol. What said he?

Oph. 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 staid he so ;
At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He rais'd 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.

Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstacy of love;
Whose violent property foredoes 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?
Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did com-

I did repel his letters, and denied
His access to me.

Pol. 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 jea-

It seems, 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 move

More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.



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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

And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and humour,

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. 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 a while,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.

Ros. Both your majesties

Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, Put your dread pleasures more into command Than to entreaty.

Guil. 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. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guildenstern.

Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Ro

sencrantz :

And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed son.-Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our

Pleasant and helpful to him!

Queen. Ay, amen!

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King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in. [Exit Polonius. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son's distemper. Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main ; His father's death, and our o'er hasty marriage.


King. Well, we shall sift him.-Welcome, my good friends!

Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Volt. 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 griev'd,—
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 th' 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,

[Gives a paper.

That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprize;
On such regards of safety, and allowance,
As therein are set down.

King. It likes us well;

And, at our more consider'd time, we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Mean time, we thank you for your well-took la-

Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!

[Exeunt Voltimand and CorneliusPol. This business is well ended.

[Exeunt Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and My liege, and madam, to expostulate

some Attendants.


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.

Pol. The ambassadors from Norway, my good Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, lord,

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Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, 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 us'd to do,) that I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

King. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear. Pol. Give first admittance to the ambassadors; My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

And tediousness the limbs and outward flou


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. More matter, with less art.

Pol. 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. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faith-

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. But how hath she

Receiv'd his love?

Pol. What do you think of me?

King. As of a man faithful and honourable. Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you think,

When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
(As I perceiv'd 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 working, mute and dumb;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
What might you think? no, I went round to

And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;
Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy sphere;
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. Do you think, 'tis this?

Queen. It may be, very likely.

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed Within the centre.

King. How may we try it further?

Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours together,

Here in the lobby.

Queen. So he does, indeed.

Pol. 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 fallen thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm, and carters.
King. We will try it.

Enter HAMLET, reading.

Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away;
I'll board him presently :-0, give me leave.-
[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.
How does my good lord Hamlet?
Ham. Well, god-'a-mercy.

Pol. Do you know me, my lord?
Ham. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Pol. Not I, my lord.

Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my lord?

Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Pol. That's very true, my lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion,——Have you a daughter?

Pol. I have, my lord.

Ham. Let her not walk i'the sun: conception is a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to't."

Pol. How say you by that? [Aside.] 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 suf fered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.—What do you read, my lord?

Ham. Words, words, words!

Pol. What is the matter, my lord?
Ham. Between who?

Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord. Ham. 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

Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain most weak hams: All of which, sir, though I

know that,)

That I have positively said, 'Tis so,

When it prov'd otherwise?

King. Not that I know.

Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise: [Pointing to his head and shoulder.

If circumstances lead me, I will find

most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

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