Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
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SCENE I. Elsinore.
A platform before the castle.
at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO/
Who's there? / Brown 1994
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself. / Brown
Long live the king! / Brown
You come most carefully upon your hour.
'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
Have you had quiet guard?
Not a mouse stirring.
Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of
my watch, bid them make haste.
I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?
/Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS/
Friends to this ground.
And liegemen to the Dane.
Give you good night.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Who hath relieved you?
Bernardo has my place.
Give you good night.
What, is Horatio there?
A piece of him.
Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
What, has this thing appear'd again to-night? / Brown
I have seen nothing. / Brown
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
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That if again this
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile;
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified
against our story
What we have two nights seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Last night of all,
When yond same star that's westward from the pole
made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus
The bell then beating one,--
Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio. / Fielding
Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
It would be spoke to.
Question it, Horatio.
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march?
by heaven I charge thee, speak!
It is offended.
See, it stalks away!
Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
'Tis gone, and will not answer.
How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale: / Boucicault
1855 / Dennis 1697
/ Garrick 1752
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king?
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. Becket
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour, / Scott
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
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.
Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
And why such
daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war; / Fielding
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
That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd
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,
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
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
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.
I think it be no other but e'en so:
Well may it sort that this portentous
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was and is
the question of these wars.
A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye. / Keats
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
and gibber in the Roman streets: / Byron
1819 / Wordsworth
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
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
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures
But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use
Speak to me: / Scott
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease
and grace to me,
Speak to me:
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.
Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
Do, if it will not stand.
'Tis here! / Byron 1819
/ Brown 1994
'Tis gone! / Brown 1994
/ Tennyson 1842
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.
It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, / Holz
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 / Brontë,
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object
It faded on the crowing of the cock. / Tennyson,
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's
birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long: / Scott
1821 / Beckett
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
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet
mantle clad, / Tennyson 1847
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill: / Wordsworth
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,
dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES,
CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants/
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.
our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress to this warlike
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,--
With an auspicious and
a dropping eye, / Thackeray
1839 / Thackeray
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
equal scale weighing delight and dole,--
Taken to wife: nor have we herein
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along.
For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
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
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself and for this time
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle
of young Fortinbras,--
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
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
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this
greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
with the king, more than the scope
Of these delated articles allow.
and let your haste commend your duty.
In that and
all things will we show our duty.
We doubt it
nothing: heartily farewell.
/Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS/
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of some suit; what
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
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.
thou have, Laertes?
My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
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
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
Have you your
father's leave? What says 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
Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,--
[Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind. / Lawrence
How is it that the
clouds still hang on you?
Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.
cast thy nighted colour off, / Joyce
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever
with thy vailed lids / Tennyson
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st 'tis common;
all that lives must die, / Tennyson
Passing through nature to eternity.
Ay, madam, it is common. / Joyce
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
'Tis not alone my inky cloak,
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
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings
and the suits of woe. / Pope
'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, / Brown
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
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow: but
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness;
'tis unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
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
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,
reason most absurd: whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
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
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest
father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
back to school in Wittenberg, / Joyce
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend
you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
courtier, cousin, and our son.
Let not thy
mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:
I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
Why, 'tis a
loving and a fair reply:
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
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
And the king's rouse the heavens all bruit again,
earthly thunder. Come away.
/Exeunt all but HAMLET/
O, that this too too solid
flesh would melt / Bronte,
C. 1853 / Holz
1889 / Byron 1817
Keats 1818 / Keats
1818 / Beckett
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,
/ Shelley, M. 1835 /
to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
/ Joyce 1922
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:
excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too
roughly. Heaven and earth! / Shelley,
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!-- / Hoffmann
1822 / Hoffmann
1822 / Goethe
1796 / Pope
1712 / Dryden
1682 / Fuller
A little month, or ere those shoes were old / Wordsworth
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all
tears:--why she, even she-- / Keats
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, / Coleridge
1818 / Coleridge
(no year) / Coleridge
(no year) / Coleridge
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
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
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to
incestuous sheets! / Scott
It is not nor it cannot come to good: / Powell
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
/Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO/
Hail to your lordship!
I am glad to see you well:
Horatio,--or I do forget myself.
The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you:
And what make you from
Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?
My good lord--
I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
But what, in faith, make you from
A truant disposition, good my lord.
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
But what is your affair in Elsinore? / Holz
We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
I think it was to see my mother's
Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Thrift, thrift, Horatio!
the funeral baked meats / Conrad
1907 / Beckett
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. / Scott
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that
My father!--methinks I see my father.
Where, my lord?
In my mind's eye, Horatio. / Shelley,
M. 1842 / Shelley., M. 1840
/ Coleridge 1818
/ Coleridge (no year)
/ Coleridge (no year)
I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
He was a man, take him for all in all, Johnson
I shall not look upon his like again. / Byron
My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
My lord, the king
The king my father!
Season your admiration for awhile
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
For God's love, let me hear.
Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their
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,
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,
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,
comes: I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
But where was this?
My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.
Did you not speak to it?
My lord, I did;
But answer made it none: yet once methought
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
And vanish'd from our sight.
'Tis very strange.
As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in
To let you know of it.
Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
We do, my
Arm'd, say you?
>From top to toe? / Thackeray
My lord, from head to foot.
Then saw you not his face?
O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up. / Joyce
What, look'd he frowningly?
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger. / Shelley,
M. 1842/ Radcliffe 1794
/ Scott 1819
Pale or red?
Nay, very pale.
And fix'd his eyes upon you?
I would I had been there.
It would have much amazed you.
Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Not when I saw't.
His beard was grizzled--no?
It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver'd.
I will watch to-night;
Perchance 'twill walk again.
I warrant it will.
If it assume my noble father's person,
I'll speak to it, though hell itself
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;
else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue:
requite your loves. So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and
I'll visit you.
Our duty to your honour.
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.
/Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA/
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.
Do you doubt that?
For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent,
sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.
No more but so?
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
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:
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
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
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
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself 'scapes
not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
oft before their buttons be disclosed,
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent. / Coleridge
Be wary then; best safety lies in fear:
Youth to itself
rebels, though none else near.
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; / Hardy
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose
path of dalliance treads, / Lawrence
And recks not his own rede. / Hardy
O, fear me not.
I stay too long: but here my father comes.
blessing is a double grace,
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
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, / Radcliffe
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
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
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. / Sterne 1768
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, / Sterne 1768
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
The time invites
you; go; your servants tend.
Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.
'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
Ophelia, be hath said to you?
So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
'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 do not understand yourself so clearly
As it behoves my daughter
and your honour.
What is between you? give me up the truth.
He hath, my lord,
of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
teach you: think yourself a baby;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true
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.
My lord, he hath importuned me with love
In honourable fashion.
you may call it; go to, go to.
And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy
vows of heaven.
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
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
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.
I shall obey, my lord.
SCENE IV. The platform.
/Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS/
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
It is a nipping and an eager air. / Joyce
What hour now?
I think it lacks of twelve.
No, it is struck.
Indeed? I heard it not: then it draws near the season / Coleridge
Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
/A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within/
What does this mean, my lord?
The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail, and the swaggering
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, / Keats
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out / Keats
The triumph of his pledge.
Is it a custom?
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. / Brontë,
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
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So, oft it chances in
That for some vicious mole of nature in them, / Austen
As, in their birth--wherein they are not guilty,
cannot choose his origin--
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
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
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,--
else--be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo--
in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault: the dram
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his own scandal.
Look, my lord, it comes!
Angels and ministers of grace defend us! / Goethe
1796 / Pope 1728
/ Richardson 1753
/ Lawrence 1932
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, / Radcliffe
1794 / Coleridge
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, / Shelley,
M. 1842 / Shelley, M. 1840
/ Wordsworth 1850
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
/ Wordsworth 1850
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane:
O, answer me! / Goethe 1796
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell / Johnson
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their
cerements; why the sepulchre, / Scott
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath oped his ponderous
and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
/ Joyce 1922 / Scott
1820 / Scott 1822
/ Scott 1822
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature / Pope
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/
It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone. / Joyce 1922
Look, with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground:
But do not go with it.
No, by no means.
It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Do not, my lord.
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life in a pin's fee; / Shelley,
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal
It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.
What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, / Joyce
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff / Scott
That beetles o'er his base into the sea, / Joyce
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive
your sovereignty of reason
And draw you into madness? think of it:
very place puts toys of desperation, / Wordsworth
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.
You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Be ruled; you shall not go.
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.
I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!
I say, away! Go on; I'll follow thee.
/Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET/
He waxes desperate with imagination.
Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Have after. To what issue will this come?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. / -minu
2001 / Shelley, M. 1840
Heaven will direct it.
Nay, let's follow him.
SCENE V. Another part of the platform.
/Enter GHOST and HAMLET/
Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.
My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
render up myself.
Alas, poor ghost! / Byron 1819
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
Speak; I am bound to hear.
So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
I am thy father's spirit, / Joyce
1922 / Joyce 1922
/ Donne 1593 / Lawrence
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, / Scott
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Joyce
1922 / Shelley,
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, / Brontë,
C. 1849 / Coleridge
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
/ Tennyson 1823 / Tennyson
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon
must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list! / Joyce
If thou didst ever thy dear father love-- / Joyce
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Murder most foul, as in the best it is; / Woolf
But this most foul, strange and unnatural.
Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts
May sweep to my revenge.
I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed / Tennyson
1842 / Pope 1711
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now,
'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
abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's
Now wears his crown.
O my prophetic soul! My uncle! / Bront
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, / Joyce
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,--
wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!--won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen: / Scott
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
to her in marriage, and to decline
Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were
poor / Tennyson 1842
To those of mine!
But virtue, as it never will be moved, / Byron
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,
But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air; / Wordsworth
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always
of the afternoon, / Byron
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed
hebenon in a vial, / Shelley,
And in the porches of my ears did pour / Tennyson
1823 / Joyce 1922
/ Joyce 1922 / Wordsworth
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with
blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigour doth posset
curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did
And a most instant tetter bark'd about, / Donne
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth
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,
disappointed, unanel'd, / Sterne
1759 / Shelley, M. 1830
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my
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,
to pale his uneffectual fire: / Tennyson
Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me. / Goethe
O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O,
fie! Hold, hold, my heart; / Hoffmann
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly
up. Remember thee! / Remember thee
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of
my memory / Tennyson 1842
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,
baser matter: yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain,
smiling, damned villain!
My tables,--meet it is I set it down, / Joyce
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain; / Fielding
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
[Within] My lord, my lord,--
[Within] Lord Hamlet,--
[Within] Heaven secure him!
So be it!
[Within] Hillo, ho, ho, my lord!
Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.
/Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS/
How is't, my noble lord?
What news, my lord?
Good my lord, tell it.
No; you'll reveal it.
Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Nor I, my lord.
How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
But you'll be secret?
Ay, by heaven,
There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.
There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave / Fielding
To tell us this.
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.
These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
Yes, 'faith heartily.
There's no offence, my lord.
Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio, / Joyce
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
Give me one poor request.
What is't, my lord? we will.
Never make known what you have seen to-night.
we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
My lord, not I.
Nor I, my lord,
Upon my sword.
We have sworn, my lord, already.
Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there,
truepenny? / Joyce
1922 / Scott
1820 / Scott
Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage-- / Coleridge
Consent to swear.
Propose the oath, my lord.
Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Swear by my sword.
Hic et ubique? then we'll shift our ground.
Come hither, gentlemen,
lay your hands again upon my sword:
Never to speak of this that you have heard,
Swear by my sword.
Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
A worthy pioner! Once
more remove, good friends.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange! / Scott
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven
and earth, Horatio, / Sterne
1759 / www 2002
/ Holz 1889/ Keats
1819 / Blake 1784
/ Lawrence 1934
/ Lawrence 1912
/ Lawrence 1920
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,
I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on, / Tennyson
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd
thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
'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.
Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
With all my love I do commend me to you:
And what so poor a man as Hamlet
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, / Thackeray
1848 / Thackeray
1857 / Thackeray 1857
/ Holz 1889
That ever I was born to set it right! / Goethe
Nay, come, let's go together.
SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.
/Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO/
Give him this
money and these notes, Reynaldo.
I will, my lord.
You shall do
marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before you visit him, to make inquire
Of his behavior.
My lord, I did intend it.
said; very well said. Look you, sir,
Inquire me first what Danskers are in
And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
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;
thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
And in part him: ' do you mark this,
Ay, very well, my
'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
But, if't be he I mean, he's
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;
sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.
As gaming, my lord.
Ay, or drinking,
fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Drabbing: you may go so far.
My lord, that would dishonour him.
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
That they may seem the taints of liberty,
The flash and outbreak
of a fiery mind,
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.
But, my good lord,--
you do this?
Ay, my lord,
I would know that.
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,
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
According to the phrase or the addition
Of man and country.
Very good, my lord.
And then, sir,
does he this--he does--what was I
about to say? By the mass, I was about to
something: where did I leave?
At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
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;
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,
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
My lord, I have.
God be wi'
you; fare you well.
Good my lord!
Observe his inclination in yourself.
I shall, my lord.
And let him
ply his music.
Well, my lord.
Ophelia! what's the matter?
O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
With what, i' the
name of God?
My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
/ Scott 1821
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
of horrors,--he comes before me.
Mad for thy
My lord, I do not know;
But truly, I do fear it.
What said he?
He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all
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
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;
o' doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light
Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love,
/ www 2002 / www
Whose violent property fordoes itself
And leads the will to desperate
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?
No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
I did repel his fetters and denied
His access to me.
That hath made
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
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and
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,
nor the exterior nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should
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,
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
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
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.
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
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
Both your majesties
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
your dread pleasures more into command
Than to entreaty.
But we both obey,
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent
our service freely at your feet,
To be commanded.
and gentle 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.
Heavens make our presence and our practises
Pleasant and helpful to him!
/Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendants/
from Norway, my good lord,
Are joyfully return'd.
hast been the father of good news.
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.
O, speak of
that; that do I long to hear.
admittance to the ambassadors;
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
grace to them, and bring them in.
me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
The head and source of all your son's
I doubt it is no other but the main;
His father's death, and our o'erhasty
Well, we shall sift him.
/Re-enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS/
Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to
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,
Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine
Makes vow before his uncle
To give the assay of arms against your majesty.
Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee,
And his commission to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
/Giving a paper/
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.
It likes us
And at our more consider'd time well read,
Answer, and think upon
Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:
your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!
/Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS/
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,
nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the
soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
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.
with less art.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis
pity; / Byron 1819
And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;
But farewell it, for I will use
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,
effect defective comes by cause: / Byron
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
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.'
Came this from
Hamlet to her?
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;
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
is to him, HAMLET.'
This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me,
more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means and place,
All given to mine ear.
But how hath
Received his love?
What do you
think of me?
As of a man faithful and honourable.
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
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,
look'd upon this love with idle sight;
What might you think? No, I went round
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,
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
Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,
Thence to a watch, thence
into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.
Do you think 'tis this?
It may be,
Hath there been such a time--I'd fain know that--
That I have positively said
When it proved otherwise?
Not that I
[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
Within the centre.
How may we
try it further?
You know, sometimes
he walks four hours together
Here in the lobby.
So he does
At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him:
Be you and I behind an arras
Mark the encounter: if he love her not
And be not from his reason
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm and
We will try it.
where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.
Away, I do
beseech you, both away:
I'll board him presently.
/Exeunt KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, and Attendants/
/Enter HAMLET, reading/
O, give me leave:
How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Do you know
me, my lord?
Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Not I, my lord.
Then I would you were so honest a man.
Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be
one man picked out of
That's very true, my lord.
For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a
god kissing carrion,--Have
you a daughter?
I have, my
Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a
blessing: but not as your daughter
Friend, look to 't.
say you by that? Still harping on my / Keats
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
love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.
What do you read, my
Words, words, words. /
1849 / Beckett
What is the matter, my lord?
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
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
gum and that they have a plentiful lack of / Keats
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
could go backward.
[Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method / Brontë,
in 't. Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
Into my grave.
Indeed, that is out o' the air.
sometimes his replies are! a happiness
that often madness hits on, which reason
could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will
and suddenly contrive the means of
meeting between him and my daughter.--My
lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will
more willingly part withal:
except my life, except
my life, except my life.
Fare you well,
These tedious old fools!
/Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
You go to seek
the Lord Hamlet; there he is.
[To POLONIUS] God save you, sir!
My honoured lord!
My most dear lord!
My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good
lads, how do ye both?
As the indifferent children of the earth.
Happy, in that we are not over-happy; / Hardy
On fortune's cap we are not the very button.
Nor the soles of her shoe?
Neither, my lord.
Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of
'Faith, her privates we.
In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she / Byron
is a strumpet. What's the news?
None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest.
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?
Prison, my lord!
Denmark's a prison.
Then is the world one.
A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
wards and dungeons, Denmark
being one o' the worst.
We think not so, my lord.
Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing / Hardy
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
it is a
Why then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too
narrow for your mind.
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.
Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious
is merely the shadow of a dream.
A dream itself is but a shadow.
Truly, and I hold
ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.
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.
wait upon you.
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?
To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
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.
What should we say, my lord?
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
I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
To what end, my lord?
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?
[Aside to GUILDENSTERN] What say you?
[Aside] Nay, then, I have an eye of you.--If you
love me, hold not off.
My lord, we were sent for.
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 / Wordsworth
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most / Shelley,
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
firmament, this majestical roof fretted / Keats
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! / Byron
1819 / Holz 1889
/ Byron 1817 / Scott
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how / Keats
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
how like a god! the beauty of the / Shelley,
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, /
Shelley, M. 1826
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not /
me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling / Sterne
you seem to say so.
My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Why did you laugh then, when I said 'man delights not me'?
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.
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
sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part / Hardy
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
for't. What players are they?
Even those you were wont to take delight in, the
tragedians of the city.
How chances it they travel? their residence, both
in reputation and profit,
was better both ways.
I think their inhibition comes by the means of the
Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was
in the city? are they
No, indeed, are they not.
How comes it? do they grow rusty?
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
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
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
against their own succession? / Hardy
'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.
O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Do the boys carry it away?
Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.
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/
There are the players.
Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands,
come then: the appurtenance
of welcome is fashion / Fielding
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
entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my
aunt-mother are deceived.
In what, my dear lord?
I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is / Holz
southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
Well be with
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.
Happily he's the second time come to them; for they
say an old man is twice
I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players;
mark it. You say right,
sir: o' Monday morning;
'twas so indeed.
My lord, I
have news to tell you.
My lord, I have news to tell you.
When Roscius was an actor in Rome,--
are come hither, my lord.
Buz, buz! / Joyce 1922 /
Upon mine honour,--
Then came each actor on his ass,--
The best actors
in the world, either for tragedy,
comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,
historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-
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
O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!
What a treasure
had he, my lord?
'One fair daughter and no more,
The which he loved passing well.'
on my daughter.
Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah?
If you call
me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter
that I love passing well.
Nay, that follows not.
then, my lord?
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
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 / Scott
apiece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the
you are all welcome. We'll e'en
to't like French falconers, fly at any thing
we'll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste
of your quality;
come, a passionate speech.
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 / Scott
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
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
indict the author of affectation; but called it an
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,
at this line: let me see, let me see--
'The rugged Pyrrhus, like
the Hyrcanian beast,'-- / Goethe
it is not so:--it begins with Pyrrhus:--
'The rugged Pyrrhus,
he whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Now is he total gules;
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
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
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
So, proceed you.
my lord, well spoken, with good accent and
'Anon he finds
Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
Rebellious to his
arm, lies where it falls,
Repugnant to command: unequal match'd,
at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide;
But with the whiff and wind of his
The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
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
Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick:
So, as a painted
tyrant, Pyrrhus stood, / Hoffmann
And like a neutral to his will and matter,
But, as we often see, against some storm,
A silence in the heavens, the rack
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
On Mars's armour forged for proof eterne
With less remorse than Pyrrhus'
Now falls on Priam.
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All
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!'
This is too
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.
'But who, O,
who had seen the mobled queen--'
'The mobled queen?'
'mobled queen' is good.
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
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
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,
have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
And passion in the gods.'
he has not turned his colour and has
tears in's eyes. Pray you, no more.
'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.
My lord, I
will use them according to their desert.
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.
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?
Ay, my lord.
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
Ay, my lord.
Very well. Follow that lord; and look you mock him
/Exit First Player/
good friends, I'll leave you till night: you are
welcome to Elsinore.
Good my lord!
Ay, so, God be wi'
I am alone. / Woolf 1928
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! / Lawrence
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
from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his
conceit? and all for nothing!
What's Hecuba to him, or he
That he should weep for her? What would he do, / Goethe
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,
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
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
Why, what an ass
am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
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,
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
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
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA,
And can you, by no drift of circumstance,
Get from him why he puts on this
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
With turbulent and
He does confess he feels himself distracted;
But from what cause he will by
no means speak.
Nor do we find him forward to be sounded,
But, with a crafty madness, keeps
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state.
Did he receive
Most like a gentleman.
But with much forcing of his disposition.
Niggard of question; but, of our demands,
Most free in his reply.
Did you assay
To any pastime?
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.
'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties
To hear and see the matter.
With all my
heart; and it doth much content me
To hear him so inclined.
give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
We shall, my lord.
ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as
'twere by accident, may here
Her father and myself, lawful
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.
I shall obey
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
bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.
Madam, I wish it may.
/Exit QUEEN GERTRUDE/
you here. Gracious, so please you,
We will bestow ourselves.
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.
[Aside] O, 'tis
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!
cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
O heavy burthen!
I hear him
coming: let's withdraw, my lord.
/Exeunt KING CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS/
To be, or not to be: that
is the question: / Byron
1819 / Fritsch 2001 / Internet
2002 / Holz
1889 / Holz
1889 / Byron 1817
/ Conrad 1900
(no year) / Beckett
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and
arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, /
Oelz 2000 / Scott
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; / Holz
1889 / Holz 1889
/ Byron 1816
more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural
shocks / Tennyson 1850
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation / Keats
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance
to dream: ay, there's the rub; / Sterne 1759 / Scott
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have
shuffled off this mortal coil, / Tennyson
1830 / Conrad 1917
/ Lawrence 1922
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, / Joyce
1922 / Keats 1848
/ Keats 1817
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the
That patient merit of the unworthy takes, / Coleridge
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?
who would fardels bear, / Keats
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of
something after death, / Byron
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn / Tennyson
1842 / Tennyson 1850
/ Tennyson 1889 / Shelley,
M. 1818/ Shelely,
M. 1835 / Conrad
1917 / Fielding 1743
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; / Holz
1889 / Coleridge
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the
pale cast of thought, / Keats
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their
currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?
I humbly thank you; well, well, well.
My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
That I have longed long to re-deliver;
I pray you, now receive them.
No, not I;
I never gave you aught.
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
There, my lord.
Ha, ha! are you honest?
Are you fair?
What means your lordship?
That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should
admit no discourse to
Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than
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.
Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
so inoculate our old stock
but we shall relish of
it: I loved you not.
I was the more deceived.
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a / Lawrence
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
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 / Holz
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.
Where's your father?
At home, my lord.
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the
fool no where but in's
own house. Farewell.
O, help him, you sweet heavens!
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 / Keats
marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough
you make of them. To a nunnery, go,
and quickly too. Farewell.
O heavenly powers, restore him!
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
O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! / Byron
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword;
expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould
of form, / Byron 1819 /lShelley,
The observed of all observers, quite, quite down! / Brontë,
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, / Beckett
To have seen what I
have seen, see what I see!
/Re-enter KING CLAUDIUS and POLONIUS/
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?
It shall do
well: but yet do I believe
The origin and commencement of his grief
from neglected love. How now, Ophelia!
You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet
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
his grief: let her be round with him;
And I'll be placed, so please you, in
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send
him, or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.
It shall be
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
A hall in the castle.
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
the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget
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
out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. / Hardy
1886 / Scott
I warrant your honour.
Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion
be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the /suit
the action /Thackeray 1849 / Thackeray 1849 / Thackeray 1858 / Thackeray 1904 / Scott
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
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, / Shelley,
M. 1835 / Wordsworth
or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful
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
journeymen had made men and not made them
well, they imitated humanity so
I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us,
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,
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.
POLONIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN/
How now, my lord! I will the king hear this piece of work?
And the queen
too, and that presently.
Bid the players make haste.
you two help to hasten them?
What ho! Horatio!
Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal.
O, my dear lord,--
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,
crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost
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
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing, / Hardy
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,
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, / Byron 1820
As I do thee.--Something too much of this.--
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
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,
we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
Well, my lord:
If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
And 'scape detecting, I
will pay the theft.
They are coming to the play; I must be idle:
Get you a place.
/Danish march. A flourish. Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE,
OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others/
How fares our
Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish: I eat
the air, promise-crammed:
you cannot feed capons so.
I have nothing
with this answer, Hamlet; these words
are not mine.
No, nor mine now.
My lord, you
played once i' the university, you say?
That did I,
my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
What did you enact?
I did enact
Julius Caesar: I was killed i' the
Capitol; Brutus killed me.
It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
there. Be the players
Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
No, good mother, here's metal more attractive. / Scott
[To KING CLAUDIUS]
O, ho! do you mark that?
Lady, shall I lie in your lap? / Sterne 1768
/Lying down at OPHELIA's feet/
No, my lord.
I mean, my head upon your lap?
Ay, my lord.
Do you think I meant country matters?
I think nothing, my lord.
That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
What is, my lord?
You are merry, my lord.
Ay, my lord.
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.
Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
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
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
three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead
body is carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts: she
and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts his love/
What means this, my lord?
Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief. / Shelley,
Belike this show imports the argument of the play.
We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot
keep counsel; they'll tell
Will he tell us what this show meant? /
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.
You are naught, you are naught: I'll mark the play.
For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your
Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
'Tis brief, my lord.
As woman's love.
two Players, King and Queen/
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
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
in most sacred bands.
So many journeys
may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er ere love be done!
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
For women's fear and love holds quantity;
In neither aught, or in
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.
'Faith, I must
leave thee, love, and shortly too;
My operant powers their functions leave
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
and haply one as kind
For husband shalt thou--
O, confound the
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.
[Aside] Wormwood, wormwood.
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.
I do believe you
think what now you speak;
But what we do determine oft we break.
is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity;
now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree;
But fall, unshaken, when they
Most necessary 'tis that we forget
To pay ourselves what to
ourselves is debt:
What to ourselves in passion we propose,
ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy
own enactures with themselves destroy:
Where joy most revels, grief doth most
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
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
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
Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own:
think thou wilt no second husband wed;
But die thy thoughts when thy first
lord is dead.
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
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow,
ever I be wife!
If she should break it now!
'Tis deeply sworn.
Sweet, leave me here awhile;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
Madam, how like you this play?
The lady protests
too much, methinks.
O, but she'll keep her word.
Have you heard
the argument? Is there no offence in 't?
No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence
i' the world.
What do you
call the play?
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
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 / Byron 1819
withers are unwrung.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.
You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
I could interpret between you and your love, if I
could see the puppets dallying.
You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
Still better, and worse.
So you must take your husbands. Begin, murderer;
pox, leave thy damnable faces,
and begin. Come:
'the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.' / Robinson
Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing;
else no creature seeing;
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy natural magic and dire
On wholesome life usurp immediately.
/Pours the poison into the sleeper's ears/
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.
The king rises.
What, frighted with false fire!
How fares my
Give o'er the play.
Give me some
Lights, lights, lights! / Hoffmann 1822
all but HAMLET and HORATIO/
Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must
watch, while some must sleep:
So runs the world away. / Johnson
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?
Half a share.
A whole one, I.
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very--pajock.
You might have rhymed.
O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a
thousand pound. Didst perceive?
Very well, my lord.
Upon the talk of the poisoning?
I did very well note him.
Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the recorders!
For if the king like not the
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!
/Re-enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Sir, a whole history.
The king, sir,--
Ay, sir, what of him?
Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.
With drink, sir?
No, my lord, rather with choler.
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
Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame and
start not so wildly from
I am tame, sir: pronounce.
The queen, your mother, in most great affliction of
spirit, hath sent me to
You are welcome.
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
if not, your pardon and my return
shall be the end of my business.
Sir, I cannot.
What, my lord?
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
more, but to the matter: my mother, you say,--
Then thus she says; your behavior hath struck her
into amazement and admiration.
O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother! But
is there no sequel at
the heels of this mother's
She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere you
go to bed.
We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have
you any further trade with
My lord, you once did love me.
So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
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.
Sir, I lack advancement.
How can that be, when you have the voice of the king
himself for your succession
Ay, but sir, 'While the grass grows,'--the proverb
is something musty. / Coleridge
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?
O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too
I do not well understand that. Will you play upon
My lord, I cannot.
I pray you.
Believe me, I cannot.
I do beseech you.
I know no touch of it, my lord.
'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.
/ Shelley, M. 1826
Look you, these are the stops.
But these cannot I command to any utterance of
harmony; I have not the skill.
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.
bless you, sir!
My lord, the
queen would speak with you, and
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel? / Coleridge
(no year) / Woolf
By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
Methinks it is like a weasel.
It is backed
like a weasel.
Or like a whale? / Joyce
Very like a
Then I will come to my mother by and by. They fool /Byron
1819 / top of my bent
/ Scott 1819
me to the top of my bent. I will come by and by.
I will say
By and by is easily said.
all but HAMLET/
the very witching time of night, / Keats
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out / Joyce
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood, / Wordsworth
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
soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
Let me be cruel, not unnatural:
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN/
I like him
not, nor stands it safe with us
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare
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.
We will ourselves provide:
Most holy and religious fear it is
those many many bodies safe
That live and feed upon your majesty.
The single and peculiar life is bound,
With all the strength and armour of
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit upon
whose weal depend and rest
The lives of many. The cease of majesty
not alone; but, like a gulf, doth draw
What's near it with it: it is a massy
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, / Coleridge
Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
Did the king sigh, but
with a general groan.
Arm you, I
pray you, to this speedy voyage;
For we will fetters put upon this fear,
Which now goes too free-footed.
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,
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
Thanks, dear my lord.
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
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,
there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto
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,
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
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
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
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
true nature; and we ourselves compell'd,
Even to the teeth and forehead of
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?
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!
be well. / Tennyson
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; / MacLeish
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,
sole son, do this same villain send
O, this is hire and salary,
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
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; / Richardson
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.
[Rising] My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts
never to heaven go.
SCENE IV. The Queen's closet.
/Enter QUEEN MARGARET and 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
heat and him. I'll sconce me even here.
Pray you, be round with him.
[Within] Mother, mother, mother!
Fear me not: withdraw, I hear him coming.
/POLONIUS hides behind the arras/ / Milton
Now, mother, what's the matter?
hast thy father much offended.
Mother, you have my father much offended.
you answer with an idle tongue.
Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
Why, how now,
What's the matter now?
Have you forgot
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.
I'll set those to you that can speak.
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.
What wilt thou
do? thou wilt not murder me?
Help, help, ho!
ho! help, help, help!
[Drawing] How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!
/Makes a pass through the arras/
I am slain!
O me, what hast thou done?
Nay, I know not:
Is it the king?
O, what a rash
and bloody deed is this!
A bloody deed! almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with
As kill a king!
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.
of your hands: peace! sit you down,
And let me wring your heart; for so I
If it be made of penetrable stuff,
If damned custom have not brass'd
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.
What have I
done, that thou darest wag thy tongue
In noise so rude against me?
Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty, / Holz
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead
of an innocent love
And sets a blister there, makes marriage-vows / Richardson
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
As from the body of
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
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.
Ay me, what
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
Look here, upon this picture, and on this, / Scott 1821
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 / Shelley,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill; / Byron
1819 / Tennyson 1827
A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set
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?
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
But it reserved some quantity of choice,
To serve in such a difference.
What devil was't / Tennyson 1850
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
where is thy blush? Rebellious hell, / Holz
1889 / Sawyer 1824
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour
gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn
O Hamlet, speak no more:
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul; / Beckett
there I see such black and grained spots
As will not leave their tinct.
Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, / Holz
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty
O, speak to me no more;
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears; / Thackeray
1864 / Thackeray
No more, sweet 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
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
A king of shreds and patches,--
and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious
Alas, he's mad!
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!
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
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works:
Speak to her, Hamlet.
How is it with you, lady?
Alas, how is't
That you do bend your eye on vacancy / Tennyson 1842
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?
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;
with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects: then what I have to
Will want true colour; tears perchance for blood.
To whom do
you speak this?
Do you see nothing there?
all; yet all that is I see.
Nor did you nothing hear?
Why, look you there! look, how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
This the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
very cunning in.
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, / Bronte 1847 / Keats
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
itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
O Hamlet, thou
hast cleft my heart in twain.
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
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
gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
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
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.
be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind. / Wordsworth
One word more, good lady.
Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat king tempt you again
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,
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
To try conclusions, in the basket creep, / Byron 1819
And break your own neck down.
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.
I must to England; you know that?
Alack, / Joyce 1922
I had forgot: 'tis so concluded on.
There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer / Scott
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,
in one line two crafts directly meet.
This man shall set me packing:
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
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN/
in these sighs, these profound heaves:
You must translate: 'tis fit we understand
Where is your son?
place on us a little while.
/Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night!
How does Hamlet?
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,
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
The unseen good old
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.
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;
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?
To draw apart
the body he hath kill'd:
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.
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!
/Re-enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
Friends both, go join you with some further aid:
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius
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.
/Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
And let them know, both
what we mean to do,
And what's untimely done. O, come away!
My soul is
full of discord and dismay.
SCENE II. Another room in the castle.
Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come.
/Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
Do not believe it.
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?
Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
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 / Keats
be last swallowed: when he needs what you have
gleaned, it is
but squeezing you, and, sponge, you
shall be dry again.
I understand you not, my lord.
I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
with us to the king.
The body is with the king, but the king is not with
the body. The king is
A thing, my lord!
Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
SCENE III. Another room in the castle.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, attended/
I have sent
to seek him, and to find the body.
How dangerous is it that this man goes
Yet must not we put the strong law on him:
He's loved of the distracted
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
diseases desperate grown / Hardy
1882 / Johnson
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.
now! what hath befall'n?
Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.
But where is
Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
Bring him before
Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.
/Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN/
At supper! where?
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain / Donne
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your
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
service, two dishes, but to one table:
that's the end.
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
king, and cat of the fish
that hath fed of that worm.
What dost you
mean by this?
Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
progress through the guts of a
Where is Polonius?
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.
Go seek him
/To some Attendants/
He will stay till ye come.
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,
associates tend, and every thing is bent
So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for
England! Farewell, dear mother.
My mother: father and mother is man and wife; man
and wife is one flesh; and
so, my mother. Come, for England!
Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard;
Delay it not; I'll have him
Away! for every thing is seal'd and done
That else leans
on the affair: pray you, make haste.
/Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN/
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
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
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,
my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.
SCENE IV. A plain in Denmark.
/Enter FORTINBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching/
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
And let him know so.
I will do't, my lord.
HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others/
Good sir, whose powers are these?
They are of Norway, sir.
How purposed, sir, I pray you?
Against some part of Poland.
Who commands them, sir?
The nephews to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?
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.
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Yes, it is already garrison'd.
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Will not debate the question
of this straw:
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.
God be wi' you, sir.
Wilt please you go, my lord?
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
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed?
a beast, no more. / Tennyson 1842
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason / Tennyson 1842e
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
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
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
imminent death of twenty thousand men, / Byron
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,
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
/Enter QUEEN GERTRUDE, HORATIO, and a Gentleman/
I will not
speak with her.
She is importunate, indeed distract:
Her mood will needs be pitied.
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
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,
the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Which, as her winks, and nods, and
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
in ill-breeding minds.
Let her come
To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in
fearing to be spilt.
/Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA/
Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?
How now, Ophelia!
How should I your true love know
From another one?
cockle hat and staff, / Joyce
And his sandal shoon.
lady, what imports this song?
Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
He is dead and
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
his heels a stone.
Nay, but, Ophelia,--
Pray you, mark.
White his shroud as the mountain snow,--
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS/
here, my lord.
Larded with sweet flowers
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true-love showers.
How do you,
Well, God 'ild you! They say the owl was a baker's / Hoffmann
daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not / Byron
what we may be. God be at your table!
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
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a
Never departed more.
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. / Joyce
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.
How long hath
she been thus?
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
and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my
coach! Good night,
ladies; good night, sweet ladies;
good night, good night.
Follow her close; give her good watch,
I pray you.
is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from her father's death. O 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 / Joyce
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
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear / Wordsworth
1842 / Wordsworth
With pestilent speeches of his father's death;
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/
noise is this?
Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
/Enter another Gentleman/
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:'
hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds:
'Laertes shall be king, Laertes
How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O, this is counter, you false
The doors are broke.
LAERTES, armed; Danes following/
Where is this king? Sirs, stand you all without.
No, let's come in.
I pray you, give me leave.
We will, we will.
retire without the door/
I thank you: keep the door. O thou vile king,
Give me my father!
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
What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?
him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person:
There's such divinity doth hedge
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.
Where is my father?
But not by
Let him demand his fill.
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!
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.
Who shall stay
My will, not all the world:
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.
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?
None but his enemies.
Will you know
To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
And like the kind life-rendering
Repast them with my blood.
Why, now you
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your
And am most sensible in grief for it,
It shall as level
to your judgment pierce
As day does to your eye.
[Within] Let her come in.
How now! what noise is that?
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,
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
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine, / Hardy
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it
They bore him barefaced on the bier;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey
And in his grave rain'd many a tear:--
Fare you well, my dove!
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.
You must sing a-down a-down,
An you call him a-down-a.
how the wheel becomes it! It is the false
steward, that stole his master's
This nothing's more than matter.
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, / Bronte,
love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.
A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
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.
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, he is dead:
Go to thy death-bed:
He never will come again.
beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!
And of all
Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye.
Do you see this, O God?
must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
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
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--
to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.
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/
What are they that would speak with me?
Sailors, sir: they say they have letters for you.
Let them come in.
I do not know
from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
God bless you,
Let him bless thee too.
He shall, sir,
an't please him. There's a letter for
you, sir; it comes from the ambassador
bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am
let to know
[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.
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
'He that thou knowest thine,
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.
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS and LAERTES/
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
Pursued my life.
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
You mainly were stirr'd up.
O, for two
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
to me they are strong. The queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks; and
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,
could not but by her. The other motive,
Why to a public count I might not
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
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
For her perfections: but my revenge will come.
Break not your
sleeps for that: you must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and
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/
now! what news?
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
This to your majesty; this to the queen.
who brought them?
Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not:
They were given me by Claudio;
he received them
Of him that brought them.
shall hear them. Leave us.
'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.
What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it
some abuse, and no such thing?
Know you the hand?
And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
I'm lost in it, my lord. But let him come;
It warms the very sickness in my
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus didest thou.'
If it be so,
As how should it be so? how otherwise?--
Will you be ruled by
Ay, my lord;
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
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
call it accident.
My lord, I will be ruled;
The rather, if you could devise it so
might be the organ.
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
together pluck such envy from him
As did that one, and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.
What part is that, my lord?
A very riband
in the cap of youth,
Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes
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
I've seen myself, and served against, the French,
can well on horseback: but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't; he grew unto
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.
A Norman was't?
Upon my life, Lamond.
The very same.
I know him well: he is the brooch indeed
And gem of all the nation.
He made confession
And gave you such a masterly report
For art and exercise in your
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.
What out of this, my lord?
your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
without a heart?
Why ask you this?
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
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; / Pope
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
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
by easing. But, to the quick o' the ulcer:--
Hamlet comes back: what would
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in
To cut his throat i' the church.
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
set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine
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
Requite him for your father.
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,
it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have
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.
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
'Twere better not assay'd: therefore this project
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.
your motion you are hot and dry--
As make your bouts more violent to that
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.
/Enter QUEEN GERTRUDE/
How now, sweet queen!
One woe doth
tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow; your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
Drown'd! O, where?
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
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; / Tennyson 1833
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature
native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious
To muddy death.
Alas, then, she is drown'd?
Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears:
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:
a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
But that this folly douts it.
Let's follow, Gertrude:
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
I this will give it start again;
Therefore let's follow.
SCENE I. A churchyard.
/Enter two Clowns, with spades, & c/
Is she to be buried
in Christian burial that
wilfully seeks her own salvation?
I tell thee she
is: and therefore make her grave
straight: the crowner hath sat on her, and
How can that be,
unless she drowned herself in her
Why, 'tis found
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:
is, to act, to do, to perform: argal, she drowned / Keats
Nay, but hear
you, goodman delver,-- / Keats
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
you that; but if the water come to him
and drown him, he drowns not himself:
that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
But is this law?
Ay, marry, is't;
crowner's quest law. / Byron 1819
Will you ha' the
truth on't? If this had not been
a gentlewoman, she should have been buried
Why, there thou
say'st: and the more pity that
great folk should have countenance in this
drown or hang themselves, more than their even
my spade. There is no ancient
gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers:
they hold up Adam's profession.
Was he a gentleman?
He was the first
that ever bore arms.
Why, he had none.
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--
What is he that
builds stronger than either the
mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
for that frame outlives a
I like thy wit
well, in good faith: the gallows
does well; but how does it well? it does
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. / Tennyson 1830
'Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or
Ay, tell me that,
Marry, now I can tell.
Mass, I cannot
/Enter HAMLET and
HORATIO, at a distance/
Cudgel thy brains
no more about it, for your dull / Coleridge
ass will not mend his pace with beating; and, when
are asked this question next, say 'a
grave-maker: 'the houses that he makes
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,
O, the time, for, ah, my behove,
O, methought, there was nothing meet.
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he
sings at grave-making?
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath
the daintier sense.
age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch, / Scott
And hath shipped me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.
/Throws up a skull/
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?
It might, my lord.
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
horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
Ay, my lord.
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. / Wordsworth
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/
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,
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
the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The
of his lands will hardly lie in
this box; and must the inheritor himself have
no more, ha?
Not a jot more, my lord.
Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.
They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance
in that. I will speak to
this fellow. Whose
grave's this, sirrah?
O, a pit of clay
for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
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.
'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.
'Tis a quick lie,
sir; 'twill away gain, from me to
What man dost thou dig it for?
For no man, sir./
for no man, sir
What woman, then?
For none, neither.
Who is to be buried in't?
One that was a
woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the / Holz 1889 / Hardy
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 / Hardy
Of all the days
i' the year, I came to't that day
that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
How long is that since?
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.
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
Why, because he
was mad: he shall recover his wits
there; or, if he do not, it's no great
'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men
are as mad as he.
How came he mad?
Faith, e'en with
losing his wits.
Upon what ground?
Why, here in Denmark:
I have been sexton here, man
and boy, thirty years.
How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
I' faith, if he
be not rotten before he die--as we
have many pocky corses now-a-days, that
hold the laying in--he will last you some eight year
year: a tanner will last you nine year.
Why he more than another?
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.
skull now; this skull has lain in the earth
three and twenty years.
Whose was it?
A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
Nay, I know not.
A pestilence on
him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same
sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Let me see.
Alas, poor Yorick!
I knew him, Horatio: a fellow / Sterne 1768 / Sterne 1768 / Sterne 1759
/ Sterne 1768 / Holz 1889
/ Pope / Shelley
P.B. 1904 /
Shelley P.B. 1811 /
Shelley, P.B. 1904 / Keats
1820 / Keats 1906
/ Keats 1906 /
Keats 1906 /
1906/ Keats 1819
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath / of
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
your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on
a roar? Not one / table on
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
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
What's that, my lord?
Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' / Dost
thou think Alexander looked a' this fashion i'th' earth?
And smelt so? pah!
down the skull/
E'en so, my lord.
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?
'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so. / Scott
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,
into dust; the dust is earth; of
earth we make loam; and why of that loam,
was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
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! / Tennyson
But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
/Enter Priest, & c. in procession; the Corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES
Mourners following; KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, their trains,
The queen, the courtiers: who is this they follow?
And with such maimed rites?
This doth betoken / Scott
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life: 'twas of
Couch we awhile, and mark.
/Retiring with HORATIO/
What ceremony else?
That is Laertes,
A very noble youth: mark.
What ceremony else?
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 / Tennyson 1832
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 / strewments
Of bell and burial.
Must there no more be done?
No more be done:
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem and such rest
As to peace-parted souls.
Lay her i' the earth:
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A ministering angel shall my sister
be, / Tennyson 1850
When thou liest howling.
What, the fair Ophelia!
Sweets to the
sweet: farewell! / Byron 1819 / Lawrence
I hoped thou
shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd,
And not have strew'd thy grave.
O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
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
To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.
[Advancing] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane.
/Leaps into the grave/
The devil take thy soul!
/Grappling with him/
Thou pray'st not well.
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
though I am not splenitive and rash, / Fielding
Yet have I something in me dangerous,
Which let thy wiseness
fear: hold off thy hand.
Good my lord, be quiet.
/The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave/
Why I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer
O my son, what theme?
I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
O, he is mad,
For love of God, forbear him.
'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do:
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't
Woo't drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?
I'll do't. Dost thou
come here to whine? / Bronte, E. 1847
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,
pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.
This is mere
And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as
the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
will sit drooping.
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. /
I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
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.
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/
So much for this, sir: now shall you see the other;
You do remember all the
Remember it, my lord?
Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, / Coleridge
1818 / Coleridge
That would not let me sleep: methought I lay
the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
And praised be rashness for it, let us
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, /
Tennyson (unpublished) /
Conrad / Wordsworth
Rough-hew them how we will,-- / Shelley, M. 1830
That is most certain.
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
Larded with many several sorts of reasons
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
My head should be struck off.
Here's the commission: read it at more leisure.
But wilt thou hear me how
I did proceed?
I beseech you.
Being thus be-netted round with villanies,--
Ere I could make a prologue to
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
me yeoman's service: wilt thou know / Scott
The effect of what I wrote?
Ay, good my lord.
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,
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
Not shriving-time allow'd.
How was this seal'd?
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
Subscribed it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
Thou know'st already.
So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
They are not near my conscience;
Does by their own insinuation grow:
'Tis dangerous when the
baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Why, what a king is this!
Does it not, think'st thee, stand me now upon--
He that hath kill'd my king
and whored my mother, / Joyce
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper
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
In further evil?
It must be shortly known to him from England
What is the issue of the business
It will be short: the interim is mine;
And a man's life's no more than to
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot
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
a towering passion.
Peace! who comes here?
Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?
No, my good lord.
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
the king's mess: 'tis a chough; but, as I say,
spacious in the possession
Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I
should impart a thing to you
from his majesty.
I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of
spirit. Put your bonnet to his
right use; 'tis for the head.
I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is
It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my
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
on your head: sir, this is the matter,--
I beseech you, remember--
/HAMLET moves him to put on his hat/
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.
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.
Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gentleman
in our more rawer breath?
Is't not possible to understand in another tongue?
You will do't, sir, really.
What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
His purse is empty already; all's golden words are spent.
Of him, sir.
I know you are not ignorant--
I would you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did,
it would not much approve
me. Well, sir?
You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is--
I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with
him in excellence; but,
to know a man well, were to
I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation
laid on him by them, in
his meed he's unfellowed.
What's his weapon?
Rapier and dagger.
That's two of his weapons: but, well.
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.
What call you the carriages?
I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.
The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
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
that's the French bet
against the Danish. Why is this 'imponed,' as you call
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.
How if I answer 'no'?
I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.
Sir, I will walk here in the hall: if it please his / Holz 1889
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.
Shall I re-deliver you e'en so?
To this effect, sir; after what flourish your nature will.
I commend my duty to your lordship.
He does well to commend it himself; there are no
tongues else for's turn.
This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.
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
but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
/Enter a 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
play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.
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.
The king and queen and all are coming down.
In happy time.
The queen desires you to use some gentle
entertainment to Laertes before you
fall to play.
She well instructs me.
You will lose this wager, my lord.
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.
Nay, good my lord,--
It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of / Hardy
gain-giving, as would perhaps trouble a woman.
If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: I will
forestall their repair hither,
and say you are not
Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special / Byron
1819 / Hardy 1876
/ Scott 1822
/ Byron (no year)
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 /
is all: since no man has aught of what he / Reed
(Lion) / Peacock (Lion)
leaves, what is't to leave betimes?
/Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and
with foils, & c/
come, and take this hand from me.
/KING CLAUDIUS puts LAERTES' hand into HAMLET's/
Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong;
But pardon't, as you are a
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am
With sore distraction. What I have done,
That might your nature,
honour and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
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
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. / Holz 1889
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purposed
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot mine
arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
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
To keep my name ungored. But till that time,
I do receive your
offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.
I embrace it freely;
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
us the foils. Come on.
Come, one for me.
I'll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance
Your skill shall, like a star
i' the darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.
You mock me, sir.
No, by this hand.
Give them the
foils, young Osric. Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager?
Very well, my lord
Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side.
I do not fear
it; I have seen you both:
But since he is better'd, we have therefore odds.
This is too heavy, let me see another.
This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
/They prepare to play/
Ay, my good lord.
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
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
Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups;
And let the kettle to the trumpet
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens,
the heavens to earth,
'Now the king dunks to Hamlet.' Come, begin:
you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
Come on, sir.
Come, my lord.
A hit, a very palpable hit.
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.
I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.
what say you?
A touch, a touch, I do confess.
Our son shall
He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows;
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Gertrude, do not drink.
I will, my
lord; I pray you, pardon me.
is the poison'd cup: it is too late.
I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
Come, let me
wipe thy face.
My lord, I'll hit him now.
I do not think't.
[Aside] And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.
Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
I pray you, pass with your best
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
Say you so? come on.
Nothing, neither way.
Have at you now!
wounds HAMLET; then in scuffling, they change rapiers, and
HAMLET wounds LAERTES/
they are incensed.
Nay, come, again.
Look to the queen there, ho!
They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?
How is't, Laertes?
Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric;
I am justly kill'd with mine
How does the queen?
to see them bleed.
No, no, the
drink, the drink,--O my dear Hamlet,--
The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.
O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd:
Treachery! Seek it out.
It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
No medicine in the world can do
In thee there is not half an hour of life;
instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise
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.
The point!--envenom'd too!
Then, venom, to thy work.
/Stabs KING CLAUDIUS/
O, yet defend
me, friends; I am but hurt.
Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, / Holz
Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
Follow my mother.
/KING CLAUDIUS dies/
He is justly served;
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
with me, noble Hamlet:
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me.
Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen,
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
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright / Holz
To the unsatisfied.
Never believe it:
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
Here's yet some
As thou'rt a man,
Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have't.
Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart / Joyce
Absent thee from felicity
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?
Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England
This warlike volley.
O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit: / Holz
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. / Holz
1889 / Austen
1816 / Beckett
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing
thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?
FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others/
What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
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?
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?
Not from his mouth,
Had it the ability of life to thank you:
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
Fall'n on the inventors' reads: all this can I
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,
now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
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.
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.
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
ordnance is shot off/