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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.


FRANCISCO, a Soldier.

HAMLET, Son to the former King, and Nephew REYNALDO, Servant to Polonius.

to the present King.

LAERTES, Son to Polonius.

POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain.

HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.

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GHOST of Hamlet's Father.
FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway.

GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, and Mother of Hamlet.

OPHELIA, Daughter of Polonius.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Grave-diggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Elsinore.


SCENE I.-Elsinore.-A Platform before the


FRANCISCO on his Post.-Enter to him


Ber. Who's there?

Fran. Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold Yourself.

Ber. Long live the king!

Fran. Bernardo?

Ber. He.

Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.

Ber. "Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

Fran. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.

Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Fran. Not a mouse stirring.

Ber. Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

Enter HORATIO and MARCEllus.

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Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Marcellus.

Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

Ber. I have seen nothing.

Mar. 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 him along,
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve* our eyes, and speak to it.
Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
Ber. Sit down awhile;

And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.

Hor. Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all,

When yon same star, that's westward from

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Had made his course to illume that part of
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,

Fran. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who The bell then beating one,

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Hor. Most like:-it harrows me with fear, |(As it doth well appear unto our state,)

and wonder.

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know not;

But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
.Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he
that knows,

Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land;
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war;
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore

Does not divide the Sunday from the week:
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the
Who is't, that can inform me? [day;

Hor. That can I;

At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king, Whose image even but now appear'd to us, Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride, Dar'd to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet

(For so this side of our known world esteem'
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd com-
Well ratified by law and heraldry, [pact,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Which he stood seiz'd of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras, [mart,¶
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same co-
And carriage of the article design'd,**
His fell to Hamlet: Now, Sir, young Fortin-
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,tt [bras,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd‡‡ up a list of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprise
That hath a stomach§§ in't: which is no other

• Conquers.
+ Dispute.
Polander, an inhabitant of Poland.

Sledge. Joint bargain.

The covenant to confirm that bargain. ++ Full of spirit without experience. # Picked.


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

Of this post-haste and romage* in the land.
[Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so :
Well may it sort,t that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the

That was, and is, the question of these wars.
Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmyt state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, [dead
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.

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But, soft; behold! lo, where it comes again! I'll cross it, though it blast me.-Stay, illusion!

If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
speak to me:

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
[Cock crows.
Speak of it:-stay, and speak.-Stop it, Mar-



Mar. Shalt I strike at it with my partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here!
Hor. 'Tis here!

Mar. 'Tis gone!

[Exit GHOST. To offer it the show of violence; We do it wrong, being so majestical, And our vain blows malicious mockery. For it is, as the air, invulnerable,

Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock


Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, The cock, that is the trumpet of the morn, 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 To his confine: and of the truth herein This present object made probation.**

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, This bird of dawning singeth all night long: And then they say no spirit dares stir abroad;

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The nights are wholesome; then no planets | And lose your voice:. What wouldst thou beg,


No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Hor. So I have heard, and do in part believe
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, [it.
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill:
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,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning

Where we shall find him most convenient.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same.-A Room of Stute in the same.


King. Though yet 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.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,-
With one auspicious, and one dropping eye;
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in mar-

In equal scale weighing delight and dole,*-
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along:-For all, our thanks.

Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,

Holding 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 this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing our surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bandst of law,
To our most valiant brother.-So much for

Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the business is: We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,-
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this 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 despatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Farewell; and let your haste commend your
Cor. Vol. In that, and all things, will we
show our duty.
King. We doubt it nothing; heartily fare-

Of these dilated articles allow.


[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; What is't, Laertes? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, * Grief. + Bonds. + Way,


That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
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.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?

Laer. My dread lord,

Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to

To show my duty in your coronation;
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward
And bow them to your gracious leave and par-
King. Have you your father's leave? What
says Polonius?

Pol. He hath, my lord, [wrung from me my slow leave,

By laboursome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will 1'seal'd my hard consent:]
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,

And thy best graces: spend it at thy will.But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,Ham. A little more than kin, and less than


[Aside. King. How is it, that the clouds still hang

on you?

Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i'the

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[mark. And let thine eye look like a friend on DenSeek for thy noble father in the dust: Do not, for ever, with thy veiled lidst Thou know'st, 'tis common; all, that live, must die,

Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Queen. If it be,

not seems.

Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know
"Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of
For they are actions that a man might play:
That can denote me truly: These, indeed,
But I have that within, which passeth show;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your

nature, Hamlet,

To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost his; and the survivor bound
In filial obligation, for some term

To do obsequious sorrow: But to perséver
of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
In obstinate condolement, is a course
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
For what, we know, must be, and is as com


As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,

* Nature: a little more than a kinsman, and less than natural one. + Lowering eyes.

A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
This must 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 our throne;
And, with no less nobility of love,
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde* to our desire :
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers,

I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg. Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply; Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, come; This gentle and unforc'd 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 shall tell; And the king's rouset the heaven shall bruitt again,

Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away. [Exeunt KING, QUEEN, Lords, &c. POLONIUS, and LAERTES.

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


[this! Possess it merely. That it should come to But two months dead!-nay, not so much, not So excellent a king; that was, to this, [two: Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother, That he might not beteem++ the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? why, she would hang on As if increase of appetite had grown [him, By what it fed on: And yet, within a month, Let me not think on't;-Frailty, thy name is

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Would have mourn'd longer,-married with my uncle,

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

Hor. Hail to your lordship!

Ham. I am glad to see you well: Horatio, or I do forget myself.

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Mar. My good lord,

Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even,

But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so:
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself: I know, you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore ?

We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart. Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellowstudent;

I think, it was to see my mother's wedding. Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral

bak'd meats

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Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.

Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king. Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, shall not look upon his like again.

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

Hor. My lord, the king your father.
Ham. The king my father?

Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.

Ham. For God's love, let me hear.

Hor. Two nights together had these gentle-
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your
Armed at point, exactly, cap-à-pé, [father,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them thrice he

By their oppress'd and fear-surprized eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they,
Almost to jelly with the act of fear, [distill'd
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
And I with them, the third night, kept the

Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time, Form of the thing, each word made true and good,

The apparition comes: I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.

Ham. But where was this?

Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.

Ham. Did you not speak to it?

Hor. My lord, I did;

Butanswer made it none: yet once, methought,
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak:
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
It was anciently the custom to give a cold entertain
ment at a funeral.

+ Chiefest.

* Attentive.

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Ham. What, look'd he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more

In sorrow than in anger.

Ham. Pale, or red?

Hor. Nay, very pale.

Ham. And fix'd his eyes upon you?

Hor. Most constantly.

Ham. I would, I had been there.

Hor. It would have much amaz'd you. Ham. Very like,

Very like: Stay'd it long?

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And now no soil, nor cautel,‡ doth besmirch§
The virtue of his will: but, you must fear,
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth:

He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of the whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
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 it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no fur-
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sus-


If with too credent|| car you list¶ his songs;
Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure
To his unmaster'd** importunity. [open
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,

Hor. While one with moderate haste might Out of the shot and danger of desire.

tell a hundred.

Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.

Hor. Not when I saw it.

Ham. His beard was grizzl'd? no?

Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,

A sable silver'd.

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

Hor. I warrant, it will.

Ham. If it assume my noble father's person, I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still; And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, Give it an understanding, but no tongue; I will requite your loves: So, fare you well: Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, I'll visit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell. [Exeunt HORATIO, Marcellus, and Ber


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Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA. Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; fareAnd, sister, as the winds give benefit, [well: And convoy is assistant, do not sleep, But let me hear from you.

Oph. Do you doubt that?

Luer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his faHold it a fashion, and a toy in blood; [vour, A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.

Oph. No more but so?

That part of the helmet which may be lifted up,

The chariest++ maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then: best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson


As watchman to my heart: But good my broDo not, as some ungracious pastors do, [ther, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless‡‡ libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own read.§§

Laer. O fear me not.

I stay too long;-But here my father comes.

A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for

The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are staid for: There, my blessing with you;,

[Laying his Hand on LAERTES' Head. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,

Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption


Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel; But do not dull thy palm¶¶ with entertainof each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. [Beware Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in,


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