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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.
| Another Courtier. HAMLET, Son to the former, and Nephew to the A Priest.
present King FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway, Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.
Francisco, a Soldier. HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.
REYNALDO, Sercant to Polonius. LAERTES, Son to Polonius.
A Captain; An Ambassador.
Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother to GUILDENSTERN,
Ophelia, Daughter to Polonius.
A C T I.
Enter Horatio, and Marcellus.
Fran. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who Elsinour.
Hor. Friends to this ground.
5 Mar. And liegemen to the Dane,
Fran. Give you good night. Francisco on his post. Enter to him Bernardo.
Mar. O, farewell, honest soldier;
Who hath reliev'd you?
10 Give you good night. [Erit Francisco. Ber. Long live the king!
Mar. Holla! Bernardo? Fran. Bernardo?
Ber. Say, Ber. He.
What, is Horatio there? Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour. Hor. A piece of him. Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, 15 Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good MarFrancisco.
[night? Fran. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter Mar. What, has this thing appear'd again tocold,
Ber. I have seen nothing. And I am sick at heart.
Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our phantasy; Ber. Have you had quiet guard ?
20 And will not let belief take hold of hiin, Fran. Not a mouse stirring.
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us : Ber. Well, good night.
Therefore I have entreated him, along If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
With us to watch the minutes of this night; The rivals of my watch', bid them make haste. That, if again this apparition come,
· The original story on which this play is built, may be found in Saxo Grammaticus, the Danish historian. ? i.e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. · Rivals for partners, according to Warburton. Hanmer says, that by rivals of the watch are meant those who were to watch on the next adjoining ground.--Rivals, in the original sense of the word, were proprietors of neighbouring lands, parted only by a brook, which belonged equally to both. 3$ 4
may approve our eyes ', and speak to it. So nightly toils the subject of the land ? Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon, Ber. Sit down a wbile;
And foreign mart for implements of war? And let us once again assail your ears,
Why such impress of ship-wrights, whose sore task That are so fortified against our story,
5 Does not divide the Sunday from the week? What we two nights have seen.
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste Hor. Well, sit we down,
Noth make the night joint-labourer with the day; And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Who is't that can inform me? Ber. Last night of all,
[pole, Hor. That can I ; When yon same star, that's westward from the 10 At least the whisper goes so. Our last king, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Whose inage even but now appear'd to us, Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, The bell then beating one,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride, Mar, Peace, break thee off; look where it Dar'd to the combat; in which,our valiant Hainlet comes again!
15 (For so this side of our known world esteem'd him) Enter Ghost.
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a scald compact, Ber. In the same figure,like the king that's dead. Well ratify'd by law, and heraldry, Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio. Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands, Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho- Which he stood seis'd of, to the conqueror : ratio.
(wonder. 20 Against the which, a moiety competent Hor. Most like: it harrows me with fear and
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd Ber. It would be spoke to.
To the inheritance of Fortinbras, Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.
[night, Had he been vanquisher; as, by that covenant, Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of And carriage of the articles design'd', 'Together with that fair and warlike form 25 His fell to Hamlet: Now, sir, young
Fortinbras, In which the majesty of bury'd Denmark (speak. Of unimproved' mettle hot and full, Did sometime march? By heaven I charge thee, Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there, Mar. It is oftended.
Shark'd ups a list of landless resolutes, Ber. See! it stalks away.
For food and diet, to some enterprise Hor. Stay; speak; 1 charge thec, speak. 30 That hath a stomach in't; which is no other
[Er it Ghost.
(As it doth well appear unto our state) Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
But to recover of us, by strong hand, Ber. How now, Horatio ? you trenible, and And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost : And this, I take it, Is not this something more than phantasy? 351s the main motive of our preparations; What think you of it?
The source of this our watch ; and the chief head Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, Of this post-haste and romage to in the land. Without the sensible and true avouch
Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so: Of mine own eyes.
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure Mar. Is it not like the king?
40 Comes armed through our watch; so like the king Hor. As thou art to thyself:
That was, and is the question of these wars. Such was the very armour he had on,
Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye. When he the ambitious Norway combated; In the most high and palmy!! state of Rome, So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle, A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, Hesmote the sledded Polack' on the ice. 45 The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead 'Tis strange.
[hour, Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; Mar. Thus, twice befare, and just at this dead Stars shone with trains of fire; dews of blood fell; With martial stalk he hath gone by our watch. Disasters 12 veil'd the sun; and the moist star, Hor. In what particular thought to work“, 1 pon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, know not;
Ho Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse. But, in the
and scope of mine opinion, And even the like precurse of fierce is events,This bodes some strange eruption to our state. as harvingers preceding still the fates, Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he Ind prologue to the omen's coming on,that knows,
Nave heaven and earth together demonstrated Why this saine strict and most observant watch 155 Unto our climatures and countrymen.
'i.e. add a new testimony to that of our eyes. * To harrow is to conquer, to subdue. The word is of Saxon origin. * He speaks of a prince in Poland whom he slew in battle. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland: Polaque, French. A sled, or sledge, is a carriage made use of in the cold countries.
* i.e. what particular train of thinking to follow. i.e. general thoughts, and tendency at large. Carriage is import: design'd, is formed, drawn up between them. Unimpra el, for unrefined, To shark
up may mean to pick up without distinction, as the sharkfish collects his prey. Stomach, in the time of our author, was used for constancy, resolution. Bi.e. tumultuous húrry. " Palmy, for victorious, flourishing. " Disasters is here finely used in its original signification of evil conjunction of stars. 13 Fierce, for conspicuous, glaring.
14 Omen, for futc.
A Room of State.
Enter the King, Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes Speak to me:
5 Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants. If there be any good thing to be done,
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
death Speak to me:
The memory be green ; and that it us befitted If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
To bear our hearts in grief, and our wholc kingWhich, haply, foreknowing may avoid, 10 To be contracted in one brow of woe; [dom 0, speak!
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature, Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
That we with wisest sorrow think on him, Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
Together with remembrance of ourselves. For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death, Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
[Cock crows. 15 The imperial jointress of this warlike state, Speak of it:-stay,and speak.--Stop it, Marcellus. Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partizan? With one auspicious, and one dropping eye; Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
With nirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, Ber. 'Tis here!
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,Hor. "Tis here!
20 Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd Mar. 'Tis gone!
[Exit Ghost. Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone We do it wrong, being so majestical,
With this affair so long :-For all, our thanks. To offer it the show of violence;
Now follows, that you know, young FortinFor it is, as the air, invulnerable,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth ; [bras,And our vain blows malicious mockery. 25 Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Ber. It was about to speak,when the cock crew. Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,-
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing Colleagued with this dream of his advantage Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, He hath not fail'd to pester us with message The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, Importing the surrender of those lands Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat 30 Lost by his father, with all bands of law, Awake the god of day; and, at his warning, To our most valiant brother.-So much for him. Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air',
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting: The extravagant ? and erring spirit hies
Thus much the business is : We have here writ To his confine 3: and of the truth herein
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
35 Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
to business with the king, more than the scope
duty. Let us impart what we have seen to-night
King. We'doubt it nothing; heartily farewell. Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
[Exeunt Voltimand, and Cornelius. This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him: 50 And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, You told us of some suit; What is 't, Laertes ? As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, Afar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning And lose your voice : What would'st thou beg, know
" According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiarorder of . spirits, who had dispositions different, according to their various places of abode. i.e. got out of its bounds. Bourne of Newcastle, in his Antiquities of the Common People, informs us, “It is a received tradition among the vulgar, that at the time of cock-crowing the midnight spirits forsake these lower regions, and go to their proper places.” * This is a very ancient superstition.
No fairy strikes with lameness or diseases. • The meaning is, He goes to war so indiscreetly, and unprepared, that he has no allies to support him but a dream, with which he is colleagued or confederated. Gate or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage. i. e. the articles when dilated.
The head is not more native to the heart, But, you must know, your father lost a father ; The hand more instrumental to the mouth, That' father lost, lost his ; and the survivor Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father'. In filial obligation, for some term [bound, What would'st thou have, Laertes ?
To do obsequious sorrow : but to persever Lacr. My dread lord,
5 In obstinate condolement ’, is a course Your leave and favour to return to France: [mark, Of impious stubbornness: 'tis upmanly grief; From whence though willingly I came to Den- It shews a will most incorrect to heaven; To shew my duty in your coronation ;
A heart unfortify'd, or mind impatient; Yet now, I must confess, that duty done, An understanding simple and unschool'd: Mythoughts andwishes bend again toward France, 10 For what, we know, must be, and is as commor And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon. As any the most vulgar thing to sense, King. Have you your father's leave What Why should we, in our peevish opposition, says Polonius?
[slow leave, Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven, Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, By laboursome petition: and, at last,
15To reason most absurd, whose common theme Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent : Is death of fathers, and who still hath cry'd, I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
From the first corse, 'till he that died to-day, King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be This must be so. We pray you throw to earth thine,
This unprevailing woc; and think of us And thy best graces spend it at thy will.-- 20 As of a father : for, let the world take note, But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,- You are the most immediate to our throne; Ham. A little more than kin,and less than kind?. And, with no less nobility of love
[Aside. Than that which dearest father bears his son, King. How is it that the clouds still hang on Do I impart 10 toward you. For your intent you?
[sun?. 25 In going back to school in Wittenberg, Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i’ the It is most retrograde to our desire : Queen. Good Hainlet, cast thy nighted colour And, we beseech you, bend you to remain off,
Here, in the chear and comfort of our eye, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son. Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids 30 Quten. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Seek for thy noble father in the dust : [die,
Hamlet; Thou know'st, 'tis common: all, that live, must I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg. Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam. Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply; Queen. If it be,
35 Be as ourself in Denmark.–Madam, come; Why seems it so particular with thee? [seems. This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not Sits smiling to my heart : in grace whereof, 'Tis not alone ny inky cloak, good mother, No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day, Nor customary suits of solemn black,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell ; Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath, 40 And the king's rouze the heaven shall bruit again, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come, away. Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
[Exeunt. Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
1 The sense is, The head is not formed to be more useful to the heart, the hand is not more at the service of the mouth, than my power is at your father's service. 2 Hanmer observes, It is not unreasonable to suppose that this was a proverbial expression, known in foriner times for a relation so confused and blended, that it was hard to define it.-Dr. Johnson asserts kind to be the Teutonick word for child : Hamlet therefore, he adds, answers with propriety, to the titles of cousin, and son, which the king had given him, that he was somewhat more than cousin, and less than son.—Mr. Steevens says that a jingle of the same sort is found in another old play, and seems to have been proverbial, as he has met with it more than once. · Mr. Farmer questions whether a quibble between sun and son be not here intended. * With lowering eyes, cast-down eyes. $ That is, Your father lost a father, j. e. your grandfather, which lost grandfather also lost his father. Obsequious is here from obsequies or funeral ceremonies. · Condolement, for sorrow. * Incorrect, for untutord. 'Nobility here means generosity. 10 i, e. communicate whatever I can bestow. " Resolve means the same as dissolve. 12 i. e. that he had not restrained suicide by his express law and peremptory prohibition.
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in na- Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king. ture,
Hum. He was a man, take him for all in all, Possess it merely. That it should come to this ! I shall not look upon his like again. But two months dead !-Nay, not so much, not Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight. So excellent a king; that was to this, [two: 5 Ham. Saw! who? Hyperion to a satyr': so loving to my mother, Hır. My lord, the king your father. That he might not let e'en the winds of heaven Hum. The king my father! Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Hor. Season your admiration for a while Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him, With an attent car; 'till I may deliver, As if increase of appetite had grown
10 Upon the witness of these gentlemen, By what it fed on: And yet, within a month,
This marvel to you. Let me not think on’t; - Frailty, thy name is Ham. For beaven's love, let me hear. woman !
Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen, A little month; or ere those shoes were old, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, With which she follow'd my poor father's body, 15 In the dead waste and middle of the night, Like Niobé, all tears :-why she, even she,- Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father, O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason Arm'd at all points, exactly cap-à-pé, Would have mourn’d longer,-marry'd with my Appears before them, and, with solemn march, uncle,
Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd My father's brother; but no more like my father, 20 By their opprest and fear-surprized eyes, (tilld Than I to Hercules : Within a month;
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, disEre yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Almost to jelly, with the act of fear, Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me She marry'd.--O most wicked speed, to post In drcadtul secresy impart they did: With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! 25 And I with them, the third night, kept the watch; It is not, nor it cannot come to good:
Where, as they had deliver’d, both in time,
Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus. The apparition comes: I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
30 Ham. But where was this? [watch'd. Horatio,-or do I forget myself? [ever. Mar. My lord, upon the platform where we
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant Ham. Did you not speak to it?
But answer made it none : yet once, methought,
Itself to motion, like as it would speak : Mar. My good lord,
[sir.- But, even then, the morning cock crew loud ; Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even,
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away, But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg? And vanish'd from our sight.
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord. 140 Ham. 'Tis very strange.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so ; Hor. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true; Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
And we did think it writ down in our duty, To make it truster of your own report
To let you know of it.
[me. Against yourself: I know you are no truant. Hum.. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles But what is your affair in Elsinour?
45 Hold you the watch to-night? We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart. All. We do, my lord. Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's Hom. Arın'd, say you? funeral.
(student; All. Arm’d, my lord. Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow- Ham. From top to toe? I think it was to see my mother's wedding. 50 All. My lord, from head to foot.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. Ham. Then saw you not his face? Hum. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up. bak'd meats
Ham. What, look'd he frowningly? Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Hor. A countenance more 'Would I had met my dearest * foe heaven, 155 In sorrow
han in anger. Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio !
Ham. Pale, or red ? My father,-Methinks, I see my father.
Hor. Nay, very pale.
Ham. And fix'd his eyes upon you?
Hor. Most constantly.. By the Satyr is meant Pan; as by Hyperion, Apollo.—Pan and Apollo were brothers; and the allusion is to the contention between those gods for the preference in music. ai. e. I'll be your servant, you shall be my friend. 'It was anciently the general custom to give a cold entertainment to mourners at a funeral
. In distant counties, this practice is continued among the yeomanry. * Dearest is most immediate, consequentiul, important. Eye is certainly more worthy of Shakspeare. : That is, temper it.