Page images
PDF
EPUB

For they are actions that a man might play:
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,
To give these mourning duties to your father: [Hamlet,
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
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschoold:
For what, we know, must be, and is as common
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,
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 retrogade 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, Hamlet; 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 fait reply ; Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, come; This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet

Sils 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 rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, fc. Pol. and Laer.
Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
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 nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead!—nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
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 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!
A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,-
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
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 :-0 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 tongue!

Enter HORATIO, BERNARDO, and MARCELLUS, Hor. Hail to your lordship.

Ham.

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

Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with

you. And what make you from Wittenburg, Horatio?Marcellos?

Mar. My good lord,

Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, sir.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 ii 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, fellow-student; 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 Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. 'Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio! My father,—Methinks, I see my father. Hor.

Where,
My lord ?

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,
I 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 awhile
With an attent ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentleinen,
This marvel to you.
Ham.

For God's love, let me hear.

Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
Arm'd at point, exactly, cap-a-pié,
Appears before 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; while they, distillid
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
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 watch:
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;
But answer inade it none: yet once, methought,
Il lifted 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 away,
And vanish'd from our sight.
Ham.

"Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
To let you know of it.

Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
All.

We do, my lord.
Ham. Arm’d, say you?
All.

Arm’d, my lord.
Ham.

From top to toe? All. My lord, from head to foot. Ham.

Then saw you not Hisf ace.

Hor. O yes, my lord; he wore his beaver op.

-Ham. What, look'd he frowningły?
Hor.

A counlenance 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?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a

hundred.
Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor Not when I saw it.
Ham.

His beard was grizzled? 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,
l'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,

All. Our duty to your honour.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell.

[Exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo.
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.

[Exit.

I'll visit you.

« PreviousContinue »