Speeches (Lines) for Hamlet
in "Hamlet"

Total: 358

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,2,267

[aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind!

2

I,2,269

Not so, my lord. I am too much i' th' sun.

3

I,2,276

Ay, madam, it is common.

4

I,2,279

Seems, madam, Nay, it is. I know not 'seems.'
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd 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 might play;
But I have that within which passeth show-
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

5

I,2,323

I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

6

I,2,333

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! God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah, 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 followed my poor father's body
Like Niobe, all tears- why she, even she
(O God! 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. 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 tongue!

7

I,2,366

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

8

I,2,369

Sir, my good friend- I'll change that name with you.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
Marcellus?

9

I,2,373

I am very glad to see you.- [To Bernardo] Good even, sir.-
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?

10

I,2,376

I would not hear your enemy say so,
Nor shall you do my 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.

11

I,2,383

I prithee do not mock me, fellow student.
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

12

I,2,386

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.

13

I,2,392

In my mind's eye, Horatio.

14

I,2,394

He was a man, take him for all in all.
I shall not look upon his like again.

15

I,2,397

Saw? who?

16

I,2,399

The King my father?

17

I,2,404

For God's love let me hear!

18

I,2,422

But where was this?

19

I,2,424

Did you not speak to it?

20

I,2,432

'Tis very strange.

21

I,2,436

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

22

I,2,439

Arm'd, say you?

23

I,2,441

From top to toe?

24

I,2,443

Then saw you not his face?

25

I,2,445

What, look'd he frowningly.

26

I,2,447

Pale or red?

27

I,2,449

And fix'd his eyes upon you?

28

I,2,451

I would I had been there.

29

I,2,453

Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?

30

I,2,457

His beard was grizzled- no?

31

I,2,460

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

32

I,2,463

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.

33

I,2,474

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.

34

I,4,626

The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.

35

I,4,628

What hour now?

36

I,4,635

The King doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail, and the swagg'ring upspring reels,
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
The kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.

37

I,4,641

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.
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduc'd and tax'd of other nations;
They clip us drunkards and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So oft it chances in particular men
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As in their birth,- wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,-
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit that too much o'erleavens
The form of plausive manners, that these men
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
Their virtues else- be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo-
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault. The dram of e'il
Doth all the noble substance often dout To his own scandal.

38

I,4,668

Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane. O, answer me?
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? What should we do?

39

I,4,695

It will not speak. Then will I follow it.

40

I,4,697

Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee;
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again. I'll follow it.

41

I,4,712

It waves me still.
Go on. I'll follow thee.

42

I,4,715

Hold off your hands!

43

I,4,717

My fate cries out
And makes each petty artire in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
[Ghost beckons.]
Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!-
I say, away!- Go on. I'll follow thee.

44

I,5,733

Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak! I'll go no further.

45

I,5,735

I will.

46

I,5,739

Alas, poor ghost!

47

I,5,742

Speak. I am bound to hear.

48

I,5,744

What?

49

I,5,760

O God!

50

I,5,762

Murther?

51

I,5,765

Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.

52

I,5,778

O my prophetic soul!
My uncle?

53

I,5,818

O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!

54

I,5,830

O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? Hold, hold, my heart!
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past
That youth and observation copied there,
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables! Meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark. [Writes.]
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word:
It is 'Adieu, adieu! Remember me.'
I have sworn't.

55

I,5,855

So be it!

56

I,5,857

Hillo, ho, ho, boy! Come, bird, come.

57

I,5,862

No, you will reveal it.

58

I,5,865

How say you then? Would heart of man once think it?
But you'll be secret?

59

I,5,868

There's neer a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.

60

I,5,872

Why, right! You are in the right!
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part;
You, as your business and desires shall point you,
For every man hath business and desire,
Such as it is; and for my own poor part,
Look you, I'll go pray.

61

I,5,880

I am sorry they offend you, heartily;
Yes, faith, heartily.

62

I,5,883

Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
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, and soldiers,
Give me one poor request.

63

I,5,891

Never make known what you have seen to-night.

64

I,5,893

Nay, but swear't.

65

I,5,897

Upon my sword.

66

I,5,899

Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

67

I,5,902

Aha boy, say'st thou so? Art thou there, truepenny?
Come on! You hear this fellow in the cellarage.
Consent to swear.

68

I,5,906

Never to speak of this that you have seen.
Swear by my sword.

69

I,5,909

Hic et ubique? Then we'll shift our ground.
Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword.
Never to speak of this that you have heard:
Swear by my sword.

70

I,5,915

Well said, old mole! Canst work i' th' earth so fast?
A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends."

71

I,5,918

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But come!
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on),
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumb'red thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,'
Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,'
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me- this is not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
Swear.

72

I,5,937

Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,
With all my love I do commend me to you;
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do t' express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.

73

II,2,1277

Well, God-a-mercy.

74

II,2,1279

Excellent well. You are a fishmonger.

75

II,2,1281

Then I would you were so honest a man.

76

II,2,1283

Ay, sir. To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man
pick'd out of ten thousand.

77

II,2,1286

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

78

II,2,1289

Let her not walk i' th' sun. Conception is a blessing, but not
as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't.

79

II,2,1296

Words, words, words.

80

II,2,1298

Between who?

81

II,2,1300

Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men
have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes
purging thick amber and plum-tree gum; and that they have a
plentiful lack of wit, together with 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 you yourself, sir,
should be old as I am if, like a crab, you could go backward.

82

II,2,1309

Into my grave?

83

II,2,1316

You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more
willingly part withal- except my life, except my life, except my
life,

84

II,2,1321

These tedious old fools!

85

II,2,1327

My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah,
Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?

86

II,2,1332

Nor the soles of her shoe?

87

II,2,1334

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her
favours?

88

II,2,1337

In the secret parts of Fortune? O! most true! she is a
strumpet. What news ?

89

II,2,1340

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?

90

II,2,1345

Denmark's a prison.

91

II,2,1347

A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst.

92

II,2,1350

Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good
or bad but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

93

II,2,1354

O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

94

II,2,1358

A dream itself is but a shadow.

95

II,2,1361

Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretch'd
heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we to th' court? for, by my
fay, I cannot reason.

96

II,2,1365

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?

97

II,2,1370

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.

98

II,2,1375

Why, anything- but to th' purpose. You were sent for; and
there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties
have not craft enough to colour. I know the good King and Queen
have sent for you.

99

II,2,1380

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.

100

II,2,1386

[aside] Nay then, I have an eye of you.- If you love me, hold
not off.

101

II,2,1389

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 earth,
seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the
air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical
roof fretted with golden fire- why, it appeareth 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! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in
action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the
beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to me what
is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me- no, nor woman
neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

102

II,2,1405

Why did you laugh then, when I said 'Man delights not me'?

103

II,2,1409

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 not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall
end his part in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
lungs are tickle o' th' sere; and the lady shall say her mind
freely, or the blank verse shall halt for't. What players are
they?

104

II,2,1418

How chances it they travel? Their residence, both in
reputation and profit, was better both ways.

105

II,2,1422

Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the
city? Are they so follow'd?

106

II,2,1425

How comes it? Do they grow rusty?

107

II,2,1432

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 afterwards, 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 exclaim
against their own succession.

108

II,2,1442

Is't possible?

109

II,2,1444

Do the boys carry it away?

110

II,2,1446

It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of Denmark, and
those that would make mows at him while my father lived give
twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in
little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if
philosophy could find it out.

111

II,2,1453

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come! Th'
appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply
with you in this garb, lest my extent to the players (which I
tell you must show fairly outwards) should more appear like
entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my uncle-father
and aunt-mother are deceiv'd.

112

II,2,1460

I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I
know a hawk from a handsaw.

113

II,2,1464

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.

114

II,2,1469

I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it.-
You say right, sir; a Monday morning; twas so indeed.

115

II,2,1472

My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome-

116

II,2,1474

Buzz, buzz!

117

II,2,1476

Then came each actor on his ass-

118

II,2,1483

O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!

119

II,2,1485

Why,
'One fair daughter, and no more,
The which he loved passing well.'

120

II,2,1489

Am I not i' th' right, old Jephthah?

121

II,2,1492

Nay, that follows not.

122

II,2,1494

Why,
'As by 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 abridgment comes.
[Enter four or five Players.]
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all.- I am glad to see thee
well.- Welcome, good friends.- O, my old friend? Why, thy face is
valanc'd since I saw thee last. Com'st' 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 a piece of
uncurrent gold, be not crack'd within the ring.- Masters, you are
all welcome. We'll e'en to't like French falconers, fly at
anything we see. We'll have a speech straight. Come, give us a
taste of your quality. Come, a passionate speech.

123

II,2,1512

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, pleas'd
not the million, 'twas caviary to the general; but it was (as I
receiv'd 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 as much 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 might indict the author of
affectation; but call'd it an honest method, as wholesome as
sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in't
I chiefly lov'd. 'Twas AEneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it
especially where he speaks of Priam's slaughter. If it live in
your memory, begin at this line- let me see, let me see:
'The rugged Pyrrhus, like th' Hyrcanian beast-'
'Tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus:
'The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd
With heraldry more dismal. Head to foot
Now is be total gules, horridly trick'd
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrannous and a damned light
To their lord's murther. Roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o'ersized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks.'
So, proceed you.

124

II,2,1573

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.

125

II,2,1577

'The mobled queen'?

126

II,2,1595

'Tis well. I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-
Good my lord, will you see the players well bestow'd? Do you
hear? Let them be well us'd; 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.

127

II,2,1601

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.

128

II,2,1606

Follow him, friends. We'll hear a play to-morrow.
[Exeunt Polonius and Players [except the First].]
Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play 'The Murther of
Gonzago'?

129

II,2,1611

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 not?

130

II,2,1615

Very well. Follow that lord- and look you mock him not.
[Exit First Player.]
My good friends, I'll leave you till night. You are welcome to
Elsinore.

131

II,2,1620

Ay, so, God b' wi' ye!
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]
Now I am alone.
O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
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
That, from her working, all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
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, peak
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 th' nose? gives me the lie i' th' throat
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this, ha?
'Swounds, I should take it! for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal. Bloody bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murther'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must (like a whore) unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A scullion!
Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! Hum, 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 murther, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ, I'll have these Players
Play something like the murther 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 a devil; and the devil hath power
T' assume 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. Exit.

132

III,1,1749

To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
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,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
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,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.- Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins rememb'red.

133

III,1,1786

I humbly thank you; well, well, well.

134

III,1,1790

No, not I!
I never gave you aught.

135

III,1,1798

Ha, ha! Are you honest?

136

III,1,1800

Are you fair?

137

III,1,1802

That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no
discourse to your beauty.

138

III,1,1805

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.

139

III,1,1810

You should not have believ'd me; for virtue cannot so
inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you
not.

140

III,1,1814

Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a 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 my
beck 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 between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all;
believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your
father?

141

III,1,1824

Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool
nowhere but in's own house. Farewell.

142

III,1,1827

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 marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what
monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too.
Farewell.

143

III,1,1834

I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath
given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig, you
amble, and you lisp; you nickname 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 moe marriages. Those that are
married already- all but one- shall live; the rest shall keep as
they are. To a nunnery, go. Exit.

144

III,2,1883

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you,
trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our
players do, I had as live 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 say)
whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a
temperance 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 cars of the groundlings, who
(for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb
shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipp'd for o'erdoing
Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.

145

III,2,1896

Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be your
tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with
this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of
nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing,
whose end, both at the 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, or come tardy off, though
it make the unskilful laugh, cannot 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 Nature's
journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated
humanity so abominably.

146

III,2,1914

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, to 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.
[Exeunt Players.]
[Enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern.]
How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of work?

147

III,2,1925

Bid the players make haste, [Exit Polonius.] Will you two
help to hasten them?

148

III,2,1929

What, ho, Horatio!

149

III,2,1932

Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.

150

III,2,1935

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,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
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 been
As one, in suff'ring all, that suffers nothing;
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
That 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,
As I do thee. Something too much of this I
There 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 act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe my 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,
And after we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.

151

III,2,1973

They are coming to the play. I must be idle.
Get you a place.

152

III,2,1976

Excellent, i' faith; of the chameleon's dish. I eat the air,
promise-cramm'd. You cannot feed capons so.

153

III,2,1980

No, nor mine now. [To Polonius] My lord, you play'd once
i' th' university, you say?

154

III,2,1983

What did you enact?

155

III,2,1986

It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there. Be
the players ready.

156

III,2,1990

No, good mother. Here's metal more attractive.

157

III,2,1992

Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

158

III,2,1995

I mean, my head upon your lap?

159

III,2,1997

Do you think I meant country matters?

160

III,2,1999

That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.

161

III,2,2001

Nothing.

162

III,2,2003

Who, I?

163

III,2,2005

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 's two hours.

164

III,2,2009

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 hope 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. He 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, pours poison in the sleeper's ears, and
leaves him. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes
passionate action. The Poisoner with some three or four Mutes,
comes in again, seem to condole with her. The dead body is
carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts; she
seems harsh and unwilling awhile, but in the end accepts
his love.

165

III,2,2030

Marry, this is miching malhecho; it means mischief.

166

III,2,2033

We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot keep counsel;
they'll tell all.

167

III,2,2036

Ay, or any show that you'll show him. Be not you asham'd to
show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.

168

III,2,2042

Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?

169

III,2,2044

As woman's love.

170

III,2,2073

[aside] Wormwood, wormwood!
Queen. The instances 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.

171

III,2,2116

If she should break it now!

172

III,2,2124

Madam, how like you this play?

173

III,2,2126

O, but she'll keep her word.

174

III,2,2128

No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i' th'
world.

175

III,2,2131

'The Mousetrap.' Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the
image of a murther done in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke's name;
his wife, Baptista. You shall see 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 gall'd jade winch; our withers
are unwrung.

176

III,2,2139

I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see
the puppets dallying.

177

III,2,2142

It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.

178

III,2,2144

So you must take your husbands.- Begin, murtherer. Pox, leave
thy damnable faces, and begin! Come, the croaking raven doth
bellow for revenge.
Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing; Confederate season, else no creature seeing; Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected, With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, Thy natural magic and dire property On wholesome life usurp immediately.

179

III,2,2149

He poisons him i' th' garden for's estate. His name's Gonzago.
The story is extant, and written in very choice Italian. You
shall see anon how the murtherer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.

180

III,2,2153

What, frighted with false fire?

181

III,2,2159

Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Thus runs the world away.
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 raz'd
shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir?

182

III,2,2167

A whole one I!
For thou dost know, O Damon dear,
This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here
A very, very- pajock.

183

III,2,2173

O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand
pound! Didst perceive?

184

III,2,2176

Upon the talk of the poisoning?

185

III,2,2178

Aha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!
For if the King like not the comedy,
Why then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!
Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

186

III,2,2184

Sir, a whole history.

187

III,2,2186

Ay, sir, what of him?

188

III,2,2188

With drink, sir?

189

III,2,2190

Your wisdom should show itself more richer to signify this to
the doctor; for me to put him to his purgation would perhaps
plunge him into far more choler.

190

III,2,2195

I am tame, sir; pronounce.

191

III,2,2198

You are welcome.

192

III,2,2203

Sir, I cannot.

193

III,2,2205

Make you a wholesome answer; my wit's diseas'd. But, sir, such
answer as I can make, you shall command; or rather, as you say,
my mother. Therefore no more, but to the matter! My mother, you
say-

194

III,2,2211

O wonderful son, that can so stonish a mother! But is there no
sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? Impart.

195

III,2,2214

We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. Have you any
further trade with us?

196

III,2,2217

And do still, by these pickers and stealers!

197

III,2,2221

Sir, I lack advancement.

198

III,2,2224

Ay, sir, but 'while the grass grows'- the proverb is something
musty.
[Enter the 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?

199

III,2,2231

I do not well understand that. Will you play upon this pipe?

200

III,2,2233

I pray you.

201

III,2,2235

I do beseech you.

202

III,2,2237

It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with your
fingers and thumbs, give it breath with your mouth, and it will
discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.

203

III,2,2242

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 play'd on than a
pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me,
you cannot play upon me.
[Enter Polonius.]
God bless you, sir!

204

III,2,2253

Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?

205

III,2,2255

Methinks it is like a weasel.

206

III,2,2257

Or like a whale.

207

III,2,2259

Then will I come to my mother by-and-by.- They fool me to the
top of my bent.- I will come by-and-by.

208

III,2,2262

'By-and-by' is easily said.- Leave me, friends.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]
'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
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
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom.
Let me be cruel, not unnatural;
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites-
How in my words somever she be shent,
To give them seals never, my soul, consent! Exit.

209

III,3,2356

Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;
And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng'd. That would be scann'd.
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge!
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 reveng'd,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
No.
Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
When he is drunk asleep; or in his rage;
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed;
At gaming, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in't-
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. Exit.

210

III,4,2388

[within] Mother, mother, mother!

211

III,4,2392

Now, mother, what's the matter?

212

III,4,2394

Mother, you have my father much offended.

213

III,4,2396

Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.

214

III,4,2398

What's the matter now?

215

III,4,2400

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.

216

III,4,2404

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.

217

III,4,2410

[draws] How now? a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!

218

III,4,2414

Nay, I know not. Is it the King?

219

III,4,2416

A bloody deed- almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

220

III,4,2419

Ay, lady, it was my word.
[Lifts up the arras and sees 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.
Leave wringing of your hands. Peace! sit you down
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuff;
If damned custom have not braz'd it so
That it is proof and bulwark against sense.

221

III,4,2431

Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue hypocrite; takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths. O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody 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.

222

III,4,2445

Look here upon th's picture, and on this,
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
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill:
A combination and a form indeed
Where every god did seem to set his seal
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
You cannot call it love; for at your age
The heyday 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 ecstacy was ne'er so thrall'd
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice
To serve in such a difference. What devil was't
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
Or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope.
O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

223

III,4,2485

Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!

224

III,4,2492

A murtherer 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 rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
And put it in his pocket!

225

III,4,2500

A king of shreds and patches!-
Save me and hover o'er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?

226

III,4,2504

Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by
Th' important acting of your dread command?
O, say!

227

III,4,2514

How is it with you, lady?

228

III,4,2524

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,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true colour- tears perchance for blood.

229

III,4,2531

Do you see nothing there?

230

III,4,2533

Nor did you nothing hear?

231

III,4,2535

Why, look you there! Look how it steals away!
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look where he goes even now out at the portal!

232

III,4,2542

Ecstasy?
My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time
And makes as healthful music. It is not madness
That I have utt'red. Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will reword; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul
That not your trespass but my madness speaks.
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whiles 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
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg-
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

233

III,4,2560

O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half,
Good night- but go not to my uncle's bed.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this,
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night,
And that 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 [master] the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night;
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you.- For this same lord,
I do repent; but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
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.
I must be cruel, only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady.

234

III,4,2585

Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat King tempt you again to bed;
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
Such dear 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 ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep
And break your own neck down.

235

III,4,2604

I must to England; you know that?

236

III,4,2607

There's letters seal'd; and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon. O, 'tis most sweet
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
This man shall set me packing.
I'll 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 peating knave.
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night, mother.

237

IV,2,2677

Safely stow'd.

238

IV,2,2679

But soft! What noise? Who calls on Hamlet? O, here they

239

IV,2,2683

Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.

240

IV,2,2686

Do not believe it.

241

IV,2,2688

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?

242

IV,2,2692

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 mouth'd, to be last swallowed. When he needs what you have
glean'd, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry
again.

243

IV,2,2699

I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

244

IV,2,2702

The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body.
The King is a thing-

245

IV,2,2705

Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.

246

IV,3,2729

At supper.

247

IV,3,2731

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm 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 variable service- two dishes, but to one table. That's the
end.

248

IV,3,2738

A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat
of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

249

IV,3,2741

Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through
the guts of a beggar.

250

IV,3,2744

In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not
there, seek him i' th' other place yourself. But indeed, if you
find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up
the stair, into the lobby.

251

IV,3,2749

He will stay till you come.

252

IV,3,2758

For England?

253

IV,3,2760

Good.

254

IV,3,2762

I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England!
Farewell, dear mother.

255

IV,3,2765

My mother! Father and mother is man and wife; man and wife is
one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!

256

IV,4,2796

Good sir, whose powers are these?

257

IV,4,2798

How purpos'd, sir, I pray you?

258

IV,4,2800

Who commands them, sir?

259

IV,4,2802

Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?

260

IV,4,2810

Why, then the Polack never will defend it.

261

IV,4,2812

Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Will not debate the question of this straw.
This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.- I humbly thank you, sir.

262

IV,4,2819

I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event,-
A thought 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 eggshell. 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 I then,
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
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
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,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! Exit.

263

V,1,3407

Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at
grave-making?

264

V,1,3410

'Tis e'en so. The hand of little employment hath the daintier
sense.

265

V,1,3418

That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once. How the
knave jowls it to the ground,as if 'twere Cain's jawbone, that
did the first murther! This might be the pate of a Politician,
which this ass now o'erreaches; one that would circumvent God,
might it not?

266

V,1,3424

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
prais'd my Lord Such-a-one's horse when he meant to beg it- might
it not?

267

V,1,3429

Why, e'en so! and now my Lady Worm's, chapless, and knock'd
about the mazzard with a sexton's spade. Here's fine revolution,
and we had the trick to see't. Did these bones cost no more the
breeding but to play at loggets with 'em? Mine ache to think
on't.

268

V,1,3440

There's another. Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer?
Where be his quiddits 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, and 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 too, than the length and breadth
of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will
scarcely lie in this box; and must th' inheritor himself have no
more, ha?

269

V,1,3454

Is not parchment made of sheepskins?

270

V,1,3456

They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in that. I
will speak to this fellow. Whose grave's this, sirrah?

271

V,1,3461

I think it be thine indeed, for thou liest in't.

272

V,1,3464

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.

273

V,1,3467

What man dost thou dig it for?

274

V,1,3469

What woman then?

275

V,1,3471

Who is to be buried in't?

276

V,1,3473

How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or
equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Horatio, this three years
I have taken note of it, the age is grown so picked that the toe
of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls
his kibe.- How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

277

V,1,3480

How long is that since?

278

V,1,3484

Ay, marry, why was be sent into England?

279

V,1,3487

Why?

280

V,1,3490

How came he mad?

281

V,1,3492

How strangely?

282

V,1,3494

Upon what ground?

283

V,1,3497

How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot?

284

V,1,3502

Why he more than another?

285

V,1,3507

Whose was it?

286

V,1,3509

Nay, I know not.

287

V,1,3513

This?

288

V,1,3515

Let me see. [Takes the skull.] Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him,
Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He
hath borne me on his back a thousand times. And now how abhorred
in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those
lips that I have kiss'd I know not how oft. Where be your gibes
now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment that
were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your
own grinning? Quite chap- fall'n? Now get 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 me one thing.

289

V,1,3527

Dost thou think Alexander look'd o' this fashion i' th' earth?

290

V,1,3529

And smelt so? Pah!

291

V,1,3532

To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it
stopping a bunghole?

292

V,1,3536

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, Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is
earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam (whereto he
was converted) might they not stop a beer barrel?
Imperious 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 t' expel the winter's flaw!
But soft! but soft! aside! Here comes the King-
Enter [priests with] a coffin [in funeral procession], King,
[Queen, Laertes, with Lords attendant.]
The Queen, the courtiers. Who is this they follow?
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken
The corse they follow did with desp'rate hand
Fordo it own life. 'Twas of some estate.
Couch we awhile, and mark.

293

V,1,3555

That is Laertes,
A very noble youth. Mark.

294

V,1,3577

What, the fair Ophelia?

295

V,1,3593

[comes forward] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane. [Leaps in after Laertes.]

296

V,1,3600

Thou pray'st not well.
I prithee take thy fingers from my throat;
For, though I am not splenitive and rash,
Yet have I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand!

297

V,1,3610

Why, I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

298

V,1,3613

I lov'd Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers
Could not (with all their quantity of love)
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

299

V,1,3618

'Swounds, show me what thou't do.
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?
Woo't drink up esill? eat a crocodile?
I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine?
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,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.

300

V,1,3634

Hear you, sir!
What is the reason that you use me thus?
I lov'd you ever. But it is no matter.
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.

301

V,2,3650

So much for this, sir; now shall you see the other.
You do remember all the circumstance?

302

V,2,3653

Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting
That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay
Worse than the mutinies in the bilboes. Rashly-
And prais'd be rashness for it; let us know,
Our indiscretion sometime serves us well
When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will-

303

V,2,3662

Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
Grop'd 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 command,
Larded with many several sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, hoo! such bugs and goblins in my life-
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the finding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.

304

V,2,3677

Here's the commission; read it at more leisure.
But wilt thou bear me how I did proceed?

305

V,2,3680

Being thus benetted round with villanies,
Or I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play. I sat me down;
Devis'd 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
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
Th' effect of what I wrote?

306

V,2,3690

An earnest conjuration from the King,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them like the palm might flourish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
And many such-like as's 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 death,
Not shriving time allow'd.

307

V,2,3701

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 the form of th' other,
Subscrib'd it, gave't th' impression, plac'd it safely,
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
Thou know'st already.

308

V,2,3710

Why, man, they did make love to this employment!
They are not near my conscience; their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow.
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.

309

V,2,3717

Does it not, thinks't thee, stand me now upon-
He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother;
Popp'd in between th' election and my hopes;
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such coz'nage- 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 come
In further evil?

310

V,2,3727

It will be short; the interim is mine,
And a man's life is no more than to say 'one.'
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself,
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
Into a tow'ring passion.

311

V,2,3738

I humbly thank you, sir. [Aside to Horatio] Dost know this
waterfly?

312

V,2,3741

[aside to Horatio] 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 at the king's mess. 'Tis
a chough; but, as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt.

313

V,2,3747

I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit. Put your
bonnet to his right use. 'Tis for the head.

314

V,2,3750

No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.

315

V,2,3752

But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion.

316

V,2,3756

I beseech you remember.

317

V,2,3764

Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you; though, I
know, to divide him inventorially would dozy th' 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.

318

V,2,3771

The concernancy, sir? Why do we wrap the gentleman in our more
rawer breath?

319

V,2,3776

What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

320

V,2,3780

Of him, sir.

321

V,2,3782

I would you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did, it would not
much approve me. Well, sir?

322

V,2,3785

I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him in
excellence; but to know a man well were to know himself.

323

V,2,3789

What's his weapon?

324

V,2,3791

That's two of his weapons- but well.

325

V,2,3798

What call you the carriages?

326

V,2,3802

The phrase would be more germane 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 liberal-conceited carriages: that's the French
bet against the Danish. Why is this all impon'd, as you call it?

327

V,2,3811

How if I answer no?

328

V,2,3813

Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please his Majesty,
it is 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 if I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my
shame and the odd hits.

329

V,2,3819

To this effect, sir, after what flourish your nature will.

330

V,2,3821

Yours, yours. [Exit Osric.] He does well to commend it
himself; there are no tongues else for's turn.

331

V,2,3824

He did comply with his dug before he suck'd it. Thus has he,
and many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy 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 fann'd and winnowed opinions; and do but blow
them to their trial-the bubbles are out,

332

V,2,3835

I am constant to my purposes; they follow the King's pleasure.
If his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now or whensoever, provided
I be so able as now.

333

V,2,3839

In happy time.

334

V,2,3842

She well instructs me.

335

V,2,3845

I do not think so. Since he went into France I have been in
continual practice. I shall win at the odds. But thou wouldst not
think how ill all's here about my heart. But it is no matter.

336

V,2,3849

It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of gaingiving as
would perhaps trouble a woman.

337

V,2,3853

Not a whit, we defy augury; there's a special 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 readiness is all. Since no man knows aught of what he leaves,
what is't to leave betimes? Let be.

338

V,2,3863

Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong;
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
With sore distraction. What I have done
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be taken away,
And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
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.
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house
And hurt my brother.

339

V,2,3891

I embrace it freely,
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Give us the foils. Come on.

340

V,2,3895

I'll be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance
Your skill shall, like a star i' th' darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.

341

V,2,3899

No, by this hand.

342

V,2,3902

Very well, my lord.
Your Grace has laid the odds o' th' weaker side.

343

V,2,3907

This likes me well. These foils have all a length?

344

V,2,3923

Come on, sir.

345

V,2,3925

One.

346

V,2,3927

Judgment!

347

V,2,3934

I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile.
Come. [They play.] Another hit. What say you?

348

V,2,3941

Good madam!

349

V,2,3945

I dare not drink yet, madam; by-and-by.

350

V,2,3950

Come for the third, Laertes! You but dally.
Pray you pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.

351

V,2,3958

Nay come! again! The Queen falls.

352

V,2,3963

How does the Queen?

353

V,2,3967

O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd.
Treachery! Seek it out.

354

V,2,3978

The point envenom'd too?
Then, venom, to thy work. Hurts the King.

355

V,2,3982

Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion! Is thy union here?
Follow my mother. King dies.

356

V,2,3990

Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
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 dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

357

V,2,4002

As th'art a man,
Give me the cup. Let go! By heaven, I'll ha't.
O good Horatio, what a wounded name
(Things standing thus unknown) shall live behind me!
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
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?

358

V,2,4014

O, I die, Horatio!
The potent poison quite o'ercrows my spirit.
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy th' election lights
On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with th' occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited- the rest is silence. Dies.

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