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withered all when my father died : they say hel Serv. Sailors, sir; they say they have letters made a good end,
for you. Sings.
Hor. Let them come in. – [Exit Servant. For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy, —
I do not know from what part of the world Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet. itself,
Enter Sailors. She turns to favor and to prettiness !
1st Sail. God bless you, sir.
Hor. Let Him bless thee too.
1st Sail. He shall, sir, an't please Him. And will he not come again?
There's a letter for you, sir; it comes from the No, no, he is dead,
ambassador that was bound for England; if your Gone to his death-bed,
name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
“Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give He is gone, he is gone,
these fellows some means to the king; they have letters And we cast away moan:
for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of God ’a mercy on his soul!
very warlike appointment gave us chase: finding ourAnd of all christian souls! I pray God. God be selves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valor ; and wi' you ! • [Exit OPHELIA.
in the grapple I boarded them; on the instant, they got
clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. Laer. Do you see this, O God ?
They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but King. Laertes, I must commune with your
they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for grief,
them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
repair thou to me with as much haste as thou wouldst Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will, fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear will make And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me:
thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of
the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I If by direct or by collateral hand
am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for They find us touched, we will our kingdom give,
England; of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell. Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours, '
“He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.” To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Come, I will give you way for these your letters ; Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And do 't the speedier, that you may direct me And we shall jointly labor with your soul,
To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt. To give it due content.
Laer. Let this be so:
SCENE VII. — Another Room in the same.
Enter King and LAERTES.
seal, King. So you shall;
And you must put me in your heart for friend; And where the offense is, let the great axe fall. · Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear, I pray you go with me.
[Exeunt. That he which hath your noble father slain,
Pursued my life.
Laer. It well appears. But tell me
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, greatness, wisdom, all things else, Hor. What are they that would speak with me? | You mainly were stirred up.
King. O, for two special reasons ; thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden and more Which may to you, perhaps, seem much un- / strange return.
“HAMLET.” sinewed, But yet to me they are strong. The queen, his What should this mean? Are all the rest come mother,
back? Lives almost by his looks; and for myself Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? (My virtue, or my plague, be it either which), Laer. Know you the hand ? She is so conjunctive to my life and soul,
King. 'Tis Hamlet's character. “Naked,” – That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, And, in a postscript here, he says, “ Alone.” I could not but by her. The other motive Can you advise me? Why to a public count I might not go,
Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him Is, the great love the general gender bear come; him :
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
Will you be ruled by me?
Laer. Ay, my lord;
King. To thine own peace. If he be now reWhose worth, if praises may go back again,
turned, Stood challenger on mount of all the age (As checking at his voyage, and that he means For her perfections ! but my revenge will come. No more to undertake it), I will work him King. Break not your sleeps for that: you To an exploit, now ripe in my device, must not think
Under the which he shall not choose but fall :
Laer. My lord, I will be ruled;
King. It falls right.
You have been talked of since your travel much, Enter a Messenger.
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality Mess. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet :
Wherein they say you shine: your sum of parts This to your majesty; this to the queen.
Did not together pluck such envy from him, King. From Hamlet! Who brought them?
As did that one; and that, in my regard, Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them
Of the unworthiest siege. not. They were given me by Claudio; he re
Laer. What part is that, my lord ? ceived them of him that brought them.
King. A very riband in the cap of youth, King. Laertes, you shall hear them. — Leave
Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes [Exit Messenger.
The light and careless livery that it wears,
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness. — Two months “ High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on
since, your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your Here was a gentleman of Normandy, kingly eyes: when I shall, first asking your pardon I have seen myself, and served against, the French,
And they can well on horseback : but this gallant That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' the
To shew yourself indeed your father's son
Laer. To cut his throat i' the church. That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
King. No place, indeed, should murder sancCome short of what he did.
tuarise; Laer. A Norman was 't?
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good King. A Norman.
Laertes, Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.
Will you do this, — keep close within your chamKing. The very same. Laer. I know him well : he is the brooch, in- Hamlet, returned, shall know you are come home: deed,
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, And gem of all the nation.
And set a double varnish on the fame King. He made confession of you;
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, toAnd gave you such a masterly report
gether, For art and exercise in your defence,
And wager on your heads : he, being remiss, And for your rapier most especially,
Most generous, and free from all contriving, That he cried out, ’t would be a sight indeed Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease, If one could match you: the scrimers of their Or with a little shuffling, you may choose nation,
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice, He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye, Requite him for your father. If you opposed them. Sir, this report of his Laer. I will do 't: Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword. That he could nothing do but wish and beg I bought an unction of a mountebank, Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you. So mortal, that, but dip a knife in it, Now, out of this, —
Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare, Laer. What out of this, my lord ?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you? Under the moon, can save the thing from death, Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, That is but scratched withal : I'll touch my point A face without a heart ?
With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly, Laer. Why ask you this ?
It may be death. King. Not that I think you did not love your King. Let 's further think of this; father;
Weigh what convenience, both of time and means, But that I know love is begun by time; May fit us to our shape. If this should fail, And that I see, in passages of proof,
And that our drift look through our bad performTime qualifies the spark and fire of it.
ance, There lives within the very flame of love ’T were better not assayed; therefore, this project A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it; Should have a back, or second, that might hold, And nothing is at a like goodness still ;
If this should blast in proof. Soft; let me see: For goodness, growing to a pleurisy,
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings, – Dies in his own too-much : that we would do I ha't: We should do when we would; for this would” When in your motion you are hot and dry changes,
(As make your bouts more violent to that end), And hath abatements and delays as many And that he calls for drink, I'll have preferred As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
him And then this should” is like a spendthrift sigh, | A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venomed stuck, And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up: Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes ; noise?
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be, How now, sweet queen ?
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay So fast they follow :— Your sister 's drowned, To muddy death. Laertes.
Laer. Alas, then, she is drowned ? Laer. Drowned! O, where?
Queen. Drowned, drowned. Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophe
brook, That shews his hoar leaves in the glassy stream; And therefore I forbid my tears : but yet There, with fantastic garlands did she come, It is our trick; nature her custom holds, Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, Let shame say what it will: when these are That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
gone, But our cold maids do “dead-men's fingers” call The woman will be out. — Adieu, my lord : them :
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze, There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds But that this folly drowns it.
[Exit. Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke; King. Let 's follow, Gertrude : When down her weedy trophies, and herself, How much I had to do to calm his rage ! Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread Now fear I this will give it start again ; wide;
Therefore lets follow.
SCENE I. — A Churchyard.
to this water, and drown himself, it is, will he,
nill he, he goes; mark you that: but if the Enter Two Clowns, with spades, &c.
water come to him, and drown him, he drowns 1st Clo. Is she to be buried in christian burial, not himself: argal, he that is not guilty of his that wilfully seeks her own salvation ?
own death, shortens not his own life. 2nd Clo. I tell thee she is; therefore make her 2nd Clo. But is this law ? grave straight : the crowner hath set on her, and 1st Clo. Ay, marry is ’t; crowner's quest law. finds it christian burial.
2nd Clo. Will you ha' the truth on 't? If this 1st Clo. How can that be, unless she drowned had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been herself in her own defence ?
buried out of christian burial. 2nd Clo. Why, 't is found so.
1st Clo. Why, there thou say'st: and the more 1st Clo. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be pity, that great folks shall have countenance in else. For here lies the point:- If I drown my- this world to drown or hang themselves, more self wittingly, it argues an act: and an act hath than their even christian. Come, my spade. three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to per- There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, form : argal, she drowned herself wittingly. ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's
2nd Clo. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver. profession.
1st Clo. Give me leave. Here lies the water; 2nd Clo. Was he a gentleman ? good: here stands the man; good: if the man go 1st Clo. He was the first that ever bore arms.
-------- - ----
2nd Clo. Why, he had none.
Ham. That skull had a tongue in it, and could 1st Clo. What, art a heathen? How dost thou sing once : how the knave jowls it to the ground, understand the scripture? The scripture says, as if it were Cain's jawbone, that did the first Adam digged: could he dig without arms? I'll murder! This might be the pate of a politician, put another question to thee: if thou answerest which this ass now o'erreaches; one that would me not to the purpose, confess thyself, — circumvent God; might it not ? 2nd Clo. Go to.
Hor. It might, my lord. 1st Clo. What, is he that builds stronger than Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, “ Good. either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord ?”
2nd Clo. The gallows-maker; for that frame This might be my lord Such-a-one, that praised outlives a thousand tenants.
my lord Such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg 1st Clo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the it; might it not? gallows does well : but how does it well? it does Hor. Ay, my lord. well to those that do ill: now thou dost ill, to say Ham. Why, e'en so: and now my lady Worm's; the gallows is built stranger than the church : argal, chapless, and knocked about the mazzard with a the gallows may do well to thee. To't again ; come. sexton's spade: here 's fine revolution, an we had
2nd Clo. Who builds stronger than a mason, the trick to see 't! Did these bones cost no more a shipwright, or a carpenter?
the breeding, but to play at loggats with them? 1st Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke. mine ache to think on 't. 2nd Clo. Marry, now I can tell.
1st Clown sings. 1st Clo. To't. 2nd Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.
A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
For — and a shrouding sheet; Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance. 0, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet. 1st Clo. Cudgel thy brains no more about it;
[Throws up a skull. for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating: and when you are asked this question next, Ham. There's another: why may not that be say, a grave-maker; the houses that he makes, last the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughn, and fetch now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his me a stoup of liquor. [Exit 2nd Clown. tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to
knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, 1st Clown digs, and sings.
and will not tell him of his action of battery? In youth, when I did love, did love,
Humph! This fellow might be in 's time a great Methought it was very sweet,
buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, To contract, 0, the time, for, ah, my behove,
his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. Is 0, methought there was nothing meet.
this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his busi- recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt ? ness ? he sings at grave-making.
will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purHor. Custom hath made it in him a property chases, and double ones too, than the length and of easiness.
| breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conHam. 'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employ- / veyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box; ment hath the daintier sense.
and must the inheritor himself have no more? ha ? 1st Clown sings.
Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.
Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins ?
Hor. Ay, my lord, and calves'-skins too.
Ham. They are sheep and calves which seek
out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow. [Throws up a skull. Whose grave's this, sirrah ?