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O, that the earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw! But soft! but soft! aside:-Here comes the king.

Enter Priests, &c. in Procession; the Corpse of OPHELIA; LAERTES and Mourners following; KING, QUEEN, their Trains, &c.

The queen, the courtiers: Who is this they follow?
And with such maimed rites! This doth betoken,
The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. "Twas of some estate:
Couch we awhile, and mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?

A very noble youth: Mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?

[Retiring with Horatio.

That is Laertes,

1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd
As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd,
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her:
Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

Laer. Must there no more be done?

1 Priest.

No more be done!

We should profane the service of the dead,
To sing a requiem, and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.


Lay her i'the earth;

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,

May violets spring!-I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist'ring angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.


What, the fair Ophelia!

Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell!

[Scattering Flowers. I hop'd, thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife; I thought, thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, And not have strew'd thy grave.

O, treble woe

Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of!-Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:

[Leaps into the Grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
Till of this flat a mountain you have made
To o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.

Ham. [Advancing] 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 into the Grave.

[Grappling with kin.

The devil take thy soul!

Ham. Thou pray'st not well.

I pr'ythee, take thy fingers from my throat;
For, though I am not splenetive and rash,
Yet have I in me something dangerous,

Which let thy wisdom fear: Hold off thy hand.
King. Pluck them asunder.


All. Gentlemen,


Hamlet, Hamlet!

Good, my lord, be quiet.

[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the Grave.

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

Queen. Ŏ my son! what theme?"

Ham. 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?
King. O, he is mad, Laertes.

Queen. For love of God, forbear him.

Ham. 'Zounds, show me what thou'll do: Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?

Woul't drink up Esil? 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!

I'll rant as well as thou.


Nay, an thou’lt mouth,

This is mere madness:

And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,

When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His silence will sit drooping.

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 with have his day. [Exit.
King. I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.-

[Exit Horatio. Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech; [To Laertes.

We'll put the matter to the present push.
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.-
This grave shall have a living monument:

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;

Till then, in patience our proceeding be. [Exeunt.

SCENE 11. A Hall in the Castle.


Ham. So much for this, sir: now shall you see the other;

You do remember all the circumstance?

Hor. Remember it, my lord!

Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, That would not let me sleep: methought, I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly, And prais'd be rashness for it.—Let us know, Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,

When our deep plots do pall: and that should teach us,

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we will.


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Ham. Up from my cabin,

That is most certain.

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,
A royal knavery; an exact command,-
Larded with many several sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,-
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,

No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.


Is't possible?

Ham. Here's the commission; read it at more


But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed?

Hor. Ay, 'beseech you.

Ham. 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
The effect of what I wrote?


Ay, good, my lord. Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king,As England was his faithful tributary;

As love between them, like the palm, might flourish; As should still her wheaten garland wear, peace

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.


How was this seal'd?
Ham. 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 form of the other;

Subscrib'd it; gave't the 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.

Hor. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't. Ham. 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.


Why, what a king is this! Ham. Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon? He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother; Popp'd in between the election and my hopes; Thrown out his angle for my proper life,

And with such cozenage; 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?

Hor. It must be shortly known to him from England,

What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short: the interim is mine;

And a man's life's 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 count his favours:
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.


Peace; who comes here?

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