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In filial obligation, for some term,
To do obsequious sorrow. But to perséver
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to Heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschooled.
For what we know must be, and is as common .
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart. Fie! 'tis a fault to Heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe; and think of us
As of a father. For let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne;
And with no less nobility of love,
Than that which dearest' father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire;
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet ; I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply;
Be as ourself in Denmark. - Madam, come;
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof
No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell;
And the king's rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, fc., POLONIUS,
Ham. O that this too, too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world !
Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come to this !
But two months dead !-- nay, not so much, not two: -
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on. And yet, within a month, —
Let me not think on't; - Frailty, thy name is woman!-
A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
With which she followed my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears; -- why she, even she,-
O Heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourned longer,-married with my uncle,
My father's brother; but no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules. Within a month,
Ere 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 !
Enter HORATIO, BERNARDO, and MARCELLUS.
Hor. Hail to your lordship!
I am glad to see you well; Horatio, or I do forget myself.
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.'
Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you. And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?Marcellus ?
Mar. My good lord,
Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, sir. But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so;
Nor shall you do 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.
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon,
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ! the funeral baked 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.
My lord ?
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again..
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who ? .
Hor. My lord, the king, your father.
The king, my father?
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
For God's love, let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waste and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered: A figure like your father,
Armed at all points, exactly, cap-à-pé,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them. Thrice he walked,
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did; .
And I, with them, the third night kept the watch;
Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition coines. I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
But where was this?
Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
Ham. Did you not speak to it?
My lord, I did. But answer made it none; yet once, methought, It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanished from our sight.
'Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
To let you know of it. ,
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to-night?
We do, my lord.
Ham. Armed, say you ? .
Armed, my lord.
From top to toe ? All. My lord, from head to foot.
Then saw you not
Hor. O yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
Ham. What, looked he frowningly?
A countenance more
In sorrow than in anger.
Pale, or red?
Hor. Nay, very pale.
And fixed his eyes upon you?
Hor. Most constantly.
I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amazed you.
Very like. Staid it long?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw it. io
His beard was grizzled ? no?
Hor. It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
I will watch to-night;
Perchance 'twill walk again.
I warrant you it will.
Ham. 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 concealed 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. Something
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.
All. Our duty to your honor.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you. Farewell.
[Exeunt HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO.
My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
I doubt some foul play. 'Would the night were come!
Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes. [Exit.
SCENE III. A Room in Polonius's House.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA.
Laer. My necessaries are embarked; farewell.
And, sister, as the winds give benefit,
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.
Do you doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute;
Oph. No more but so?
Think it no more.
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now;
And now no soil, nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will; but, you must fear,
His greatness weighed, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth.
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and health of the whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Unto the voice and yielding of that body
Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain,