Hamlet Text and Translation - Act I

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Act I

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A platform before the Castle.]

Enter Bernardo and Francisco two Sentinels

BERNARDO:
Who's there?
BERNARDO:
Who's there?
FRANCISCO:
Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.
FRANCISCO:
No, answer me. Halt, and identify yourself.
BERNARDO:
Long live the King!
BERNARDO:
Long live the king!
FRANCISCO:
Bernardo?
FRANCISCO:
Bernardo?
BERNARDO:
He.(5)
BERNARDO:
Yes.
FRANCISCO:
You come most carefully upon your hour.
FRANCISCO:
You’re really on time.
BERNARDO:
'tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco.
BERNARDO:
It’s just midnight. Go to bed, Francisco.
FRANCISCO:
For this relief much thanks. 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
FRANCISCO:
Thanks for being on time. It’s bitter cold,
And I’m depressed.
BERNARDO:
Have you had quiet guard?(10)
BERNARDO:
Have things been quiet on your watch?
FRANCISCO:
Not a mouse stirring.
FRANCISCO:
Not a mouse stirring.
BERNARDO:
Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
BERNARDO:
Well, good night.
If you meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The ones who will watch with me, tell them to hurry up.
FRANCISCO:
I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there?(15)
FRANCISCO:
I think I hear them. Halt! Who goes there?

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

HORATIO:
Friends to this ground.
HORATIO:
Your friends.
MARCELLUS:
And liegemen to the Dane.
MARCELLUS:
And subjects of the Dane.
FRANCISCO:
Give you good night.
FRANCISCO:
Have a good night.
MARCELLUS:
O, farewell, honest soldier.
Who hath relieved you?(20)
MARCELLUS:
Well, good night, you honest soldier,
Who has relieved you?
FRANCISCO:
Bernardo hath my place.
Give you good night.
FRANCISCO:
Bernardo.
Have a good-night.

Exit Francisco.

MARCELLUS:
Holla, Bernardo!
MARCELLUS:
Hey! Bernardo!
BERNARDO:
Say,
What, is Horatio there?(25)
BERNARDO:
Hey yourself.
What, is that Horatio with you?
HORATIO:
A piece of him.
HORATIO:
A piece of him.
BERNARDO:
Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, good Marcellus.
BERNARDO:
Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, good Marcellus.
MARCELLUS:
What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
MARCELLUS:
Tell me, has this thing appeared again tonight?
BERNARDO:
I have seen nothing.
BERNARDO:
I haven’t seen anything.
MARCELLUS:
Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,(30)
And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us.
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night,
That if again this apparition come(35)
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
MARCELLUS:
Horatio says it’s all in our imagination,
And doesn’t believe a word we say
About this dreaded sight, seen twice by us.
So I’ve begged him to come along
With us to watch what happens this night,
That, if this apparition comes again,
He may believe what we have seen and speak to it.
HORATIO:
Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
HORATIO:
Nonsense, nonsense, it will not appear.
BERNARDO:
Sit down awhile,
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,(40)
What we two nights have seen.
BERNARDO:
Sit down awhile,
And let us tell you once again,
You who is so stubborn in not believing our story,
What we have seen these last two nights.
HORATIO:
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
HORATIO:
OK, let’s sit down,
And listen to Bernardo speak of this.
BERNARDO:
Last night of all,
When yond same star that's westward from the pole(45)
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one—
BERNARDO:
Last night,
When that star up there, that's west of the North Pole,
Had moved around to light that part of the sky
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The clock’s bell then tolling one,

Enter the Ghost.

MARCELLUS:
Peace! break thee off! Look where it comes
again!(50)
MARCELLUS:
Quiet, stop! Look it’s coming again!
BERNARDO:
In the same figure, like the King that's dead.
BERNARDO:
It looks just like the dead king!
MARCELLUS:
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
MARCELLUS:
You’re a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
BERNARDO:
Looks it not like the King? Mark it, Horatio.
BERNARDO:
Doesn’t it look like the King? Look at it, Horatio.
HORATIO:
Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder.
HORATIO:
Yes, it does. It fills me with fear and wonder.
BERNARDO:
It would be spoke to.(55)
BERNARDO:
It wants to be spoken to.
MARCELLUS:
Question it, Horatio.
MARCELLUS:
Question it, Horatio.
HORATIO:
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee speak!(60)
HORATIO:
What are you, that seizes this time of night,
Taking the same fair and warlike form
In which the dead king of Denmark, now buried,
Did sometimes march? By heaven I order you, speak!
MARCELLUS:
It is offended.
MARCELLUS:
It is offended.
BERNARDO:
See, it stalks away!
BERNARDO:
See, it stalks away!
HORATIO:
Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
HORATIO:
Stay! speak, speak! I order you to speak!

Exit the Ghost.

MARCELLUS:
'tis gone, and will not answer.
MARCELLUS:
It is gone, and will not answer us.
BERNARDO:
How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.(65)
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
BERNARDO:
What’s wrong, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.
Is this not more than our imaginations?
What do you think about it?
HORATIO:
Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.(70)
HORATIO:
Before my God, I might not believe this thing
Without the seeing and true testimony
Of my own eyes.
MARCELLUS:
Is it not like the King?
MARCELLUS:
Isn’t it like the King?
HORATIO:
As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armour he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated.
So frown'd he once when, in an angry parle,(75)
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
'tis strange.
HORATIO:
As you are to yourself.
The very amour he had on was the same as
When he fought with the ambitious Norway in battle,
Even his frown was the same, when, after angry talks,
He battled the Polacks on their sleds on the ice.
It is strange.
MARCELLUS:
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
MARCELLUS:
It’s come twice before, and just appearing out of nothing,
he’s gone past us at this dead hour with a warlike stalk.
HORATIO:
In what particular thought to work I know not;(80)
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
HORATIO:
I don’t know what its intentions are,
But, in the plainness and freedom of my opinion,
This foretells some strange eruption to our state.
MARCELLUS:
Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land,(85)
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war,
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week.
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste(90)
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day?
Who is't that can inform me?
MARCELLUS:
OK, sit down and tell me, whoever knows,
Why this strict and very careful watch
Works on the topic of the land,
And why are brazen cannons cast every day,
And implements of war purchased abroad,
Why so many shipwrights, whose bitter task
Goes on without a day off, not even Sunday,
What is going on that this sweaty rush to build
Makes night workers and day workers all the same?
Who is the man who can explain this to me?
HORATIO:
That can I;
At least the whisper goes so. Our last King,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,(95)
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet—
For so this side of our known world esteem'd him—
Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,(100)
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror;
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our King; which had return'd(105)
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same covenant
And carriage of the article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved metal hot and full,(110)
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there,
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
For food and diet to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other—
As it doth well appear unto our state—(115)
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost. And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch and the chief head(120)
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
HORATIO:
I can explain it,
At least, what’s on the grapevine. Our last king,
Whose image just appeared to us, a very proud man,
Was, as you know, urged into a fight,
By Old Fortinbras of Norway.
Dared to a fight, in which our valiant Hamlet,
(So this side of our known world thought him),
Did slay Old Fortinbras, who, by a sealed treaty,
Well ratified by the rules of law and heraldry,
Did lose, together with his life, all his lands,
Which he owned, to Old Hamlet.
Our king also had an equal agreement that
The lands should be returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
If King Hamlet lost, just as by the same covenant,
And terms of the agreement,
His lands went to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Hot and full of anger not tested in battle,
Has, in the outskirts of Norway, here and there,
Enlisted an army of lawless criminals,
Paid in food and diet, to engage in some enterprise
That has purpose in it, which is no other,
As it seems to our country,
Than to recover from us, by war
And non-negotiable terms, those same lands
That his father lost, and this, as I understand it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch, and the chief reason
For this speed and commotion in the land.
BERNARDO:
I think it be no other but e'en so.
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch, so like the King
That was and is the question of these wars.(125)
BERNARDO:
I think it can be no other reason but that.
Well it may turn out that this warning figure
Comes armed through our watch, looking so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.
HORATIO:
A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;(130)
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of feared events,(135)
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climature and countrymen.

Enter Ghost again.

But soft! behold! Lo, where it comes again!(140)
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me;
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease and grace to me,(145)
Speak to me;
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life(150)
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it! stay, and speak! [The cock crows.] Stop it,
Marcellus!
HORATIO:
It is a speck of dust to irritate the mind's eye.
In the most high and palm tree-like state of Rome,
A little before the mightiest Julius Caesar was killed,
The graves had no bodies, and the dead in sheets
Squeaked and gibbered in the Roman streets,
And stars with trains of fire and red morning dews,
Disasters in the sun. Even the wet-looking moon,
That influences the tides of the oceans,
Had an eclipse that seemed to go on forever.
And like similar forecasters of fierce events,
As the advance team before the fates,
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Heaven and earth have together demonstrated
To our country and countrymen.

But, quiet, behold! Look where it comes again!
I’ll cross it, though it kill me. Stay, illusion!
If you have any sound or use of voice,
Speak to me.
If there needs to be any good thing to be done,
That may do you ease and bring grace to me,
Speak to me.
If you know anything about your country's fate,
Which it may avoid by knowing in advance,
Please, speak!
Or if you have hoarded up treasure
In your life and buried it in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits often walk in death,
[The rooster crows.]
Speak of it. stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus!

MARCELLUS:
Shall I strike at it with my partisan?(155)
MARCELLUS:
Shall I strike at it with my club?
HORATIO:
Do, if it will not stand.
HORATIO:
Go ahead, if it will not stand.
BERNARDO:
'tis here!
BERNARDO:
It is here!
HORATIO:
'tis here!
HORATIO:
It is here!
MARCELLUS:
'tis gone!

Exit Ghost.

We do it wrong, being so majestical,(160)
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
MARCELLUS:
It is gone!

We do it wrong, its being so like the king,
To offer it the show of violence,
Because it is, like the air, unable to be hurt,
And our empty blows seem like a malicious joke.

BERNARDO:
It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
BERNARDO:
It was about to speak, when the rooster crowed.
HORATIO:
And then it started, like a guilty thing(165)
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day, and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,(170)
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine; and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
HORATIO:
And then it seemed startled, like a guilty thing
Running from a court order. I have heard
The rooster, that is the trumpet of the morning,
With his lofty and shrill-sounding throat,
Awakes the god of day, and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The straying and wandering spirit hurries back
To his grave. and the truth of that statement
Has been shown clearly by this object we just saw.
MARCELLUS:
It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever, 'gainst that season comes(175)
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,(180)
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
MARCELLUS:
It faded on the crowing of the rooster.
Some say that when that season comes
In which we celebrate Christmas,
The rooster will sing all night long,
And then, they say, no spirit dares to walk abroad.
The nights are wholesome, no planets change course,
No fairy takes children, a witch has no power to charm,
The time is so holy and so full of goodness.
HORATIO:
So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill.
Break we our watch up; and by my advice(185)
Let us impart what we have seen tonight
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?(190)
HORATIO:
I’ve heard that too, and partly believe it.
But, look, the morning, dressed in a red cape,
Walks over the dew of that high hill in the east.
Let’s break up our watch, and I think
We should tell all we have seen tonight
To young Hamlet, for, I swear on my life,
This spirit, silent to us, will speak to him.
Do you agree that we shall tell him,
Because we love him and it is our duty?
MARCELLUS:
Let's do't, I pray: and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently.
MARCELLUS:
Let's do it, I beg you, and I know exactly
Where we shall easily find him.

Exeunt.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[A room of state in the Castle.]

Flourish. Enter Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, [Hamlet, Polonius, his son Laertes [his sister Ophelia], Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords Attendant.]

KING:
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature(5)
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,(10)
With an auspicious, and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone(15)
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,(20)
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.(25)
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting.
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras—
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose—to suppress(30)
His further gait herein, in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject; and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,(35)
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King, more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
KING:
Though the memory of our dear brother, Hamlet’s death
Is still fresh, and that it was proper for us
To grieve for him in our hearts, and our whole kingdom
To be united in one sorrow,
Yet discretion has fought with nature so much
That we now think on him with more tempered sorrow,
Together with remembrance of ourselves,
Therefore, our former sister-in-law, now our queen,
The royal dowager of this warring country,
We have, as it were with an unhappy joy,
With a hopeful and crying eye,
With joy in mourning, and with lament in marriage,
In equal parts weighing delight and sorrow,
Married. We have not disregarded
Your good advice, which has freely gone
Along with this affair. To all, our thanks.
I will tell you now, as you know, young Fortinbras,
Not thinking very much of us,
Or thinking that our late dear brother's death
Made our country disorganized and no longer powerful,
Conspiring with this dream of his advantage,
Has not failed to pester us with messages,
Asking us to the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, within all the rules of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him!
Now what we have done so far
Is this. we have here written
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bed-rid, knows nothing
Of his nephew's intentions, to stop
His further progress in this plan because the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Without his knowledge, and we are sending
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
To take this greeting to old Norway,
Without giving you any further personal power
To do business with the king, more than the scope
Of these detailed items allow.
Farewell and hurry to do your duty.
CORNELIUS, VOLTIMAND:
In that and all things will we show(40)
our duty.
CORNELIUS, VOLTIMAND:
In that and all things, we will show our duty.
KING:
We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.

[Exit Voltimand and Cornelius.]

And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of some suit. What is't, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,(45)
And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.(50)
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
KING:
We do not doubt it. Heartily, farewell.

And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us you want something. What is it, Laertes?
You cannot start to ask the King of Denmark,
And then stop. What do you want, Laertes,
That I shall not my offer before you ask?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to your father.
What would you ask, Laertes?

LAERTES:
Dread my lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To show my duty in your coronation,(55)
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
LAERTES:
My fearful lord,
Your permission and good wishes to return to France.
I came from there willingly to Denmark,
To show my duty at your coronation,
But now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
And I bow to your gracious permission and good wishes.
KING:
Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?
KING:
Have you your father's permission? What says Polonius?
POLONIUS:
He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave(60)
By laboursome petition, and at last
Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent.
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
POLONIUS:
My lord, he has wrung from me my reluctant permission
By asking me again and again, and I
Finally had to give in.
I do beg you, give him permission to go.
KING:
Take thy fair hour, Laertes. Time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will!(65)
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,—
KING:
Take your best chance, Laertes, time be yours,
And do whatever you want to do with it!
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son.
HAMLET:
A little more than kin, and less than kind!
HAMLET:
A little more than related and less than kind!
KING:
How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
KING:
How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
HAMLET:
Not so, my lord: I am too much i' the sun.
HAMLET:
That’s not so, my lord, I am too much in the sun.
QUEEN:
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off,(70)
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust.
Thou know'st 'tis common. All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.(75)
QUEEN:
Good Hamlet, take off your black looks,
And let your eye look on the King like a friend.
Don’t look for your noble father on the ground
Forever with sad eyes.
You know it’s the way it goes, that everyone must die,
Passing through this life to eternity.
HAMLET:
Ay, madam, it is common.
HAMLET:
Yes, madam, that’s the way it goes.
QUEEN:
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
QUEEN:
If that’s the way it goes,
Why does it seem unusual with you?
HAMLET:
Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not seems.
'tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,(80)
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shapes of grief,(85)
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.
HAMLET:
”Seem?”, madam! No, it is. I don’t know “seem.”
It’s not just my black clothes, good mother,
Or the usual mourning suits of solemn black,
Or loud sighs of forced breath,
No, or the tears of grief in my eyes,
Or the dejected behavior that’s on my face,
Together with all forms, moods, shows of grief,
That truly say what I feel. These things, indeed, “seem”
Because these are actions that might be found in a play,
But within me, I have feelings that cannot be acted,
Those things are only the outside signs of grief.
KING:
'tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,(90)
To give these mourning duties to your father;
But you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow. But to persever(95)
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'd;(100)
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,(105)
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died today,
This must be so. We pray you throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us(110)
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(115)
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.(120)
KING:
It is sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father,
But, you must know, That your father lost his father,
His father lost his father, and the sons were bound,
In the obligation of a good son, for some time after
To do some general rites and grieving, but to persist
In such a long grieving period is to be on a path
Of unholy stubbornness. It is unmanly grief.
It demonstrates a wrong observance of holy rites,
A weak heart, a restless mind,
A simple and uneducated understanding of death,
Because we know what must be, it’s as common
As anything to sense the most vulgar thing,
Why should we, in our spiteful opposition,
Take it to heart? For shame! It is a sin to heaven,
A sin against the dead, a sin to nature,
Most ridiculous to reason, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still has cried,
From the first corpse to the man who died just today,
”This must be so.” We beg you, give up on
This unusual grief, and think of us
As of a father. Because, let the whole world know,
You are the next in line to our throne,
And, I give you my love, with no less nobility
Than the love which the dearest father
Bears his son. As for your intentions
To go back to school in Wittenberg,
Leaving here is not something that we want,
And we beg you to give into remaining
Here in the happiness and pleasure of our eyes,
Our most important courtier, cousin, and our son.
QUEEN:
Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
QUEEN:
Don’t let my prayers go unanswered, Hamlet.
I beg you to stay with us, don’t go to Wittenberg.
HAMLET:
I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
HAMLET:
I’ll do my best to obey you, madam.
KING:
Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply.
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come.(125)
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No jocund health that Denmark drinks today
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the King's rouse the heaven shall bruit again,(130)
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
KING:
Why, it is a loving and a fair reply.
Behave as we would in Denmark. Madam, come,
This gentle and unforced agreement of Hamlet’s
Makes my heart happy, so happy that,
For every happy toast that Denmark drinks today
The great cannon shall fire the toast to the sky,
And the king's loud noise shall echo the cannon,
Repeating that earthly thunder. Let’s go.

Flourish. Exeunt all but Hamlet.

HAMLET:
O, that this too too sullied 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!(135)
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!(140)
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!(145)
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(150)
With which she follow'd 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(155)
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!(160)
It is not, nor it cannot come to, good.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue!
HAMLET:
O that my too, too solid body would melt,
Thaw, and change itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting God has forbidden
Suicide! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
All the habits of this world seem to me!
Shame on it! O for shame! It is an unweeded garden
That is going to seed, only things that are decaying and
Disgusting grow there. That it should come to this!
Only dead for two months! No, not so much, not two.
So excellent a king that, compared to this king, was
A magnificent man to a beast, so loving to my mother,
That he might not allow the winds of heaven
To blow on her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if her appetite had only increased
By what it fed on. And yet, within a month — Don’t let
me think about it! Weakness, your name is woman —
A little month, even before those shoes with which she
Followed my poor father's body were old, she was
Totally inconsolable, all tears, why she, even she—
O God! a beast that lacks the gift of reason,
Would have mourned longer— married my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I am like Hercules. Within a month,
Before the salt of the most wicked tears
Had left the redness in her bitter eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to travel
With such quickness to incestuous sheets!
It is not good and it cannot come to good.
But, break my heart, for I must be silent!

Enter Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo.

HORATIO:
Hail to your lordship!
HORATIO:
Greetings to your lordship!
HAMLET:
I am glad to see you well.
Horatio—or I do forget myself.(165)
HAMLET:
I am glad to see you well.
Horatio? Or I do forget myself!
HORATIO:
The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
HORATIO:
It’s me, my lord, and your poor servant forever.
HAMLET:
Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?—
Marcellus?
HAMLET:
Sir, my good friend! I’ll exchange that name with you.
And why are you here from Wittenberg, Horatio?
Marcellus?
MARCELLUS:
My good lord!(170)
MARCELLUS:
My good lord.
HAMLET:
I am very glad to see you.— [To Bernardo] Good
even, sir.—
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
HAMLET:
I am very glad to see you. [To Bernardo] Good evening, sir.
But why, truly, are you here from Wittenberg?
HORATIO:
A truant disposition, good my lord.
HORATIO:
A lazy disposition, my good lord.
HAMLET:
I would not hear your enemy say so,(175)
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.(180)
HAMLET:
I wouldn’t even hear your enemy say so,
And you shall not violently throw those words to my ear,
To make my ear the keeper of your own report
Against yourself. I know you are not lazy.
But what are you doing in Elsinore?
We'll teach you to drink a lot before you leave!
HORATIO:
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
HORATIO:
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
HAMLET:
I prithee do not mock me, fellow student.
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
HAMLET:
Please don’t mock me, fellow-student.
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
HORATIO:
Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
HORATIO:
Indeed, my lord, it followed very soon after.
HAMLET:
Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats(185)
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.
HAMLET:
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The meats baked for the funeral
Were also put on the marriage tables.
I wish I had met my dearest enemy in heaven
Before I had ever seen that day, Horatio!
My father… I think I see my father.
HORATIO:
O, where, my lord?(190)
HORATIO:
Where, my lord?
HAMLET:
In my mind's eye, Horatio.
HAMLET:
In my mind's eye, Horatio.
HORATIO:
I saw him once. He was a goodly king.
HORATIO:
I saw him once, he was a goodly king.
HAMLET:
He was a man, take him for all in all;
I shall not look upon his like again.
HAMLET:
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
HORATIO:
My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.(195)
HORATIO:
My lord, I think I saw him last night.
HAMLET:
Saw? Who?
HAMLET:
Saw who?
HORATIO:
My lord, the King your father.
HORATIO:
My lord, the king your father.
HAMLET:
The King my father?
HAMLET:
The King my father!
HORATIO:
Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear, till I may deliver(200)
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
HORATIO:
Hold off your compliments for awhile
And pay attention, until I may deliver,
With the witness of these gentlemen,
Something marvelous to you.
HAMLET:
For God's love let me hear!
HAMLET:
For God's love, let me hear what you have to say.
HORATIO:
Two nights together had these gentlemen
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch(205)
In the dead vast and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered. A figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-à-pie,
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them. Thrice he walk'd(210)
By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distill'd
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did,(215)
And I with them the third night kept the watch;
Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father.
These hands are not more like.(220)
HORATIO:
Two nights in a row had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead vast country and middle of the night,
Encountered a figure like your father,
Armed at every point exactly, head to toe,
Appearing before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them. Three times he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within the length of their spears, while they, reduced
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stood speechless, and did not speak They told
Me this in dreadful secrecy,
So I kept the watch with them the third night.
Where, just as they had said, both in time and
Form of the thing, each word being true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father,
These hands are not more like the apparition I saw.
HAMLET:
But where was this?
HAMLET:
But where was this?
MARCELLUS:
My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.
MARCELLUS:
My lord, on the platform where we watched.
HAMLET:
Did you not speak to it?
HAMLET:
Didn’t you speak to it?
HORATIO:
My lord, I did;
But answer made it none. Yet once methought(225)
It lifted up it head and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud,
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away
And vanish'd from our sight.(230)
HORATIO:
My lord, I did,
But it made me no answer. However, once I thought
It lifted up its head, and urged
Itself to motion, just as if it would speak.
But then the morning rooster crew loud,
And at that sound, it shrunk away very quickly,
And vanished from our sight.
HAMLET:
'tis very strange.
HAMLET:
It is very strange.
HORATIO:
As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
HORATIO:
I swear, my honored lord, it is true,
And we thought it was our duty
To let you know about it.
HAMLET:
Indeed, indeed, sirs. But this troubles me.(235)
Hold you the watch tonight?
HAMLET:
Indeed, indeed, gentlemen, but this troubles me.
Are you going to watch again tonight?
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
We do, my lord.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
We are, my lord.
HAMLET:
Arm'd, say you?
HAMLET:
He was armed, you say?
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Arm'd, my lord.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Armed, my lord.
HAMLET:
From top to toe?(240)
HAMLET:
From top to toe?
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
My lord, from head to foot.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
My lord, from head to foot.
HAMLET:
Then saw you not his face?
HAMLET:
Then you didn’t see his face?
HORATIO:
O, yes, my lord! He wore his beaver up.
HORATIO:
O, yes, my lord. He had the front visor of his helmet up.
HAMLET:
What, look'd he frowningly?
HAMLET:
What, did he look like he was frowning?
HORATIO:
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.(245)
HORATIO:
His face showed more sorrow than anger.
HAMLET:
Pale, or red?
HAMLET:
Was he pale or red?
HORATIO:
Nay, very pale.
HORATIO:
No, very pale.
HAMLET:
And fix'd his eyes upon you?
HAMLET:
And he fixed his eyes on you?
HORATIO:
Most constantly.
HORATIO:
Most constantly.
HAMLET:
I would I had been there.(250)
HAMLET:
I wish I had been there.
HORATIO:
It would have much amazed you.
HORATIO:
It would have amazed you very much.
HAMLET:
Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
HAMLET:
I’m sure it would’ve, I’m sure it would’ve. Did it stay long?
HORATIO:
While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
HORATIO:
As long as an average person might count to a hundred.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Longer, longer.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Longer, longer.
HORATIO:
Not when I saw't.(255)
HORATIO:
Not when I saw it.
HAMLET:
His beard was grizzled, no?
HAMLET:
His beard was grizzly, no?
HORATIO:
It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
HORATIO:
It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A silvery sable.
HAMLET:
I will watch tonight.
Perchance 'twill walk again.(260)
HAMLET:
I will watch tonight,
Maybe it will walk again.
HORATIO:
I warrant it will.
HORATIO:
I guarantee it will.
HAMLET:
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,(265)
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap tonight,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue.
I will requite your loves. So, fare you well.
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,(270)
I'll visit you.
HAMLET:
If it takes on my noble father's appearance,
I’ll speak to it, though hell itself should open wide
And order me to be silent. I beg you all,
If you have kept this sight secret so far,
Keep your silence still,
And whatever else shall happen tonight,
Take it in, but don’t talk about it.
I will reward your loyalty. So, goodbye for now.
On the platform, between eleven and twelve,
I’ll visit you.
ALL:
Our duty to your honour.
ALL:
Our duty to your honor.

Exeunt [all but Hamlet.]

HAMLET:
Your loves, as mine to you. Farewell.
My father's spirit in arms! All is not well.
I doubt some foul play. Would the night were come.(275)
Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
HAMLET:
Your loyalty, as mine to you. Goodbye.
My father's spirit in arms! All is not well,
I suspect some foul play. I wish the night were here now!
Until then, sit still, my soul. Wicked deeds will rise to be
Seen even if they are buried very deep in the earth.

Exit.

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[A room in the house of Polonius.]

Enter Laertes, and Ophelia, his sister.

LAERTES:
My necessaries are embark'd. Farewell.
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.
LAERTES:
The things I need are all on the ship. Goodbye.
And, sister, as the winds will be favorable
And the ships are strong to sail, don’t sleep,
Until you let me hear from you.
OPHELIA:
Do you doubt that?(5)
OPHELIA:
Do you doubt that?
LAERTES:
For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favours,
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;(10)
No more.
LAERTES:
As for Hamlet and the foolishness of his attentions,
Think that it is only a phase and a toy in blood.
A violet in the youth of nature that is in its prime,
Bold, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The burning passion and extreme wanting of a moment,
Nothing more.
OPHELIA:
No more but so?
OPHELIA:
Nothing more than that?
LAERTES:
Think it no more.
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,(15)
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 weigh'd, his will is not his own;(20)
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 this whole state,
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed(25)
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(30)
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmast'red importunity.(35)
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.(40)
Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes.
The canker galls the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.(45)
Be wary then; best safety lies in fear.
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
LAERTES:
Stop thinking about it,
Because nature, the moon, does not grow alone
In strength and size, but as this temple grows,
The inward duty of the mind and soul
Grows wide along with the rest. Maybe he loves you now,
And now no dirt nor trick dims the luster of
The purity of his intentions, but you must fear him.
His greatness considered, his intentions are not his own,
He himself is subject to his birth as a prince.
He may not, as lower persons do,
Select for himself, for on his choice depends
The safety and health of this whole state,
And therefore must his choice be subject
To the voice and consent of that state
That he is the head of. Then if he says he loves you,
You would be wise to believe it
Because then being in his particular act and place
May do what he says, which is what
The majority of people in of Denmark go along with.
So decide what loss your honor may receive
If you listen to his songs with a too believing ear,
Or lose your heart, or lose your virginity
To his wild sense of bad timing.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
And keep your affections deep within you,
Out of the range and danger of desire.
The most careful maid is wasteful enough
If she unmasks her beauty to the moon.
Virtue itself doesn’t aim at lying deeds.
An ugly disease afflicts the new flowers of the spring
Too often before they have bloomed,
And in the morning and liquid dew of youth
Contagious shriveling is the most imminent.
Be careful then. The safest way lies in fear.
Youth rebels against itself, even if no one else is near.
OPHELIA:
I shall the effect of this good lesson keep
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,(50)
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.
OPHELIA:
I shall keep the purpose of this good lesson
As watchman to my heart. But, my good brother,
Don’t, as some insincere ministers do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
While, like a proud and reckless wild man,
Preaches against the primrose path of sin
And does not practice what he preaches.
LAERTES:
O, fear me not!(55)

Enter Polonius.

I stay too long. But here my father comes.
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
LAERTES:
O, don’t be afraid of me.

I’ve stayed too long. But here comes my father.
A double blessing is a double grace,
It’s a better occasion to smile at saying goodbye again.

POLONIUS:
Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,(60)
And you are stay'd for. There, my blessing with thee.
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.(65)
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,(70)
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;(75)
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,(80)
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell. My blessing season this in thee!(85)
POLONIUS:
You’re still here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the best part of your sail,
And the ship waits for you. There, my blessing with you!
And see that you write these few precepts
In your memory. Give your thoughts to yourself,
And don’t act without thinking.
Be friendly, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends you have, and their friendship tested,
Anchor them to your soul with hoops of steel,
But don’t spend your money on entertaining
Each newly acquired, unproven friend. Beware
Of getting into a quarrel, but, once you are in,
Fight so that the man you fight with may beware of you.
Listen to what every man says, but speak to few.
Take each man's opinion, but reserve your judgment.
Buy as costly clothes as can pay for,
But not made fancy, rich, and certainly not gaudy.
For the clothes often tell what kind of man you are,
And the ones in France of the best rank and station
Are most choosy and generous in that regard.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
For a loan often loses both the loan and the friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of the economy.
This above all, to your own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
You cannot then be false to any man.
Goodbye. My blessing instill these things in you!
LAERTES:
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
LAERTES:
I take my leave most humbly, my lord.
POLONIUS:
The time invites you. Go, your servants tend.
POLONIUS:
It’s time to leave, go, your servants are waiting.
LAERTES:
Farewell, Ophelia, and remember well
What I have said to you.
LAERTES:
Goodbye, Ophelia, and remember well
What I have said to you.
OPHELIA:
'tis in my memory lock'd,(90)
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
OPHELIA:
It is locked in my memory,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
LAERTES:
Farewell.
LAERTES:
Goodbye.

Exit Laertes.

POLONIUS:
What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
POLONIUS:
What is it, Ophelia, that he has said to you?
OPHELIA:
So please you, something touching the Lord
Hamlet.(95)
OPHELIA:
If it pleases you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
POLONIUS:
Marry, well bethought!
'tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you, and you yourself
Have of your audience been most free and bounteous.
If it be so— as so 'tis put on me,(100)
And that in way of caution—I must tell you,
You do not understand yourself so clearly
As it behooves my daughter and your honour.
What is between you? Give me up the truth.
POLONIUS:
By Mary, well thought.
I have heard that he has very often lately
Given private time to you, and you yourself
Have been most free and generous with your time,
If it that is so, as it was put to me
And that in way of cautioning me, I must tell you
You don’t understand yourself so clearly
What is morally fitting my daughter and your honor.
What is going on between you? Tell me the truth.
OPHELIA:
He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders(105)
Of his affection to me.
OPHELIA:
My lord, he has of late made many offers
Of his affection to me.
POLONIUS:
Affection? Pooh! You speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
POLONIUS:
Affection! Pooh! You speak like a green girl,
Ignorant in such dangerous circumstances.
Do you believe his “offers,” as you call them?
OPHELIA:
I do not know, my lord, what I should think.(110)
OPHELIA:
My lord, I don’t know what I should think.
POLONIUS:
Marry, I'll teach you. Think yourself a baby,
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly,
Or—not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus—you'll tender me a fool.(115)
POLONIUS:
By Mary, I’ll teach you. Think that you are a baby,
That you have taken these offers for true love,
Which are not true offers. Consider yourself more dearly,
Or, not to keep harping on that poor phrase,
Doing harm to it, you'll “offer” me a fool!
OPHELIA:
My lord, he hath importuned me with love
In honourable fashion.
OPHELIA:
My lord, he has courted me with love
In honorable fashion.
POLONIUS:
Ay, fashion you may call it. Go to, go to!
POLONIUS:
Yes, fashion you may call it, get going, get going.
OPHELIA:
And hath given countenance to his speech, my
lord,(120)
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
OPHELIA:
And has given proper appearance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
POLONIUS:
Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows. These blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both(125)
Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
You must not take for fire. From this time
Be something scanter of your maiden presence.
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,(130)
Believe so much in him, that he is young,
And with a larger tether may he walk
Than may be given you. In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Not of that dye which their investments show,(135)
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth
Have you so slander any moment leisure(140)
As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you. Come your ways.
POLONIUS:
Yes, mousetraps to catch fools. I do know,
When passion burns the blood, how the wasteful soul
Gives the tongue vows to speak. These blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, dead in both,
Even in their promises, dying as they are being made,
Must not be taken for real fire. From this time
Let your maiden presence be somewhat less visible,
Set your conversations at a higher rate
Than a command to chit-chat. As for Lord Hamlet,
Only believe so much about him, that he is young,
And he may walk on a higher mountain
Than may be given you. In short, Ophelia,
Don’t believe his vows, because they are pimps,
Not made of those things which show outside,
But mere beggars of unholy courtships,
Breathing like holy and righteous procurers,
The better to deceive you. This is true for all.
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forward
Have you waste any leisure moment
By giving words to or talking with the Lord Hamlet.
Do as I say, I order you. Let’s go.
OPHELIA:
I shall obey, my lord.
OPHELIA:
I shall obey, my lord.

Exeunt.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. The platform before the Castle.]

Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.

HAMLET:
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
HAMLET:
The air bites sharply, It is very cold.
HORATIO:
It is a nipping and an eager air.
HORATIO:
It is a nipping and an eager air.
HAMLET:
What hour now?
HAMLET:
What time is it now?
HORATIO:
I think it lacks of twelve.
HORATIO:
I think it’s just before twelve.
MARCELLUS:
No, it is struck.(5)
MARCELLUS:
No, the clock has already struck twelve.
HORATIO:
Indeed? I heard it not. It then draws near the season
Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance go off.

What doth this mean, my lord?
HORATIO:
Indeed? I didn’t hear it. Then it’s getting close to the time
When the spirit has his habit of walking.

What does that mean, my lord?

HAMLET:
The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail, and the swaggering upspring reels,(10)
And as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
HAMLET:
The King stays awake tonight and has a drinking party,
Keeps toasting, and the swaggering morning whirls,
And, as he drinks down his drafts of Rhine wine,
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus noisily announce
The triumph of his drinking it all down at once.
HORATIO:
Is it a custom?
HORATIO:
Is it a custom?
HAMLET:
Ay, marry, is't;(15)
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 traduced and tax'd of other nations;(20)
They clepe 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,(25)
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,(30)
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,(35)
As infinite as man may undergo—
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault. The dram of evil
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his own scandal.(40)
HAMLET:
Yes, by Mary, it is,
But to my mind, though I am a native here,
And know the customs since birth, it is a custom
More honored in the braking it than the observing it.
This heavy-headed drinking from east to west
Makes us maligned and written off by other nations.
They call us drunkards, and with that swinish phrase they
Detract from our good points and, indeed, it takes away
From our achievements, although performed the best,
That are the heart and bone of our attributes.
So often it might happen in particular men
That, for some vicious disfigurement of nature in them,
Like a birthmark— something they are not guilty of
Because a man cannot choose how he is born—
By the overdevelopment of some temperament,
That often defies the intelligent use of reason,
Or by some habit, that too much exceeds
The limits of acceptable behavior, that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being the result of nature, or a star of fortune,
Whatever other virtues they have, even if they are
As pure as grace, as infinite as men may have,
Shall in the general opinion be labeled corrupt
From that one particular fault. The drop of affliction
Often causes doubt about all the virtues they have
To men’s own disgrace.

Enter Ghost.

HORATIO:
Look, my lord, it comes!
HORATIO:
Look, my lord, it comes!
HAMLET:
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,(45)
Thou comest 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 canonized bones, hearsed in death,(50)
Have burst their cerements, why the sepulchre
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean
That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel,(55)
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?(60)
HAMLET:
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Whether you are a spirit of health or a goblin damned,
Bringing with you airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Whether your intentions are wicked or charitable,
You come in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to you. I’ll call you Hamlet!
King! Father! Royal Dane! O, answer me!
Don’t let me burst in ignorance, but tell me
Why your sacred bones, buried in death,
Have escaped from the cemetery, why the tomb
Wherein we saw you quietly laid to rest,
Has opened his frightening and marble jaws
To bring you back to life! What does this mean,
That you, dead corpse, again in full armor,
Revisit us in the light and shadows of the moon,
Making night hideous, and making us fools of nature
Shake our dispositions so horridly
With thoughts that go beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? Why? What should we do?

[Ghost beckons Hamlet.]

HORATIO:
It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
HORATIO:
It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it had something to say
To you alone.
MARCELLUS:
Look with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground.(65)
But do not go with it!
MARCELLUS:
Look with what courteous action
It waves you to a more private ground.
But don’t go with it!
HORATIO:
No, by no means.
HORATIO:
No, by no means.
HAMLET:
It will not speak; then will I follow it.
HAMLET:
If it will not speak, then I will follow it.
HORATIO:
Do not, my lord!
HORATIO:
Don’t, my lord.
HAMLET:
Why, what should be the fear?(70)
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.
HAMLET:
Why, what should I be afraid of?
I don’t value my life at the price of a pin,
And as for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing that is immortal as it is?
It waves me forward again. I’ll follow it.
HORATIO:
What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,(75)
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
And draw you into madness? Think of it.(80)
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.
HORATIO:
What if it tempts you toward the ocean, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That hangs so threateningly over his base into the sea,
And once there, assumes some other horrible form
Which might deprive you of the ability to think,
And draw you into madness? Think about it.
The very place puts desperate ideas,
Without any motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms into the sea
And hears it roar beneath.
HAMLET:
It waves me still.(85)
Go on; I'll follow thee.
HAMLET:
It waves me still.
Go on, I’ll follow you.
MARCELLUS:
You shall not go, my lord.
MARCELLUS:
You shall not go, my lord.
HAMLET:
Hold off your hands!
HAMLET:
Hold off your hands.
HORATIO:
Be ruled. You shall not go.
HORATIO:
Listen to me: you shall not go.
HAMLET:
My fate cries out,(90)
And makes each petty artery 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.(95)
HAMLET:
My fate cries out,
And makes each and every vein in this body
As hardy as the nerve of the lion killed by Hercules.

Still I am called, let go of me, gentlemen!
By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that holds me back!
I say, get away from me! Go on, I’ll follow you.

Exit Ghost and Hamlet.

HORATIO:
He waxes desperate with imagination.
HORATIO:
He’s getting crazy with expectation!
MARCELLUS:
Let's follow. 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
MARCELLUS:
Let's follow, it’s not right to obey his orders now.
HORATIO:
Have after. To what issue will this come?
HORATIO:
Let’s do it. What will all this lead to?
MARCELLUS:
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
MARCELLUS:
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
HORATIO:
Heaven will direct it.(100)
HORATIO:
Heaven will guide its course.
MARCELLUS:
Nay, let's follow him.
MARCELLUS:
No, let's follow him.

Exeunt.

Scene V

Original Text Modern Translation

[The Castle. Another part of the fortifications.]

Enter Ghost, and Hamlet.

HAMLET:
Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak! I'll go no further.
HAMLET:
Where will you lead me? Speak! I’ll go no further.
GHOST:
Mark me.
GHOST:
Listen to me.
HAMLET:
I will.
HAMLET:
I will.
GHOST:
My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames(5)
Must render up myself.
GHOST:
My hour to leave is almost here,
When I must surrender myself
to hellish and tormenting flames
HAMLET:
Alas, poor ghost!
HAMLET:
Alas, poor ghost!
GHOST:
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
GHOST:
Don’t pity me, but listen seriously
To what I shall disclose to you.
HAMLET:
Speak; I am bound to hear.(10)
HAMLET:
Speak, I am obliged to listen.
GHOST:
So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
GHOST:
So you are obliged to revenge, when you shall hear me.
HAMLET:
What!
HAMLET:
What?
GHOST:
I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,(15)
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,(20)
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand an end
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
But this eternal blazon must not be(25)
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love—
GHOST:
I am your father's spirit,
Doomed for a certain time to walk the night,
And during the day I am confined to burn in fires,
Until the evil crimes I had done in my life
Are burnt and purged away. If I were not forbidden
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
I could tell a tale whose lightest word
Would crush your soul, freeze your young blood,
Make your two eyes, like stars, jump from their sockets,
Your knotted and combined hair to separate,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills on the angry porcupine.
But this eternal description must not be given
To ears of flesh and blood. Listen, listen, O, listen!
If you ever loved your dear father —
HAMLET:
O God!
HAMLET:
O God!
GHOST:
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
GHOST:
Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
HAMLET:
Murder?(30)
HAMLET:
Murder!
GHOST:
Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
GHOST:
Murder most foul, as even at best it is still murder,
But this murder is the most foul, strange, and unnatural.
HAMLET:
Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.(35)
HAMLET:
Tell me about it quickly, so that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May rush to my revenge.
GHOST:
I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear.
'tis given out that, sleeping in mine orchard,(40)
A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown.(45)
GHOST:
I find you ready,
And if you were duller than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on the river bank,
You wouldn’t move on this. Now, Hamlet, listen.
The story goes that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent bit me. So the whole country of Denmark
Is extremely abused by a lie about the
Process of my death, but know, you noble youth,
The serpent that poisoned and took your father's life
Now wears his crown.
HAMLET:
O my prophetic soul! My uncle!
HAMLET:
O my prophetic soul!
My uncle!
GHOST:
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust(50)
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage, and to decline(55)
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine.
But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,(60)
Will sate itself in a celestial bed
And prey on garbage.
But soft! methinks I scent the morning air.
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,(65)
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leperous distilment, whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man(70)
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood. So did it mine;(75)
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd;(80)
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
GHOST:
Yes, that incestuous, that adulterous beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—
O wicked wit and gifts, that have such power
To seduce! — won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling-off there was in our marriage!
From me, whose love was of that kind of dignity
That went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage. And to turn to
A wretch whose natural gifts were poor when compared
To those I had!
But as virtue can never be moved, it
Was courted though lewdness in a shape of heaven,
And lust, though linked to a radiant angel,
Will satisfy itself in a heavenly bed
And eat garbage.
But wait! I think I scent the morning air,
Let me be brief. As I was sleeping in my orchard,
Always my habit in the afternoon,
Your uncle sneaked in, when I didn’t have security near,
With juice of poisonous hebenon in a vial,
And poured the juice that causes white scales
Into the openings of my ears, whose effect
Holds such an aversion to blood of man
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden speed, it begins to sour
And curdle the thin and wholesome blood,
Like acid droppings into milk, so it did mine,
And a most instant disintegration began,
Almost like Lazarus, covering all my smooth body
With a vile and loathsome crust.
So I was, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Gotten rid of, deprived of life, of crown, of queen,.
Cut down even without forgiveness for my sins,
No last Communion, unprepared, no last anointing,
No accounting made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
HAMLET:
O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!(85)
HAMLET:
O, horrible! O, horrible! Most horrible!
GHOST:
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive(90)
Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once.
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.(95)
Adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.
GHOST:
If you have nature in you, don’t accept this,
Don’t let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, however you pursue this revenge,
Don’t taint your mind, or let your soul plan
Anything against your mother. Leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that live in her bosom,
To prick and sting her. Goodbye now!
The glowworm shows the morning is near,
And he begins to put out his ineffective fire.
Goodbye, goodbye! Hamlet, remember me.

[Exit.]

HAMLET:
O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart!
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee?(100)
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,(105)
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!(110)
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.
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word:(115)
It is ‘Adieu, adieu! Remember me.’
I have sworn't.
HAMLET:
O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I join forces hell? O, for shame! Hold, my heart,
And you, my muscles, don’t grow old in an instant,
But hold me stiffly up. Remember you!
Yes, you poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this confused world. Remember you!
Yes, from the table of my memory
I’ll wipe away all unimportant records,
All kinds of books, all pictures, all pressures past,
That my youth and observations wrote there,
And your commandment all by itself shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with other low thoughts. Yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My papers, it is just that I set it all down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain,
At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark.
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word:
It is Goodbye, goodbye! remember me. '
I have sworn it.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

HORATIO:
My lord, my lord!
HORATIO:
My lord, my lord,
MARCELLUS:
Lord Hamlet!
MARCELLUS:
Lord Hamlet,
HORATIO:
Heaven secure him!(120)
HORATIO:
Heaven keep him safe!
HAMLET:
So be it!
HAMLET:
So be it!
MARCELLUS:
Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
MARCELLUS:
Hello, ho, ho, my lord!
HAMLET:
Hillo, ho, ho, boy! Come, bird, come.
HAMLET:
Hello, ho, ho, boy! Come, bird, come.
MARCELLUS:
How is't, my noble lord?
MARCELLUS:
How are you, my noble lord?
HORATIO:
What news, my lord?(125)
HORATIO:
What news, my lord?
MARCELLUS:
O, wonderful!
MARCELLUS:
O, wonderful!
HORATIO:
Good my lord, tell it.
HORATIO:
My good lord, tell it.
HAMLET:
No; you will reveal it.
HAMLET:
No, you'll reveal it.
HORATIO:
Not I, my lord, by heaven!
HORATIO:
Not I, my lord, by heaven.
MARCELLUS:
Nor I, my lord.(130)
MARCELLUS:
Nor I, my lord.
HAMLET:
How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
But you'll be secret?
HAMLET:
What do you say then, would heart of man once think it?
And you'll keep it secret?
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Ay, by heaven, my lord.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
Yes, by heaven, my lord.
HAMLET:
There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.(135)
HAMLET:
There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
Except that he's an arrant knave.
HORATIO:
There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the
grave
To tell us this.
HORATIO:
We don’t need a ghost, my lord, to come from the grave
To tell us this.
HAMLET:
Why, right! You are in the right!
And so, without more circumstance at all,(140)
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part;
You, as your business and desire 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.(145)
HAMLET:
Why, right, you are right,
And so, without any more talk at all,
I think it’s proper that we shake hands and part.
You, as your business and desires shall point you,
Because every man has business and desire,
Such as it is, and I for my own poor part.
Look, I’ll go pray.
HORATIO:
These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
HORATIO:
These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
HAMLET:
I am sorry they offend you, heartily;
Yes, faith, heartily.
HAMLET:
I’m sorry they offend you, heartily,
Yes, indeed, heartily.
HORATIO:
There's no offence, my lord.
HORATIO:
There's no offense, my lord.
HAMLET:
Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,(150)
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,(155)
Give me one poor request.
HAMLET:
Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
And much offense too. Regarding this vision here,
It is an honest ghost, that I can tell you.
As for your desire to know what happened between us,
Control it the best you can. And now, good friends,
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,
Give me one poor request.
HORATIO:
What is't, my lord? We will.
HORATIO:
What is it, my lord? We will.
HAMLET:
Never make known what you have seen to-night.
HAMLET:
Never make known what you have seen tonight.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
My lord, we will not.
MARCELLUS AND BERNARDO:
My lord, we will not.
HAMLET:
Nay, but swear't.(160)
HAMLET:
No, but swear it.
HORATIO:
In faith,
My lord, not I.
HORATIO:
Really, My lord, I would not.
MARCELLUS:
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
MARCELLUS:
Nor I, my lord, really.
HAMLET:
Upon my sword.
HAMLET:
Swear on my sword.
MARCELLUS:
We have sworn, my lord, already.(165)
MARCELLUS:
We have sworn, my lord, already.
HAMLET:
Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
HAMLET:
Indeed, on my sword, indeed.
GHOST:

[Ghost cries under the stage.]

Swear.
GHOST:
Swear.
HAMLET:
Ah, ha boy, say'st thou so? Art thou there,
truepenny?
Come on! You hear this fellow in the cellarage.(170)
Consent to swear.
HAMLET:
Ha, ha boy! You say so? Are you there, trusty fellow?
Come on! You hear this fellow in the cellar,
Consent to swear.
HORATIO:
Propose the oath, my lord.
HORATIO:
Tell us the oath, my lord.
HAMLET:
Never to speak of this that you have seen.
Swear by my sword.
HAMLET:
Never to speak of what you have seen,
Swear by my sword.
GHOST:
Swear.(175)
GHOST:
Swear.
HAMLET:
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.(180)
HAMLET:
You are everywhere? then we'll move our ground.
Come over here, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again on my sword.
Never to speak of what you have heard,
Swear by my sword.
GHOST:
Swear.
GHOST:
Swear.
HAMLET:
Well said, old mole! Canst work i' the earth so fast?
A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
HAMLET:
Well said, old mole! Can you work in the earth so fast?
A worthy pioneer! Once more, leave, good friends.
HORATIO:
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
HORATIO:
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
HAMLET:
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.(185)
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—(190)
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on—
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,(195)
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,(200)
Swear.
HAMLET:
And therefore, as a stranger, welcome it.
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,
However strange or odd I show myself,
As I, maybe, hereafter, shall think it right
To put on an crazy disposition,
That you, at such times seeing me, shall never,
With arms burdened this way, or shake your head,
Or by saying some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know”, or “We could if we would,”
Or “If we listen to speak,” or “There is, if they might,”
Or such vague rumors, make it known
That you know anything of me. Don’t do this,
So grace and mercy will help you when you need it most,
Swear.
GHOST:
Swear.
GHOST:
Swear.
HAMLET:
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(205)
May do to 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!(210)
Nay, come, let's go together.
HAMLET:
Rest, rest, irritated spirit! So, gentlemen,
With all my love, I commend me to you.
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friendliness to you,
God willing, shall be great. Let’s go in together,
And still keeping your silence, I beg you.
The time is so out of whack. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
No, come, let's go together.

Exeunt.