Hamlet Text and Translation - Act IV

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Act IV

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A room in the Castle.]

[Enter King and Queen, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

KING:
There's matter in these sighs. These profound heaves
You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
Where is your son?
KING:
There's a problem in these sighs. You must translate
This heavy breathing. It is right we understand them.
Where is your son?
QUEEN:
Bestow this place on us a little while.

[Rosencrantz and Guildenstern exit.]

Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen tonight!(5)
QUEEN:
Leave us alone for a little while.

Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight!

KING:
What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
KING:
What, Gertrude? How is Hamlet?
QUEEN:
Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries 'A rat, a rat!'(10)
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.
QUEEN:
As crazy as the sea and wind, when both fight over
Which is mightier. In his wild fit,
Hearing something stir behind the curtain,
He whips out his knife, cries 'A rat, a rat! '
And in this headstrong state, kills
The hidden good old man.
KING:
O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all,(15)
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love(20)
We would not understand what was most fit,
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
KING:
O heavy deed!
It would’ve been us if we had been there.
His freedom is full of threats to everyone,
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be explained?
It will be our fault, who
Should’ve kept this mad young man on a short leash,
Restrained, and out of society. But we loved him so much
That we would not understand what was the best action,
But, like the owner of a dirty disease,
To keep it from showing, let it feed
Even on the core of life. Where has he gone?
QUEEN:
To draw apart the body he hath kill'd;(25)
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.
QUEEN:
To hide the body he has killed.
Over whom his very craziness, like some gemstone
In a rock of base metals
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.
KING:
O Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch(30)
But we will ship him hence; and this vile deed
We must with all our majesty and skill
Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Friends both, go join you with some further aid.
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,(35)
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him.
Go seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends
And let them know both what we mean to do(40)
And what's untimely done. So haply slander
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,
Transports his poisoned shot, may miss our name
And hit the woundless air.—O, come away!(45)
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
KING:
O Gertrude, let’s go!
The sun will no sooner touch the mountains
Than we will ship him away. and we must both
Back up and excuse this vile deed
With all our majesty and skill. Ho, Guildenstern!

Friends both, go get some further assistance.
Hamlet has Polonius slain in insanity,
And he has dragged him from his mother's bedroom.
Go find him, speak gently, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I beg you, hurry.

Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends,
And let them know both what we mean to do
And what's done at an unfortunate time. so maybe
slander, whose whisper covers the entire world
As surely as the cannon hits its target and
Delivers his poisoned shot, may miss our name,
And not amount to anything at all. O, come away!
My soul is full of confusion and sorrow.

Exeunt.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore.]

Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and others.

HAMLET:
Safely stow'd.
HAMLET:
Safely hidden.
GENTLEMEN:

[Within.]

Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
GENTLEMEN:
Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
HAMLET:
But soft! What noise? Who calls on Hamlet? O, here
they come.
HAMLET:
What’s that noise? Who calls Hamlet? Here they come.

[Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

ROSENCRANTZ:
What have you done, my lord, with the dead(5)
body?
ROSENCRANTZ:
What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
HAMLET:
Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
HAMLET:
Mixed it with dust, to which it is related.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Tell us where it is, that we may take it from there,
And carry it to the chapel.
HAMLET:
Do not believe it.(10)
HAMLET:
Don’t believe it.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Believe what?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Believe what?
HAMLET:
That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own.
Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should
be made by the son of a king?
HAMLET:
That I can keep your advice, and not my own. Besides, to
be demanded of by a sponge! What answer should be
made by the son of a king?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Take you me for a sponge, my lord?(15)
ROSENCRANTZ:
You take me for a sponge, my lord?
HAMLET:
Ay, sir; that soaks up the King's countenance, his
rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the King best
service in the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner
of his jaw; first mouth'd, to be last swallowed. When he
needs what you have glean'd, it is but squeezing you and,(20)
sponge, you shall be dry again.
HAMLET:
Yes, sir, that soaks up the King's face, his rewards, his
authorities. But such officers do the king best service in
the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his
jaw, first to be tasted, and then at last swallowed. When
he needs what you have found out, it is by squeezing
you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.
ROSENCRANTZ:
I understand you not, my lord.
ROSENCRANTZ:
I don’t understand you, my lord.
HAMLET:
I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
HAMLET:
I am glad of it. A clever speech is wasted on a stupid ear.
ROSENCRANTZ:
My lord, you must tell us where the body is and
go with us to the King.(25)
ROSENCRANTZ:
My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with
us to the king.
HAMLET:
The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
body.
The King is a thing—
HAMLET:
The body is with the king, but the king is not with the
body. The king is a thing,
GUILDENSTERN:
A thing, my lord?
GUILDENSTERN:
A thing, my lord!
HAMLET:
Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.(30)
HAMLET:
Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide, fox, and show all later.

Exeunt.

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A room in the Castle.]

Enter King, and two or three.

KING:
I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
Yet must not we put the strong law on him.
He's loved of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;(5)
And where 'tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved,(10)
Or not at all.

Enter Rosencrantz and all the rest.

How now, what hath befall'n?
KING:
I have sent to find him and the body.
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
Yet we must not put the strong law on him.
He's very popular with this country’s masses,
Who like not in their minds, but with their eyes,
And where it is so, the offender's punishment is
important, but never the offense. To deal with everything
smoothly and evenly, this sudden sending him away
must seem like a planned event. Diseases grown
desperate are best healed by desperate measures,
Or not at all.

How now! What’s happened?

ROSENCRANTZ:
Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.
ROSENCRANTZ:
We cannot get from him
Where the dead body is hidden, my lord.
KING:
But where is he?(15)
KING:
But where is he?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Without, my lord; guarded, to know your
pleasure.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Outside, my lord, guarded, to know what you want.
KING:
Bring him before us.
KING:
Bring him before us.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Ho, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.

[Enter Hamlet and Guildenstern with Attendants.]

KING:
Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?(20)
KING:
Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
HAMLET:
At supper.
HAMLET:
At supper.
KING:
At supper? Where?
KING:
At supper! Where?
HAMLET:
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your
worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures(25)
else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat
king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two
dishes, but to one table. That's the end.
HAMLET:
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
group of educated worms are now biting him. Your worm
is your only emperor for diet. We fatten up all other
creatures to fatten us up, when we fatten ourselves for
maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar
interchangeable, two dishes but for one table. That's the end.
KING:
Alas, alas!
KING:
Alas, alas!
HAMLET:
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a(30)
king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
HAMLET:
A man may fish with the worm that has eaten a king, and
eat the fish that has fed on that worm.
KING:
What dost thou mean by this?
KING:
What do you mean by this?
HAMLET:
Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
progress through the guts of a beggar.
HAMLET:
Nothing but to show you how a king may progress
through the guts of a beggar.
KING:
Where is Polonius?(35)
KING:
Where is Polonius?
HAMLET:
In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger
find him not there, seek him i' the other place yourself. But
indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall
nose him as you go up the stair, into the lobby.
HAMLET:
In heaven. Send there to see. If your messenger can’t
find him there, look for him in the other place yourself.
But, indeed, if you don’t find him within this month, you
will smell him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
KING:
Go seek him there.(40)
KING:
Go find him there.
HAMLET:
He will stay till you come.
HAMLET:
He will stay until you come.
KING:
Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety—
Which we do tender as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done—must send thee hence
With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare thyself.(45)
The bark is ready and the wind at help,
The associates tend, and everything is bent
For England.
KING:
Hamlet, for this deed, for your special safety,
Which we do consider as we dearly grieve
For what you’ve done, we must send you away
With fiery quickness. Therefore, prepare yourself,
The ship is ready, and the wind will help,
The servants are boarded, and everything is prepared
For your trip to England.
HAMLET:
For England?
HAMLET:
For England!
KING:
Ay, Hamlet.(50)
KING:
Yes, Hamlet.
HAMLET:
Good.
HAMLET:
Good.
KING:
So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
KING:
So it is, if you knew our reasons.
HAMLET:
I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England!
Farewell, dear mother.
HAMLET:
I see an angel that sees them. But, come, for England!
Goodbye, dear mother.
KING:
Thy loving father, Hamlet.(55)
KING:
Your loving father, Hamlet.
HAMLET:
My mother! Father and mother is man and wife; man
and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!
HAMLET:
My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and
wife is one flesh, and so, my mother. Come, for England!

Exit.

KING:
Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard.
Delay it not; I'll have him hence tonight.
Away! for every thing is seal'd and done(60)
That else leans on the affair. Pray you, make haste.
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught—
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe(65)
Pays homage to us—thou mayst not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
By letters congruing to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,(70)
And thou must cure me. Till I know 'tis done,
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.
KING:
Follow him closely, get him to hurry aboard,
Don’t delay it. I’ll have him away tonight.
Away! because everything is sealed and done
That relies on this affair. I beg you, hurry.
And, England, if you hold my love at anything,
As my great power may give you some sense,
Since your scar still looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and your open fear
Pays homage to us, you might not view
Our sovereign process coldly, which gives you full power,
By letters testifying to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England,
Because, he rages like the pace of my blood,
And you must cure me. Until I know it is done,
However great my luck, my joys can never begin.

Exit.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[A plain in Denmark.]

Enter Fortinbras with his Army over the stage.

FORTINBRAS:
Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king.
Tell him that by his license Fortinbras
Craves the conveyance of a promised march
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
If that his Majesty would aught with us,(5)
We shall express our duty in his eye;
And let him know so.
FORTINBRAS:
Go, Captain, send my greetings to the Danish king.
Tell him that, with his permission, Fortinbras
Desires to carry out a promised march
Over his kingdom. You know the meeting place.
If his majesty has anything for us to do,
We shall express our duty in person,
And let him know so.
CAPTAIN:
I will do't, my lord.
CAPTAIN:
I will do it, my lord.
FORTINBRAS:
Go softly on.
FORTINBRAS:
Go softly on.

[Exit Fortinbras and Forces.]

Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and others.

HAMLET:
Good sir, whose powers are these?(10)
HAMLET:
Good sir, whose armies are these?
CAPTAIN:
They are of Norway, sir.
CAPTAIN:
They are from Norway, sir.
HAMLET:
How purposed, sir, I pray you?
HAMLET:
For what purpose, sir, I beg you?
CAPTAIN:
Against some part of Poland.
CAPTAIN:
Against some part of Poland.
HAMLET:
Who commands them, sir?
HAMLET:
Who commands them, sir?
CAPTAIN:
The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.(15)
CAPTAIN:
The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
HAMLET:
Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?
HAMLET:
Does it go against the main part of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?
CAPTAIN:
Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of ground
That hath in it no profit but the name.(20)
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
CAPTAIN:
To speak honestly, and with no addition to the facts,
We go to gain a little patch of ground
That’s not worth anything except its name.
To pay five dollars, five, I wouldn’t farm it,
And it won’t yield either to Norway or the Poles
A worse rate if it should it be sold in payment.
HAMLET:
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
HAMLET:
Why, then the Poles never will defend it.
CAPTAIN:
Yes, it is already garrison'd.(25)
CAPTAIN:
Yes, it already has garrisons.
HAMLET:
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Will not debate the question of this straw.
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.(30)
HAMLET:
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand dollars
Will not settle the question of who owns this worthless
land. This is the abscess of much wealth and peace,
That breaks inward, and shows no damage until
The man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.
CAPTAIN:
God be wi' you, sir.
CAPTAIN:
God be with you, sir.
ROSENCRANTZ:
Will't please you go, my lord?
ROSENCRANTZ:
Will you please go, my lord?
HAMLET:
I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,(35)
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason(40)
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event—
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward—I do not know(45)
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Witness this army, of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,(50)
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great(55)
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,(60)
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,(65)
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
HAMLET:
I’ll be with you right away. Walk a little before me.
How every event works against me
To spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and use of his time
Is only to sleep and eat? A beast, no more.
Surely He that made us with such large capacity,
Looking before and after, didn’t give us
That capability and godlike reason
To go stale in us, unused. Now, where it is
Beastly forgetfulness, or some defeated principle
Of thinking too much on the event,
A thought which, cut in quarters, has but one part wisdom
And always three parts coward, I don’t know
Why I am still live to say “This thing's to do, “
Since I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do it. Examples, as obvious as dirt, urge me.
Look at this army, of such size and power,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed up,
Makes faces at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that luck, death, and danger dare to do,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
Is not to move without great argument,
But to find quarrel greatly in worthless land
When honor’s at stake. How do I stand, then,
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Aggravation of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a whim and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like going to bed, fight for a plot
On which the numbers don’t have room to fight for the
Cause, which is not tomb enough and big enough
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be worth nothing!

Exit.

Scene V

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore. A room in the Castle.]

Enter Horatio, Gertrude, and a Gentleman.

QUEEN:
I will not speak with her.
QUEEN:
I will not speak with her.
GENTLEMAN:
She is importunate, indeed distract. Her mood
will needs be pitied.
GENTLEMAN:
She is unfortunate, indeed deranged.
Her mood must be pitied.
QUEEN:
What would she have?
QUEEN:
What does she need?
GENTLEMAN:
She speaks much of her father; says she hears(5)
There's tricks i' the world, and hems, and beats her
heart;
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
That carry but half sense. Her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move(10)
The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them,
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.(15)
GENTLEMAN:
She speaks a lot about her father, she says she hears
There are tricks in the world, and coughs, and beats her chest,
Kicks enviously at nothing, says things in doubt
That only make half sense. her speech is nothing,
Yet the random use of it moves
The listeners to collect them, they aim at making sense of
It, and mix her words up fit to their own ideas,
Which, as her winks and nods and gestures as she
Speaks, would indeed make someone think there might
Be clear, though nothing for sure, yet very unhappily.
HORATIO:
'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may
strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
Let her come in.
HORATIO:
It would be good she were spoken with, because she
May scatter dangerous ideas in rude minds.
Let her come in.

[Exit Horatio.]

QUEEN:
To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,(20)
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
QUEEN:
To my sick soul, such as sin's true nature is,
Each new thing seems to be the prelude to some great
harm. Guilt is so full of artless jealousy, that
It spills itself in fearing to be spilled.

[Enter Gentleman, with Ophelia distracted.]

OPHELIA:
Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?
OPHELIA:
Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?
QUEEN:
How now, Ophelia?(25)
QUEEN:
How are you, Ophelia?
OPHELIA:
[Sings.]
How should I your true love know
From another one?
By his cockle hat and staff
And his sandal shoon.(30)
OPHELIA:

How should I know your true love
From another one?
By his whimsical bat and his staff
And his sandal shoes.

QUEEN:
Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
QUEEN:
Alas, sweet lady, what does this song mean?
OPHELIA:
Say you? Nay, pray you, mark.

[Sings.]

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,(35)
At his heels a stone.
O, ho!
OPHELIA:
What did you say? No, I beg you, listen.

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone,
At his head a grass green turf,
At his heels a stone.

QUEEN:
Nay, but Ophelia—
QUEEN:
No, but Ophelia
OPHELIA:
Pray you, mark.

[Sings.]

White his shroud as the mountain snow—(40)
OPHELIA:
I beg you, listen.

His shroud is as white as the mountain snow,

Enter King.

QUEEN:
Alas, look here, my lord!
QUEEN:
Alas, look here, my lord!
OPHELIA:
[Sings.]
Larded all with sweet flowers;
Which bewept to the grave did not go
With true-love showers.(45)
OPHELIA:

All covered with sweet flowers,
Which drowned in tears went to the grave
With showers of true love.

KING:
How do you, pretty lady?
KING:
How do you, pretty lady?
OPHELIA:
Well, God 'eild you! They say the owl was a baker's
daughter.
Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.
God be at your table!(50)
OPHELIA:
Well, God protect you! They say the owl was a baker's
daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but don’t know
what we may be. God be at your table!
KING:
Conceit upon her father.
KING:
Thinking on her father.
OPHELIA:
Pray let's have no words of this; but when they ask,
you what it means, say you this:

[Sings.]

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,(55)
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose and donn'd his clo'es
And dupp'd the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid(60)
Never departed more.
OPHELIA:
I beg you, let's have no words about this, but when they
ask you what it means, you say this.

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's day
All in the morning bedtime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose and put on his clothes,
And opened the chamber door,
Let in the maid that rejected a maid and
Never left again.

KING:
Pretty Ophelia!
KING:
Pretty Ophelia!
OPHELIA:
Indeed, without an oath, I'll make an end on't!

[Sings.]

By Gis and by Saint Charity,
Alack, and fie for shame!(65)
Young men will do't if they come to't
By Cock, they are to blame.
Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to wed.'

(He answers:)

'So would I 'a' done, by yonder sun,(70)
An thou hadst not come to my bed.'
OPHELIA:
Indeed, la, without an oath, I’ll make an end on it.

By God and by Saint Charity,
Pity, and for shame, for shame!
Young men will do it if they come to it,
By God, they are to blame.
Said she, “before you slept with me,
You promised to marry me.

So I would have done, by yonder sun,
If you had not come to my bed.

KING:
How long hath she been thus?
KING:
How long has she been like this?
OPHELIA:
I hope all will be well. We must be patient. But I can-
not choose but weep, to think they would lay him i' the
cold ground. My brother shall know of it. And so I thank
you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night,(75)
ladies. Good night, sweet ladies. Good night, good night.
OPHELIA:
I hope all will be well. We must be patient. but I cannot
choose but weep, to think they would lay him in the cold
ground. My brother shall know of it. and so I thank you for
your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies,
good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

[Exit]

KING:
Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies.(80)
But in battalions! First, her father slain;
Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers,
For good Polonius' death, and we have done but greenly,(85)
In hugger-mugger to inter him; poor Ophelia
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts;
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her brother is in secret come from France;(90)
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father's death,
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our person to arraign(95)
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murdering-piece, in many places
Gives me superfluous death.
KING:
Follow her closely, watch her well, I beg you.
O, this is the poison of deep grief, it all springs
From her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they don’t come as single spies,
But in battalions! First, her father slain.
Next, your son gone, and he is the most violent author
Of his own just leaving, the people confused,
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
For good Polonius' death, and we have done but little
In secrecy to bury him. Poor Ophelia,
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without which, we are pictures or mere beasts.
Lastly, and just as important as all these,
Her brother has arrived in secrecy from France,
Becomes surprised, keeps himself alone,
And wants no gossip-mongers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father's death,
In which event, of very poor matter,
We ourselves will stab at nothing to condemn
To each and every ear. O my dear Gertrude, this worry,
Compared to a murdering piece, gives me more than
Enough death in many places.

A noise within.

QUEEN:
Alack, what noise is this?
QUEEN:
For pity’s sake, what’s this noise?
KING:
Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.(100)

Enter another Gentleman.

What is the matter?
KING:
Where are my Swiss guards? Let them guard the door.

What is the matter?

GENTLEMAN:
Save yourself, my lord.
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,(105)
O'erbears your offices. The rabble call him lord;
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, custom not known—
The ratifiers and props of every word—
They cry 'Choose we! Laertes shall be king!'(110)
Caps, hands and tongues applaud it to the clouds,
'Laertes shall be king! Laertes king!'
GENTLEMAN:
Save yourself, my lord.
The ocean, exceeding of his borders,
Doesn’t eat the flatlands with more impatient speed
Than young Laertes, heading a riot,
Takes over your offices. The crowd calls him lord,
And, as the world were just beginning now,
Old history forgotten, customs not known,
They certify and prop up every word,
They cry “We choose! Laertes shall be king!”
Caps, hands, and voices applaud it to the clouds,
”Laertes shall be king! Laertes king!”

A noise within.

QUEEN:
How cheerfully on the false trail they cry.
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
QUEEN:
How they cry cheerfully on the false trail!
O, this is rebellion, you false Danish dogs!

Enter Laertes with others.

KING:
The doors are broke.(115)
KING:
The doors are broken.
LAERTES:
Where is this King? Sirs, stand you all without.
LAERTES:
Where is this king? Sirs, you all wait outside.
ALL:
No, let's come in!
ALL:
No, let's come in.
LAERTES:
I pray you give me leave.
LAERTES:
I beg you, leave me alone.
ALL:
We will, we will!
ALL:
We will, we will.
LAERTES:
I thank you. Keep the door.(120)
O thou vile king,
Give me my father!
LAERTES:

I thank you. Guard the door.
O you vile king,
Give me my father!

QUEEN:
Calmly, good Laertes.
QUEEN:
Calmly, good Laertes.
LAERTES:
That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot(125)
Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brows
Of my true mother.
LAERTES:
That drop of blood that's in control says I’m a bastard,
Cries my father’s wife was unfaithful, brands the harlot
Even here, between the chaste unmarked brows
Of my true mother.
KING:
What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?
Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person.(130)
There's such divinity doth hedge a king
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incensed. Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, man.(135)
KING:
What is the cause, Laertes,
That your rebellion looks so huge?
Let him go, Gertrude, don’t fear for our safety.
There's such divinity that surrounds a king,
That treason can only peep to what it would do,
Acts little by his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why are you so angry like this? Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, man.
LAERTES:
Where is my father?
LAERTES:
Where is my father?
KING:
Dead.
KING:
Dead.
QUEEN:
But not by him!
QUEEN:
But he didn’t do it.
KING:
Let him demand his fill.
KING:
Let him make demands until he’s finished.
LAERTES:
How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:(140)
To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil!
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the worlds, I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged(145)
Most throughly for my father.
LAERTES:
Why is he dead? I’ll not be played with.
To hell, loyalty! Vows, to the blackest devil!
Conscience and grace, to the deepest pit!
I dare damnation. I stand to this point,
That’s in both the worlds, I give in to negligence.
Let come whatever comes, only I’ll be revenged
Most thoroughly for my father.
KING:
Who shall stay you?
KING:
Who shall prevent you from it?
LAERTES:
My will, not all the world!
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.(150)
LAERTES:
My will alone, nothing else in the world.
And I’ll use my methods so well,
That they shall go far with little effort.
KING:
Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge
That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?(155)
KING:
Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the circumstances
Of your dear father's death, is it written in your revenge
That, in the gambling, you will draw both friend and foe,
winner and loser?
LAERTES:
None but his enemies.
LAERTES:
No one but his enemies.
KING:
Will you know them then?
KING:
Will you know them then?
LAERTES:
To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.(160)
LAERTES:
I’ll open my arms wide like this to his good friends,
And, like the pelican of the old fables,
Feed them with my own blood.
KING:
Why, now you speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce(165)
As day does to your eye.
KING:
Why, now you speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
It shall penetrate your understanding
That I am innocent of your father's death,
And am most sincerely in grief for it,
As day penetrates your eye.

[A noise within.]

LAERTES:
Let her come in.
How now? What noise is that?

Enter Ophelia.

O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!(170)
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid with weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?(175)
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
LAERTES:
Let her come in.
How now! What’s that noise?

O heat, dry up my brains! Tears with seven times the
Salt, burn out the sight and truth of my eyes!
By heaven, your madness shall be revenged in full,
Even beyond what is called “full.” O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! Is it possible a young maid's sanity
Should be die as does an old man?
Nature is short in love, and where it is short,
It sends some precious moment of itself
Close to the thing it loves.

OPHELIA:

[Sings.]

They bore him barefac'd on the bier(180)
(Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
And on his grave rain'd many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove!
OPHELIA:

They bore him barefaced on the bier
Hey no nonny, nonny, hey nonny
And on his grave rained many a tear.


Fare you well, my dove!
LAERTES:
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.(185)
LAERTES:
Had you your sanity, and you persuaded me to revenge,
It couldn’t move like this.
OPHELIA:
You must sing 'down a-down,' and you 'Call him a-
down-a.' O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false stew-
ard, that stole his master's daughter.
OPHELIA:
You must sing “hey-down a-down, if you call him
a-down-a.” O, how the wheel suits it! It is the false servant, that
stole his master's daughter.
LAERTES:
This nothing's more than matter.
LAERTES:
This “nothing” is more than just a story.
OPHELIA:
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you,(190)
love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
OPHELIA:
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance, I beg you,
love, remember, and there’s pansies, that's for thoughts.
LAERTES:
A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance
fitted.
LAERTES:
A study in madness, thoughts, and remembrance all mixed together.
OPHELIA:
There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for
you, and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o'(195)
Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference!
There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they with-
er'd all when my father died. They say he made a good end—

[Sings.]

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.(200)
OPHELIA:
There's fennel for you, and columbines. there's rue for
you, and here's some for me. We may call it “herb of
grace on Sundays.” O, you must wear your rue with a
difference. There's a daisy. I would give you some
violets, but they withered all when my father died. they
say he made a good end,

”For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,”

LAERTES:
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
LAERTES:
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She changes from violence to kindness and beauty.
OPHELIA:

[Sings.]

And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?(205)
No, no, he is dead;
Go to thy deathbed;
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.(210)
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan.
God 'a'mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' you.(215)
OPHELIA:

"And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead,
Go to your death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All white was his hair.
He is gone, he is gone,
And we go away crying.
God have mercy on his soul!


And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be with you.

Exit.

LAERTES:
Do you see this, O God?
LAERTES:
Do you see this, O God?
KING:
Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,(220)
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.
KING:
Laertes, I must share your grief,
Or you deny me my rights. Step aside,
Choose whichever of your wisest friends you want,
And they shall hear and judge between you and me.
If they find that we killed your father or had him killed,
We will surrender our kingdom,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction, but if not,
You must be patient with us,
And we shall work together with your soul
To give it just compensation.
LAERTES:
Let this be so.
His means of death, his obscure burial—(225)
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.
LAERTES:
I agree,
His means of death, his obscure burial,
No trophy, sword, no coat of arms over his bones
No noble rites or state funeral,
Cry to be heard, from heaven to earth as it were,
That I must call it into question.
KING:
So you shall;(230)
And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you go with me.
KING:
And so you shall,
And wherever the guilt is, that’s where the punishment
will be. I beg you, go with me.

Exeunt.

Scene VI

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore.]

Enter Horatio and others.

HORATIO:
What are they that would speak with me?
HORATIO:
Who wants to speak with me?
SERVANT:
Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for you.
SERVANT:
Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you.
HORATIO:
Let them come in.

[Exit Servant.]

I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.(5)
HORATIO:
Let them in.

I don’t know from what part of the world
I should be contacted, if not by Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors.

SAILOR:
God bless you, sir.
SAILOR:
God bless you, sir.
HORATIO:
Let him bless thee too.
HORATIO:
Let him bless you too.
SAILOR:
He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir.
It comes from the ambassador that was bound for England—
if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.(10)
SAILOR:
He shall, sir, if it pleases him. There's a letter for you,
sir, it comes from the ambassador that was bound for
England, if your name is Horatio, as I am led to believe it is.
HORATIO:

[Reads the letter]

'Horatio, when thou shalt have overlook'd
this, give these fellows some means to the King. They have letters for
him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment
gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a
compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them. On the instant(15)
they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have
dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did: I am
to do a good turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have sent,
and repair thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I
have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they(20)
much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring
thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for
England. Of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
'He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.'
Come, I will give you way for these your letters,(25)
And do't the speedier that you may direct me
To him from whom you brought them.
HORATIO:
'Horatio, when you read this, give these fellows
some way to talk to the king. They have letters for him.
Before we were even at sea for two days, a very nasty
looking pirate chased us. Finding ourselves sailing too
slow, we put up a great fight, and, in the skirmish, I
boarded them. Just then, they sailed away from our ship,
so only I became their prisoner. They have dealt with me
like thieves of mercy. but know what they had done, I am
to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I
have sent, and come
to see me with as much haste as you would fly death. I
have words to speak into your ear will make you
speechless, but are they much too light for the heart of
the matter. These good fellows will bring you to where I
am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are still going to
England. I have much to tell you about them. Goodbye.
He that you knows you, HAMLET. '
Come on, I’ll show you where to deliver your letters,
So you can be done very quickly. Then you can direct me
To him you delivered them for.

Exeunt.

Scene VII

Original Text Modern Translation

[Elsinore.]

Enter King and Laertes.

KING:
Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he which hath your noble father slain
Pursued my life.(5)
KING:
Now you must see that I am not guilty,
And you must put me in your heart as a friend,
Since you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That man who killed your noble father
Wanted to kill me.
LAERTES:
It well appears. But tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd up.(10)
LAERTES:
It seems to be the truth. but tell me
Why didn’t you take action against these things,
So full of crime and punishable by death,
As you mainly were upset
By concern for your safety, wisdom, if nothing else.
KING:
O, for two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
But yet to me they are strong. The Queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks; and for myself—
My virtue or my plague, be it either which—(15)
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive
Why to a public count I might not go
Is the great love the general gender bear him,(20)
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,(25)
And not where I had aim'd them.
KING:
O, for two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem a bit cowardly,
But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks, and for myself,
Whether it’s my virtue or my plague,
She's so necessary to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves only in his orbit,
I couldn’t do anything without her say-so.
The other motive, why I couldn’t go to a public court,
Is the great love the people of this country have for him,
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turn wood to stone,
Convert his crimes to graces, so that my actions,
Not at all popular with the masses,
Would have reflected badly on me,
And not be taken as I intended them.
LAERTES:
And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desperate terms,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age(30)
For her perfections. But my revenge will come.
LAERTES:
And so I have lost a noble father,
A sister driven into insanity,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood as a challenger to the most beautiful woman of all
Time for her perfections. but my revenge will come.
KING:
Break not your sleeps for that. You must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more.(35)
I loved your father, and we love ourself,
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine—

Enter a Messenger with letters.

How now? What news?
KING:
Don’t lose any sleep over it. You mustn’t think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
That we can let our power be shaken with danger,
And think it unimportant. You will soon hear more.
I loved your father, and we love ourself,
And that, I hope, will teach you to believe in that.

How now! What news?

MESSENGER:
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet.
This to your Majesty; this to the Queen.(40)
MESSENGER:
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet.
This one to your majesty, this one to the queen.
KING:
From Hamlet? Who brought them?
KING:
From Hamlet! Who brought them?
MESSENGER:
Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not.
They were given me by Claudio; he receiv'd them
Of him that brought them.
MESSENGER:
Sailors, my lord, they say, I didn’t see them.
They were given me by Claudio. He received them
From the sailors.
KING:
Laertes, you shall hear them.(45)
Leave us.

[Exit Messenger.]

[Reads]

High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your
kingdom. Tomorrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes, when I
shall, first asking your pardon, thereunto recount the occasion of my
sudden and more strange return.(50)

HAMLET.

What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
KING:
Laertes, you shall hear them.
Leave us alone.

'High and mighty, You shall know I am set naked
on your kingdom. Tomorrow shall I beg permission to see
your kingly eyes. when I shall, first asking your pardon,
recount the events of my sudden and more strange
return. HAMLET. '

What does this mean? Are all the rest returning?
Or is it some trick and no such thing?

LAERTES:
Know you the hand?
LAERTES:
Do you recognize the writing?
KING:
'tis Hamlet's character. 'Naked'—
And in a postscript here, he says 'Alone.'(55)
Can you advise me?
KING:
It’s Hamlet's handwriting. “Naked!”
And in a P. S. here he says “alone.”
What do you think?
LAERTES:
I'm lost in it, my lord. But let him come.
It warms the very sickness in my heart
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
'Thus diddest thou.'(60)
LAERTES:
I have no idea, my lord. But let him come.
It warms the very sickness in my heart
That I shall live and tell him to his face,
”You did it.”
KING:
If it be so, Laertes
As how should it be so? how otherwise?—
Will you be ruled by me?
KING:
If it is so, Laertes,
how should it be so? How can it be otherwise?
Will you take my advice?
LAERTES:
Ay my lord,
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
LAERTES:
Yes, my lord,
Just as long as you don’t ask me to forget about it.
KING:
To thine own peace. If he be now return'd(65)
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,(70)
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice,
And call it accident.
KING:
Only to your own satisfaction. If he returns now
As completing his voyage and he intends
To stay here and not sail to England, I will work him
To a plan, now ready for me to execute,
Under which he has no choice but to die.
And there will be no rumors about his death,
And even his mother shall understand the practice
And call it an “accident.”
LAERTES:
My lord, I will be ruled;
The rather, if you could devise it so
That I might be the organ.(75)
LAERTES:
My lord, I will take your advice,
But I’d rather, if you can arrange it,
To be the one who kills him.
KING:
It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say you shine. Your sum of parts
Did not together pluck such envy from him(80)
As did that one; and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.
KING:
It’s falling into place.
You have been talked about since your travel so much,
For a quality where, they say, you really shine.
And Hamlet must have heard it. All your parts together
Didn’t arouse such jealousy in him
As did that one, and that, in my regard,
Is his weak spot.
LAERTES:
What part is that, my lord?
LAERTES:
What part is that, my lord?
KING:
A very ribbon in the cap of youth,
Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes(85)
The light and careless livery that it wears
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Importing health and graveness. Two months since
Here was a gentleman of Normandy—
I have seen myself, and served against, the French,(90)
And they can well on horseback; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't. He grew unto his seat,
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse
As had he been incorpsed and demi-natured
With the brave beast. So far he topp'd my thought(95)
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.
KING:
A very ribbon in the cap of youth,
But necessary too, for youth doesn’t look less well in
The fun and reckless clothes that it wears
Than old age settles for his black furs and woolens,
Showing health and seriousness. Two months ago,
There was a gentleman from Normandy here,
I’ve seen myself, and served against the French,
And they can do well on horseback, but this gallant
Had witchcraft in it. He grew into his seat,
And had his horse do such wonderful things,
As if he had been absorbed into the horse’s body
With the brave beast. He so impressed me,
That I, through lies and tricks,
Didn’t waste time in finding out what he did.
LAERTES:
A Norman was't?
LAERTES:
A Norman, was it?
KING:
A Norman.
KING:
A Norman.
LAERTES:
Upon my life, Lamord.(100)
LAERTES:
I swear, Lamond.
KING:
The very same.
KING:
The very same.
LAERTES:
I know him well. He is the brooch indeed
And gem of all the nation.
LAERTES:
I know him well. He is the jewel, indeed,
And gem of the whole nation.
KING:
He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report,(105)
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especial,
That he cried out 'twould be a sight indeed
If one could match you. The scrimers of their nation
He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye,(110)
If you opposed them. Sir, this report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
That he could nothing do but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er to play with you.
Now, out of this—(115)
KING:
He said he knew you,
And gave such a great report of your skills
In the art and exercises of self-defense,
And for your sword especially,
That he cried out, “ It would be a sight indeed
If someone could match you.” The fencers of their nation,
He swore, didn’t have movements, strategy, or eyes,
If you fought them. Sir, this report of his
Poisoned Hamlet with envy
That he couldn’t do anything but wish and beg
Your sudden coming over her to play with him.
Now, out of this. . .
LAERTES:
What out of this, my lord?
LAERTES:
What “out of this,” my lord?
KING:
Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart,
KING:
Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like a picture of sorrow,
A face without a heart?
LAERTES:
Why ask you this?(120)
LAERTES:
Why do you ask this?
KING:
Not that I think you did not love your father,
But that I know love is begun by time,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
There lives within the very flame of love(125)
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a pleurisy,
Dies in his own too much. That we would do,
We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes,(130)
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' the ulcer!
Hamlet comes back. What would you undertake(135)
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in words?
KING:
Not that I think you didn’t love your father,
But because I know love is begun by time,
And I see, in the ways of love,
That time dampens the spark and fire of it.
Within the very flame of love, there lives
A kind of wick or snuff that will put it out,
And nothing is worse than goodness staying still,
For goodness, growing to an infectious flu,
Dies in his own too much. What we want to do,
We should do when we would, for this 'would' changes,
And has stoppages and delays as many
As there are voices, hands, accidents,
And then this 'should' is like the sigh of a spendthrift,
That hurts by easing up. But to the heart of the matter.
Hamlet comes back. What would you do
To show yourself your father's son in deed
More than in words?
LAERTES:
To cut his throat i' the church.
LAERTES:
To cut his throat in the church.
KING:
No place indeed should murder sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,(140)
Will you do this? Keep close within your chamber.
Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home.
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine together(145)
And wager on your heads. He, being remiss,
Most generous and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice,(150)
Requite him for your father.
KING:
Murder, indeed, should not be a church activity, because
Then revenge should have no bounds. But, good
Laertes, will you do this, keep close within your friend
Bernardo. When Hamlet returns, he shall know you’re Home.
We'll start rumors that praise your excellence
And exaggerate the fame
The Frenchman gave you, bring you together in the end,
And place bets on your fight. He, being weak,
Most generous, and free from all trickery,
Will not think about swords, so that easily,
Or with a little mix up, you may choose
A sword that’s not poisoned, and, in a pass during
Practice, kill him in revenge for your father.
LAERTES:
I will do't!
And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that but dip a knife in it,(155)
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
This is but scratch'd withal. I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,(160)
It may be death.
LAERTES:
I’ll do it.
And for that purpose, I’ll poison my sword.
I bought an oil of a mountebank,
So mortal that, only dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood, no super-potion so rare,
Collected from all antidotes under the moon
That have always worked, can save the thing from death
And this is only with a scratch. I’ll touch the point of my
sword with this poison so that, if I touch him slightly,
It will kill him.
KING:
Let's further think of this,
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape. If this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance.(165)
'Twere better not assay'd. Therefore this project
Should have a back or second, that might hold
If this did blast in proof. Soft! let me see.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings—
I ha't!(170)
When in your motion you are hot and dry—
As make your bouts more violent to that end—
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepared him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,(175)
Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what noise?

Enter Queen.

How now, sweet Queen?
KING:
Let's think more carefully about this.
Consider what would be the best time and means
Fit our plan. If this plan should fail,
And that our plan is seen through by our bad
performance, then it would be better not to do it.
Therefore this project should have a plan B or C, that
might hold if this first one failed. Hang on! Let me think.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,
I have it!
While you’re moving around and you are hot and dry,
Since you’ll make your bouts more violent to that
purpose, and he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared a
Goblet for him for that purpose, so that even only sipping,
If he escapes your stick of venom by luck,
We can be successful this way.

What now, sweet queen!

QUEEN:
One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow. Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
QUEEN:
One sorrow walks on the heels of another,
Following too fast. Your sister's drowned, Laertes.
LAERTES:
Drown'd! O, where?(180)
LAERTES:
Drowned! O, where?
QUEEN:
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoary leaves in the glassy stream.
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,(185)
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughs her crownet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide(190)
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old lauds,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be(195)
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
QUEEN:
There is a willow that grows beside a brook,
That shows his frosty leaves in the glassy stream,
There, she came with fantastic garlands
Of cornflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That bold shepherds give a nasty name,
But our indifferent maids call them “dead men's fingers.”
There, climbing to hang her wreaths of weeds
On the branches above her, an jealous branch broke,
And down went her weedy trophies and herself
Into the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, they held her up a while,
During which she chanted pieces of old tunes,
As one incapable of understanding her own danger,
Or like a creature, a native and knowing
The danger. but it wasn’t long
Until her garments, heavy with the water they had soaked
up, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious song
To a muddy death.
LAERTES:
Alas, then she is drown'd?
LAERTES:
Alas, then she is drowned?
QUEEN:
Drown'd, drown'd.(200)
QUEEN:
Drowned, drowned.
LAERTES:
Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears; but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will. When these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord.(205)
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze
But that this folly drowns it.
LAERTES:
You had too much water, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I’ll hold back my tears, but
It is still our trick, nature holds her habits,
Let shame say what it will. When these tears are gone,
Woman will be extinct. Farewell, my lord.
I have a rumor of fire, that I would gladly spread,
Before this news puts the fire out.

Exit.

KING:
Let's follow, Gertrude.
How much I had to do to calm his rage.
Now fear I this will give it start again;(210)
Therefore let's follow.
KING:
Let's follow him, Gertrude,.
I had all I could do to calm his anger!
Now I fear this will make it start all over again,
Therefore let's follow him.

Exeunt.