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[chide, Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by Th' important acting of your dread command? O, say
Ghost. Do not forget: this visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother sits:
O step between her and her fighting soul!
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works;
Speak to her, Hamlet.
Ham. How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas! how is it with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
and stands on end. O, gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
Ham. On him! on him! look you how pale
His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to
Would make them capable. Do not look on me,
Lest, with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects: then, what I have to do
Will want true color; tears, perchance, for
Queen. To whom do you speak this? [blood.
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Pointing to the Ghost.
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen No, nothing, but ourselves.
Ham. Why, look you there! look how it
My father, in his habit as he liv'd!
Look, where he goes, even now, out at the
Queen This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep me, And makes as healthful music: it is not madness That I have utter'd; bring me to the test, And I the matter will re-word: which madness Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace, Lay not that flattering unction to your soul, That not your trespass, but my madness speaks: It will but skin and film the ulcerous place; Whiles rank corruption, mining all within, Infects unseen -Confess yourself to heaven; Repent what's past; avoid what is to come. Queen. O Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
Ham O, throw away the worser part of it, And live the purer with the other half. Good night but go not to my uncle's bed: Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster Custom, who all sense doth eat Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this; That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock, or livery, That aptly is put on refrain to night; And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence: the next more easy:
And let him for a pair of reechy kisses,
Or paddling in your neck with his damn'd fin-
Make you to ravel all this matter out, [gers,
That L'essentially am not in madness, [know.
But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him
Queen. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.
Ham. I must to England, you know that? Queen. Alack, I had forgot; 'Tis so concluded on.
Ham. There's letters seal'd; and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd, They bear the mandate; they must sweep my
And marshal me to knavery: let it work;
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard: and it shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon.
Hamlet's Reflections on his own Irresolution.
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
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 god-like reason
To fust in us unus'd 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
And ever three parts coward), I do not know
Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do;
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and
To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me;
Witness, this army, of such mass, and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puft,
Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is, not to stir without great argument;
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When honor'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,
And let all sleep? while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That, for a phantasy, and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain !-O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
Sorrows rarely single.
O Gertrude! Gertrude!
When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.
The Divinity of Kings.
Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person: There's such divinity doth hedge a king, That treason can but peep to what it would, Act little of his will.
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: Those opposed eyes,
Which-like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred-
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way: and be no more oppos'd
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master.
King Henry's Character of Percy, and of his
Son Prince Henry.
Description of Ophelia's Drowning.
There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make,
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long pur-In
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
A spotless Virgin buried. Lay her i' the earth; And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest, A minist ring angel shall my sister be, When thou liest howling.
This is mere madness:
And thus a while the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When first her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His silence will sit drooping.
Providence directs our Actions.
And that should teach us,
There's a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
Give me the cups;
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to
"Now the King drinks to Hamlet." [earth;
Yea, there thou mak'st me sad and mak'st me
envy, that my lord Northumberland
Should be the father of so blest a son:
A son, who is the theme of honor's tongue;
Amongst a grove the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet Fortune's minion, and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonor stain the brow
Of my young Harry.
Prince Henry's Soliloquy.
I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyok'd humor of your idleness: Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world; That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may more be wonder'd at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But, when they seldom come, they wish'd-for
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,
And pay the debt I never promised;
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt ring o'er my fault,
Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes,
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
Redeeming time, when men think least I will.
Hotspur's Description of a finical Courtier.
But, I remember, when the fight was done, When I was dry with rage and extreme toil, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Cane there a certain lord, neat, trimily drest, Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new-reap'd, Show'd like a stubble land at harvest-home: He was perfumed like a milliner; And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held A pouncet box, which ever and anon He gave his nose, and took 't away again:— Who, therewith angry, when it next came there, [talk'd, Took it in snuff-And still he smil'd and And, as the soldiers bare dead bodies by,
Io chave the pagans in those hot food These Hissosent which you
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady termis
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds, being
To be so pester'd with a popinjay, [cold,
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answer'd neglectingly I know not what;
He should or he should not; for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds (God save
And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmacity, for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous saltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous; As full of peril and advent rous spirit, As to o'erwalk a current, roaring loud, On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap, To pluck bright Honor from the pale-fac'd
Or dive into the bottom of the deep, [moon; Where fathomn-line could never touch the
And pluck up drowned Honor by the locks;
So he that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without co-rival all her dignities.
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!
Lady Percy's pathetic Speech to her Husband.
O my good lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offence have I, this fortnight, been
A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is it takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sitt'st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks:
And giv'n my treasures, and my rights of thee,
To thick-ey'd musing, and curs'd melancholy?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd,
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars;
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
Cry," Courage! to the field!" and thou hast
Of sallies, and retires; of trenches, teuts, [talk'd
Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets;
Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin;
Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain,
And all the currents of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream:
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
And I must know it, else he loves me not.
I cannot blame him: at my nativity,
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; and, at my birth,
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shak'd like a coward.
Hot. Why so it would have done
At the same season, if your mother's cat
Had kitten'd-tho' yourself had ne'er been born.
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions: oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of cholic pinch'd and vex'd,
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement
Shakes the old beldame Earth, and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers.
On miserable Rhymers.
I had rather be a kitten and cry-mew,
Than one of these same metre-ballad-mongers;
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.
Punctuality in Bargain.
To any well-deserving friend;
I'll give thrice so much land
But, in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
A Husband sung to Sleep by a fair Wife.
She bids you
Upon the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eye-lids crown the go of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness:
Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep,
As is the difference betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.
King Henry the IVth to his Son.
Had I so lavish of my presence been,
So common hackney'd in the eyes of men,
So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
Opinion, that did help me to the crown
Had still kept loyal to possession;
And left me in reputeless banishment,
A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
By being seldom seen, I could not stir,
But, like a comet, I was wondered at: [he."
That men would tell their children; "This is
Others would say, "Where? which is Bo-
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
And dress'd myself in such humility,
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hotspur's Impatience for the Battle.
-Let them come :
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-eyed maid of smoky war,
All hot and bleeding, will we offer them:
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,
And yet not ours: Come, let me take my
Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:
Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a corse.
O, that Glendower were come!
Ne'er seen but wondered at: and so my state, | As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
Seldom, but sumptuous, showed like a feast;
And won, by rareness, such solemnity.
The skipping king, he ambled up and down
With shallow jesters, and rash bavin wits,
Soon kindled, and soon burned: carded his state;
Mingled his royalty with capering fools;
Had his great name profaned with their scorns;
And gave his countenance against his name,
To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative :
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeofled himself to popularity:
That, being daily swallowed by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey; and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So, when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckow is in June,
Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes,
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes:
But rather drows'd, and hung their eye-lids
Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries; [full.
Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and
Prince Henry's modest Defence of himself.
-God forgive them, that so much have
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you that I am your son;
When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favours in a bloody mask,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honor and renown,
This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
And your unthought of Harry chance to meet:
For ev'ry honor sitting on his helm,
Would they were multitudes; and on my head
My shames redoubled: for the time will come
That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call him to so strict account,
That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slighest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of God, I promise here:
The which, if he be pleas'd I shall perform,
I do beseech your majesty may salve
The long grown wounds of my intemperance:
If not, the end of life cancels all bonds;
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths,
Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
A gallant Warrior.
I saw young Harry-with his beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd
Rise from the ground, like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
Prince Henry's modest Challenge.
Tell your nephew,
The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world
In praise of Henry Percy; by my hopes-
This present enterprise set off his head-
I do not think, a braver gentleman,
More active-valiant, or more valiant, young,
More daring, or more bold, is now alive,
To grace this latter age with noble deeds.
For my part, I may speak it to my shame,
I have a truant been to chivalry;
And so I hear he doth account me too:
Yet this before my father's majesty-
I am content that he shall take the odds
Of his great name and estimation;
And will, to save the blood on either side,
Try fortune with him in a single fight.
Prince Henry's pathetic Speech on the Death
-Brave Percy-fare thee well, great heart!
Ill-weav'd ambition, how much art thou
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound;
But now, two paces of the vilest earth
Bears not alive, so stout a gentleman. [dead,
Is room enough :-This earth that bears thee
If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
I should not make so dear a show of zeal :-
And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself,
But let my favors hide thy mangled face;
For doing these fair rites of tenderness.
Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!
Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,
But not remember'd in thy epitaph!
Life demands Action.
O, gentlemen, the time of life is short;
To spend that shortness basely, were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace, while covert enmity,
Under the smile of safety, wounds the world:
And who but Rumor, who but only I,
Make fearful musters, and prepar'd defence,
Whilst the big year, swoln with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war.
And no such matter? Rumor is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
And of so easy and so plain a stop,
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.
-Contention, like a horse
Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And bears down all before him.
-After him, came, spurring hard,
A gentlemen almost forespent with speed,
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse:
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury.
He told me, that rebellion had ill luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold :
With that, he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels
Against the panting sides of his poor jade
Up to the rowel head; and, starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way,
Staying no longer question.
Messenger with ill News.
Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretels the nature of a tragic volume:
So looks the strond whereon th' imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation. [cheek
Thou tremblest: and the whiteness in thy
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,
And would have told him half his Troy was
I see a strange confession in thine eye:
Thou shak'st thy head; and hold`st it fear or sin,
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so:
The tongue offends not that reports his death:
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead;
Not he, which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
Greater griefs destroy the less.
As the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with
Are thrice themselves: Hence therefore, thou
A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,
Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to
Now bind my brows with iron, and approach
The rugged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon th' enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! Let order die !
And let this world no longer be a stage
To feed contention in a ling'ring act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead.
The Fickleness of the Vulgar.
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many; with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Boling-
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
And, being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.
-O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids
And steep my senses in forgetfulness! [down,
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, [slumber;
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?
thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common laruin-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging
With deaf'ning clamors in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And, in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king?
The Character of King Henry V. by his Father.
He is gracious if he be observ'd;
He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day for melting charity:
Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd, he's flint;
As humorous as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper, therefore, must be well observ'd:
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth :
But, being moody, give him line and scope:
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working.