Hamlet* by William Shakespeare § 4.5

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ACT IV
SCENE V. Elsinore. A room in the castle.
3715 [Enter QUEEN GERTRUDE, HORATIO, and a Gentleman]
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
I will not speak with her.
GENTLEMAN.
She is importunate, indeed distract:
3720 Her mood will needs be pitied.
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
What would she have?
GENTLEMAN.
She speaks much of her father; says she hears
3725 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
The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
3730 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.
3735 HORATIO.
'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Let her come in.
3740 [Exit HORATIO]
To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
3745 [Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA]
OPHELIA.
Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
How now, Ophelia!
3750 OPHELIA.
[Sings]
How should I your true love know
From another one?
By his cockle hat and staff,
3755 And his sandal shoon.
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
OPHELIA.
Say you? nay, pray you, mark.
3760 [Sings]
He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
3765 QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Nay, but, Ophelia,--
OPHELIA.
Pray you, mark.
[Sings]
3770 White his shroud as the mountain snow,--
[Enter KING CLAUDIUS]
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Alas, look here, my lord.
OPHELIA.
3775 [Sings]
Larded with sweet flowers
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true-love showers.
KING CLAUDIUS.
3780 How do you, pretty lady?
OPHELIA.
Well, God 'ild 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!
3785 KING CLAUDIUS.
Conceit upon her father.
OPHELIA.
Pray you, let's have no words of this; but when they
ask you what it means, say you this:
3790 [Sings]
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
3795 Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
KING CLAUDIUS.
3800 Pretty Ophelia!
OPHELIA.
Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't:
[Sings]
By Gis and by Saint Charity,
3805 Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do't, if they come to't;
By cock, they are to blame.
Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
You promised me to wed.
3810 So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.
KING CLAUDIUS.
How long hath she been thus?
OPHELIA.
3815 I hope all will be well. We must be patient: but I
cannot choose but weep, to think they should 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, ladies; good night, sweet ladies;
3820 good night, good night.
[Exit]
KING CLAUDIUS.
Follow her close; give her good watch,
I pray you.
3825 [Exit HORATIO]
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
But in battalions. First, her father slain:
3830 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,
In hugger-mugger to inter him: poor Ophelia
3835 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;
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
3840 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
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
3845 Like to a murdering-piece, in many places
Gives me superfluous death.
[A noise within]
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Alack, what noise is this?
3850 KING CLAUDIUS.
Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
[Enter another Gentleman]
What is the matter?
GENTLEMAN.
3855 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,
O'erbears your officers. The rabble call him lord;
3860 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:'
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds:
3865 'Laertes shall be king, Laertes king!'
QUEEN GERTRUDE.
How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
KING CLAUDIUS.
3870 The doors are broke.
[Noise within]
[Enter LAERTES, armed; Danes following]
LAERTES.
Where is this king? Sirs, stand you all without.
3875 DANES.
No, let's come in.
LAERTES.
I pray you, give me leave.
DANES.
3880 We will, we will.
[They retire without the door]
LAERTES.
I thank you: keep the door. O thou vile king,
Give me my father!
3885 QUEEN GERTRUDE.
Calmly, good Laertes.
LAERTES.
That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard,
Cries cuckold to my father, brands the harlot
3890 Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow
Of my true mother.
KING CLAUDIUS.
What is the cause, Laertes,
That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?
3895 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,
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incensed. Let him go, Gertrude.
3900 Speak, man.
LAERTES.
Where is my father?
KING CLAUDIUS.
Dead.
3905 QUEEN GERTRUDE.
But not by him.
KING CLAUDIUS.
Let him demand his fill.
LAERTES.
3910 How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
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,
3915 Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged
Most thoroughly for my father.
KING CLAUDIUS.
Who shall stay you?
LAERTES.
3920 My will, not all the world:
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.
KING CLAUDIUS.
Good Laertes,
3925 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?
LAERTES.
3930 None but his enemies.
KING CLAUDIUS.
Will you know them then?
LAERTES.
To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
3935 And like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.
KING CLAUDIUS.
Why, now you speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
3940 That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensible in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce
As day does to your eye.
DANES.
3945 [Within] Let her come in.
LAERTES.
How now! what noise is that?
[Re-enter OPHELIA]
O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
3950 Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by 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
3955 Should be as moral as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
OPHELIA.
3960 [Sings]
They bore him barefaced on the bier;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny;
And in his grave rain'd many a tear:--
Fare you well, my dove!
3965 LAERTES.
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.
OPHELIA.
[Sings]
3970 You must sing a-down a-down,
An you call him a-down-a.
O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false
steward, that stole his master's daughter.
LAERTES.
3975 This nothing's more than matter.
OPHELIA.
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,
love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.
LAERTES.
3980 A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
OPHELIA.
There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
3985 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,--
[Sings]
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
3990 LAERTES.
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.
OPHELIA.
[Sings]
3995 And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead:
Go to thy death-bed:
He never will come again.
4000 His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!
4005 And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye.
[Exit]
LAERTES.
Do you see this, O God?
KING CLAUDIUS.
4010 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
4015 They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we can ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
4020 To give it due content.
LAERTES.
Let this be so;
His means of death, his obscure funeral--
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
4025 No noble rite nor formal ostentation--
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.
KING CLAUDIUS.
So you shall;
4030 And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you, go with me.
[Exeunt]

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