Enter King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern
And can you, by no drift of circumstance, Get from him why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
He does confess he feels himself distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Nor do we find him forward to be sounded, But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, When we would bring him on to some confession Of his true state.
Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o'er-raught on the way: of these we told him; And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it: they are about the court, And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him.
'Tis most true: And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties To hear and see the matter.
With all my heart; and it doth much content me To hear him so inclined. Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, And drive his purpose on to these delights.
Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too; For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, That he, as 'twere by accident, may here Affront Ophelia: Her father and myself, lawful espials, Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen, We may of their encounter frankly judge, And gather by him, as he is behaved, If 't be the affliction of his love or no That thus he suffers for.
I shall obey you. And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish That your good beauties be the happy cause Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope your virtues Will bring him to his wonted way again, To both your honours.
Exit Queen Gertrude
Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you, We will bestow ourselves.
Read on this book; That show of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,— 'Tis too much proved—that with devotion's visage And pious action we do sugar o'er The devil himself.
O, 'tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my most painted word: O heavy burthen!
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.—Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd.
My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver; I pray you, now receive them.
My honour'd lord, you know right well you did; And, with them, words of so sweet breath composed As made the things more rich: their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. There, my lord.
Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.
You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go: farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.
I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I'll no more on't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.
O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword; The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion and the mould of form, The observed of all observers, quite, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of his music vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me, To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
Re-enter King Claudius and Polonius
Love! his affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, Was not like madness. There's something in his soul, O'er which his melancholy sits on brood; And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose Will be some danger: which for to prevent, I have in quick determination Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England, For the demand of our neglected tribute Haply the seas and countries different With variable objects shall expel This something-settled matter in his heart, Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus From fashion of himself. What think you on't?
It shall do well: but yet do I believe The origin and commencement of his grief Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia! You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said; We heard it all. My lord, do as you please; But, if you hold it fit, after the play Let his queen mother all alone entreat him To show his grief: let her be round with him; And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find him not, To England send him, or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think.