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Seek for thy noble father in the dust: Thou know'st 't is common,-all that live must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know
"T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious1 sorrow: but to perséver
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
[For what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition 100
Take it to heart? Fie! 't is a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died to-day,
"This must be so."] We pray you, throw to
This unprevailing woe; and think of us
As of a father: for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne;
[And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
1 Obsequious, mourning (i.e. referring to "obsequies").
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
My father!-methinks I see my father.
Hor. O, where, my lord?
Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw who?
Hor. My lord, the king your father. Ham. The king my father! Hor. Season your admiration for a while With an attent ear, till I may deliver,1 Upon the witness of these gentlemen, This marvel to you.
Ham. For God's love, let me hear. Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, In the dead vast and middle of the night, Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your
Arméd at point, exactly, cap-à-pé,
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd
By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they,
And vanish'd from our sight.
"T is very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 't is true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty
To let you know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles
Hold you the watch to-night?
Ham. Arm'd, say you?
Mar. Ber. Arm'd, my lord.
Ham. From top to toe?
Mar. Ber. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham. [Abruptly] Then saw you not his face.
Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver2 up.
Ham. What, look'd he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more in sorrow than in
Ham. Pale or red?
Hor. Nay, very pale.
And fix'd his eyes upon you?
Hor. Most constantly.
I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amaz'd you.
Ham. Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might
tell a hundred.
Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw 't. Ham. His beard was grizzled,-no? Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, A sable silver'd.
Ham. I will watch to-night; Perchance 't will walk again. Hor. I warrant it will. Ham. If it assume my noble father's person, I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still; And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, Give it an understanding, but no tongue: 250 I will requite your loves. So, fare you well: Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, I'll visit you.
Our duty to your honour.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.
[Exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo.
2 Beaver, the front part of the helmet. 194
Do you doubt that? Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy1 in blood,
[A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute;
Oph. No more but so? Laer. Think it no more: For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In thews and bulk; but, as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now; And now no soil nor cautel2 doth besmirch The virtue of his will: but you must fear, His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own; For he himself is subject to his birth:] He may not, as unvalu'd persons do, Carve for himself; for on his choice depends The safety and the health of the whole state; [And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd Unto the voice and yielding of that body Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
1 Toy, caprice.
3 Credent, i.e. credulous.
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no further
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.]
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
If with too credent3 ear you list his songs; 30
[Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open To his unmaster'd importunity.]
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
[Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons1 be disclos'd; 40)
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary, then; best safety lies in fear:
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.]
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,