scene 5

Scene V. Elsinore. A room in the Castle.

[Enter Queen and Horatio.]

Queen
I will not speak with her.

Horatio
She is importunate; indeed distract:
Her mood will needs be pitied.

Queen
What would she have?

Horatio
She speaks much of her father; says she hears
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,
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.
‘Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.

Queen
Let her come in.

[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.

[Re-enter Horatio with Ophelia.]

Ophelia
Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?

Queen
How now, Ophelia?

Ophelia [Sings.]

How should I your true love know
From another one?
By his cockle bat and’ staff
And his sandal shoon.

Queen
Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?

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,
At his heels a stone.

Queen
Nay, but Ophelia -

Ophelia
Pray you, mark.
[Sings.]

White his shroud as the mountain snow,

[Enter King]

Queen
Alas, look here, my lord!

Ophelia [Sings.]

Larded all with sweet flowers;
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true-love showers.

King
How do you, pretty lady?

Ophelia
Well, God dild 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!

King
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:
[Sings.]

To-morrow 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 donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

King
Pretty Ophelia!

Ophelia
Indeed, la, without an oath, I’ll make an end on’t:
[Sings.]

By Gis and by Saint Charity,
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 promis’d me to wed.
So would I ha’ done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.

King
How long hath she been thus?

Ophelia
I hope all will be well. We must be patient: but I cannot
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, ladies; good night, sweet
ladies; good night, good night.

[Exit.]

King
Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.

[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:
Next, your son gone; and he most violent author
Of his own just remove: the people muddied,
Thick and 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
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,
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,
Like to a murdering piece, in many places
Give, me superfluous death.

[A noise within.]

Queen
Alack, what noise is this?

King
Where are my Switzers? let them guard the door.

[Enter a Gentleman.]

What is the matter?

Gent
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 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!’
Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds,
‘Laertes shall be king! Laertes king!’

Queen
How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!

[A noise within.]

King
The doors are broke.

[Enter Laertes, armed; Danes following.]

Laertes
Where is this king? – Sirs, stand you all without.

Danes.
No, let’s come in.

Laertes
I pray you, give me leave.

Danes.
We will, we will.

[They retire without the door.]

Laertes
I thank you: – keep the door. – O thou vile king,
Give me my father!

Queen
Calmly, good Laertes.

Laertes
That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow
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:
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 incens’d. – Let him go, Gertrude: –
Speak, man.

Laertes
Where is my father?

King
Dead.

Queen
But not by him.

King
Let him demand his fill.

Laertes
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,
Let come what comes; only I’ll be reveng’d
Most throughly for my father.

King
Who shall stay you?

Laertes
My will, not all the world:
And for my means, I’ll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.

King
Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of your dear father’s death, is’t writ in your revenge
That, sweepstake, you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser?

Laertes
None but his enemies.

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.

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
As day does to your eye.

Danes. [Within]
Let her come in.

Laertes
How now! What noise is that?

[Re-enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers.]

O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
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
Should be as mortal 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 [Sings.]

They bore him barefac’d on the bier
Hey no nonny, nonny, hey nonny
And on his grave rain’d many a tear. -

Fare you well, my dove!

Laertes
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.

Ophelia
You must sing ‘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
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
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 of grace o’
Sundays: – O, you must wear your rue with a difference. – There’s a
daisy: – I would give you some violets, but they wither’d all when
my father died: – they say he made a good end, –
[Sings.]

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy, -

Laertes
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.

Ophelia [Sings.]

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.

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!

And of all Christian souls, I pray God. – God b’ wi’ ye.

[Exit.]

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,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.

Laertes
Let this be so;
His means of death, his obscure burial, –
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.

King
So you shall;
And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you go with me.

[Exeunt.]