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    Hamlet

    by William Shakespeare
    MFFE script v5.20 CloudReader v1.05
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  • Act One Scene Two

    A1S1>>> him most conveniently.
    Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, and his Sister
    Ophelia, Lords Attendant.
    A1S1--- him most conveniently.
    King.
    Though yet of Hamlet our dear Brother's death
    The memory be green, and that it us befitted
    To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole Kingdom
    To be contracted in one brow of woe,
    Yet so far hath Discretion fought with Nature
    That we with wisest sorrow think on him
    Together with remembrance of ourselves.
    Therefore our sometimes Sister, now our Queen,
    Th' imperial jointress of this warlike State,
    Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,
    With one Auspicious and one Dropping eye,
    With mirth in Funeral and with Dirge in Marriage,
    In equal Scale weighing Delight and Dole
    Taken to Wife. Nor have we herein barred
    Your better Wisdoms, which have freely gone
    With this affair along. For all, our Thanks.
    Now follows that you know young Fortinbras,
    Holding a weak supposal of our worth
    Or thinking by our late dear Brother's death
    Our State to be disjoint and out of Frame,
    Co-leagued with the dream of his Advantage -
    He hath not failed to pester us with Message
    Importing the surrender of those Lands
    Lost by his Father with all Bonds of Law
    To our most valiant Brother. So much for him.
    >>> much for him.
    Enter Voltemand and Cornelius.
    Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting,
    Thus much the business is. We have here writ
    To Norway, Uncle of young Fortinbras -
    Who Impotent and Bedrid scarcely hears
    Of this his Nephew's purpose - to suppress
    His further gait herein, in that the Levies,
    The Lists and full proportions are all made
    Out of his subject; and we here dispatch
    You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,
    For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
    Giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the King, more than the scope
    Of these delated Articles allow.
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
    --- commend your duty.
    Voltemand.
    In that, and all things, will we show our duty.
    --- show our duty.
    King.
    We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.
    >>> nothing. Heartily farewell.
    Exit Voltemand and Cornelius.
    And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
    You told us of some suit - what is't Laertes?
    You cannot speak of Reason to the Dane,
    And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
    That shall not be my Offer, not thy Asking?
    The Head is not more Native to the Heart,
    The Hand more instrumental to the Mouth,
    Than is the Throne of Denmark to thy Father.
    What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
    --- thou have, Laertes?
    Laertes.
    Dread my Lord,
    Your leave and favour to return to France,
    From whence though willingly I came to Denmark
    To show my duty in your Coronation,
    Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
    My thoughts and wishes bend again towards France,
    And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
    --- leave and pardon.
    King.
    Have you your Father's leave? What says Polonius?
    --- What says Polonius?
    Polonius.
    He hath my Lord.
    I do beseech you give him leave to go.
    --- leave to go.
    King.
    Take thy fair hour Laertes, time be thine
    And thy best graces spend it at thy will.
    But now, my Cousin Hamlet, and my Son -
    --- and my Son -
    Hamlet.
    A little more than kin, and less than kind.
    --- less than kind.
    King.
    How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?
    --- hang on you?
    Hamlet.
    Not so my Lord, I am too much i' th' Sun.
    --- i' th' Sun.
    Queen.
    Good Hamlet, cast thy nightly colour off,
    And let thine eye look like a Friend on Denmark.
    Do not for ever with thy veiled lids
    Seek for thy Noble Father in the dust.
    Thou know'st 'tis common all that lives must die,
    Passing through Nature, to Eternity.
    --- Nature, to Eternity.
    Hamlet.
    Aye Madam, it is common.
    --- it is common.
    Queen.
    If it be
    Why seems it so particular with thee?
    --- particular with thee?
    Hamlet.
    'Seems', Madam - nay it is, I know not 'Seems'.
    'Tis not alone my Inky Cloak, good Mother,
    Nor Customary suits of solemn Black,
    Nor windy suspiration of forced 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.
    --- Suits of woe.
    King.
    'Tis sweet and commendable in your Nature, Hamlet,
    To give these mourning duties to your Father,
    But you must know your Father lost a Father,
    That Father lost lost his, and the Survivor bound
    In filial Obligation for some term
    To do obsequious Sorrow. But to persever
    In obstinate Condolement is a course
    Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly grief,
    It shows a will most incorrect to Heaven,
    A Heart unfortified, a Mind impatient,
    An Understanding simple and unschooled;
    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
    Take it to heart? Fie, 'tis 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 Corpse till he that died today,
    'This must be so.' We pray you throw to earth
    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 towards you. For your intent
    In going back to School in Wittenberg,
    It is most retrograde to our desire,
    And we beseech you bend you to remain
    Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
    Our chiefest Courtier Cousin, and our Son.
    --- and our Son.
    Queen.
    Let not thy Mother lose her Prayers, Hamlet.
    I prithee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
    --- not to Wittenberg.
    Hamlet.
    I shall in all my best Obey you Madam.
    --- Obey you Madam.
    King.
    Why 'tis a loving and a fair Reply.
    Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam come -
    This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
    Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof
    No jocund health that Denmark drinks today
    But the great Cannon to the Clouds shall tell
    And the King's Rouse the Heavens shall bruit again,
    Respeaking earthly Thunder. Come away.
    >>> Thunder. Come away.
    Exeunt, leaving Hamlet alone.
    --- Thunder. Come away.
    Hamlet.
    Oh that this too too solid Flesh would melt,
    Thaw and resolve itself into a Dew,
    Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
    His Canon 'gainst Self-slaughter. O God, God,
    How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable
    Seems to me all the uses of this world!
    Fie on't, ah fie, 'tis an unweeded Garden
    That grows to Seed, things rank and gross in Nature
    Possess it merely. That it should come to this:
    But two months dead - nay not so much, not two -
    So excellent a King, that was to this
    Hyperion to a Satyr, so loving to my Mother
    That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
    Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and Earth,
    Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him,
    As if increase of Appetite had grown
    By what it fed on. And yet within a month
    (Let me not think on't - Frailty, thy name is woman),
    A little Month, or e'er those shoes were old
    With which she followed my poor Father's body
    Like Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she -
    O Heaven! A beast that wants discourse of Reason
    Would have mourned longer - married with mine Uncle,
    My Father's Brother (but no more like my Father
    than I to Hercules). Within a Month!
    Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous Tears
    Had left the flushing of her galled eyes,
    She married. O most wicked speed! To post
    With such dexterity to Incestuous sheets,
    It is not, nor it cannot come to good;
    But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
    >>> hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus.
    --- hold my tongue.
    Horatio.
    Hail to your Lordship.
    --- to your Lordship.
    Hamlet.
    I am glad to see you well -
    Horatio, or I do forget myself.
    --- do forget myself.
    Horatio.
    The same my Lord, and your poor Servant ever.
    --- poor Servant ever.
    Hamlet.
    Sir, my good friend, I'll change that name with you.
    And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
    Marcellus!
    --- Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus!
    Marcellus.
    My good Lord.
    --- My good Lord.
    Hamlet.
    I am very glad to see you.
    To Bernardo
    Good even Sir. -
    But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?
    --- you from Wittenberg?
    Horatio.
    A truant disposition, good my Lord.
    --- good my Lord.
    Hamlet.
    I would not have your Enemy say so,
    Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
    To make it truster of your own report
    Against yourself. I know you are no Truant;
    But what is your affair in Elsinore?
    We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.
    --- ere you depart.
    Horatio.
    My Lord, I came to see your Father's Funeral.
    --- your Father's Funeral.
    Hamlet.
    I pray thee do not mock me, fellow Student,
    I think it was to see my Mother's Wedding.
    --- my Mother's Wedding.
    Horatio.
    Indeed, my Lord, it followed hard upon.
    --- followed hard upon.
    Hamlet.
    Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the Funeral Baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the Marriage Tables.
    Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven,
    Ere I had ever seen that day, Horatio.
    My father, methinks I see my father.
    --- see my father.
    Horatio.
    Oh where my Lord?
    --- where my Lord?
    Hamlet.
    In my mind's eye, Horatio.
    --- mind's eye, Horatio.
    Horatio.
    I saw him once - he was a goodly King.
    --- a goodly King.
    Hamlet.
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
    --- his like again.
    Horatio.
    My Lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
    --- saw him yesternight.
    Hamlet.
    Saw? Who?
    --- Saw? Who?
    Horatio.
    My Lord, the King your Father.
    --- King your Father.
    Hamlet.
    The King my Father?
    --- King my Father?
    Horatio.
    Season your admiration for a while
    With an attent ear till I may deliver
    Upon the witness of these Gentlemen,
    This marvel to you.
    --- marvel to you.
    Hamlet.
    For Heaven's love let me hear.
    --- let me hear.
    Horatio.
    Two nights together, had these Gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Barnardo, on their Watch
    In the dead waste and middle of the night
    Been thus encountered: a figure like your Father
    Armed at all points exactly, Cap-a-Pie,
    Appears before them and with solemn march
    Goes slow and stately by them; thrice he walked
    By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes
    Within his Truncheon's length whilst they, distilled
    Almost to Jelly with the Act of fear,
    Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
    In dreadful secrecy impart they did,
    And I with them the third Night kept the Watch,
    Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
    Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
    The Apparition comes. I knew your Father,
    These hands are not more like.
    --- not more like.
    Hamlet.
    But where was this?
    --- where was this?
    Marcellus.
    My Lord, upon the platform where we watched.
    --- where we watched.
    Hamlet.
    Did you not speak to it?
    --- speak to it?
    Horatio.
    My Lord, I did,
    But answer made it none. Yet once methought
    It lifted up it's head, and did address
    Itself to motion like as it would speak.
    But even then the Morning Cock crew loud;
    And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
    And vanished from our sight.
    --- from our sight.
    Hamlet.
    'Tis very strange.
    --- 'Tis very strange.
    Horatio.
    As I do live my honoured Lord, 'tis true;
    And we did think it writ down in our duty
    To let you know of it.
    --- know of it.
    Hamlet.
    Indeed, indeed Sirs, but this troubles me.
    Hold you the watch tonight?
    --- the watch tonight?
    All.
    We do my Lord.
    --- do my Lord.
    Hamlet.
    Armed, say you?
    --- Armed, say you?
    All.
    Armed, my Lord.
    --- Armed, my Lord.
    Hamlet.
    From top to toe?
    --- top to toe?
    All.
    My Lord, from head to foot.
    --- head to foot.
    Hamlet.
    Then saw you not his face?
    --- not his face?
    Horatio.
    O yes, my Lord, he wore his Beaver up.
    --- his Beaver up.
    Hamlet.
    What looked he - frowningly?
    --- looked he - frowningly?
    Horatio.
    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
    --- than in anger.
    Hamlet.
    Pale, or red?
    --- Pale, or red?
    Horatio.
    Nay very pale.
    --- Nay very pale.
    Hamlet.
    And fixed his eyes upon you?
    --- eyes upon you?
    Horatio.
    Most constantly.
    --- Most constantly.
    Hamlet.
    I would I had been there.
    --- had been there.
    Horatio.
    It would have much amazed you.
    --- much amazed you.
    Hamlet.
    Very like, very like: stayed it long?
    --- stayed it long?
    Horatio.
    While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
    --- stayed it long?
    Marcellus, Barnardo
    Longer, longer.
    --- Longer, longer.
    Horatio.
    Not when I saw't.
    --- when I saw't.
    Hamlet.
    His Beard was grisly? no.
    --- was grisly? no.
    Horatio.
    It was, as I have seen it in his life,
    A Sable Silvered.
    --- A Sable Silvered.
    Hamlet.
    I'll watch tonight.
    Perchance 'twill walk again.
    --- 'twill walk again.
    Horatio.
    I warrant you it will.
    --- you it will.
    Hamlet.
    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 concealed this sight
    Let it be treble in your silence still
    And whatsoever else shall hap tonight
    Give it an understanding but no tongue,
    I will requite your loves. So fare ye well.
    Upon the Platform twixt eleven and twelve,
    I'll visit you.
    >>> I'll visit you.
    All.
    Our duty to your Honour.
    to your Honour.
    Exeunt, leaving Hamlet.
    --- I'll visit you.
    Hamlet.
    Your love, as mine to you, farewell.
    My Father's Spirit - in Arms! All is not well;
    I doubt some foul play. Would the Night were come.
    Till then sit still my soul - foul deeds will rise
    Though all the earth o'erwhelm them to men's eyes.
    >>> to men's eyes.
    Exit Hamlet.
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