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◈ The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (햄릿) ◈

◇ Act IV ◇

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 1. Act IV, Scene 1
 2. Act IV, Scene 2
 3. Act IV, Scene 3
 4. Act IV, Scene 4
 5. Act IV, Scene 5
 6. Act IV, Scene 6
 7. Act IV, Scene 7

1. Act IV, Scene 1

0 Elsinore. A room in the Castle.
 
1 Enter King and Queen, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
 
2 Claudius.
3       There's matter in these sighs. These profound heaves
4       You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
5       Where is your son?
6 Gertrude.
7       Bestow this place on us a little while.
8       [Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
9       Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen to-night!
10 Claudius.
11       What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
12 Gertrude.
13       Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
14       Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit
15       Behind the arras hearing something stir,
16       Whips out his rapier, cries 'A rat, a rat!'
17       And in this brainish apprehension kills
18       The unseen good old man.
19 Claudius.
20       O heavy deed!
21       It had been so with us, had we been there.
22       His liberty is full of threats to all-
23       To you yourself, to us, to every one.
24       Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
25       It will be laid to us, whose providence
26       Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt
27       This mad young man. But so much was our love
28       We would not understand what was most fit,
29       But, like the owner of a foul disease,
30       To keep it from divulging, let it feed
31       Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
32 Gertrude.
33       To draw apart the body he hath kill'd;
34       O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
35       Among a mineral of metals base,
36       Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.
37 Claudius.
38       O Gertrude, come away!
39       The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch
40       But we will ship him hence; and this vile deed
41       We must with all our majesty and skill
42       Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!
43       [Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
44       Friends both, go join you with some further aid.
45       Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
46       And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him.
47       Go seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
48       Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.
49       [Exeunt [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern].]
50       Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends
51       And let them know both what we mean to do
52       And what's untimely done.[So haply slander-]
53       Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
54       As level as the cannon to his blank,
55       Transports his poisoned shot- may miss our name
56       And hit the woundless air.- O, come away!
57       My soul is full of discord and dismay.
 
58 Exeunt.
 

2. Act IV, Scene 2

0 Elsinore. A passage in the Castle.
 
1 Enter Hamlet.
 
2 Hamlet.
3       Safely stow'd.
4 Gentlemen.
5       [within]Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
6 Hamlet.
7       But soft! What noise? Who calls on Hamlet? O, here they come.
 
8 Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
 
9 Rosencrantz.
10       What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
11 Hamlet.
12       Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
13 Rosencrantz.
14       Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
15       And bear it to the chapel.
16 Hamlet.
17       Do not believe it.
18 Rosencrantz.
19       Believe what?
20 Hamlet.
21       That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be
22       demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son
23       of a king?
24 Rosencrantz.
25       Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
26 Hamlet.
27       Ay, sir; that soaks up the King's countenance, his rewards,
28       his authorities. But such officers do the King best service in
29       the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw;
30       first mouth'd, to be last swallowed. When he needs what you have
31       glean'd, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry
32       again.
33 Rosencrantz.
34       I understand you not, my lord.
35 Hamlet.
36       I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
37 Rosencrantz.
38       My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with us to
39       the King.
40 Hamlet.
41       The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body.
42       The King is a thing-
43 Guildenstern.
44       A thing, my lord?
45 Hamlet.
46       Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
 
47 Exeunt.

3. Act IV, Scene 3

0 Elsinore. A room in the Castle.
 
1 Enter King.
 
2 Claudius.
3       I have sent to seek him and to find the body.
4       How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
5       Yet must not we put the strong law on him.
6       He's lov'd of the distracted multitude,
7       Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
8       And where 'tis so, th' offender's scourge is weigh'd,
9       But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
10       This sudden sending him away must seem
11       Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
12       By desperate appliance are reliev'd,
13       Or not at all.
14       [Enter Rosencrantz.]
15       How now O What hath befall'n?
16 Rosencrantz.
17       Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
18       We cannot get from him.
19 Claudius.
20       But where is he?
21 Rosencrantz.
22       Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
23 Claudius.
24       Bring him before us.
25 Rosencrantz.
26       Ho, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord.
 
27 Enter Hamlet and Guildenstern [with Attendants].
 
28 Claudius.
29       Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
30 Hamlet.
31       At supper.
32 Claudius.
33       At supper? Where?
34 Hamlet.
35       Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
36       convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your
37       only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and
38       we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar
39       is but variable service- two dishes, but to one table. That's the
40       end.
 
41 Claudius.
42       Alas, alas!
 
43 Hamlet.
44       A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat
45       of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
46 Claudius.
47       What dost thou mean by this?
48 Hamlet.
49       Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through
50       the guts of a beggar.
51 Claudius.
52       Where is Polonius?
53 Hamlet.
54       In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not
55       there, seek him i' th' other place yourself. But indeed, if you
56       find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up
57       the stair, into the lobby.
58 Claudius.
59       Go seek him there.[To Attendants.]
60 Hamlet.
61       He will stay till you come.
 
62 [Exeunt Attendants.]
 
63 Claudius.
64       Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,-
65       Which we do tender as we dearly grieve
66       For that which thou hast done,- must send thee hence
67       With fiery quickness. Therefore prepare thyself.
68       The bark is ready and the wind at help,
69       Th' associates tend, and everything is bent
70       For England.
71 Hamlet.
72       For England?
73 Claudius.
74       Ay, Hamlet.
75 Hamlet.
76       Good.
77 Claudius.
78       So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
79 Hamlet.
80       I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England!
81       Farewell, dear mother.
82 Claudius.
83       Thy loving father, Hamlet.
84 Hamlet.
85       My mother! Father and mother is man and wife; man and wife is
86       one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England!
 
87 Exit.
 
88 Claudius.
89       Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard.
90       Delay it not; I'll have him hence to-night.
91       Away! for everything is seal'd and done
92       That else leans on th' affair. Pray you make haste.
93       [Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]
94       And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,-
95       As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
96       Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
97       After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
98       Pays homage to us,- thou mayst not coldly set
99       Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
100       By letters congruing to that effect,
101       The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
102       For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
103       And thou must cure me. Till I know 'tis done,
104       Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.[Exit.]
 

4. Act IV, Scene 4

0 Near Elsinore.
 
1 Enter Fortinbras with his Army over the stage.
 
2 Fortinbras.
3       Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king.
4       Tell him that by his license Fortinbras
5       Craves the conveyance of a promis'd march
6       Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
7       If that his Majesty would aught with us,
8       We shall express our duty in his eye;
9       And let him know so.
10 Norwegian Captain.
11       I will do't, my lord.
12 Fortinbras.
13       Go softly on.
 
14 Exeunt [all but the Captain].
 
15 Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, [Guildenstern,] and others.
 
16 Hamlet.
17       Good sir, whose powers are these?
18 Norwegian Captain.
19       They are of Norway, sir.
20 Hamlet.
21       How purpos'd, sir, I pray you?
22 Norwegian Captain.
23       Against some part of Poland.
24 Hamlet.
25       Who commands them, sir?
26 Norwegian Captain.
27       The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
28 Hamlet.
29       Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
30       Or for some frontier?
31       Norwegian Captain.
32       Truly to speak, and with no addition,
33       We go to gain a little patch of ground
34       That hath in it no profit but the name.
35       To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
36       Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
37       A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
38 Hamlet.
39       Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
40 Norwegian Captain.
41       Yes, it is already garrison'd.
42 Hamlet.
43       Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
44       Will not debate the question of this straw.
45       This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace,
46       That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
47       Why the man dies.- I humbly thank you, sir.
48 Norwegian Captain.
49       God b' wi' you, sir.[Exit.]
50 Rosencrantz.
51       Will't please you go, my lord?
52 Hamlet.
53       I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
54       [Exeunt all but Hamlet.]
55       How all occasions do inform against me
56       And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
57       If his chief good and market of his time
58       Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
59       Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
60       Looking before and after, gave us not
61       That capability and godlike reason
62       To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
63       Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
64       Of thinking too precisely on th' event,-
65       A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
66       And ever three parts coward,- I do not know
67       Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do,'
68       Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
69       To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
70       Witness this army of such mass and charge,
71       Led by a delicate and tender prince,
72       Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd,
73       Makes mouths at the invisible event,
74       Exposing what is mortal and unsure
75       To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
76       Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
77       Is not to stir without great argument,
78       But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
79       When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
80       That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
81       Excitements of my reason and my blood,
82       And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
83       The imminent death of twenty thousand men
84       That for a fantasy and trick of fame
85       Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
86       Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
87       Which is not tomb enough and continent
88       To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
89       My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth![Exit.]
 

5. Act IV, Scene 5

0 Elsinore. A room in the Castle.
 
1 Enter Horatio, Queen, and a Gentleman.
 
2 Gertrude.
3       I will not speak with her.
4 Gentleman.
5       She is importunate, indeed distract.
6       Her mood will needs be pitied.
7 Gertrude.
8       What would she have?
9 Gentleman.
10       She speaks much of her father; says she hears
11       There's tricks i' th' world, and hems, and beats her heart;
12       Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
13       That carry but half sense. Her speech is nothing,
14       Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
15       The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
16       And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
17       Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them,
18       Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
19       Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.
20 Horatio.
21       'Twere good she were spoken with; for she may strew
22       Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
23 Gertrude.
24       Let her come in.
25       [Exit Gentleman.]
26       [Aside]To my sick soul (as sin's true nature is)
27       Each toy seems Prologue to some great amiss.
28       So full of artless jealousy is guilt
29       It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
 
30 Enter Ophelia distracted.
 
31 Ophelia.
32       Where is the beauteous Majesty of Denmark?
33 Gertrude.
34       How now, Ophelia?
35 Ophelia.
36       [sings]
37       How should I your true-love know
38       From another one?
39       By his cockle bat and' staff
40       And his sandal shoon.
41 Gertrude.
42       Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
43 Ophelia.
44       Say you? Nay, pray You mark.
45       (Sings)He is dead and gone, lady,
46       He is dead and gone;
47       At his head a grass-green turf,
48       At his heels a stone.
49       O, ho!
50 Gertrude.
51       Nay, but Ophelia-
52 Ophelia.
53       Pray you mark.
54       (Sings)White his shroud as the mountain snow-
 
55 Enter King.
 
56 Gertrude.
57       Alas, look here, my lord!
58 Ophelia.
59       [Sings]
60       Larded all with sweet flowers;
61       Which bewept to the grave did not go
62       With true-love showers.
63 Claudius.
64       How do you, pretty lady?
65 Ophelia.
66       Well, God dild you! They say the owl was a baker's daughter.
67       Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at
68       your table!
69 Claudius.
70       Conceit upon her father.
71 Ophelia.
72       Pray let's have no words of this; but when they ask, you what
73       it means, say you this:
74       (Sings)To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
75       All in the morning bedtime,
76       And I a maid at your window,
77       To be your Valentine.
78       Then up he rose and donn'd his clo'es
79       And dupp'd the chamber door,
80       Let in the maid, that out a maid
81       Never departed more.
82 Claudius.
83       Pretty Ophelia!
84 Ophelia.
85       Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make an end on't!
86       [Sings]By Gis and by Saint Charity,
87       Alack, and fie for shame!
88       Young men will do't if they come to't
89       By Cock, they are to blame.
90       Quoth she, 'Before you tumbled me,
91       You promis'd me to wed.'
92       He answers:
93       'So would I 'a' done, by yonder sun,
94       An thou hadst not come to my bed.'
95 Claudius.
96       How long hath she been thus?
97 Ophelia.
98       I hope all will be well. We must be patient; but I cannot
99       choose but weep to think they would lay him i' th' cold ground.
100       My brother shall know of it; and so I thank you for your good
101       counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies. Good night, sweet
102       ladies. Good night, good night.[Exit]
103 Claudius.
104       Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
105       [Exit Horatio.]
106       O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs
107       All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude,
108       When sorrows come, they come not single spies.
109       But in battalions! First, her father slain;
110       Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
111       Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
112       Thick and and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
113       For good Polonius' death, and we have done but greenly
114       In hugger-mugger to inter him; poor Ophelia
115       Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
116       Without the which we are pictures or mere beasts;
117       Last, and as much containing as all these,
118       Her brother is in secret come from France;
119       Feeds on his wonder, keeps, himself in clouds,
120       And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
121       With pestilent speeches of his father's death,
122       Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
123       Will nothing stick our person to arraign
124       In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
125       Like to a murd'ring piece, in many places
126       Give me superfluous death. A noise within.
127 Gertrude.
128       Alack, what noise is this?
129 Claudius.
130       Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the door.
131       [Enter a Messenger.]
132       What is the matter?
133 Messenger.
134       Save Yourself, my lord:
135       The ocean, overpeering of his list,
136       Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste
137       Than Young Laertes, in a riotous head,
138       O'erbears Your offices. The rabble call him lord;
139       And, as the world were now but to begin,
140       Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
141       The ratifiers and props of every word,
142       They cry 'Choose we! Laertes shall be king!'
143       Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds,
144       'Laertes shall be king! Laertes king!'
 
145 A noise within.
 
146 Gertrude.
147       How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
148       O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!
149 Claudius.
150       The doors are broke.
 
151 Enter Laertes with others.
 
152 Laertes.
153       Where is this king?- Sirs, staid you all without.
154 All.
155       No, let's come in!
156 Laertes.
157       I pray you give me leave.
158 All.
159       We will, we will!
160 Laertes.
161       I thank you. Keep the door.[Exeunt his Followers.]
162       O thou vile king,
163       Give me my father!
164 Gertrude.
165       Calmly, good Laertes.
166 Laertes.
167       That drop of blood that's calm proclaims me bastard;
168       Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
169       Even here between the chaste unsmirched brows
170       Of my true mother.
171 Claudius.
172       What is the cause, Laertes,
173       That thy rebellion looks so giantlike?
174       Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person.
175       There's such divinity doth hedge a king
176       That treason can but peep to what it would,
177       Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes,
178       Why thou art thus incens'd. Let him go, Gertrude.
179       Speak, man.
180 Laertes.
181       Where is my father?
182 Claudius.
183       Dead.
184 Gertrude.
185       But not by him!
186 Claudius.
187       Let him demand his fill.
188 Laertes.
189       How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with:
190       To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil
191       Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
192       I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
193       That both the world, I give to negligence,
194       Let come what comes; only I'll be reveng'd
195       Most throughly for my father.
196 Claudius.
197       Who shall stay you?
198 Laertes.
199       My will, not all the world!
200       And for my means, I'll husband them so well
201       They shall go far with little.
202 Claudius.
203       Good Laertes,
204       If you desire to know the certainty
205       Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge
206       That sweepstake you will draw both friend and foe,
207       Winner and loser?
208 Laertes.
209       None but his enemies.
210 Claudius.
211       Will you know them then?
212 Laertes.
213       To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms
214       And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
215       Repast them with my blood.
216 Claudius.
217       Why, now You speak
218       Like a good child and a true gentleman.
219       That I am guiltless of your father's death,
220       And am most sensibly in grief for it,
221       It shall as level to your judgment pierce
222       As day does to your eye.
 
223 A noise within: 'Let her come in.'
 
224 Laertes.
225       How now? What noise is that?
226       [Enter Ophelia. ]
227       O heat, dry up my brains! Tears seven times salt
228       Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
229       By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight
230       Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
231       Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
232       O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
233       Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
234       Nature is fine in love, and where 'tis fine,
235       It sends some precious instance of itself
236       After the thing it loves.
237 Ophelia.
238       [sings]
239       They bore him barefac'd on the bier
240       (Hey non nony, nony, hey nony)
241       And in his grave rain'd many a tear.
242       Fare you well, my dove!
243 Laertes.
244       Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
245       It could not move thus.
246 Ophelia.
247       You must sing 'A-down a-down, and you call him a-down-a.' O,
248       how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his
249       master's daughter.
250 Laertes.
251       This nothing's more than matter.
252 Ophelia.
253       There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love,
254       remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
255 Laertes.
256       A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.
257 Ophelia.
258       There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you,
259       and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays.
260       O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy. I
261       would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father
262       died. They say he made a good end.
263       [Sings]For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
264 Laertes.
265       Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
266       She turns to favour and to prettiness.
267 Ophelia.
268       [sings]
269       And will he not come again?
270       And will he not come again?
271       No, no, he is dead;
272       Go to thy deathbed;
273       He never will come again.
274       His beard was as white as snow,
275       All flaxen was his poll.
276       He is gone, he is gone,
277       And we cast away moan.
278       God 'a'mercy on his soul!
279       And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God b' wi' you.
 
280 Exit.
 
281 Laertes.
282       Do you see this, O God?
283 Claudius.
284       Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
285       Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
286       Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
287       And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
288       If by direct or by collateral hand
289       They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
290       Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
291       To you in satisfaction; but if not,
292       Be you content to lend your patience to us,
293       And we shall jointly labour with your soul
294       To give it due content.
295 Laertes.
296       Let this be so.
297       His means of death, his obscure funeral-
298       No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
299       No noble rite nor formal ostentation,-
300       Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
301       That I must call't in question.
302 Claudius.
303       So you shall;
304       And where th' offence is let the great axe fall.
305       I pray you go with me.
 
306 Exeunt

6. Act IV, Scene 6

0 Elsinore. Another room in the Castle.
 
1 Enter Horatio with an Attendant.
 
2 Horatio.
3       What are they that would speak with me?
4 Servant.
5       Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for you.
6 Horatio.
7       Let them come in.
8       [Exit Attendant.]
9       I do not know from what part of the world
10       I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
 
11 Enter Sailors.
 
12 Sailor.
13       God bless you, sir.
14 Horatio.
15       Let him bless thee too.
16 Sailor.
17       'A shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you,
18       sir,- it comes from th' ambassador that was bound for England- if
19       your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
20 Horatio.
21       [reads the letter]'Horatio, when thou shalt have overlook'd
22       this, give these fellows some means to the King. They have
23       letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of
24       very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too
25       slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the grapple I
26       boarded them. On the instant they got clear of our ship; so I
27       alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves
28       of mercy; but they knew what they did: I am to do a good turn for
29       them. Let the King have the letters I have sent, and repair thou
30       to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I have words
31       to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they much too
32       light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring
33       thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course
34       for England. Of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
35       'He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET.'
36       Come, I will give you way for these your letters,
37       And do't the speedier that you may direct me
38       To him from whom you brought them.[Exeunt.]
 

7. Act IV, Scene 7

0 Elsinore. Another room in the Castle.
 
1 Enter King and Laertes.
 
2 Claudius.
3       Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
4       And You must put me in your heart for friend,
5       Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
6       That he which hath your noble father slain
7       Pursued my life.
8 Laertes.
9       It well appears. But tell me
10       Why you proceeded not against these feats
11       So crimeful and so capital in nature,
12       As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
13       You mainly were stirr'd up.
14 Claudius.
15       O, for two special reasons,
16       Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
17       But yet to me they are strong. The Queen his mother
18       Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,-
19       My virtue or my plague, be it either which,-
20       She's so conjunctive to my life and soul
21       That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
22       I could not but by her. The other motive
23       Why to a public count I might not go
24       Is the great love the general gender bear him,
25       Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
26       Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
27       Convert his gives to graces; so that my arrows,
28       Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
29       Would have reverted to my bow again,
30       And not where I had aim'd them.
31 Laertes.
32       And so have I a noble father lost;
33       A sister driven into desp'rate terms,
34       Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
35       Stood challenger on mount of all the age
36       For her perfections. But my revenge will come.
37 Claudius.
38       Break not your sleeps for that. You must not think
39       That we are made of stuff so flat and dull
40       That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
41       And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more.
42       I lov'd your father, and we love ourself,
43       And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine-
44       [Enter a Messenger with letters.]
45       How now? What news?
46 Messenger.
47       Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
48       This to your Majesty; this to the Queen.
49 Claudius.
50       From Hamlet? Who brought them?
51 Messenger.
52       Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not.
53       They were given me by Claudio; he receiv'd them
54       Of him that brought them.
55 Claudius.
56       Laertes, you shall hear them.
57       Leave us.
58       [Exit Messenger.]
59       [Reads]'High and Mighty,-You shall know I am set naked on your
60       kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes;
61       when I shall(first asking your pardon thereunto)recount the
62       occasion of my sudden and more strange return. 'HAMLET.'
63       What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
64       Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
65 Laertes.
66       Know you the hand?
67 Claudius.
68       'Tis Hamlet's character. 'Naked!'
69       And in a postscript here, he says 'alone.'
70       Can you advise me?
71 Laertes.
72       I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come!
73       It warms the very sickness in my heart
74       That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
75       'Thus didest thou.'
76 Claudius.
77       If it be so, Laertes
78       (As how should it be so? how otherwise?),
79       Will you be rul'd by me?
80 Laertes.
81       Ay my lord,
82       So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
83 Claudius.
84       To thine own peace. If he be now return'd
85       As checking at his voyage, and that he means
86       No more to undertake it, I will work him
87       To exploit now ripe in my device,
88       Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
89       And for his death no wind shall breathe
90       But even his mother shall uncharge the practice
91       And call it accident.
92 Laertes.
93       My lord, I will be rul'd;
94       The rather, if you could devise it so
95       That I might be the organ.
96 Claudius.
97       It falls right.
98       You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
99       And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
100       Wherein they say you shine, Your sum of parts
101       Did not together pluck such envy from him
102       As did that one; and that, in my regard,
103       Of the unworthiest siege.
104 Laertes.
105       What part is that, my lord?
106 Claudius.
107       A very riband in the cap of youth-
108       Yet needfull too; for youth no less becomes
109       The light and careless livery that it wears
110       Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
111       Importing health and graveness. Two months since
112       Here was a gentleman of Normandy.
113       I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
114       And they can well on horseback; but this gallant
115       Had witchcraft in't. He grew unto his seat,
116       And to such wondrous doing brought his horse
117       As had he been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
118       With the brave beast. So far he topp'd my thought
119       That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
120       Come short of what he did.
121 Laertes.
122       A Norman was't?
123 Claudius.
124       A Norman.
125 Laertes.
126       Upon my life, Lamound.
127 Claudius.
128       The very same.
129 Laertes.
130       I know him well. He is the broach indeed
131       And gem of all the nation.
132 Claudius.
133       He made confession of you;
134       And gave you such a masterly report
135       For art and exercise in your defence,
136       And for your rapier most especially,
137       That he cried out 'twould be a sight indeed
138       If one could match you. The scrimers of their nation
139       He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
140       If you oppos'd them. Sir, this report of his
141       Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy
142       That he could nothing do but wish and beg
143       Your sudden coming o'er to play with you.
144       Now, out of this-
145 Laertes.
146       What out of this, my lord?
147 Claudius.
148       Laertes, was your father dear to you?
149       Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
150       A face without a heart,'
151 Laertes.
152       Why ask you this?
153 Claudius.
154       Not that I think you did not love your father;
155       But that I know love is begun by time,
156       And that I see, in passages of proof,
157       Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
158       There lives within the very flame of love
159       A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
160       And nothing is at a like goodness still;
161       For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
162       Dies in his own too-much. That we would do,
163       We should do when we would; for this 'would' changes,
164       And hath abatements and delays as many
165       As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
166       And then this 'should' is like a spendthrift sigh,
167       That hurts by easing. But to the quick o' th' ulcer!
168       Hamlet comes back. What would you undertake
169       To show yourself your father's son in deed
170       More than in words?
171 Laertes.
172       To cut his throat i' th' church!
173 Claudius.
174       No place indeed should murther sanctuarize;
175       Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
176       Will you do this? Keep close within your chamber.
177       Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home.
178       We'll put on those shall praise your excellence
179       And set a double varnish on the fame
180       The Frenchman gave you; bring you in fine together
181       And wager on your heads. He, being remiss,
182       Most generous, and free from all contriving,
183       Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
184       Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
185       A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
186       Requite him for your father.
187 Laertes.
188       I will do't!
189       And for that purpose I'll anoint my sword.
190       I bought an unction of a mountebank,
191       So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
192       Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
193       Collected from all simples that have virtue
194       Under the moon, can save the thing from death
195       This is but scratch'd withal. I'll touch my point
196       With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
197       It may be death.
198 Claudius.
199       Let's further think of this,
200       Weigh what convenience both of time and means
201       May fit us to our shape. If this should fall,
202       And that our drift look through our bad performance.
203       'Twere better not assay'd. Therefore this project
204       Should have a back or second, that might hold
205       If this did blast in proof. Soft! let me see.
206       We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings-
207       I ha't!
208       When in your motion you are hot and dry-
209       As make your bouts more violent to that end-
210       And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepar'd him
211       A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
212       If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
213       Our purpose may hold there.- But stay, what noise,
214       [Enter Queen.]
215       How now, sweet queen?
216 Gertrude.
217       One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
218       So fast they follow. Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.
219 Laertes.
220       Drown'd! O, where?
221 Gertrude.
222       There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
223       That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
224       There with fantastic garlands did she come
225       Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
226       That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
227       But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
228       There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
229       Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
230       When down her weedy trophies and herself
231       Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide
232       And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
233       Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
234       As one incapable of her own distress,
235       Or like a creature native and indued
236       Unto that element; but long it could not be
237       Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
238       Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
239       To muddy death.
240 Laertes.
241       Alas, then she is drown'd?
242 Gertrude.
243       Drown'd, drown'd.
244 Laertes.
245       Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
246       And therefore I forbid my tears; but yet
247       It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
248       Let shame say what it will. When these are gone,
249       The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord.
250       I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze
251       But that this folly douts it.[Exit.]
252 Claudius.
253       Let's follow, Gertrude.
254       How much I had to do to calm his rage I
255       Now fear I this will give it start again;
256       Therefore let's follow.
 
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◈ The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (햄릿) ◈

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