Hamlet: O! I die, Horatio ;
The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit :
I cannot live to hear the news from England ;
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras : he has my dying voice ;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. – The rest is silence.
Horatio: How cracks a noble heart.
– Good night, sweet prince ;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest !
Gravedigger: A whoreson mad fellow’s it was : whose do you think it was?
Hamlet: Nay, I know not.
Gravedigger: A pestilence on him for a mad rogue ! ‘a poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, this same skull, sir, was Yorick’s skull, the king’s jester.
Gravedigger: E’en that.
Hamlet: Let me see [Takes the skull.] Alas, poor Yorick ! –I knew him, Horatio : a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy : he hath borne me on his back a thousand times ; and now, now abhorred my imagination is ! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips, that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes nor? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now, get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thich, to this favour she must come ; make her laugh at that.
Queen: One woe doth tread upon another’s heel
So fast they follow. – Your sister’s drown’s, Laertes.
Laertes: Drown’d! – O, where?
Queen: There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream:
There with fantastic garlands did she come.
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them;
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up :
Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indu’d
Unto that element : but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Laertes: Alas! then, is she drown’d?
Queen: Drown’d, drown’d.
Laertes: Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
and therefore I forbid my tears.
Hamlet: To be, or not to be, that is the question :–
Whether ‘t is 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, – ‘t is 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 despis’d 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 these 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 if 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.
Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Ghost: Murder most foul, an in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
Hamlet: Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost: I find thee apt ;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear.
‘T is given out, that, sleeping in mine orchard,
A serpent stung me ; so the whole ear of Denmark
is by a forged process of my death
Ranky abus’d ; but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.