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Her nurse is privy: And, if aught in this Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life

Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet. Be sacrific'd, some hour before his time,

Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague ! Unto the rigour of severest law.

See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, Prince. We still have known thee for a holy That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!

And I, for winking at your discords too, Where's Romeo's man? what can he say in this ? Have lost a brace of kinsment: — All are punish'd.

Bal. I brought my master news of Juliet's death; Cap. O brother Montague, give me thy band : And then in post he came from Mantua,

This is my daughter's jointure, for no more To this same place, to this same monument.

Can I demand. This letter he early bid me give his father ;

Mon.

But I can give thee more :
And threaten'd me with death, going in the vault, For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
If I departed not, and left him there.

That, while Verona by that name is known,
Prince. Give me the letter, I will look on it. There shall no figure at such rate be set,
Where is the county's page that rais'd the watch ? — As that of true and faithful Juliet.
Sirrah, what made your master in this place? Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie;
Page. He came with flowers to strew his lady's Poor sacrifices of our enmity!
grave;

Prince. A glooming peace this morning with it And bid me stand aloof, and so I did:

brings; Anon, comes one with light to ope the tomb;

The sun for sorrow will not show his head: And, by and by, my master drew on him; Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; And then I ran away to call the watch.

Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished : Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's For never was a story of more woe, words,

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. (Exeunt. Their course of love, the tidings of her death :

4 Mercutio and Paris. And here he writes — that he did buy a poison

HAMLET,

PRINCE OF DENMARK.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.

Francisco, a Soldier. Hamlet, Son to the former, and Nephew the pre- REYNALDO, Servant to Polonius. sent King.

A Captain. Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.

An Ambassador. HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.

Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
LAERTES, Son to Polonius.

FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway.
VOLTIMAND,
CORNELIUS,
ROSENCRANTZ,
Courtiers.

GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, and Mother of

Hamlet.
GU

Ophelia, Daughter of Polonius.
Osric, a Courtier.
Another Courtier.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, GraveA Priest.

diggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Altenulants. MARCELLUS, BERNARDO,

SCENE, Elsinore.

} oficers.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

More relative than this."

PREFACE TO HAMLET. When so great a writer as Johnson declares him- | convey an idea of what might have occasioned the self unable to perceive any satisfactory cause for alteration in his behaviour. Hamlet's counterfeiting madness, I fear I shall be Hamlet is nevertheless induced, by more mature accused of presumption, if I attempt to offer any reflection, to doubt the propriety of proceeding to solution of the problem ; yet I really think that the extremities, till he has further proof of the king's difficulty is not as great as he supposes it to be. guilt. He says that Hamlet does nothing in the character

“ The spirit that I have seen of a lunatic, which he might not have done in his

May be a devil;

I'll have grounds proper senses; but in this observation he appears to bave overlooked what Hamlet intended to do, whicii ought to have been taken into consideration as well

He therefore has recourse to the play. The as what he actually did.

stratagem succeeds; and, being now consinced of The state of the question I take to be as fol- the truth of what was said by the Ghost, he deterlows: —

mines to kill the king. Hamlet being informed by the Ghost of the

" Now could I drink hot blood." &c. murder of his father, and being at the same time required to revenge it, forins the resolution of killing

This resolution he would immediately afteru artis bis uncle; but, being sensible that he has no proof hiave carried into effect, if a very extraordinary eirof the murder, except what was said by the Ghost cumstance (the finding the king engaged in prayer) to himself alone, which could have no weight with had not induced him to postpone it. I am happs any other person, he feels conscious that his killing that it is by no means necessary for me to say any the king would be considered as the act of a traitor thing respecting his horrid reflections on that oeand an assassin : he therefore determines to assume casion; they do not affect the course of argument the appearance of madness, in order that the in- which I am pursuing, and in this, as in other in. tended blow might be ascribed to distraction rather stances, I attempt nothing more than to point out than to treason. Having formed this resolution, he the motives of Hamlet's conduct, without entering requires the most solemn oaths from Horatio and into the propriety or impropriety of those motives, Marcellus, that they will not, if he

or of the actions to which they gave birth.

Hamlet now goes to his mother, and while be
Perchance hereafter shall think meet,
To put an antick disposition on,"

is with her, he does (as he supposes) what he had

before resolved to do. He thinks he is killing the allow any expression to escape them, which would king, when he kills Polonius. That he supposed

the person behind the arras to be the king, is evi- | being considered as a traitor and a murderer. Ho dent from his words to his mother : “ Is it the thought he was killing him when he killed Polonius, king?" and to the dead Polonius, “I took thee for and if the person behind the arras had been the thy better.” After this, he entreats the queen by king, Hamlet would have excused his death, as he no means to disclose the secret of his madness being excused the death of Polonius, by saying, connterfeit, and not real distraction.

" What I have done, Here, then, with all due submission to Dr. John

I here proclaim was madness." son, is an act done by Hamlet while supposed to I shall add one word in answer to a question be mad, which would have been thought an un- which I have heard frequently asked: Why did pardonable murder if he had been in his proper Hamlet act the madman in a manner so distressing senses; and this is the use which Hamlet afterwards to the amiable Ophelia ? The reason I take to be makes of his counterfeit madness. He excuses him- this: Ophelia was known to be the object of his self to Laertes on this very ground :

affection. The queen hoped “ This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,

“ She would have been her Hamlet's wife.” How I am punish'd with a sore distraction. What I have done,

If, then, it appeared that he acted as a madman That might your nature, honour, and exception, in the presence of the object of his tenderest reRoughly awake, I here proclaim was madness," &c.

gard, he considered it as a certain consequence, It appears, then, that Hamlet resolved to coun- that no doubt could be entertained of the reality of terfeit madness, that he might kill the king without his distraction.

ACT І.

SCENE I. - Elsinore. A Platform before the

Ber. I have seen nothing.
Castle.

Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy,

And will not let belief take hold of him, Francisco on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO. Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us ; Ber. Who's there?

Therefore I have entreated him, along
Fran. Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold With us to watch the minutes of this night;
Yourself.

That, if again this apparition come,
Ber. Long live the king!

He may approve our eyes, and speak to it. Fran.

Bernardo?

Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
Ber.

He.
Ber.

Sit down awhile;
Fran. You come most carefully upon your bour. And let us once again assail your ears,
Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, That are so fortified against our story,
Francisco.

What we two nights have seen. Fran. For this relief, much thanks ; 'tis bitter Hor.

Well, sit we down, cold,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this. And I am sick at heart.

Ber. Last night of all, Ber. Have you had quiet guard ?

When yon same star, that's westward from the pole, Fran. Not a mouse stirring.

Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Ber. Well, good night.

Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The bell then beating one, The rivals i of my watch, bid them make haste. Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes

again! Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.

Enter Ghost. Fran. I think, I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there?

Ber. In the same figure, like the king that's dead. Hor. Friends to this ground.

Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio. Mar.

And liegemen to the Dane. Ber. Looks it not like the king ? mark it, HoFran. Give you good night.

ratio. Mar.

O, farewell, honest soldier : Hor. Most like: - it harrows me with fear, and Who hath reliev'd you?

wonder. Fran.

Bernardo hath my place. Ber. It would be spoke to. Give you good night. (Exit FRANCISCO. Mar.

Speak to it, Horatio. Mar. Holla! Bernardo!

Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of Ber.

Say,

night, What, is Horatio there?

Together with that fair and warlike form
Hor.
A piece of him.

In which the majesty of buried Denmark Ber. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good Mar- Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee cellus.

speak. Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to Mar. It is offended. night?

Ber.

See! it stalks away.
Partners.

? Make good or establish.

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