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An understanding simple and unschool'd:
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! 't is 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 corse, till he that died to-day,
"This must be so.'

Hamlet's Soliloquy on his Mother's Marriage.
O 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! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Fie on't! O 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 ere those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
A name for Apollo.

* Dissolve.

† Law.
§ Allow.

Like Niobe, all tears;-why she, even she,——

O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer,—married with my 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 in her galled eyes,
She married.

The Extent of Human Perfection.

He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.

Cautions to young Women.

For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute :
No more.

Satire on ungracious Pastors.

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own reed.*

Advice to a Son going to Travel.

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

*Regards not his own lessons.


Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull thy palm* with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade.
Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in,
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censure,† but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:

For the apparel oft proclaims the man;

And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief‡ in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be:

For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all,-To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Hamlet's Address to his Father's Ghost.

Angels and ministers of grace defend us !—— Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,

That I will speak to thee; I'll call thee, Hamlet,

King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me:

Let me not burst in ignorance! but tell

Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements! why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,

* Palm of the hand.

+ Opinion.

+ Chiefly.

Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee
up again! What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature,
So horribly to shake our disposition,

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?

The Dangers attendant on following the Ghost.
What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
That beetles* o'er his base into the sea?
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? think of it:
The very place puts toys† of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.

Ghost and Hamlet.

HAMLET. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll

go no further.

GHOST. Mark me.



I will.

My hour is almost come,

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames

Must render up myself.

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GHOST. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. HAMLET. What?

GHOST. I am thy father's spirit;

Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confin'd to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burn'd and purg'd away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young blood; Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres ; Thy knotted and combined locks to part,

And each particular hair to stand on end,

Like quills upon the fretful porcupine :

But this eternal blazon must not be

To ears of flesh and blood :—List, list, O list!

If thou didst ever thy dear father love,—

HAMLET. O heaven!

GHOST. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

HAMLET. Murder?

GHOST. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;

But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

HAMLET. Haste me to know it; that I with wings

as swift

As meditation, or the thoughts of love,

May sweep to my revenge.


I find thee apt;

And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed

That rots itself in ease on Lethe's Wharf,

Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
'Tis 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,

Rankly abus'd but know, thou noble youth,


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