Hamlet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 pages of information about Hamlet.

King. 
Not that I think you did not love your father;
But that I know love is begun by time,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it. 
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too much:  that we would do,
We should do when we would; for this ‘would’ changes,
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this ‘should’ is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing.  But to the quick o’ the ulcer:—­
Hamlet comes back:  what would you undertake
To show yourself your father’s son in deed
More than in words?

Laer. 
To cut his throat i’ the church.

King. 
No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds.  But, good Laertes,
Will you do this, keep close within your chamber. 
Hamlet return’d shall know you are come home: 
We’ll put on those shall praise your excellence
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you in fine together
And wager on your heads:  he, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.

Laer. 
I will do’t: 
And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword. 
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
This is but scratch’d withal:  I’ll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.

King. 
Let’s further think of this;
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape:  if this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance. 
’Twere better not assay’d:  therefore this project
Should have a back or second, that might hold
If this did blast in proof.  Soft! let me see:—­
We’ll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,—­
I ha’t: 
When in your motion you are hot and dry,—­
As make your bouts more violent to that end,—­
And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepar’d him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom’d stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.

[Enter Queen.]

How now, sweet queen!

Queen. 
One woe doth tread upon another’s heel,
So fast they follow:—­your sister’s drown’d, Laertes.

Laer. 
Drown’d!  O, where?

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Hamlet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.