Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 5

LAERTES.
To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms;
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood.

KING.
Why, now you speak
Like a good child and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce
As day does to your eye.

DANES.
[Within] Let her come in.

LAERTES.
How now! What noise is that?

[Re-enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and
flowers.]

O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye! —
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia! —
O heavens! is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.

OPHELIA.
[Sings.]
They bore him barefac'd on the bier
Hey no nonny, nonny, hey nonny
And on his grave rain'd many a tear. —

Fare you well, my dove!

LAERTES.
Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
It could not move thus.

OPHELIA.
You must sing 'Down a-down, an you call him a-down-a.' O,
how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his
master's daughter.

LAERTES.
This nothing's more than matter.

OPHELIA.
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love,
remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.

LAERTES.
A document in madness, — thoughts and remembrance fitted.

OPHELIA.
There's fennel for you, and columbines: — there's rue for you;
and here's some for me: — we may call it herb of grace o'
Sundays: — O, you must wear your rue with a difference. — There's a
daisy: — I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when
my father died: — they say he made a good end, —
[Sings.]
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy, —

LAERTES.
Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favour and to prettiness.

OPHELIA.
[Sings.]
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead,
Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.

His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!

And of all Christian souls, I pray God. — God b' wi' ye.

[Exit.]

LAERTES.
Do you see this, O God?

KING.
Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.

LAERTES.
Let this be so;
His means of death, his obscure burial, —
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation, —
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call't in question.

KING.
So you shall;
And where the offence is let the great axe fall.
I pray you go with me.

[Exeunt.]

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