Scene IV. A plain in Denmark.
[Enter Fortinbras, and Forces marching.]
Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king:
Tell him that, by his license,
Craves the conveyance of a promis'd march
Over his kingdom. You know the
If that his majesty would aught with us,
We shall express our duty in his
And let him know so.
I will do't, my lord.
Go softly on.
[Exeunt all For. and Forces.]
[Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, &c.]
Good sir, whose powers are these?
They are of Norway, sir.
How purpos'd, sir, I pray you?
Against some part of Poland.
Who commands them, sir?
The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier?
Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of
That hath in it no profit but the name.
To pay five ducats, five, I would not
Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole
A ranker rate, should it be sold in
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Yes, it is already garrison'd.
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats
Will not debate the question of
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and
shows no cause without
Why the man dies.--I humbly thank you, sir.
God b' wi' you, sir.
Will't please you go, my lord?
I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt all but Hamlet.]
How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,--
A thought which,
quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,--I do not know
I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and
To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness this army, of such mass and
Led by a delicate and tender prince;
Whose spirit, with divine ambition
Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at
the stake. How stand I, then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves
like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb
enough and continent
To hide the slain?--O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody,
or be nothing worth!