Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

HAMLET

Up from my cabin,

My sea-gown scarf’d about me, in the dark

Groped I to find out them; had my desire.

Finger’d their packet, and in fine withdrew

To mine own room again; making so bold,

My fears forgetting manners, to unseal

Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,—

O royal knavery!—an exact command,

Larded with many several sorts of reasons

Importing Denmark’s health and England’s too,

With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,

That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,

No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,

My head should be struck off.

HORATIO

Is’t possible?

HAMLET

Here’s the commission: read it at more leisure.

But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?

HORATIO

I beseech you.

HAMLET

Being thus be-netted round with villanies,—

Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,

They had begun the play—I sat me down,

Devised a new commission, wrote it fair:

I once did hold it, as our statists do,

A baseness to write fair and labour’d much

How to forget that learning, but, sir, now

It did me yeoman’s service: wilt thou know

The effect of what I wrote?

HORATIO

Ay, good my lord.

HAMLET

An earnest conjuration from the king,

As England was his faithful tributary,

As love between them like the palm might flourish,

As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear

And stand a comma ‘tween their amities,

And many such-like ‘As’es of great charge,

That, on the view and knowing of these contents,

Without debatement further, more or less,

He should the bearers put to sudden death,

Not shriving-time allow’d.

HORATIO

How was this seal’d?

HAMLET

Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.

I had my father’s signet in my purse,

Which was the model of that Danish seal;

Folded the writ up in form of the other,

Subscribed it, gave’t the impression, placed it safely,

The changeling never known. Now, the next day

Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent

Thou know’st already.

HORATIO

So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to’t.

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