Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free


Why ask you this?


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?


To cut his throat i’ the church.


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 practise

Requite him for your father.


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

That is but scratch’d withal: I’ll touch my point

With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,

It may be death.


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 should 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 prepared him

A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,

If he by chance escape your venom’d stuck,

Our purpose may hold there.


How now, sweet queen!

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