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But be he as he will, yet once ere night
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm,
That he shall shrink under my courtesy.


The parley did not result in a laying down of arms, and battle has been going on for some time. At last the two Harrys meet face to face.

Hot. If I mistake not, thou art Harry Monmouth.
Prince. Thou speak’st as if I would deny my name.
Hot. My name is Harry Percy.

Why, then I see

valiant rebel of the name.
I am the Prince of Wales; and think not, Percy,
To share with me in glory any more:
Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere;
Nor can one England brook a double reign,
Of Harry Percy and the Prince of Wales.

Hot. Nor shall it, Harry; for the hour is come
To end the one of us; and would to God
Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!

Prince. I'll make it greater ere I part from thee;
And all the budding honors on thy crest
I'll crop to make a garland for my

Hot. I can no longer brook thy vanities.

They fight; Hotspur is wounded, and falls.

Hot. O, Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth! I better brook the loss of brittle life Than those proud titles thou hast won of me; They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh:

But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool;
And time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy,
But that the earthy and cold hand of death
Lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for

[Dies. Prince. For worms, brave Percy: fare thee well, great

Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound;
But now two paces of the vilest earth
Is room enough: this earth that bears thee dead
Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.
If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
I should not make so dear a show of zeal:
But let my favors hide thy mangled face;
And, even in thy behalf, l’ll thank myself
For doing these fair rites of tenderness.
Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!
Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave,
But not remembered in thy epitaph!

William Shakespeare




INCE the sudden death of the late King,

Hamlet's father, strange events have come to pass in Denmark.

The Queen, to the grief and amazement of her son, has married her husband's brother, Claudius; and the ghost of the dead King,

i From Hamlet.

Favors: scarf

denouncing this same Claudius as his murderer and
the seducer of his wife, has laid upon Hamlet the
duty of revenge. This revenge the young prince
has not yet taken, though he has assumed the guise
of madness, perhaps to forward his designs, and
has just caused a tumult in the court by public ex-
posure of his uncle's guilt. The Queen has
summoned him to her chamber in order to reprimand
him for his conduct, and he now comes to her-
though in a mood she little expects.

Polonius, the lord chamberlain, has been the
Queen's messenger to Hamlet, and it is of Hamlet
that he first speaks.

Pol. He will come straight. Look you lay home to him:
Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with,
And that your grace hath screened and stood between
Much heat and him. I'll sconce me even here.
Pray you, be round with him.

Ham. [Within.] Mother, mother, mother!

I'll warrant you, Fear me not: withdraw, I hear him coming.

[Polonius hides behind the arras.

Enter Hamlet. Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter? Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. Ham. Mother, you have my father much offended. Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. Ham. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet! Ham.

What's the matter now? Queen. Have you forgot me? Ham.

No, by the rood, not so;

Sconce: hide

You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
And—would it were not so!—you are my mother.

Queen. Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down; you

shall not budge; You go not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part


you. Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me? Help, help, ho!

Pol. [Behind.] What, ho! help, help, help! Ham. [Drawing.] How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!

[Makes a pass through the arras. Pol. [Behind.] O, I am slain! [Falls and dies. Queen. O me, what hast thou done? Ham.

Nay, I know not: Is it the king?

Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this!

Ham. A bloody deed! almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king, and marry with his brother.

Queen. As kill a king!
Ham. Ay, lady, 'twas my word.

[Lifts up the arras and discovers Polonius.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!
I took thee for thy better: take thy fortune;
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
Leave wringing of your hands: peace! sit you down,
And let me wring your heart; for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff,
If damned custom have not brassed it so
That it be prcof and bulwark against sense.
Queen. What have I done, that thou darest wag thy
In noise so rude against me?


Sense: feeling

Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,
Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love
And sets a blister there, makes marriage-vows
As false as dicers' oaths: O, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks
The very soul, and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act.

Ay me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?

Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on this brow;
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself;

eye like Mars, to threaten and command;
A station like the herald Mercury
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;
A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man:
This was your husband. Look you now, what follows:
Here is your husband; like a mildewed ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor? Ha! have you eyes?
You cannot call it love; for at your age

Batten: grow fat
Contraction: marriage contract
Doom: Judgment Day

Index: prefixed table of contents
Solidity, etc.: the earth
Station: attitude in standing

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