A plain in Denmark.
Enter FORTINBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching
Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king;Tell him that, by his licence, FortinbrasCraves the
conveyance of a promised marchOver his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.If that his majesty would
aught with us,We shall express our duty in his eye;And let him know so.
I will do't, my lord.
Go softly on.
Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Soldiers
Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others
Good sir, whose powers are these?
They are of Norway, sir.
How purposed, sir, I pray you?
Against some part of Poland.
Who commands them, sir?
The nephews 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 groundThat hath in it no
profit but the name.To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;Nor will it yield to Norway or the PoleA
ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Yes, it is already garrison'd.
Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducatsWill not debate the question of this straw:This
is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,That inward breaks, and shows no cause withoutWhy the
man dies. I humbly thank you, sir.
God be wi' you, sir.
Wilt please you go, my lord?
I'll be with you straight go a little before.
Exeunt all except HAMLET
How all occasions do inform against me,And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,If his chief
good and market of his timeBe but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.Sure, he that made us with
such large discourse,Looking before and after, gave us notThat capability and god-like reasonTo fust
in us unused. Now, whether it beBestial oblivion, or some craven scrupleOf thinking too precisely on
the event,A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdomAnd ever three parts coward, I do not
knowWhy yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'Sith I have cause and will and strength and meansTo do't.
Examples gross as earth exhort me:Witness this army of such mass and chargeLed by a delicate and
tender prince,Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'dMakes mouths at the invisible event,Exposing what
is mortal and unsureTo all that fortune, death and danger dare,Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be greatIs
not to stir without great argument,But greatly to find quarrel in a strawWhen honour's at the stake. How
stand I then,That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,Excitements of my reason and my blood,And let
all sleep? while, to my shame, I seeThe imminent death of twenty thousand men,That, for a fantasy and
trick of fame,Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plotWhereon the numbers cannot try the cause,Which
is not tomb enough and continentTo hide the slain? O, from this time forth,My thoughts be bloody, or be
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