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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

William Shakespeare 1564-1616 Hamlet John Bartlett 1919 Familiar Quotations

    For this relief much thanks: ’t is bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    This sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir 1 abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill. 2
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 1.
    The memory be green.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    With an auspicious and a dropping eye, 3
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    The head is not more native to the heart.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    A little more than kin, and less than kind.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not “seems.”
’T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    ’T is a fault to Heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    That it should come to this!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Frailty, thy name is woman!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    A little month.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Like Niobe, all tears.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    A beast, that wants discourse of reason.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    It is not nor it cannot come to good.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    In my mind’s eye, Horatio.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Season your admiration for a while.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    In the dead vast and middle of the night.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Arm’d at point exactly, cap-a-pe. 4
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Ham. His beard was grizzled,—no?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver’d.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Let it be tenable in your silence still.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Give it an understanding, but no tongue.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Upon the platform, ’twixt eleven and twelve.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 2.
    A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself ’scapes not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede. 5
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Give thy thoughts no tongue.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops 6 of steel.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear ’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Springes to catch woodcocks.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Ham. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honoured in the breach than the observance.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I ’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, 7 and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    I do not set my life at a pin’s fee.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I ’ll make a ghost of him that lets me!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.
    I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin’d to fast in fires, 8
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg’d away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand an end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine: 9
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself 10 in ease on Lethe wharf.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    O my prophetic soul!
My uncle!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousell’d, disappointed, unaneled,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Leave her to heaven
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And ’gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    While memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I ’ll wipe away all trivial fond records.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Within the book and volume of my brain.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables,—meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain:
At least I ’m sure it may be so in Denmark.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Ham. There ’s ne’er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he ’s an arrant knave.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
To tell us this.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Every man has business and desire,
Such as it is.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Art thou there, truepenny?
Come on—you hear this fellow in the cellarage.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
          Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 5.
    The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
A savageness in unreclaimed blood.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    This is the very ecstasy of love.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Brevity is the soul of wit. 11
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    More matter, with less art.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    That he is mad, ’t is true: ’t is true ’t is pity;
And pity ’t is ’t is true.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Find out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Doubt thou the stars are fire;
  Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
  But never doubt I love.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    To be honest as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Still harping on my daughter.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Pol. What do you read, my lord?
Ham. Words, words, words.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    They have a plentiful lack of wit.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    On fortune’s cap we are not the very button.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    A dream itself is but a shadow.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    This goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    I know a hawk from a handsaw.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    One fair daughter and no more,
The which he loved passing well.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Come, give us a taste of your quality.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    The play, I remember, pleased not the million; ’t was caviare to the general.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    They are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping?
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    What ’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her?
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. 12
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    The devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    Abuses me to damn me.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    The play ’s the thing
Wherein I ’ll catch the conscience of the king.
          Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2.
    With devotion’s visage
And pious action we do sugar o’er
The devil himself.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’t is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep:
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—’t is a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there ’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there ’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels 13 bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    I am myself indifferent honest.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s eye, tongue, sword.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers!
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    O, woe is me,
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    To hold, as ’t were, the mirror up to nature.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    The very age and body of the time his form and pressure.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Not to speak it profanely.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    First Play. We have reformed that indifferently with us, sir.
Ham. O, reform it altogether.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man
As e’er my conversation coped withal.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
Where thrift may follow fawning.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    A man that fortune’s buffets and rewards
Hast ta’en with equal thanks.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    They are not a pipe for fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.—Something too much of this.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan’s stithy.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Here ’s metal more attractive.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Nay, then, let the devil wear black, for I ’ll have a suit of sables.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    There ’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    This is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Ham. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
Oph. ’T is brief, my lord.
Ham. As woman’s love.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    The lady doth protest 14 too much, methinks.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    The story is extant, and writ in choice Italian.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
  The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
  So runs the world away.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    ’T is as easy as lying.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    It will discourse most eloquent music.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Pluck out the heart of my mystery.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
Ham. Or like a whale?
Pol. Very like a whale.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    They fool me to the top of my bent.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    By and by is easily said.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    ’T is now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.
    O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t,
A brother’s murder.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    Like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    ’T is not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag’d! Help, angels! Make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees; and, heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    About some act
That has no relish of salvation in ’t.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    Dead, for a ducat, dead!
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    And let me wring your heart; for so I shall,
If it be made of penetrable stuff.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Such an act
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    False as dicers’ oaths.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    A rhapsody of words.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    What act
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    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;
An 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.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    At your age
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it ’s humble.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire: proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    A king of shreds and patches.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    How is ’t with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy?
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    This is the very coinage of your brain:
This bodiless creation ecstasy
Is very cunning in.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Confess yourself to heaven;
Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Assume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat,
Of habits devil, is angel yet in this.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence: the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    I must be cruel, only to be kind:
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    For ’t is the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar.
          Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 4.
    Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all. 15
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 3.
    A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 3.
    Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour ’s at the stake.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    Come, my coach! Good night, sweet ladies; good night.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    There ’s such divinity doth hedge a king,
That treason can but peep to what it would.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    Nature is fine in love, and where ’t is fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    There ’s rosemary, that ’s for remembrance;… and there is pansies, that ’s for thoughts.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    You must wear your rue with a difference. There ’s a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 5.
    A very riband in the cap of youth.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 7.
    That we would do,
We should do when we would.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 7.
    One woe doth tread upon another’s heel,
So fast they follow. 16
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 7.
    Nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will.
          Hamlet. Act iv. Sc. 7.
    1 Clo. Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
2 Clo. But is this law?
1 Clo. Ay, marry, is ’t; crowner’s quest law.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Cudgel thy brains no more about it.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Has this fellow no feeling of his business?
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    A politician,… one that would circumvent God.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she ’s dead.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till we find it stopping a bung-hole?
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    ’T were to consider too curiously, to consider so.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Imperious Cæsar, dead and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Lay her i’ the earth:
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring! 17
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    A ministering angel shall my sister be. 18
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Sweets to the sweet: farewell!
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    I thought thy bride-bed to have deck’d, sweet maid,
And not have strew’d thy grave.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Though I am not splenitive and rash,
Yet have I something in me dangerous.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Nay, an thou ’lt mouth,
I ’ll rant as well as thou.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 1.
    There ’s a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will. 19
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    I once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    It did me yeoman’s service.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    The bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    What imports the nomination of this gentleman?
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    The phrase would be more german to the matter, if we could carry cannon by our sides.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    ’T is the breathing time of day with me.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    There ’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’t is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is ’t to leave betimes?
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    I have shot mine arrow o’er the house,
And hurt my brother.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    Now the king drinks to Hamlet.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    A hit, a very palpable hit.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    This fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    Report me and my cause aright.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    Absent thee from felicity awhile.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
    The rest is silence.
          Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.
Note 1.
”Can walk” in White. [back]
Note 2.
”Eastern hill” in Dyce, Singer, Staunton, and White. [back]
Note 3.
”One auspicious and one dropping eye” in Dyce, Singer, and Staunton. [back]
Note 4.
”Armed at all points” in Singer and White. [back]
Note 5.
And may you better reck the rede,
Than ever did the adviser.
Robert Burns: Epistle to a Young Friend. [back]
Note 6.
”Hooks” in Singer. [back]
Note 7.
And makes night hideous.—Alexander Pope: The Dunciad, book iii. line 166. [back]
Note 8.
”To lasting fires” in Singer. [back]
Note 9.
”Porcupine” in Singer and Staunton. [back]
Note 10.
”Rots itself” in Staunton. [back]
Note 11.
A short saying oft contains much wisdom.—Sophocles: Aletes, frag. 99. [back]
Note 12.
See Chaucer, Quotation 39. [back]
Note 13.
”Who would these fardels” in White. [back]
Note 14.
”Protests” in Dyce, Singer, and Staunton. [back]
Note 15.
Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme disease.—Hippocrates: Aphorism i. [back]
Note 16.
Thus woe succeeds a woe, as wave a wave.—Robert Herrick: Sorrows Succeed.

Woes cluster; rare are solitary woes;
They love a train, they tread each other’s heel.
Edward Young: Night Thoughts, night iii. line 63.

And woe succeeds to woe.—Alexander Pope: The Iliad, book xvi. line 139. [back]
Note 17.
And from his ashes may be made
The violet of his native land.
Alfred Tennyson: In Memoriam, xviii. [back]
Note 18.
A ministering angel thou.—Sir Walter Scott: Marmion, canto vi. st. 30. [back]
Note 19.
But they that are above
Have ends in everything.
Beaumont and Fletcher: The Maid’s Tragedy, act v. sc. 4. [back]