Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)


Enter Hamlet and the Players.
Ham. Pronounce me this speech trippingly a the tongue
as I taught thee,
1850Mary and you mouth it, as a many of your players do
I'de rather heare a towne bull bellow,
Then such a fellow speake my lines.
Nor do not saw the aire thus with your hands,
But giue euery thing his action with temperance.
O it offends mee to the soule, to heare a rebustious periwig
To teare a passion in totters, into very ragges,
To split the eares of the ignoraut, who for the
Most parte are capable of nothing but dumbe shewes and
1860I would haue such a fellow whipt, for o're doing, tarmagant
It out, Herodes Herod.
players My Lorde, wee haue indifferently reformed that
1885among vs.
Ham. The better, the better, mend it all together:
There be fellowes that I haue seene play,
And heard others commend them, and that highly too,
That hauing neither the gate of Christian, Pagan,
1880Nor Turke, haue so strutted and bellowed,
That you would a thought, some of Natures journeymen
Had made men, and not made them well,
They imitated humanitie, so abhominable:
Take heede, auoyde it.
players I warrant you my Lord.
Ham. And doe you heare? let not your Clowne speake
More then is set downe, there be of them I can tell you
That will laugh themselues, to set on some
Quantitie of barren spectators to laugh with them,
1890Albeit there is some necessary point in the Play
Then to be obserued: O t'is vile, and shewes
A pittifull ambition in the foole the vseth it.
1892.1And then you haue some agen, that keepes one sute
Os ieasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of
Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his ieasts downe
In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus:
.5Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige? and, you owe me
A quarters wages: and, my coate wants a cullison:
And your beere is sowre: and, blabbering with his lips,
And thus keeping in his cinkapase of ieasts,
When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest
.10Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare:
Maisters tell him of it.
1900players We will my Lord.
Ham. Well, goe make you ready.
exeunt players.
Horatio. Heere my Lord.
Ham. Horatio, thou art euen as iust a man,
1905As e're my conuersation cop'd withall.
Hor. O my lord!
Ham. Nay why should I flatter thee?
1910Why should the poore be flattered?
What gaine should I receiue by flattering thee,
That nothing hath but thy good minde?
Let flattery sit on those time-pleasing tongs,
To glose with them that loues to heare their praise,
1912.1And not with such as thou Horatio.
There is a play to night, wherein one Sceane they haue
Comes very neere the murder of my father,
When thou shalt see that Act afoote,
Marke thou the King, doe but obserue his lookes,
For I mine eies will riuet to his face:
And if he doe not bleach, and change at that,
It is a damned ghost that we haue seene.
Horatio, haue a care, obserue him well.
Hor. My lord, mine eies shall still be on his face,
1940And not the smallest alteration
That shall appeare in him, but I shall note it.
Ham. Harke, they come.
Enter King, Queene, Corambis, and other Lords.
King How now son Hamlet, how fare you, shall we haue
Ham. Yfaith the Camelions dish, not capon cramm'd,
1950feede a the ayre.
I father: My lord, you playd in the Vniuersitie.
1955Cor. That I did my L: and I was counted a good actor.
Ham. What did you enact there?
Cor. My lord, I did act Iulius Cæsar, I was killed
in the Capitoll, Brutus killed me.
1960Ham. It was a brute parte of him,
To kill so capitall a calfe.
Come, be these Players ready?
Queene Hamlet come sit downe by me.
Ham. No by my faith mother, heere's a mettle more at-
Lady will you giue me leaue, and so forth:
To lay my head in your lappe?
Ofel. No my Lord.
Ham. Vpon your lap, what do you thinke I meant con-
1990
Enter in a Dumbe Shew, the King and the Queene, he sits
downe in an Arbor, she leaues him: Then enters Luci-
anus with poyson in a Viall, and powres it in his eares, and
goes away: Then the Queene commeth and findes him
dead: and goes away with the other.
Ofel. What meanes this my Lord?
Enter the Prologue.
Ham. This is myching Mallico, that meanes my chiefe.
Ofel. What doth this meane my lord?
Ham. you shall heare anone, this fellow will tell you all.
2010Ofel. Will he tell vs what this shew meanes?
Ham. I, or any shew you'le shew him,
Be not afeard to shew, hee'le not be afeard to tell:
O these Players cannot keepe counsell, thei'le tell all.
Prol. For vs, and for our Tragedie,
Heere stowpiug to your clemencie,
We begge your hearing patiently.
2020Ham. I'st a prologue, or a poesie for a ring?
Ofel. T'is short my Lord.
Ham. As womens loue.
Enter the Duke and Dutchesse.
Duke Full fortie yeares are past, their date is gone,
Since happy time ioyn'd both our hearts as one:
2028.1And now the blood that fill'd my youthfull veines,
Runnes weakely in their pipes, and all the straines
Of musicke, which whilome pleasde mine eare,
Is now a burthen that Age cannot beare:
.5And therefore sweete Nature must pay his due,
2040To heauen must I, and leaue the earth with you.
2040.1Dutchesse O say not so, lest that you kill my heart,
When death takes you, let life from me depart.
Duke Content thy selfe, when ended is my date,
Thon maist (perchance) haue a more noble mate,
2043.1More wise, more youthfull, and one.
2045Dutchesse O speake no more for then I am accurst,
None weds the second, but she kils the first:
A second time I kill my Lord that's dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.
Ham. O wormewood, wormewood!
Duke I doe beleeue you sweete, what now you speake,
2055But what we doe determine oft we breake,
2080For our demises stil are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their end's none of our owne:
So thinke you will no second husband wed,
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.
Dutchesse Both here and there pursue me lasting strife,
If once a widdow, euer I be wife.
2090Ham. If she should breake now.
Duke T'is deepely sworne, sweete leaue me here a while,
My spirites growe dull, and faine I would beguile the tedi-
ous time with sleepe.
2095Dutchesse Sleepe rocke thy braine,
And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.
exit Lady
Ham. Madam, how do you like this play?
Queene The Lady protests too much.
Ham. O but shee'le keepe her word.
2100King Haue you heard the argument, is there no offence
in it?
Ham. No offence in the world, poyson in iest, poison in
King What do you call the name of the play?
2105Ham. Mouse-trap: mary how trapically: this play is
The image of a murder done in guyana, Albertus
Was the Dukes name, his wife Baptista,
Father, it is a knauish peece a worke: but what
A that, it toucheth not vs, you and I that haue free
2110Soules, let the galld iade wince, this is one
Lucianus nephew to the King.
Ofel. Ya're as good as a Chorus my lord.
Ham. I could interpret the loue you beare, if I sawe the
2115poopies dallying.
1975Ofel. Y'are very pleasant my lord.
Ham. Who I, your onlie jig-maker, why what shoulde
a man do but be merry? for looke how cheerefully my mo-
1980ther lookes, my father died within these two houres.
Ofel. Nay, t'is twice two months, my Lord.
Ham. Two months, nay then let the diuell weare blacke,
For i'le haue a sute of Sables: Iesus, two months dead,
1985And not forgotten yet? nay then there's some
Likelyhood, a gentlemans death may outliue memorie,
But by my faith hee must build churches then,
Or els hee must follow the olde Epitithe,
With hoh, with ho, the hobi-horse is forgot.
Ofel. Your iests are keene my Lord.
Ham. It would cost you a groning to take them off.
Ofel. Still better and worse.
2120Ham. So you must take your husband, begin. Murdred
Begin, a poxe, leaue thy damnable faces and begin,
Come, the croking rauen doth bellow for reuenge.
Murd. Thoughts blacke, hands apt, drugs fit, and time
Confederate season, else no creature seeing:
Thou mixture rancke, of midnight weedes collected,
With Hecates bane thrise blasted, thrise infected,
Thy naturall magicke, and dire propertie,
2130One wholesome life vsurps immediately.
exit.
Ham. He poysons him for his estate.
2140King Lights, I will to bed.
Cor. The king rises, lights hoe.
Exeunt King and Lordes.
Ham. What, frighted with false fires?
Then let the stricken deere goe weepe,
The Hart vngalled play,
2145For some must laugh, while some must weepe,
Thus runnes the world away.
2146.1Hor. The king is mooued my lord.
Hor. I Horatio, i'le take the Ghosts word
For more then all the coyne in Denmarke.
Enter Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
Ross. Now my lord, how i'st with you?
2165Ham. And if the king like not the tragedy,
Why then belike he likes it not perdy.
2166.1Ross. We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant,
My good lord, let vs againe intreate
To know of you the ground and cause of your distempera-
Gil. My lord, your mother craues to speake with you.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.
2203.1Ross. But my good Lord, shall I intreate thus much?
Ham. I pray will you play vpon this pipe?
Ross. Alas my lord I cannot.
Ham. Pray will you.
2225Gil. I haue no skill my Lord.
Ham. why looke, it is a thing of nothing,
T'is but stopping of these holes,
And with a little breath from your lips,
2230It will giue most delicate musick.
Gil. But this cannot wee do my Lord.
Ham. Pray now, pray hartily, I beseech you.
Ros. My lord wee cannot.
Ham. Why how vnworthy a thing would you make of
2235You would seeme to know my stops, you would play vpon
You would search the very inward part of my hart,
And diue into the secrect of my soule.
2240Zownds do you thinke I am easier to be pla'yd
On, then a pipe? call mee what Instrument
You will, though you can frett mee, yet you can not
Play vpon mee, besides, to be demanded by a spunge.
Ros. How a spunge my Lord?
2645Ham. I sir, a spunge, that sokes vp the kings
Countenance, fauours, and rewardes, that makes
His liberalitie your store house: but such as you,
Do the king, in the end, best seruise;
For hee doth keep you as an Ape doth nuttes,
In the corner of his Iaw, first mouthes you,
Then swallowes you: so when hee hath need
Of you, t'is but squeesing of you,
2650And spunge, you shall be dry againe, you shall.
2650.1Ros. Wel my Lord wee'le take our leaue.
Ham Farewell, farewell, God blesse you.
2242.1
Exit Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
Enter Corambis
2245Cor. My lord, the Queene would speake with you.
Ham. Do you see yonder clowd in the shape of a camell?
Cor. T'is like a camell in deed.
2250Ham. Now me thinkes it's like a weasel.
Cor. T'is back't like a weasell.
Ham. Or like a whale.
Cor. Very like a whale.
exit Coram.
Ham. Why then tell my mother i'le come by and by.
2254.1Good night Horatio.
Hor. Good night vnto your Lordship.
exit Horatio.
Ham. My mother she hath sent to speake with me:
O God, let ne're the heart of Nero enter
2265This soft bosome.
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall.
I will speake daggers, those sharpe wordes being spent,
2270To doe her wrong my soule shall ne're consent.
exit.