Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

Prince of Denmarke.
1325Ham. Any thing but to'th purpose: you were sent for, and there is
a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modesties haue not
craft enough to cullour, I know the good King and Queene haue
sent for you.
Ros. To what end my Lord?
1330Ham. That you must teach me: but let me coniure you, by the
rights of our fellowship, by the consonancie of our youth, by the
obligation of our euer preserued loue; and by what more deare a
better proposer can charge you withall, bee euen and direct with
me whether you were sent for or no.
Ros. What say you.
Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you? if you loue me hold not of.
Guyl. My Lord we were sent for.
1340Ham. I will tell you why, so shall my anticipation preuent your
discouery, and your secrecie to the King & Queene moult no fea-
ther, I haue of late, but wherefore I knowe not, lost all my mirth,
forgon all custome of exercises: and indeede it goes so heauily with
my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seemes to mee a
1345sterill promontorie, this most excellent Canopie the ayre, looke
you, this braue orehanging firmament, this maiesticall roofe fret-
ted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapoures. What peece of worke is a
1350man, how noble in reason, how infinit in faculties, in forme and
moouing, how expresse and admirable in action, how like an An-
gell in apprehension, how like a God: the beautie of the world; the
paragon of Annimales; and yet to me, what is this Quintessence of
1355dust: man delights not me, nor women neither, though by your
smilling, you seeme to say so.
Ros. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my thoughts.
1360Ham. Why did yee laugh then, when I sayd man delights not me.
Ros. To thinke my Lord if you delight not in man, what Lenton
entertainment the players shall receaue from you, we coted them
on the way, and hether are they comming to offer you seruice.
Ham. He that playes the King shal be welcome, his Maiestie shal
haue tribute on me, the aduenterous Knight shall vse his foyle and
target, the Louer shall not sigh gratis, the humorus Man shall end
his part in peace, and the Lady shall say her minde freely: or the
black verse shall hault for't. What players are they?
Ros. Euen those you were wont to take such delight in, the Trage-
1375dians of the Citty.