Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Prince of Denmarke.
indeuidible, or Poem vnlimited. Sceneca cannot be too heauy, nor
Plautus too light for the lawe of writ, and the liberty: these are the
1450only men.
Ham. O Ieptha Iudge of Israell, what a treasure had'st thou?
Pol. What a treasure had he my Lord?
Ham. Why one faire daughter and no more, the which he loued
1455passing well.
Pol. Still on my daughter.
Ham. Am I not i'th right old Ieptha?
Pol. If you call me Ieptha my Lord, I haue a daughter that I loue
Ham. Nay that followes not.
Pol. What followes then my Lord?
Ham. Why as by lot God wot, and then you knowe it came to
passe, as most like it was; the first rowe of the pious chanson will
showe you more, for looke where my abridgment comes.
Enter thePlayers.
Ham. You are welcome maisters, welcome all, I am glad to see thee
well, welcome good friends, oh old friend, why thy face is va-
lanct since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard me in Denmark?
1470what my young Lady and mistris, by lady your Ladishippe is
nerer to heauen, then when I saw you last by the altitude of a
chopine, pray God your voyce like a peece of vncurrant gold,
bee not crackt within the ring: maisters you are all welcome,
weele ento't like friendly Fankners, fly at any thing we see,
1475weele haue a speech straite, come giue vs a tast of your quality,
come a passionate speech.
Player. What speech my good Lord?
Ham. I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer acted,
1480
or if it was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd not
the million, t'was cauiary to the generall, but it was as I receaued
it & others, whose iudgements in such matters cried in the top
of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set downe
1485with as much modestie as cunning. I remember one sayd there
were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor no
matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but cald it an honest method, as wholesome as sweete, & by very
much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefely loued,
t'was Aeneas talke to Dido, & there about of it especially when he
1490speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pirbus like Th'ircanian
F3
beast