Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Prince of Denmarke.
tere a passion to totters, to very rags, to spleet the eares of the ground-
lings, vvho for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplica-
1860ble dumbe showes, and noyse: I would haue such a fellow whipt for
ore-dooing Termagant, it out Herods Herod, pray you auoyde it.
Player. I warrant your honour.
Hamlet. Be not too tame neither, but let your owne discretion be
1865your tutor, sute the action to the word, the word to the action, with
this speciall obseruance, that you ore-steppe not the modestie of na-
ture: For any thing so ore-doone, is from the purpose of playing,
whose end both at the first, and novve, was and is, to holde as twere
1870the Mirrour vp to nature, to shew vertue her feature; scorne her own
Image, and the very age and body of the time his forme and pressure:
Now this ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it makes the vnskil-
full laugh, cannot but make the iudicious greeue, the censure of
1875which one, must in your allowance ore-weigh a whole Theater of o-
thers. O there be Players that I haue seene play, and heard others
praysd, and that highly, not to speake it prophanely, that neither ha-
uing th'accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, nor
1880man, haue so strutted & bellowed, that I haue thought some of Na-
tures Iornimen had made men, and not made them well, they imita-
ted humanitie so abhominably.
Player. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with vs.
Ham. O reforme it altogether, and let those that play your clownes
speake no more then is set downe for them, for there be of them that
wil themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of barraine spectators
to laugh to, though in the meane time, some necessary question of
the play be then to be considered, that's villanous, and shewes a most
pittifull ambition in the foole that vses it : goe make you readie. How
1895now my Lord, will the King heare this peece of worke?

Enter Polonius, Guyldensterne, & Rosencraus.
Pol. And the Queene to, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the Players make hast. Will you two help to hasten thē.
1900Ros. I my Lord.
Exeunt they two.
Ham. What howe, Horatio.
Enter Horatio.
Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your seruice.
Ham. Horatio, thou art een as iust a man
1905As ere my conuersation copt withall.
Hor. O my deere Lord.
Ham. Nay