Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


The Tragedie of Hamlet
And spur my dull reuenge. What is a man
If his chiefe good and market of his time
Be but to sleepe and feede, a beast, no more:
.30Sure he that made vs with such large discourse
Looking before and after, gaue vs not
That capabilitie and god-like reason
To fust in vs vnvsd, now whether it be
Bestiall obliuion, or some crauen scruple
.35Of thinking too precisely on th'euent,
A thought which quarterd hath but one part wisedom,
And euer three parts coward, I doe not know
Why yet I liue to say this thing's to doe,
Sith I haue cause, and will, and strength, and meanes
.40To doo't; examples grosse as earth exhort me,
Witnes this Army of such masse and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender Prince,
Whose spirit with diuine ambition puft,
Makes mouthes at the invisible euent,
.45Exposing what is mortall, and vnsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Euen for an Egge-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is not to stirre without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrell in a straw
.50When honour's at the stake, how stand I then
That haue a father kild, a mother staind,
Excytements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleepe, while to my shame I see
The iminent death of twenty thousand men,
.55That for a fantasie and tricke of fame
Goe to their graues like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tombe enough and continent
To hide the slaine, ô from this time forth,
.60My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.
Exit.

Enter Horatio, Gertrard,and a Gentleman.
2745Quee. I will not speake with her.
Gent. Shee is importunat,
Indeede distract, her moode will needes be pittied.
Quee.