Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


The Tragedie of Hamlet
My feares forgetting manners to vnfold
Their graund commission; where I found Horatio
A royall knauery, an exact command
3520Larded with many seuerall sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmarkes health, and Englands to,
With hoe such bugges and goblines in my life,
That on the superuise no leasure bated,
No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
3525My head should be strooke off.
Hora. I'st possible?
Ham. Heeres the commission, read it at more leasure,
But wilt thou heare now how I did proceed.
Hora. I beseech you.
3530Ham. Being thus benetted round with villaines,
Or I could make a prologue to my braines,
They had begunne the play, I sat me downe,
Deuisd a new commission, wrote it faire,
I once did hold it as our statists doe,
3535A basenesse to write faire, and labourd much
How to forget that learning, but sir now
It did me yemans seruice, wilt thou know
Th'effect of what I wrote?
Hora. I good my Lord.
3540Ham. An earnest coniuration from the King,
As England was his faithfull tributary,
As loue betweene them like the palme might florish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland weare
And stand a Comma tweene their amities,
3545And many such like, as sir of great charge,
That on the view, and knowing of these contents,
Without debatement further more or lesse,
He should those bearers put to suddaine death,
Not shriuing time alow'd.
3550Hora. How was this seald?
Ham. Why euen in that was heauen ordinant,
I had my fathers signet in my purse
Which was the modill of that Danish seale,
Folded the writ vp in the forme of th'other,
3555Subcribe it, gau't th'impression, plac'd it safely,
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