Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Enter Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus.
Ham. The ayre bites shroudly, it is very colde.
605Hora. It is nipping, and an eager ayre.
Ham. What houre now?
Hora. I thinke it lackes of twelfe.
Mar. No, it is strooke.
Hora. Indeede; I heard it not, it then drawes neere the season,
610Wherein the spirit held his wont to walke
A florish of trumpets
What does this meane my Lord?
Ham. The King doth wake to night and takes his rowse.
Keepes wassell and the swaggring vp-spring reeles:
And as he draines his drafts of Rennish downe,
615The kettle drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Hora. Is it a custome?
Ham. I marry ist,
But to my minde, though I am natiue heere
620And to the manner borne, it is a custome
More honourd in the breach, then the obseruance.
621.1This heauy headed reueale east and west
Makes vs tradust, and taxed of other nations,
They clip vs drunkards, and with Swinish phrase
Soyle our addition, and indeede it takes
.5From our atchieuements, though perform'd at height
The pith and marrow of our attribute,
So oft it chaunces in particuler men,
That for some vicious mole of nature in them
As in their birth wherein they are not guilty,
.10(Since nature cannot choose his origin)
By their ore-grow'th of some complextion
Oft breaking downe the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit, that too much ore-leauens
The forme of plausiue manners, that these men
.15Carrying I say the stamp of one defect
Being Natures liuery, or Fortunes starre,
His vertues els be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may vndergoe,
Shall in the generall censure take corruption
.20From that particuler fault: the dram of eale
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
To his owne scandle.
Enter Ghost.
Hora. Looke my Lord it comes.
Ham. Angels and Ministers of grace defend vs:
625Be thou a spirit of health, or gobl
in damn'd,
Bring with thee ayres from heauen, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speake to thee, Ile call thee Hamlet,
630King, father, royall Dane, ô answere mee,
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death
Haue burst their cerements? why the Sepulcher,
Wherein we saw thee quietly interr'd
635Hath op't his ponderous and marble iawes,
To cast thee vp againe? what may this meane
That thou dead corse, againe in compleat steele
Reuisites thus the glimses of the Moone,
Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature
640So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules,
Say why is this, wherefore, what should we doe?
Beckins.
Hora. It beckins you to goe away with it
645As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
Mar. Looke with what curteous action
It waues you to a more remooued ground,
But doe not goe with it.
650Hora. No, by no meanes.
Ham. It will not speake, then I will followe it.
Hora. Doe not my Lord.
Ham. Why what should be the feare,
I doe not set my life at a pinnes fee,
655And for my soule, what can it doe to that
Being a thing immortall as it selfe;
It waues me forth againe, Ile followe it.
Hora. What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord,
Or to the dreadfull somnet of the cleefe
660That bettles ore his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrable forme
Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
And draw you into madnes, thinke of it,
663.1The very place puts toyes of desperation
Without more motiue, into euery braine
That lookes so many fadoms to the sea
And heares it rore beneath.
Ham. It waues me still,
Goe on, Ile followe thee.
665Mar. You shall not goe my Lord.
Ham. Hold of your hands.
Hora. Be rul'd, you shall not goe.
Ham. My fate cries out
And makes each petty arture in this body
670As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue;
Still am I cald, vnhand me Gentlemen
By heauen Ile make a ghost of him that lets me,
I say away, goe on, Ile followe thee.
Exit Ghost and Hamlet.
675Hora. He waxes desperate with imagion.
Mar. Lets followe, tis not fit thus to obey him.
Hora. Haue after, to what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
Hora. Heauen will direct it.
680Mar. Nay lets follow him.
Exeunt.