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Author: William Shakespeare
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Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)


THE TRAGEDIE OF
HAMLET, Prince of Denmarke.
1
Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
Enter Barnardo and Francisco two Centinels.
Barnardo.
WHo's there?
5Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
your selfe.
Bar. Long liue the King.
Fran. Barnardo?
Bar. He.
10Fran. You come most carefully vpon your houre.
Bar. 'Tis now strook twelue, get thee to bed Francisco.
Fran. For this releefe much thankes: 'Tis bitter cold,
And I am sicke at heart.
Barn. Haue you had quiet Guard?
15Fran. Not a Mouse stirring.
Barn. Well, goodnight. If you do meet Horatio and
Marcellus, the Riuals of my Watch, bid them make hast.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Fran. I thinke I heare them. Stand: who's there?
20Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And Leige-men to the Dane.
Fran. Giue you good night.
Mar. O farwel honest Soldier, who hath relieu'd you?
Fra. Barnardo ha's my place: giue you goodnight.
25
Exit Fran.
Mar. Holla Barnardo.
Bar. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hor. A peece of him.
Bar. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.
30Mar. What, ha's this thing appear'd againe to night.
Bar. I haue seene nothing.
Mar. Horatio saies, 'tis but our Fantasie,
And will not let beleefe take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seene of vs,
35Therefore I haue intreated him along
With vs, to watch the minutes of this Night,
That if againe this Apparition come,
He may approue our eyes, and speake to it.
Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare.
40Bar. Sit downe a-while,
And let vs once againe assaile your eares,
That are so fortified against our Story,
What we two Nights haue seene.
Hor. Well, sit we downe,
45And let vs heare Barnardo speake of this.
Barn. Last night of all,
When yond same Starre that's Westward from the Pole
Had made his course t'illume that part of Heauen
Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe,
50The Bell then beating one.
Mar. Peace, breake thee of:
Enter the Ghost.
Looke where it comes againe.
Barn. In the same figure, like the King that's dead.
Mar. Thou art a Scholler; speake to it Horatio.
55Barn. Lookes it not like the King? Marke it Horatio.
Hora. Most like: It harrowes me with fear & wonder
Barn. It would be spoke too.
Mar. Question it Horatio.
Hor. What art thou that vsurp'st this time of night,
60Together with that Faire and Warlike forme
In which the Maiesty of buried Denmarke
Did sometimes march: By Heauen I charge thee speake.
Mar. It is offended.
Barn. See, it stalkes away.
65Hor. Stay: speake; speake: I Charge thee, speake.
Exit the Ghost.
Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Barn. How now Horatio? You tremble & look pale:
Is not this something more then Fantasie?
70What thinke you on't?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this beleeue
Without the sensible and true auouch
Of mine owne eyes.
Mar. Is it not like the King?
75Hor. As thou art to thy selfe,
Such was the very Armour he had on,
When th'Ambitious Norwey combatted:
So frown'd he once, when in an angry parle
He smot the sledded Pollax on the Ice.
80'Tis strange.
Mar. Thus twice before, and iust at this dead houre,
With Martiall stalke, hath he gone by our Watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not:
But in the grosse and scope of my Opinion,
85This boades some strange erruption to our State.
Mar. Good now sit downe, & tell me he that knowes
Why this same strict and most obseruant Watch,
So nightly toyles the subiect of the Land,
And why such dayly Cast of Brazon Cannon
90And Forraigne Mart for Implements of warre:
Why such impresse of Ship-wrights, whose sore Taske
Do's not diuide the Sunday from the weeke,
What might be toward, that this sweaty hast
Doth make the Night ioynt-Labourer with the day:
95Who is't that can informe me?
Hor. That can I,
At least the whisper goes so: Our last King,
Whose Image euen but now appear'd to vs,
Was (as you know) by Fortinbras of Norway,
100(Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate Pride)
Dar'd to the Combate. In which, our Valiant Hamlet,
(For so this side of our knowne world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras: who by a Seal'd Compact,
Well ratified by Law, and Heraldrie,
105Did forfeite (with his life) all those his Lands
Which he stood seiz'd on, to the Conqueror:
Against the which, a Moity competent
Was gaged by our King: which had return'd
To the Inheritance of Fortinbras,
110Had he bin Vanquisher, as by the same Cou'nant
And carriage of the Article designe,
His fell to Hamlet. Now sir, young Fortinbras,
Of vnimproued Mettle, hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, heere and there,
115Shark'd vp a List of Landlesse Resolutes,
For Foode and Diet, to some Enterprize
That hath a stomacke in't: which is no other
(And it doth well appeare vnto our State)
But to recouer of vs by strong hand
120And termes Compulsatiue, those foresaid Lands
So by his Father lost: and this (I take it)
Is the maine Motiue of our Preparations,
The Sourse of this our Watch, and the cheefe head
Of this post-hast, and Romage in the Land.
125
Enter Ghost againe.
But soft, behold: Loe, where it comes againe:
Ile crosse it, though it blast me. Stay Illusion:
If thou hast any sound, or vse of Voyce,
Speake to me. If there be any good thing to be done,
130That may to thee do ease, and grace to me; speak to me.
If thou art priuy to thy Countries Fate
(Which happily foreknowing may auoyd) Oh speake.
Or, if thou hast vp-hoorded in thy life
Extorted Treasure in the wombe of Earth,
135(For which, they say, you Spirits oft walke in death)
Speake of it. Stay, and speake. Stop it Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my Partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Barn. 'Tis heere.
140Hor. 'Tis heere.
Mar. 'Tis gone.
Exit Ghost.
We do it wrong, being so Maiesticall
To offer it the shew of Violence,
For it is as the Ayre, invulnerable,
145And our vaine blowes, malicious Mockery.
Barn. It was about to speake, when the Cocke crew.
Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing
Vpon a fearfull Summons. I haue heard,
The Cocke that is the Trumpet to the day,
150Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding Throate
Awake the God of Day: and at his warning,
Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Ayre,
Th'extrauagant, and erring Spirit, hyes
To his Confine. And of the truth heerein,
155This present Obiect made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke.
Some sayes, that euer 'gainst that Season comes
Wherein our Sauiours Birth is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long:
160And then (they say) no Spirit can walke abroad,
The nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike,
No Faiery talkes, nor Witch hath power to Charme:
So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time.
Hor. So haue I heard, and do in part beleeue it.
165But looke, the Morne in Russet mantle clad,
Walkes o're the dew of yon high Easterne Hill,
Breake we our Watch vp, and by my aduice
Let vs impart what we haue seene to night
Vnto yong Hamlet. For vpon my life,
170This Spirit dumbe to vs, will speake to him:
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needfull in our Loues, fitting our Duty?
Mar. Let do't I pray, and I this morning know
Where we shall finde him most conueniently.
Exeunt
175
Scena Secunda.
Enter Claudius King of Denmarke, Gertrude the Queene,
Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, and his Sister O-
phelia, Lords Attendant..
King. Though yet of Hamlet our deere Brothers death
180The memory be greene: and that it vs befitted
To beare our hearts in greefe, and our whole Kingdome
To be contracted in one brow of woe:
Yet so farre hath Discretion fought with Nature,
That we with wisest sorrow thinke on him,
185Together with remembrance of our selues.
Therefore our sometimes Sister, now our Queen,
Th'Imperiall Ioyntresse of this warlike State,
Haue we, as 'twere, with a defeated ioy,
With one Auspicious, and one Dropping eye,
190With mirth in Funerall, and with Dirge in Marriage,
In equall Scale weighing Delight and Dole
Taken to Wife; nor haue we heerein barr'd
Your better Wisedomes, which haue freely gone
With this affaire along, for all our Thankes.
195Now followes, that you know young Fortinbras,
Holding a weake supposall of our worth;
Or thinking by our late deere Brothers death,
Our State to be disioynt, and out of Frame,
Colleagued with the dreame of his Aduantage;
200He hath not fayl'd to pester vs with Message,
Importing the surrender of those Lands
Lost by his Father: with all Bonds of Law
To our most valiant Brother. So much for him.
Enter Voltemand and Cornelius.
205Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting
Thus much the businesse is. We haue heere writ
To Norway, Vncle of young Fortinbras,
Who Impotent and Bedrid, scarsely heares
Of this his Nephewes purpose, to suppresse
210His further gate heerein. In that the Leuies,
The Lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subiect: and we heere dispatch
You good Cornelius, and you Voltemand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
215Giuing to you no further personall power
To businesse with the King, more then the scope
Of these dilated Articles allow:
Farewell, and let your hast commend your duty.
Volt. In that, and all things, will we shew our duty.
220King. We doubt it nothing, heartily farewell.
Exit Voltemand and Cornelius.
And now Laertes, what's the newes with you?
You told vs of some suite. What is't Laertes?
You cannot speake of Reason to the Dane,
225And loose your voyce. What would'st thou beg Laertes,
That shall not be my Offer, not thy Asking?
The Head is not more Natiue to the Heart,
The Hand more Instrumentall to the Mouth,
Then is the Throne of Denmarke to thy Father.
230What would'st thou haue Laertes?
Laer. Dread my Lord,
Your leaue and fauour to returne to France,
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke
To shew my duty in your Coronation,
235Yet now I must confesse, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend againe towards France,
And bow them to your gracious leaue and pardon.
King. Haue you your Fathers leaue?
What sayes Pollonius?
240Pol. He hath my Lord:
I do beseech you giue him leaue to go.
King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will:
But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my Sonne?
245Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse then kinde.
King. How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?
Ham. Not so my Lord, I am too much i'th' Sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nightly colour off,
And let thine eye looke like a Friend on Denmarke.
250Do not for euer with thy veyled lids
Seeke for thy Noble Father in the dust;
Thou know'st 'tis common, all that liues must dye,
Passing through Nature, to Eternity.
Ham. I Madam, it is common.
255Queen. If it be;
Why seemes it so particular with thee.
Ham. Seemes Madam? Nay, it is: I know not Seemes:
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloake (good Mother)
Nor Customary suites of solemne Blacke,
260Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitfull Riuer in the Eye,
Nor the deiected hauiour of the Visage,
Together with all Formes, Moods, shewes of Griefe,
That can denote me truly. These indeed Seeme,
265For they are actions that a man might play:
But I haue that Within, which passeth show;
These, but the Trappings, and the Suites of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable
In your Nature Hamlet,
270To giue these mourning duties to your Father:
But you must know, your Father lost a Father,
That Father lost, lost his, and the Suruiuer bound
In filiall Obligation, for some terme
To do obsequious Sorrow. But to perseuer
275In obstinate Condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornnesse. 'Tis vnmanly greefe,
It shewes a will most incorrect to Heauen,
A Heart vnfortified, a Minde impatient,
An Vnderstanding simple, and vnschool'd:
280For, what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
Why should we in our peeuish Opposition
Take it to heart? Fye, 'tis a fault to Heauen,
A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature,
285To Reason most absurd, whose common Theame
Is death of Fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first Coarse, till he that dyed to day,
This must be so. We pray you throw to earth
This vnpreuayling woe, and thinke of vs
290As of a Father; For let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our Throne,
And with no lesse Nobility of Loue,
Then that which deerest Father beares his Sonne,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
295In going backe to Schoole in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remaine
Heere in the cheere and comfort of our eye,
Our cheefest Courtier Cosin, and our Sonne.
300Qu. Let not thy Mother lose her Prayers Hamlet:
I prythee stay with vs, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best
Obey you Madam.
King. Why 'tis a louing, and a faire Reply,
305Be as our selfe in Denmarke. Madam come,
This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
But the great Cannon to the Clowds shall tell,
310And the Kings Rouce, the Heauens shall bruite againe,
Respeaking earthly Thunder. Come away.
Exeunt
Manet Hamlet.
Ham. Oh that this too too solid Flesh, would melt,
Thaw, and resolue it selfe into a Dew:
315Or that the Euerlasting had not fixt
His Cannon 'gainst Selfe-slaughter. O God, O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
Seemes to me all the vses of this world?
Fie on't? Oh fie, fie, 'tis an vnweeded Garden
320That growes to Seed: Things rank, and grosse in Nature
Possesse it meerely. That it should come to this:
But two months dead: Nay, not so much; not two,
So excellent a King, that was to this
Hiperion to a Satyre: so louing to my Mother,
325That he might not beteene the windes of heauen
Visit her face too roughly. Heauen and Earth
Must I remember: why she would hang on him,
As if encrease of Appetite had growne
By what it fed on; and yet within a month?
330Let me not thinke on't: Frailty, thy name is woman.
A little Month, or ere those shooes were old,
With which she followed my poore Fathers body
Like Niobe, all teares. Why she, euen she.
(O Heauen! A beast that wants discourse of Reason
335Would haue mourn'd longer) married with mine Vnkle,
My Fathers Brother: but no more like my Father,
Then I to Hercules. Within a Moneth?
Ere yet the salt of most vnrighteous Teares
Had left the flushing of her gauled eyes,
340She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to Incestuous sheets:
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But breake my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio, Barnard, and Marcellus.
345Hor. Haile to your Lordship.
Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget my selfe.
Hor. The same my Lord,
And your poore Seruant euer.
350Ham. Sir my good friend,
Ile change that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?
Marcellus.
Mar. My good Lord.
355Ham. I am very glad to see you: good euen Sir.
But what in faith make you from Wittemberge?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my Lord.
Ham. I would not haue your Enemy say so;
Nor shall you doe mine eare that violence,
360To make it truster of your owne report
Against your selfe. I know you are no Truant:
But what is your affaire in Elsenour?
Wee'l teach you to drinke deepe, ere you depart.
Hor. My Lord, I came to see your Fathers Funerall.
365Ham. I pray thee doe not mock me (fellow Student)
I thinke it was to see my Mothers Wedding.
Hor. Indeed my Lord, it followed hard vpon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift Horatio: the Funerall Bakt-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the Marriage Tables;
370Would I had met my dearest foe in heauen,
Ere I had euer seene that day Horatio.
My father, me thinkes I see my father.
Hor. Oh where my Lord?
Ham. In my minds eye (Horatio)
375Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly King.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all:
I shall not look vpon his like againe.
Hor. My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw? Who?
380Hor. My Lord, the King your Father.
Ham. The King my Father?
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent eare; till I may deliuer
Vpon the witnesse of these Gentlemen,
385This maruell to you.
Ham. For Heauens loue let me heare.
Hor. Two nights together, had these Gentlemen
(Marcellus and Barnardo) on their Watch
In the dead wast and middle of the night
390Beene thus encountred. A figure like your Father,
Arm'd at all points exactly, Cap a Pe,
Appeares before them, and with sollemne march
Goes slow and stately: By them thrice he walkt,
By their opprest and feare-surprized eyes,
395Within his Truncheons length; whilst they bestil'd
Almost to Ielly with the Act of feare,
Stand dumbe and speake not to him. This to me
In dreadfull secrecie impart they did,
And I with them the third Night kept the Watch,
400Whereas they had deliuer'd both in time,
Forme of the thing; each word made true and good,
The Apparition comes. I knew your Father:
These hands are not more like.
Ham. But where was this?
405Mar. My Lord, vpon the platforme where we watcht.
Ham. Did you not speake to it?
Hor. My Lord, I did;
But answere made it none: yet once me thought
It lifted vp it head, and did addresse
410It selfe to motion, like as it would speake:
But euen then, the Morning Cocke crew lowd;
And at the sound it shrunke in hast away,
And vanisht from our sight.
Ham. Tis very strange.
415Hor. As I doe liue my honourd Lord 'tis true;
And we did thinke it writ downe in our duty
To let you know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed Sirs; but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to Night?
420Both. We doe my Lord.
Ham. Arm'd, say you?
Both. Arm'd, my Lord.
Ham. From top to toe?
Both. My Lord, from head to foote.
425Ham. Then saw you not his face?
Hor. O yes, my Lord, he wore his Beauer vp.
Ham. What, lookt he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more in sorrow then in anger.
Ham. Pale, or red?
430Hor. Nay very pale.
Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?
Hor. Most constantly.
Ham. I would I had beene there.
Hor. It would haue much amaz'd you.
435Ham. Very like, very like: staid it long?
Hor. While one with moderate hast might tell a hun-
All. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw't.
Ham. His Beard was grisly? no.
440Hor. It was, as I haue seene it in his life,
A Sable Siluer'd.
Ham. Ile watch to Night; perchance 'twill wake a-
Hor. I warrant you it will.
Ham. If it assume my noble Fathers person,
445Ile speake to it, though Hell it selfe should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you haue hitherto conceald this sight;
Let it bee treble in your silence still:
And whatsoeuer els shall hap to night,
450Giue it an vnderstanding but no tongue;
I will requite your loues; so, fare ye well:
Vpon the Platforme twixt eleuen and twelue,
Ile visit you.
All. Our duty to your Honour.
Exeunt.
455Ham. Your loue, as mine to you: farewell.
My Fathers Spirit in Armes? All is not well:
I doubt some foule play: would the Night were come;
Till then sit still my soule; foule deeds will rise,
Though all the earth orewhelm them to mens eies.
Exit.
460
Scena Tertia.
Enter Laertes and Ophelia.
Laer. My necessaries are imbark't; Farewell:
And Sister, as the Winds giue Benefit,
And Conuoy is assistant; doe not sleepe,
465But let me heare from you.
Ophel. Doe you doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fauours,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in Bloud;
A Violet in the youth of Primy Nature;
470Froward, not permanent; sweet not lasting
The suppliance of a minute? No more.
Ophel. No more but so.
Laer. Thinke it no more:
For nature cressant does not grow alone,
475In thewes and Bulke: but as his Temple waxes,
The inward seruice of the Minde and Soule
Growes wide withall. Perhaps he loues you now,
And now no soyle nor cautell doth besmerch
The vertue of his feare: but you must feare
480His greatnesse weigh'd, his will is not his owne;
For hee himselfe is subiect to his Birth:
Hee may not, as vnuallued persons doe,
Carue for himselfe; for, on his choyce depends
The sanctity and health of the weole State.
485And therefore must his choyce be circumscrib'd
Vnto the voyce and yeelding of that Body,
Whereof he is the Head. Then if he sayes he loues you,
It fits your wisedome so farre to beleeue it;
As he in his peculiar Sect and force
490May giue his saying deed: which is no further,
Then the maine voyce of Denmarke goes withall.
Then weigh what losse your Honour may sustaine,
If with too credent eare you list his Songs;
Or lose your Heart; or your chast Treasure open
495To his vnmastred importunity.
Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare Sister,
And keepe within the reare of your Affection;
Out of the shot and danger of Desire.
The chariest Maid is Prodigall enough,
500If she vnmaske her beauty to the Moone:
Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious stroakes,
The Canker Galls, the Infants of the Spring
Too oft before the buttons be disclos'd,
And in the Morne and liquid dew of Youth,
505Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then, best safety lies in feare;
Youth to it selfe rebels, though none else neere.
Ophe. I shall th'effect of this good Lesson keepe,
As watchmen to my heart: but good my Brother
510Doe not as some vngracious Pastors doe,
Shew me the steepe and thorny way to Heauen;
Whilst like a puft and recklesse Libertine
Himselfe, the Primrose path of dalliance treads,
And reaks not his owne reade.
515Laer. Oh, feare me not.
Enter Polonius.
I stay too long; but here my Father comes:
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles vpon a second leaue.
520Polon. Yet heere Laertes? Aboord, aboord for shame,
The winde sits in the shoulder of your saile,
And you are staid for there: my blessing with you;
And these few Precepts in thy memory,
See thou Character. Giue thy thoughts no tongue,
525Nor any vnproportion'd thought his Act:
Be thou familiar; but by no meanes vulgar:
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tride,
Grapple them to thy Soule, with hoopes of Steele:
But doe not dull thy palme, with entertainment
530Of each vnhatch't, vnfledg'd Comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrell: but being in
Bear't that th'opposed may beware of thee.
Giue euery man thine eare; but few thy voyce:
Take each mans censure; but reserue thy iudgement:
535Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy;
But not exprest in fancie; rich, not gawdie:
For the Apparell oft proclaimes the man.
And they in France of the best ranck and station,
Are of a most select and generous cheff in that.
540Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For lone oft loses both it selfe and friend:
And borrowing duls the edge of Husbandry.
This aboue all; to thine owne selfe be true:
And it must follow, as the Night the Day,
545Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my Blessing season this in thee.
Laer. Most humbly doe I take my leaue, my Lord.
Polon. The time inuites you, goe, your seruants tend.
Laer. Farewell Ophelia, and remember well
550What I haue said to you.
Ophe. Tis in my memory lockt,
And you your selfe shall keepe the key of it.
Laer. Farewell.
Exit Laer.
Polon. What ist Ophelia he hath said to you?
555Ophe. So please you, somthing touching the L. Hamlet.
Polon. Marry, well bethought:
Tis told me he hath very oft of late
Giuen priuate time to you; and you your selfe
Haue of your audience beene most free and bounteous.
560If it be so, as so tis put on me;
And that in way of caution: I must tell you,
You doe not vnderstand your selfe so cleerely,
As it behoues my Daughter, and your Honour.
What is betweene you, giue me vp the truth?
565Ophe. He hath my Lord of late, made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
Polon. Affection, puh. You speake like a greene Girle,
Vnsifted in such perillous Circumstance.
Doe you beleeue his tenders, as you call them?
570Ophe. I do not know, my Lord, what I should thinke.
Polon. Marry Ile teach you; thinke your selfe a Baby,
That you haue tane his tenders for true pay,
Which are not starling. Tender your selfe more dearly;
Or not to crack the winde of the poore Phrase,
575Roaming it thus, you'l tender me a foole.
Ophe. My Lord, he hath importun'd me with loue,
In honourable fashion.
Polon. I, fashion you may call it, go too, go too.
Ophe. And hath giuen countenance to his speech,
580My Lord, with all the vowes of Heauen.
Polon. I, Springes to catch Woodcocks. I doe know
When the Bloud burnes, how Prodigall the Soule
Giues the tongue vowes: these blazes, Daughter,
Giuing more light then heate; extinct in both,
585Euen in their promise, as it is a making;
You must not take for fire. For this time Daughter,
Be somewhat scanter of your Maiden presence;
Set your entreatments at a higher rate,
Then a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
590Beleeue so much in him, that he is young,
And with a larger tether may he walke,
Then may be giuen you. In few, Ophelia,
Doe not beleeue his vowes; for they are Broakers,
Not of the eye, which their Inuestments show:
595But meere implorators of vnholy Sutes,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plaine tearmes, from this time forth,
Haue you so slander any moment leisure,
600As to giue words or talke with the Lord Hamlet:
Looke too't, I charge you; come your wayes.
Ophe. I shall obey my Lord.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus.
Ham. The Ayre bites shrewdly: is it very cold?
605Hor. It is a nipping and an eager ayre.
Ham. What hower now?
Hor. I thinke it lacks of twelue.
Mar. No, it is strooke.
Hor. Indeed I heard it not: then it drawes neere the
610Wherein the Spirit held his wont to walke.
What does this meane my Lord?
Ham. The King doth wake to night, and takes his
Keepes wassels and the swaggering vpspring reeles,
And as he dreines his draughts of Renish downe,
615The kettle Drum and Trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his Pledge.
Horat. Is it a custome?
Ham. I marry ist;
And to my mind, though I am natiue heere,
620And to the manner borne: It is a Custome
More honour'd in the breach, then the obseruance.
Enter Ghost.
Hor. Looke my Lord, it comes.
Ham. Angels and Ministers of Grace defend vs:
625Be thou a Spirit of health, or Goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee ayres from Heauen, or blasts from Hell,
Be thy euents 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: Oh, oh, answer me,
Let me not burst in Ignorance; but tell
Why thy Canoniz'd bones Hearsed in death,
Haue burst their cerments, why the Sepulcher
Wherein we saw thee quietly enurn'd,
635Hath op'd his ponderous and Marble iawes,
To cast thee vp againe? What may this meane?
That thou dead Coarse againe in compleat steele,
Reuisits thus the glimpses of the Moone,
Making Night hidious? And we fooles of Nature,
640So horridly to shake our disposition,
With thoughts beyond thee; reaches of our Soules,
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we doe?
Ghost beckens Hamlet.
Hor. It beckons you to goe away with it,
645As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
Mar. Looke with what courteous action
It wafts you to a more remoued ground:
But doe not goe with it.
650Hor. No, by no meanes.
Ham. It will not speake: then will I follow it.
Hor. Doe not my Lord.
Ham. Why, what should be the feare?
I doe not set my life at a pins fee;
655And for my Soule, what can it doe to that?
Being a thing immortall as it selfe:
It waues me forth againe; Ile follow it.
Hor. What if it tempt you toward the Floud my Lord?
Or to the dreadfull Sonnet of the Cliffe,
660That beetles o're his base into the Sea,
And there assumes some other horrible forme,
Which might depriue your Soueraignty of Reason,
And draw you into madnesse thinke of it?
Ham. It wafts me still: goe on, Ile follow thee.
665Mar. You shall not goe my Lord.
Ham. Hold off your hand.
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not goe.
Ham. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty Artire in this body,
670As hardy as the Nemian Lions nerue:
Still am I cal'd? Vnhand me Gentlemen:
By Heau'n, Ile make a Ghost of him that lets me:
I say away, goe on, Ile follow thee.
Exeunt Ghost & Hamlet.
675Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.
Mar. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Hor. Haue after, to what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke.
Hor. Heauen will direct it.
680Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
Exeunt.
Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Ham. Where wilt thou lead me? speak; Ile go no fur-
Gho. Marke me.
Ham. I will.
685Gho. My hower is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting Flames
Must render vp my selfe.
Ham. Alas poore Ghost.
Gho. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
690To what I shall vnfold.
Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.
Gho. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.
Ham. What?
Gho. I am thy Fathers Spirit,
695Doom'd for a certaine terme to walke the night;
And for the day confin'd to fast in Fiers,
Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of Nature
Are burnt and purg'd away? But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my Prison-House;
700I could a Tale vnfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like Starres, start from their Spheres,
Thy knotty and combined locks to part,
And each particular haire to stand an end,
705Like Quilles vpon the fretfull Porpentine:
But this eternall blason must not be
To eares of flesh and bloud; list Hamlet, oh list,
If thou didst euer thy deare Father loue.
Ham. Oh Heauen!
710Gho. Reuenge his foule and most vnnaturall Murther.
Ham. Murther?
Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is;
But this most foule, strange, and vnnaturall.
Ham. Hast, hast me to know it,
715That with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of Loue,
May sweepe to my Reuenge.
Ghost. I finde thee apt,
And duller should'st thou be then the fat weede
720That rots it selfe in ease, on Lethe Wharfe,
Would'st thou not stirre in this. Now Hamlet heare:
It's giuen out, that sleeping in mine Orchard,
A Serpent stung me: so the whole eare of Denmarke,
Is by a forged processe of my death
725Rankly abus'd: But know thou Noble youth,
The Serpent that did sting thy Fathers life,
Now weares his Crowne.
Ham. O my Propheticke soule: mine Vncle?
Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate Beast
730With witchcraft of his wits, hath Traitorous guifts.
Oh wicked Wit, and Gifts, that haue the power
So to seduce? Won to to this shamefull Lust
The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene:
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there,
735From me, whose loue was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand, euen with the Vow
I made to her in Marriage; and to decline
Vpon a wretch, whose Naturall gifts were poore
To those of mine. But Vertue, as it neuer wil be moued,
740Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of Heauen:
So Lust, though to a radiant Angell link'd,
Will sate it selfe in a Celestiallbed, & prey on Garbage.
But soft, me thinkes I sent the Mornings Ayre;
Briefe let me be: Sleeping within mine Orchard,
745My custome alwayes in the afternoone;
Vpon my secure hower thy Vncle stole
With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl,
And in the Porches of mine eares did poure
The leaperous Distilment; whose effect
750Holds such an enmity with bloud of Man,
That swift as Quick-siluer, it courses through
The naturall Gates and Allies of the Body;
And with a sodaine vigour it doth posset
And curd, like Aygre droppings into Milke,
755The thin and wholsome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant Tetter bak'd about,
Most Lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth Body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a Brothers hand,
760Of Life, of Crowne, and Queene at once dispatcht;
Cut off euen in the Blossomes of my Sinne,
Vnhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head;
765Oh horrible, Oh horrible, most horrible:
If thou hast nature in thee beare it not;
Let not the Royall Bed of Denmarke be
A Couch for Luxury and damned Incest.
But howsoeuer thou pursuest this Act,
770Taint not thy mind; nor let thy Soule contriue
Against thy Mother ought; leaue her to heauen,
And to those Thornes that in her bosome lodge,
To pricke and sting her. Fare thee well at once;
The Glow-worme showes the Matine to be neere,
775And gins to pale his vneffectuall Fire:
Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me.
Exit.
Ham. Oh all you host of Heauen! Oh Earth; what els?
And shall I couple Hell? Oh fie: hold my heart;
And you my sinnewes, grow not instant Old;
780But beare me stiffely vp: Remember thee?
I, thou poore Ghost, while memory holds a seate
In this distracted Globe: Remember thee?
Yea, from the Table of my Memory,
Ile wipe away all triuiall fond Records,
785All sawes of Bookes, all formes, all presures past,
That youth and obseruation coppied there;
And thy Commandment all alone shall liue
Within the Booke and Volume of my Braine,
Vnmixt with baser matter; yes, yes, by Heauen:
790Oh most pernicious woman!
Oh Villaine, Villaine, smiling damned Villaine!
My Tables, my Tables; meet it is I set it downe,
That one may smile, and smile and be a Villaine;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmarke;
795So Vnckle there you are: now to my word;
It is; Adue, Adue, Remember me: I haue sworn't.
Hor. & Mar. within. My Lord, my Lord.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Mar. Lord Hamlet.
800Hor. Heauen secure him.
Mar. So be it.
Hor. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy; come bird, come.
Mar. How ist't my Noble Lord?
805Hor. What newes, my Lord?
Ham. Oh wonderfull!
Hor. Good my Lord tell it.
Ham. No you'l reueale it.
Hor. Not I, my Lord, by Heauen.
810Mar. Nor I, my Lord.
Ham. How say you then, would heart of man once
But you'l be secret?
Both. I, by Heau'n, my Lord.
Ham. There's nere a villaine dwelling in all Denmarke
815But hee's an arrant knaue.
Hor. There needs no Ghost my Lord, come from the
Graue, to tell vs this.
Ham. Why right, you are i'th' right;
And so, without more circumstance at all,
820I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part:
You, as your busines and desires shall point you:
For euery man ha's businesse and desire,
Such as it is: and for mine owne poore part,
Looke you, Ile goe pray.
825Hor. These are but wild and hurling words, my Lord.
Ham. I'm sorry they offend you heartily:
Yes faith, heartily.
Hor. There's no offence my Lord.
Ham. Yes, by Saint Patricke, but there is my Lord,
830And much offence too, touching this Vision heere:
It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you:
For your desire to know what is betweene vs,
O'remaster't as you may. And now good friends,
As you are Friends, Schollers and Soldiers,
835Giue me one poore request.
Hor. What is't my Lord? we will.
Ham. Neuer make known what you haue seen to night.
Both. My Lord, we will not.
Ham. Nay, but swear't.
840Hor. Infaith my Lord, not I.
Mar. Nor I my Lord: in faith.
Ham. Vpon my sword.
Marcell. We haue sworne my Lord already.
Ham. Indeed, vpon my sword, Indeed.
845Gho. Sweare.
Ghost cries vnder the Stage.
Ham. Ah ha boy, sayest thou so. Art thou there true-
penny? Come one you here this fellow in the selleredge
Consent to sweare.
Hor. Propose the Oath my Lord.
850Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene.
Sweare by my sword.
Gho. Sweare.
Ham. Hic & vbique? Then wee'l shift for grownd,
Come hither Gentlemen,
855And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard:
Sweare by my Sword.
Gho. Sweare.
Ham. Well said old Mole, can'st worke i'th' ground so
860A worthy Pioner, once more remoue good friends.
Hor. Oh day and night: but this is wondrous strange.
Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome.
There are more things in Heauen and Earth, Horatio,
Then are dream't of in our Philosophy. But come,
865Here as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
How strange or odde so ere I beare my selfe;
(As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet
To put an Anticke disposition on:)
That you at such time seeing me, neuer shall
870With Armes encombred thus, or thus, head shake;
Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull Phrase;
As well, we know, or we could and if we would,
Or if we list to speake; or there be and if there might,
Or such ambiguous giuing out to note,
875That you know ought of me; this not to doe:
So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you:
Sweare.
Ghost. Sweare.
Ham. Rest, rest perturbed Spirit: so Gentlemen,
880With all my loue I doe commend me to you;
And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,
May doe t' expresse his loue and friending to you,
God willing shall not lacke: let vs goe in together,
And still your fingers on your lippes I pray,
885The time is out of ioynt: Oh cursed spight,
That euer I was borne to set it right.
Nay, come let's goe together.
Exeunt.
Actus Secundus.
Enter Polonius, and Reynoldo.
890Polon. Giue him his money, and these notes Reynoldo.
Reynol. I will my Lord.
Polon. You shall doe maruels wisely: good Reynoldo,
Before you visite him you make inquiry
Of his behauiour.
895Reynol. My Lord, I did intend it.
Polon. Marry, well said;
Very well said. Looke you Sir,
Enquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
And how, and who; what meanes; and where they keepe:
900What company, at what expence: and finding
By this encompassement and drift of question,
That they doe know my sonne: Come you more neerer
Then your particular demands will touch it,
Take you as 'twere some distant knowledge of him,
905And thus I know his father and his friends,
And in part him. Doe you marke this Reynoldo?
Reynol. I, very well my Lord.
Polon. And in part him, but you may say not well;
But if't be hee I meane, hees very wilde;
910Addicted so and so; and there put on him
What forgeries you please: marry, none so ranke,
As may dishonour him; take heed of that:
But Sir, such wanton, wild, and vsuall slips,
As are Companions noted and most knowne
915To youth and liberty.
Reynol. As gaming my Lord.
Polon. I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
Quarelling, drabbiug. You may goe so farre.
Reynol. My Lord that would dishonour him.
920Polon. Faith no, as you may season it in the charge;
You must not put another scandall on him,
That hee is open to Incontinencie;
That's not my meaning: but breath his faults so quaintly,
That they may seeme the taints of liberty;
925The flash and out-breake of a fiery minde,
A sauagenes in vnreclaim'd bloud of generall assault.
Reynol. But my good Lord.
Polon. Wherefore should you doe this?
Reynol. I my Lord, I would know that.
930Polon. Marry Sir, heere's my drift,
And I belieue it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sulleyes on my Sonne,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'th' working:
Marke you your party in conuerse; him you would
935Hauing euer seene. In the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breath of guilty, be assur'd
He closes with you in this consequence:
Good sir, or so, or friend, or Gentleman.
According to the Phrase and the Addition,
940Of man and Country.
Reynol. Very good my Lord.
Polon. And then Sir does he this?
He does: what was I about to say?
I was about to say somthing: where did I leaue?
945Reynol. At closes in the consequence:
At friend, or so, and Gentleman.
Polon. At closes in the consequence, I marry,
He closes with you thus. I know the Gentleman,
I saw him yesterday, or tother day;
950Or then or then, with such and such; and as you say,
There was he gaming, there o'retooke in's Rouse,
There falling out at Tennis; or perchance,
I saw him enter such a house of saile;
Videlicet, a Brothell, or so forth. See you now;
955Your bait of falshood, takes this Cape of truth;
And thus doe we of wisedome and of reach
With windlesses, and with assaies of Bias,
By indirections finde directions out:
So by my former Lecture and aduice
960Shall you my Sonne; you haue me, haue you not?
Reynol. My Lord I haue.
Polon. God buy you; fare you well.
Reynol. Good my Lord.
Polon. Obserue his inclination in your selfe.
965Reynol. I shall my Lord.
Polon. And let him plye his Musicke.
Reynol. Well, my Lord.
Exit.
Enter Ophelia.
Polon. Farewell:
970How now Ophelia, what's the matter?
Ophe. Alas my Lord, I haue beene so affrighted.
Polon. With what, in the name of Heauen?
Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my Chamber,
Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd,
975No hat vpon his head, his stockings foul'd,
Vngartred, and downe giued to his Anckle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a looke so pitious in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,
980To speake of horrors: he comes before me.
Polon. Mad for thy Loue?
Ophe. My Lord, I doe not know: but truly I do feare it.
Polon. What said he?
Ophe. He tooke me by the wrist, and held me hard;
985Then goes he to the length of all his arme;
And with his other hand thus o're his brow,
He fals to such perusall of my face,
As he would draw it. Long staid he so,
At last, a little shaking of mine Arme:
990And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe;
He rais'd a sigh, so pittious and profound,
That it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,
And end his being. That done, he lets me goe,
And with his head ouer his shoulders turn'd,
995He seem'd to finde his way without his eyes,
For out adores he went without their helpe;
And to the last, bended their light on me.
Polon. Goe with me, I will goe seeke the King,
This is the very extasie of Loue,
1000Whose violent property foredoes it selfe,
And leads the will to desperate Vndertakings,
As oft as any passion vnder Heauen,
That does afflict our Natures. I am sorrie,
What haue you giuen him any hard words of late?
1005Ophe. No my good Lord: but as you did command,
I did repell his Letters, and deny'de
His accesse to me.
Pol. That hath made him mad.
I am sorrie that with better speed and iudgement
1010I had not quoted him. I feare he did but trifle,
And meant to wracke thee: but beshrew my iealousie:
It seemes it is as proper to our Age,
To cast beyond our selues in our Opinions,
As it is common for the yonger sort
1015To lacke discretion. Come, go we to the King,
This must be knowne, wc being kept close might moue
More greefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue.
Exeunt.
Scena Secunda.
Enter King, Queene, Rosincrane, and Guilden-
1020sterne Cumaliys
King. Welcome deere Rosincrance and Guildensterne.
Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke
Our hastie sending. Something haue you heard
1025Of Hamlets transformation: so I call it,
Since not th'exterior, nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should bee
More then his Fathers death, that thus hath put him
So much from th'vnderstanding of himselfe,
1030I cannot deeme of. I intreat you both,
That being of so young dayes brought vp with him:
And since so Neighbour'd to his youth, and humour,
That you vouchsafe your rest heere in our Court
Some little time: so by your Companies
1035To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from Occasions you may gleane,
That open'd lies within our remedie.
Qu. Good Gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
And sure I am, two men there are not liuing,
1040To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To shew vs so much Gentrie, and good will,
As to expend your time with vs a-while,
For the supply and profit of our Hope,
Your Visitation shall receiue such thankes
1045As fits a Kings remembrance.
Rosin. Both your Maiesties
Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs,
Put your dread pleasures, more into Command
Then to Entreatie.
1050Guil. We both obey,
And here giue vp our selues, in the full bent,
To lay our Seruices freely at your feete,
To be commanded.
King. Thankes Rosincrance, and gentle Guildensterne.
1055Qu. Thankes Guildensterne and gentle Rosincrance.
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed Sonne.
Go some of ye,
And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is.
1060Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises
Pleasant and helpfull to him.
Exit.
Queene. Amen.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. Th'Ambassadors from Norwey, my good Lord,
1065Are ioyfully return'd.
King. Thou still hast bin the Father of good Newes.
Pol. Haue I, my Lord? Assure you, my good Liege,
I hold my dutie, as I hold my Soule,
Both to my God, one to my gracious King:
1070And I do thinke, or else this braine of mine
Hunts not the traile of Policie, so sure
As I haue vs'd to do: that I haue found
The very cause of Hamlets Lunacie.
King. Oh speake of that, that I do long to heare.
1075Pol. Giue first admittance to th'Ambassadors,
My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Feast.
King. Thy selfe do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tels me my sweet Queene, that he hath found
The head and sourse of all your Sonnes distemper.
1080Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine,
His Fathers death, and our o're-hasty Marriage.
Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.
King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends:
Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey?
1085Volt. Most faire returne of Greetings, and Desires.
Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse
His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Poleak:
But better look'd into, he truly found
1090It was against your Highnesse, whereat greeued,
That so his Sicknesse, Age, and Impotence
Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arrests
On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes,
Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine,
1095Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more
To giue th'assay of Armes against your Maiestie.
Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy,
Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee,
And his Commission to imploy those Soldiers
1100So leuied as before, against the Poleak:
With an intreaty heerein further shewne,
That it might please you to giue quiet passe
Through your Dominions, for his Enterprize,
On such regards of safety and allowance,
1105As therein are set downe.
King. It likes vs well:
And at our more consider'd time wee'l read,
Answer, and thinke vpon this Businesse.
Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour.
1110Go to your rest, at night wee'l Feast together.
Most welcome home.
Exit Ambass.
Pol. This businesse is very well ended.
My Liege, and Madam, to expostulate
What Maiestie should be, what Dutie is,
1115Why day is day; night, night; and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste Night, Day, and Time.
Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit,
And tediousnesse, the limbes and outward flourishes,
I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad:
1120Mad call I it; for to define true Madnesse,
What is't, but to be nothing else but mad.
But let that go.
Qu. More matter, with lesse Art.
Pol. Madam, I sweare I vse no Art at all:
1125That he is mad, 'tis true: 'Tis true 'tis pittie,
And pittie it is true: A foolish figure,
But farewell it: for I will vse no Art.
Mad let vs grant him then: and now remaines
That we finde out the cause of this effect,
1130Or rather say, the cause of this defect;
For this effect defectiue, comes by cause,
Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus. Perpend,
I haue a daughter: haue, whil'st she is mine,
Who in her Dutie and Obedience, marke,
1135Hath giuen me this: now gather, and surmise.
The Letter.
To the Celestiall, and my Soules Idoll, the most beautifed O-
phelia.
That's an ill Phrase, a vilde Phrase, beautified is a vilde
1140Phrase: but you shall heare these in her excellent white
bosome, these.
Qu. Came this from Hamlet to her.
Pol. Good Madam stay awhile, I will be faithfull.
Doubt thou, the Starres are fire,
1145Doubt, that the Sunne doth moue:
Doubt Truth to be a Lier,
But neuer Doubt, I loue.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these Numbers: I haue not Art to
reckon my grones; but that I loue thee best, oh most Best be-
1150leeue it. Adieu.
Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this
Machine is to him, Hamlet.
This in Obedience hath my daughter shew'd me:
And more aboue hath his soliciting,
1155As they fell out by Time, by Meanes, and Place,
All giuen to mine eare.
King. But how hath she receiu'd his Loue?
Pol. What do you thinke of me?
King. As of a man, faithfull and Honourable.
1160Pol. I wold faine proue so. But what might you think?
When I had seene this hot loue on the wing,
As I perceiued it, I must tell you that
Before my Daughter told me what might you
Or my deere Maiestie your Queene heere, think,
1165If I had playd the Deske or Table-booke,
Or giuen my heart a winking, mute and dumbe,
Or look'd vpon this Loue, with idle sight,
What might you thinke? No, I went round to worke,
And (my yong Mistris) thus I did bespeake
1170Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,
This must not be: and then, I Precepts gaue her,
That she should locke her selfe from his Resort,
Admit no Messengers, receiue no Tokens:
Which done, she tooke the Fruites of my Aduice,
1175And he repulsed. A short Tale to make,
Fell into a Sadnesse, then into a Fast,
Thence to a Watch, thence into a Weaknesse,
Thence to a Lightnesse, and by this declension
Into the Madnesse whereon now he raues,
1180And all we waile for.
King. Do you thinke 'tis this?
Qu. It may be very likely.
Pol. Hath there bene such a time, I'de fain know that,
That I haue possitiuely said, 'tis so,
1185When it prou'd otherwise?
King. Not that I know.
Pol. Take this from this; if this be otherwise,
If Circumstances leade me, I will finde
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede
1190Within the Center.
King. How may we try it further?
Pol. You know sometimes
He walkes foure houres together, heere
In the Lobby.
1195Qu. So he ha's indeed.
Pol. At such a time Ile loose my Daughter to him,
Be you and I behinde an Arras then,
Marke the encounter: If he loue her not,
And be not from his reason falne thereon;
1200Let me be no Assistant for a State,
And keepe a Farme and Carters.
King. We will try it.
Enter Hamlet reading on a Booke.
Qu. But looke where sadly the poore wretch
1205Comes reading.
Pol. Away I do beseech you, both away,
Ile boord him presently.
Exit King & Queen.
Oh giue me leaue. How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Ham. Well, God-a-mercy.
1210Pol. Do you know me, my Lord?
Ham. Excellent, excellent well: y'are a Fishmonger.
Pol. Not I my Lord.
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my Lord?
1215Ham. I sir, to be honest as this world goes, is to bee
one man pick'd out of two thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my Lord.
Ham. For if the Sun breed Magots in a dead dogge,
being a good kissing Carrion-----
1220Haue you a daughter?
Pol. I haue my Lord.
Ham. Let her not walke i'th'Sunne: Conception is a
blessing, but not as your daughter may conceiue. Friend
looke too't.
1225Pol. How say you by that? Still harping on my daugh-
ter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a Fishmon-
ger: he is farre gone, farre gone: and truly in my youth,
I suffred much extreamity for loue: very neere this. Ile
speake to him againe. What do you read my Lord?
1230Ham. Words, words, words.
Pol. What is the matter, my Lord?
Ham. Betweene who?
Pol. I meane the matter you meane, my Lord.
Ham. Slanders Sir: for the Satyricall slaue saies here,
1235that old men haue gray Beards; that their faces are wrin-
kled; their eyes purging thicke Amber, or Plum-Tree
Gumme: and that they haue a plentifull locke of Wit,
together with weake Hammes. All which Sir, though I
most powerfully, and potently beleeue; yet I holde it
1240not Honestie to haue it thus set downe: For you your
selfe Sir, should be old as I am, if like a Crab you could
go backward.
Pol. Though this be madnesse,
Yet there is Method in't: will you walke
1245Out of the ayre my Lord?
Ham. Into my Graue?
Pol. Indeed that is out o'th' Ayre:
How pregnant (sometimes) his Replies are?
A happinesse,
1250That often Madnesse hits on,
Which Reason and Sanitie could not
So prosperously be deliuer'd of.
I will leaue him,
And sodainely contriue the meanes of meeting
1255Betweene him, and my daughter.
My Honourable Lord, I will most humbly
Take my leaue of you.
Ham. You cannot Sir take from me any thing, that I
will more willingly part withall, except my life, my
1260life.
Polon. Fare you well my Lord.
Ham. These tedious old fooles.
Polon. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet; there
hee is.
1265
Enter Rosincran and Guildensterne.
Rosin. God saue you Sir.
Guild. Mine honour'd Lord?
Rosin. My most deare Lord?
Ham. My excellent good friends? How do'st thou
1270Guildensterne? Oh, Rosincrane; good Lads: How doe ye
both?
Rosin. As the indifferent Children of the earth.
Guild. Happy, in that we are not ouer-happy: on For-
tunes Cap, we are not the very Button.
1275Ham. Nor the Soales of her Shoo?
Rosin. Neither my Lord.
Ham. Then you liue about her waste, or in the mid-
dle of her fauour?
Guil. Faith, her priuates, we.
1280Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true:
she is a Strumpet. What's the newes?
Rosin. None my Lord; but that the World's growne
honest.
Ham. Then is Doomesday neere: But your newes is
1285not true. Let me question more in particular: what haue
you my good friends, deserued at the hands of Fortune,
that she sends you to Prison hither?
Guil. Prison, my Lord?
Ham. Denmark's a Prison.
1290Rosin. Then is the World one.
Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many Con-
fines, Wards, and Dungeons; Denmarke being one o'th'
worst.
Rosin. We thinke not so my Lord.
1295Ham. Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is
a prison.
Rosin. Why then your Ambition makes it one: 'tis
too narrow for your minde.
1300Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and
count my selfe a King of infinite space; were it not that
I haue bad dreames.
Guil. Which dreames indeed are Ambition: for the
very substance of the Ambitious, is meerely the shadow
1305of a Dreame.
Ham. A dreame it selfe is but a shadow.
Rosin. Truely, and I hold Ambition of so ayry and
light a quality, that it is but a shadowes shadow.
Ham. Then are our Beggers bodies; and our Mo-
1310narchs and out-stretcht Heroes the Beggers Shadowes:
shall wee to th' Court: for, by my fey I cannot rea-
son?
Both. Wee'l wait vpon you.
Ham. No such matter. I will not sort you with the
1315rest of my seruants: for to speake to you like an honest
man: I am most dreadfully attended; but in the beaten
way of friendship, What make you at Elsonower?
Rosin. To visit you my Lord, no other occasion.
Ham. Begger that I am, I am euen poore in thankes;
1320but I thanke you: and sure deare friends my thanks
are too deare a halfepeny; were you not sent for? Is it
your owne inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
deale iustly with me: come, come; nay speake.
Guil. What should we say my Lord?
1325Ham. Why any thing. But to the purpose; you were
sent for; and there is a kinde confession in your lookes;
which your modesties haue not craft enough to co-
lor, I know the good King & Queene haue sent for you.
Rosin. To what end my Lord?
1330Ham. That you must teach me: but let mee coniure
you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
our youth, by the Obligation of our euer-preserued loue,
and by what more deare, a better proposer could charge
you withall; be euen and direct with me, whether you
1335were sent for or no.
Rosin. What say you?
Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you: if you loue me
hold not off.
Guil. My Lord, we were sent for.
1340Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and
Queene: moult no feather, I haue of late, but wherefore
I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of ex-
ercise; and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my dispositi-
1345on; that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a ster-
rill Promontory; this most excellent Canopy the Ayre,
look you, this braue ore-hanging, this Maiesticall Roofe,
fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
to mee, then a foule and pestilent congregation of va-
1350pours. What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing
how expresse and admirable? in Action, how like an An-
gel? in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
1355this Quintessence of Dust? Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so.
Rosin. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my
thoughts.
1360Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights
not me?
Rosin. To thinke, my Lord, if you delight not in Man,
what Lenton entertainment the Players shall receiue
from you: wee coated them on the way, and hither are
1365they comming to offer you Seruice.
Ham. He that playes the King shall be welcome; his
Maiesty shall haue Tribute of mee: the aduenturous
Knight shal vse his Foyle and Target: the Louer shall
not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in
1370peace: the Clowne shall make those laugh whose lungs
are tickled a'th' sere: and the Lady shall say her minde
freely; or the blanke Verse shall halt for't: what Players
are they?
Rosin. Euen those you were wont to take delight in
1375the Tragedians of the City.
Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their resi-
dence both in reputation and profit was better both
wayes.
Rosin. I thinke their Inhibition comes by the meanes
1380of the late Innouation?
Ham. Doe they hold the same estimation they did
when I was in the City? Are they so follow'd?
Rosin. No indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it? doe they grow rusty?
1385Rosin. Nay, their indeauour keepes in the wonted
pace; But there is Sir an ayrie of Children, little
Yases, that crye out on the top of question; and
are most tyrannically clap't for't: these are now the
fashion, and so be-ratled the common Stages (so they
1390call them) that many wearing Rapiers, are affraide of
Goose-quils, and dare scarse come thither.
Ham. What are they Children? Who maintains 'em?
How are they escoted? Will they pursue the Quality no
longer then they can sing? Will they not say afterwards
1395if they should grow themselues to common Players (as
it is like most if their meanes are not better) their Wri-
ters do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their
owne Succession.
Rosin. Faith there ha's bene much to do on both sides:
1400and the Nation holds it no sinne, to tarre them to Con-
trouersie. There was for a while, no mony bid for argu-
ment, vnlesse the Poet and the Player went to Cuffes in
the Question.
Ham. Is't possible?
1405Guild. Oh there ha's beene much throwing about of
Braines.
Ham. Do the Boyes carry it away?
Rosin. I that they do my Lord. Hercules & his load too.
Ham. It is not strange: for mine Vnckle is King of
1410Denmarke, and those that would make mowes at him
while my Father liued; giue twenty, forty, an hundred
Ducates a peece, for his picture in Little. There is some-
thing in this more then Naturall, if Philosophie could
finde it out.
1415
Flourish for the Players.
Guil. There are the Players.
Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcom to Elsonower: your
hands, come: The appurtenance of Welcome, is Fashion
and Ceremony. Let me comply with you in the Garbe,
1420lest my extent to the Players (which I tell you must shew
fairely outward) should more appeare like entertainment
then yours. You are welcome: but my Vnckle Father,
and Aunt Mother are deceiu'd.
Guil. In what my deere Lord?
1425Ham. I am but mad North, North-West: when the
Winde is Southerly, I know a Hawke from a Handsaw.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen.
Ham. Hearke you Guildensterne, and you too: at each
1430eare a hearer: that great Baby you see there, is not yet
out of his swathing clouts.
Rosin. Happily he's the second time come to them: for
they say, an old man is twice a childe.
Ham. I will Prophesie. Hee comes to tell me of the
1435Players. Mark it, you say right Sir: for a Monday mor-
ning 'twas so indeed.
Pol. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
Ham. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
When Rossius an Actor in Rome---
1440Pol. The Actors are come hither my Lord.
Ham. Buzze, buzze.
Pol. Vpon mine Honor.
Ham. Then can each Actor on his Asse---
Polon. The best Actors in the world, either for Trage-
1445die, Comedie, Historie, Pastorall: Pastoricall-Comicall-
Historicall-Pastorall: Tragicall-Historicall: Tragicall-
Comicall-Historicall-Pastorall: Scene indiuidible: or Po-
em vnlimited. Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plautus
too light, for the law of Writ, and the Liberty. These are
1450the onely men.
Ham. O Iephta Iudge of Israel, what a Treasure had'st
thou?
Pol. What a Treasure had he, my Lord?
Ham. Why one faire Daughter, and no more,
1455The which he loued passing well.
Pol. Still on my Daughter.
Ham. Am I not i'th'right old Iephta?
Polon. If you call me Iephta my Lord, I haue a daugh-
ter that I loue passing well.
1460Ham. Nay that followes not.
Polon. What followes then, my Lord?
Ha. Why, As by lot, God wot: and then you know, It
came to passe, as most like it was: The first rowe of the
Pons Chanson will shew you more. For looke where my
1465Abridgements come.
Enter foure or fiue Players.
Y'are welcome Masters, welcome all. I am glad to see
thee well: Welcome good Friends. O my olde Friend?
Thy face is valiant since I saw thee last: Com'st thou to
1470beard me in Denmarke? What, my yong Lady and Mi-
stris? Byrlady your Ladiship is neerer Heauen then when
I saw you last, by the altitude of a Choppine. Pray God
your voice like a peece of vncurrant Gold be not crack'd
within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome: wee'l e'ne
1475to't like French Faulconers, flie at any thing we see: wee'l
haue a Speech straight. Come giue vs a tast of your qua-
lity: come, a passionate speech.
1. Play. What speech, my Lord?
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
1480neuer Acted: or if it was, not aboue once, for the Play I
remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the
Generall: but it was (as I receiu'd it, and others, whose
iudgement in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an
excellent Play; well digested in the Scoenes, set downe
1485with as much modestie, as cunning. I remember one said,
there was no Sallets in the lines, to make the matter sa-
uouty; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the
Author of affectation, but cal'd it an honest method. One
cheefe Speech in it, I cheefely lou'd, 'twas Aeneas Tale
1490to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks
of Priams slaughter. If it liue in your memory, begin at
this Line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus like
th' Hyrcanian Beast. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus
The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose Sable Armes
1495Blacke as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the Ominous Horse,
Hath now this dread and blacke Complexion smear'd
With Heraldry more dismall: Head to foote
Now is he to take Geulles, horridly Trick'd
1500With blood of Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sonnes,
Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrannous, and damned light
To their vilde Murthers, roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o're-sized with coagulate gore,
1505VVith eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Olde Grandsire Priam seekes.
Pol. Fore God, my Lord, well spoken, with good ac-
cent, and good discretion.
1. Player. Anon he findes him,
1510Striking too short at Greekes. His anticke Sword,
Rebellious to his Arme, lyes where it falles
Repugnant to command: vnequall match,
Pyrrhus at Priam driues, in Rage strikes wide:
But with the whiffe and winde of his fell Sword,
1515Th'vnnerued Father fals. Then senselesse Illium,
Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top
Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous crash
Takes Prisoner Pyrrhus eare. For loe, his Sword
Which was declining on the Milkie head
1520Of Reuerend Priam, seem'd i'th' Ayre to sticke:
So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood,
And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing.
But as we often see against some storme,
A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still,
1525The bold windes speechlesse, and the Orbe below
As hush as death: Anon the dreadfull Thunder
Doth rend the Region. So after Pyrrhus pause,
A rowsed Vengeance sets him new a-worke,
And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall
1530On Mars his Armours, forg'd for proofe Eterne,
With lesse remorse then Pyrrhus bleeding sword
Now falles on Priam.
Out, out, thou Strumpet-Fortune, all you Gods,
In generall Synod take away her power:
1535Breake all the Spokes and Fallies from her wheele,
And boule the round Naue downe the hill of Heauen,
As low as to the Fiends.
Pol. This is too long.
Ham. It shall to'th Barbars, with your beard. Pry-
1540thee say on: He's for a Iigge, or a tale of Baudry, or hee
sleepes. Say on; come to Hecuba.
1. Play. But who, O who, had seen the inobled Queen.
Ham. The inobled Queene?
Pol. That's good: Inobled Queene is good.
15451. Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe,
Threatning the flame
With Bisson Rheume: A clout about that head,
Where late the Diadem stood, and for a Robe
About her lanke and all ore-teamed Loines,
1550A blanket in th' Alarum of feare caught vp.
Who this had seene, with tongue in Venome steep'd,
'Gainst Fortunes State, would Treason haue pronounc'd?
But if the Gods themselues did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
1555In mincing with his Sword her Husbands limbes,
The instant Burst of Clamour that she made
(Vnlesse things mortall moue them not at all)
Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen,
And passion in the Gods.
1560Pol. Looke where he ha's not turn'd his colour, and
ha's teares in's eyes. Pray you no more.
Ham. 'Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest,
soone. Good my Lord, will you see the Players wel be-
stow'd. Do ye heare, let them be well vs'd: for they are
1565the Abstracts and breefe Chronicles of the time. After
your death, you were better haue a bad Epitaph, then
their ill report while you liued.
Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their de-
sart.
1570Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man
after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse
them after your own Honor and Dignity. The lesse they
deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them
in.
1575Pol. Come sirs.
Exit Polon.
Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to mor-
row. Dost thou heare me old Friend, can you play the
murther of Gonzago?
Play. I my Lord.
1580Ham. Wee'l ha't to morrow night. You could for a
need study a speech of some dosen or sixteene lines, which
I would set downe, and insert in't? Could ye not?
Play. I my Lord.
Ham. Very well. Follow that Lord, and looke you
1585mock him not. My good Friends, Ile leaue you til night
you are welcome to Elsonower?
Rosin. Good my Lord.
Exeunt.
Manet Hamlet.
Ham. I so, God buy'ye: Now I am alone.
1590Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slaue am I?
Is it not monstrous that this Player heere,
But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Passion,
Could force his soule so to his whole conceit,
That from her working, all his visage warm'd;
1595Teares in his eyes, distraction in's Aspect,
A broken voyce, and his whole Function suiting
With Formes, to his Conceit? And all for nothing?
For Hecuba?
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
1600That he should weepe for her? What would he doe,
Had he the Motiue and the Cue for passion
That I haue? He would drowne the Stage with teares,
And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech:
Make mad the guilty, and apale the free,
1605Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed,
The very faculty of Eyes and Eares. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-metled Rascall, peake
Like Iohn a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing: No, not for a King,
1610Vpon whose property, and most deere life,
A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward?
Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-crosse?
Pluckes off my Beard, and blowes it in my face?
Tweakes me by'th'Nose? giues me the Lye i'th'Throate,
1615As deepe as to the Lungs? Who does me this?
Ha? Why I should take it: for it cannot be,
But I am Pigeon-Liuer'd, and lacke Gall
To make Oppression bitter, or ere this,
I should haue fatted all the Region Kites
1620With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine,
Remorselesse, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine!
Oh Vengeance!
Who? What an Asse am I? I sure, this is most braue,
That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered,
1625Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell,
Must (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words,
And fall a Cursing like a very Drab,
A Scullion? Fye vpon't: Foh. About my Braine.
I haue heard, that guilty Creatures sitting at a Play,
1630Haue by the very cunning of the Scoene,
Bene strooke so to the soule, that presently
They haue proclaim'd their Malefactions.
For Murther, though it haue no tongue, will speake
With most myraculous Organ. Ile haue these Players,
1635Play something like the murder of my Father,
Before mine Vnkle. Ile obserue his lookes,
Ile tent him to the quicke: If he but blench
I know my course. The Spirit that I haue seene
May be the Diuell, and the Diuel hath power
1640T'assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps
Out of my Weaknesse, and my Melancholly,
As he is very potent with such Spirits,
Abuses me to damne me. Ile haue grounds
More Relatiue then this: The Play's the thing,
1645Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King.
Exit
Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Ro-
sincrance, Guildenstern, and Lords.
King. And can you by no drift of circumstance
Get from him why he puts on this Confusion:
1650Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous Lunacy.
Rosin. He does confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
But from what cause he will by no meanes speake.
Guil. Nor do we finde him forward to be sounded,
1655But with a crafty Madnesse keepes aloofe:
When we would bring him on to some Confession
Of his true state.
Qu. Did he receiue you well?
Rosin. Most like a Gentleman.
1660Guild. But with much forcing of his disposition.
Rosin. Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply.
Qu. Did you assay him to any pastime?
Rosin. Madam, it so fell out, that certaine Players
1665We ore-wrought on the way: of these we told him,
And there did seeme in him a kinde of ioy
To heare of it: They are about the Court,
And (as I thinke) they haue already order
This night to play before him.
1670Pol. 'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to intreate your Maiesties
To heare, and see the matter.
King. With all my heart, and it doth much content me
To heare him so inclin'd. Good Gentlemen,
1675Giue him a further edge, and driue his purpose on
To these delights.
Rosin. We shall my Lord.
Exeunt.
King. Sweet Gertrude leaue vs too,
For we haue closely sent for Hamlet hither,
1680That he, as 'twere by accident, may there
Affront Ophelia. Her Father, and my selfe (lawful espials)
Will so bestow our selues, that seeing vnseene
We may of their encounter frankely iudge,
And gather by him, as he is behaued,
1685If't be th'affliction of his loue, or no.
That thus he suffers for.
Qu. I shall obey you,
And for your part Ophelia, I do wish
That your good Beauties be the happy cause
1690Of Hamlets wildenesse: so shall I hope your Vertues
Will bring him to his wonted way againe,
To both your Honors.
Ophe. Madam, I wish it may.
Pol. Ophelia, walke you heere. Gracious so please ye
1695We will bestow our selues: Reade on this booke,
That shew of such an exercise may colour
Your lonelinesse. We are oft too blame in this,
'Tis too much prou'd, that with Deuotions visage,
And pious Action, we do surge o're
1700The diuell himselfe.
King. Oh 'tis true:
How smart a lash that speech doth giue my Conscience?
The Harlots Cheeke beautied with plaist'ring Art
Is not more vgly to the thing that helpes it,
1705Then is my deede, to my most painted word.
Oh heauie burthen!
Pol. I heare him comming, let's withdraw my Lord.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet.
1710Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
1715No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
That Flesh is heyre too? 'Tis a consummation
Deuoutly to be wish'd. To dye to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there's the rub,
1720For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
When we haue shufflel'd off this mortall coile,
Must giue vs pawse. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
1725The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd Loue, the Lawes delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his Quietus make
1730With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardles beare
To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
1735And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
Then flye to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o're, with the pale cast of Thought,
1740And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The faire Ophelia? Nimph, in thy Orizons
Be all my sinnes remembred.
1745Ophe. Good my Lord,
How does your Honor for this many a day?
Ham. I humbly thanke you: well, well, well.
Ophe. My Lord, I haue Remembrances of yours,
That I haue longed long to re-deliuer.
1750I pray you now, receiue them.
Ham. No, no, I neuer gaue you ought.
Ophe. My honor'd Lord, I know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd,
As made the things more rich, then perfume left:
1755Take these againe, for to the Noble minde
Rich gifts wax poore, when giuers proue vnkinde.
There my Lord.
Ham. Ha, ha: Are you honest?
Ophe. My Lord.
1760Ham. Are you faire?
Ophe. What meanes your Lordship?
Ham. That if you be honest and faire, your Honesty
should admit no discourse to your Beautie.
Ophe. Could Beautie my Lord, haue better Comerce
1765then your Honestie?
Ham. I trulie: for the power of Beautie, will sooner
transforme Honestie from what it is, to a Bawd, then the
force of Honestie can translate Beautie into his likenesse.
This was sometime a Paradox, but now the time giues it
1770proofe. I did loue you once.
Ophe. Indeed my Lord, you made me beleeue so.
Ham. You should not haue beleeued me. For vertue
cannot so innocculate our old stocke, but we shall rellish
of it. I loued you not.
1775Ophe. I was the more deceiued.
Ham. Get thee to a Nunnerie. Why would'st thou
be a breeder of Sinners? I am my selfe indifferent honest,
but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were bet-
ter my Mother had not borne me. I am very prowd, re-
1780uengefull, Ambitious, with more offences at my becke,
then I haue thoughts to put them in imagination, to giue
them shape, or time to acte them in. What should such
Fellowes as I do, crawling betweene Heauen and Earth.
We are arrant Knaues all, beleeue none of vs. Goe thy
1785wayes to a Nunnery. Where's your Father?
Ophe. At home, my Lord.
Ham. Let the doores be shut vpon him, that he may
play the Foole no way, but in's owne house. Farewell.
Ophe. O helpe him, you sweet Heauens.
1790Ham. If thou doest Marry, Ile giue thee this Plague
for thy Dowrie. Be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as Snow,
thou shalt not escape Calumny. Get thee to a Nunnery.
Go, Farewell. Or if thou wilt needs Marry, marry a fool:
for Wise men know well enough, what monsters you
1795make of them. To a Nunnery go, and quickly too. Far-
well.
Ophe. O heauenly Powers, restore him.
Ham. I haue heard of your pratlings too wel enough.
God has giuen you one pace, and you make your selfe an-
1800other: you gidge, you amble, and you lispe, and nickname
Gods creatures, and make your Wantonnesse, your Ig-
norance. Go too, Ile no more on't, it hath made me mad.
I say, we will haue no more Marriages. Those that are
married already, all but one shall liue, the rest shall keep
1805as they are. To a Nunnery, go.
Exit Hamlet.
Ophe. O what a Noble minde is heere o're-throwne?
The Courtiers, Soldiers, Schollers: Eye, tongue, sword,
Th'expectansie and Rose of the faire State,
The glasse of Fashion, and the mould of Forme,
1810Th'obseru'd of all Obseruers, quite, quite downe.
Haue I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
That suck'd the Honie of his Musicke Vowes:
Now see that Noble, and most Soueraigne Reason,
Like sweet Bels iangled out of tune, and harsh,
1815That vnmatch'd Forme and Feature of blowne youth,
Blasted with extasie. Oh woe is me,
T'haue seene what I haue seene: see what I see.
Enter King, and Polonius.
King. Loue? His affections do not that way tend,
1820Nor what he spake, though it lack'd Forme a little,
Was not like Madnesse. There's something in his soule?
O're which his Melancholly sits on brood,
And I do doubt the hatch, and the disclose
Will be some danger, which to preuent
1825I haue in quicke determination
Thus set it downe. He shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected Tribute:
Haply the Seas and Countries different
With variable Obiects, shall expell
1830This something setled matter in his heart:
Whereon his Braines still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himselfe. What thinke you on't?
Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I beleeue
The Origin and Commencement of this greefe
1835Sprung from neglected loue. How now Ophelia?
You neede not tell vs, what Lord Hamlet saide,
We heard it all. My Lord, do as you please,
But if you hold it fit after the Play,
Let his Queene Mother all alone intreat him
1840To shew his Greefes: let her be round with him,
And Ile be plac'd so, please you in the eare
Of all their Conference. If she finde him not,
To England send him: Or confine him where
Your wisedome best shall thinke.
1845King. It shall be so:
Madnesse in great Ones, must not vnwatch'd go.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet, and two or three of the Players.
Ham. Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc'd
1850it to you trippingly on the Tongue: But if you mouth it,
as many of your Players do, I had as liue the Town-Cryer
had spoke my Lines: Nor do not saw the Ayre too much
your hand thus, but vse all gently; for in the verie Tor-
rent, Tempest, and (as I may say) the Whirle-winde of
1855Passion, you must acquire and beget a Temperance that
may giue it Smoothnesse. O it offends mee to the Soule,
to see a robustious Pery-wig-pated Fellow, teare a Passi-
on to tatters, to verie ragges, to split the eares of the
Groundlings: who (for the most part) are capeable of
1860nothing, but inexplicable dumbe shewes, & noise: I could
haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it
out- Herod's Herod. Pray you auoid it.
Player. I warrant your Honor.
Ham. Be not too tame neyther: but let your owne
1865Discretion be your Tutor. Sute the Action to the Word,
the Word to the Action, with this speciall obseruance:
That you ore-stop not the modestie of Nature; for any
thing so ouer-done, is frõ the purpose of Playing, whose
end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twer
1870the Mirrour vp to Nature; to shew Vertue her owne
Feature, Scorne her owne Image, and the verie Age and
Bodie of the Time, his forme and pressure. Now, this
ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it make the vnskil-
full laugh, cannot but make the Iudicious greeue; The
1875censure of the which One, must in your allowance o're-
way a whole Theater of Others. Oh, there bee Players
that I haue seene Play, and heard others praise, and that
highly (not to speake it prophanely) that neyther hauing
the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan,
1880or Norman, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue
thought some of Natures Iouerney-men had made men,
and not made them well, they imitated Humanity so ab-
hominably.
Play. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with
1885vs, Sir.
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 will themselues laugh,
to set on some quantitie of barren Spectators to laugh
1890too, though in the meane time, some necessary Question
of the Play be then to be considered: that's Villanous, &
shewes a most pittifull Ambition in the Foole that vses
it. Go make you readie.
Exit Players.
Enter Polonius, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.
1895How now my Lord,
Will the King heare this peece of Worke?
Pol. And the Queene too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the Players make hast.
Exit Polonius.
Will you two helpe to hasten them?
1900Both. We will my Lord.
Exeunt.
Enter Horatio.
Ham. What hoa, Horatio?
Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your Seruice.
Ham. Horatio, thou art eene as iust a man
1905As ere my Conuersation coap'd withall.
Hora. O my deere Lord.
Ham. Nay, do not thinke I flatter:
For what aduancement may I hope from thee,
That no Reuennew hast, but thy good spirits
1910To feed & cloath thee. Why shold the poor be flatter'd?
No, let the Candied tongue, like absurd pompe,
And crooke the pregnant Hindges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow faining? Dost thou heare,
Since my deere Soule was Mistris of my choyse,
1915And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for her selfe. For thou hast bene
As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing.
A man that Fortunes buffets, and Rewards
Hath 'tane with equall Thankes. And blest are those,
1920Whose Blood and Iudgement are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a Pipe for Fortunes finger,
To sound what stop she please. Giue me that man,
That is not Passions Slaue, and I will weare him
In my hearts Core: I, in my Heart of heart,
1925As I do thee. Something too much of this.
There is a Play to night before the King,
One Scoene of it comes neere the Circumstance
Which I haue told thee, of my Fathers death.
I prythee, when thou see'st that Acte a-foot,
1930Euen with the verie Comment of my Soule
Obserue mine Vnkle: If his occulted guilt,
Do not it selfe vnkennell in one speech,
It is a damned Ghost that we haue seene:
And my Imaginations are as foule
1935As Vulcans Stythe. Giue him needfull note,
For I mine eyes will riuet to his Face:
And after we will both our iudgements ioyne,
To censure of his seeming.
Hora. Well my Lord.
1940If he steale ought the whil'st this Play is Playing,
And scape detecting, I will pay the Theft.
Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrance,
Guildensterne, and other Lords attendant with
his Guard carrying Torches. Danish
1945March. Sound a Flourish.
Ham. They are comming to the Play: I must be idle.
Get you a place.
King. How fares our Cosin Hamlet?
Ham. Excellent Ifaith, of the Camelions dish: I eate
1950the Ayre promise-cramm'd, you cannot feed Capons so.
King. I haue nothing with this answer Hamlet, these
words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine. Now my Lord, you plaid once
i'th'Vniuersity, you say?
1955Polon. That I did my Lord, and was accounted a good
Actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Iulius Cæsar, I was kill'd i'th'Capitol:
Brutus kill'd me.
1960Ham. It was a bruite part of him, to kill so Capitall a
Calfe there. Be the Players ready?
Rosin. I my Lord, they stay vpon your patience.
Qu. Come hither my good Hamlet, sit by me.
Ha. No good Mother, here's Mettle more attractiue.
1965Pol. Oh ho, do you marke that?
Ham. Ladie, shall I lye in your Lap?
Ophe. No my Lord.
Ham. I meane, my Head vpon your Lap?
Ophe. I my Lord.
1970Ham. Do you thinke I meant Country matters?
Ophe. I thinke nothing, my Lord.
Ham. That's a faire thought to ly between Maids legs
Ophe. What is my Lord?
Ham. Nothing.
1975Ophe. You are merrie, my Lord?
Ham. Who I?
Ophe. I my Lord.
Ham. Oh God, your onely Iigge-maker: what should
a man do, but be merrie. For looke you how cheereful-
1980ly my Mother lookes, and my Father dyed within's two
Houres.
Ophe. Nay, 'tis twice two moneths, my Lord.
Ham. So long? Nay then let the Diuel weare blacke,
for Ile haue a suite of Sables. Oh Heauens! dye two mo-
1985neths ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a
great mans Memorie, may out-liue his life halfe a yeare:
But byrlady he must builde Churches then: or else shall
he suffer not thinking on, with the Hoby-horsse, whose
Epitaph is, For o, For o, the Hoby-horse is forgot.
1990
Hoboyes play. The dumbe shew enters.
Enter a King and Queene, very louingly; the Queene embra-
cing him. She kneeles, and makes shew of Protestation vnto
him. He takes her vp, and dcclines his head vpon her neck.
Layes him downe vpon a Banke of Flowers. She seeing him
1995a-sleepe, leaues him. Anon comes in a Fellow, takes off his
Crowne, kisses it, and powres poyson in the Kings eares, and
Exits. The Queene returnes, findes the King dead, and
makes passionate Action. The Poysoner, with some two or
three Mutes comes in againe, seeming to lament with her.
2000The dead body is carried away: The Poysoner Wooes the
Queene with Gifts, she seemes loath and vnwilling awhile,
but in the end, accepts his loue.
Exeunt
Ophe. What meanes this, my Lord?
Ham. Marry this is Miching Malicho, that meanes
2005Mischeefe.
Ophe. Belike this shew imports the Argument of the
Play?
Ham. We shall know by these Fellowes: the Players
cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all.
2010Ophe. Will they tell vs what this shew meant?
Ham. I, or any shew that you'l shew him. Bee not
you asham'd to shew, hee'l not shame to tell you what it
meanes.
Ophe. You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the
2015Play.
Enter Prologue.
For vs, and for our Tragedie,
Heere stooping to your Clemencie:
We begge your hearing Patientlie.
2020Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the Poesie of a Ring?
Ophe. 'Tis briefe my Lord.
Ham. As Womans loue.
Enter King and his Queene.
King. Full thirtie times hath Phoebus Cart gon round,
2025Neptunes salt Wash, and Tellus Orbed ground:
And thirtie dozen Moones with borrowed sheene,
About the World haue times twelue thirties beene,
Since loue our hearts, and Hymen did our hands
Vnite comutuall, in most sacred Bands.
2030Bap. So many iournies may the Sunne and Moone
Make vs againe count o're, ere loue be done.
But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,
So farre from cheere, and from your forme state,
That I distrust you: yet though I distrust,
2035Discomfort you (my Lord) it nothing must:
For womens Feare and Loue, holds quantitie,
In neither ought, or in extremity:
Now what my loue is, proofe hath made you know,
And as my Loue is siz'd, my Feare is so.
2040King. Faith I must leaue thee Loue, and shortly too:
My operant Powers my Functions leaue to do:
And thou shalt liue in this faire world behinde,
Honour'd, belou'd, and haply, one as kinde.
For Husband shalt thou-----
2045Bap. Oh confound the rest:
Such Loue, must needs be Treason in my brest:
In second Husband, let me be accurst,
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first.
Ham. Wormwood, Wormwood.
2050Bapt. The instances that second Marriage moue,
Are base respects of Thrift, but none of Loue.
A second time, I kill my Husband dead,
When second Husband kisses me in Bed.
King. I do beleeue you. Think what now you speak:
2055But what we do determine, oft we breake:
Purpose is but the slaue to Memorie,
Of violent Birth, but poore validitie:
Which now like Fruite vnripe stickes on the Tree,
But fall vnshaken, when they mellow bee.
2060Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
To pay our selues, what to our selues is debt:
What to our selues in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of other Greefe or Ioy,
2065Their owne ennactors with themselues destroy:
Where Ioy most Reuels, Greefe doth most lament;
Greefe ioyes, Ioy greeues on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That euen our Loues should with our Fortunes change.
2070For 'tis a question left vs yet to proue,
Whether Loue lead Fortune, or else Fortune Loue.
The great man downe, you marke his fauourites flies,
The poore aduanc'd, makes Friends of Enemies:
And hitherto doth Loue on Fortune tend,
2075For who not needs, shall neuer lacke a Frend:
And who in want a hollow Friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his Enemie.
But orderly to end, where I begun,
Our Willes and Fates do so contrary run,
2080That our Deuices still are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne.
So thinke thou wilt no second Husband wed.
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.
Bap. Nor Earth to giue me food, nor Heauen light,
2085Sport and repose locke from me day and night:
Each opposite that blankes the face of ioy,
Meet what I would haue well, and it destroy:
Both heere, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If once a Widdow, euer I be Wife.
2090Ham. If she should breake it now.
King. 'Tis deepely sworne:
Sweet, leaue me heere a while,
My spirits grow dull, and faine I would beguile
The tedious day with sleepe.
2095Qu. Sleepe rocke thy Braine,
Sleepes
And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.
Exit
Ham. Madam, how like you this Play?
Qu. The Lady protests to much me thinkes.
Ham. Oh but shee'l keepe her word.
2100King. Haue you heard the Argument, is there no Of-
fence in't?
Ham. No, no, they do but iest, poyson in iest, no Of-
fence i'th'world.
King. What do you call the Play?
2105Ham. The Mouse-trap: Marry how? Tropically:
This Play is the Image of a murder done in Vienna: Gon-
zago is the Dukes name, his wife Baptista: you shall see
anon: 'tis a knauish peece of worke: But what o'that?
Your Maiestie, and wee that haue free soules, it touches
2110vs not: let the gall'd iade winch: our withers are vnrung.
Enter Lucianus.
This is one Lucianus nephew to the King.
Ophe. You are a good Chorus, my Lord.
Ham. I could interpret betweene you and your loue:
2115if I could see the Puppets dallying.
Ophe. You are keene my Lord, you are keene.
Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my
edge.
Ophe. Still better and worse.
2120Ham. So you mistake Husbands.
Begin Murderer. Pox, leaue thy damnable Faces, and
begin. Come, the croaking Rauen doth bellow for Re-
uenge.
Lucian. Thoughts blacke, hands apt,
2125Drugges fit, and Time agreeing:
Confederate season, else, no Creature seeing:
Thou mixture ranke, of Midnight Weeds collected,
With Hecats Ban, thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy naturall Magicke, and dire propertie,
2130On wholsome life, vsurpe immediately.
Powres the poyson in his eares.
Ham. He poysons him i'th'Garden for's estate: His
name's Gonzago: the Story is extant and writ in choyce
Italian. You shall see anon how the Murtherer gets the
2135loue of Gonzago's wife.
Ophe. The King rises.
Ham. What, frighted with false fire.
Qu. How fares my Lord?
Pol. Giue o're the Play.
2140King. Giue me some Light. Away.
All. Lights, Lights, Lights.
Exeunt
Manet Hamlet & Horatio.
Ham. Why let the strucken Deere go weepe,
The Hart vngalled play:
2145For some must watch, while some must sleepe;
So runnes the world away.
Would not this Sir, and a Forrest of Feathers, if the rest of
my Fortunes tutne Turke with me; with two Prouinciall
Roses on my rac'd Shooes, get me a Fellowship in a crie
2150of Players sir.
Hor. Halfe a share.
Ham. A whole one I,
For thou dost know: Oh Damon deere,
This Realme dismantled was of Ioue himselfe,
2155And now reignes heere.
A verie verie Paiocke.
Hora. You might haue Rim'd.
Ham. Oh good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for
a thousand pound. Did'st perceiue?
2160Hora. Verie well my Lord.
Ham. Vpon the talke of the poysoning?
Hora. I did verie well note him.
Enter Rosincrance and Guildensterne.
Ham. Oh, ha? Come some Musick. Come ye Recorders:
2165For if the King like not the Comedie,
Why then belike he likes it not perdie.
Come some Musicke.
Guild. Good my Lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Sir, a whole History.
2170Guild. The King, sir.
Ham. I sir, what of him?
Guild. Is in his retyrement, maruellous distemper'd.
Ham. With drinke Sir?
Guild. No my Lord, rather with choller.
2175Ham. Your wisedome should shew it selfe more ri-
cher, to signifie this to his Doctor: for for me to put him
to his Purgation, would perhaps plundge him into farre
more Choller.
Guild. Good my Lord put your discourse into some
2180frame, and start not so wildely from my affayre.
Ham. I am tame Sir, pronounce.
Guild. The Queene your Mother, in most great affli-
ction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
2185Guild. Nay, good my Lord, this courtesie is not of
the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whol-
some answer, I will doe your Mothers command'ment:
if not, your pardon, and my returne shall bee the end of
my Businesse.
2190Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Guild. What, my Lord?
Ham. Make you a wholsome answere: my wits dis-
eas'd. But sir, such answers as I can make, you shal com-
mand: or rather you say, my Mother: therfore no more
2195but to the matter. My Mother you say.
Rosin. Then thus she sayes: your behauior hath stroke
her into amazement, and admiration.
Ham. Oh wonderfull Sonne, that can so astonish a
Mother. But is there no sequell at the heeles of this Mo-
2200thers admiration?
Rosin. She desires to speake with you in her Closset,
ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our Mother.
Haue you any further Trade with vs?
2205Rosin. My Lord, you once did loue me.
Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
Rosin. Good my Lord, what is your cause of distem-
per? You do freely barre the doore of your owne Liber-
tie, if you deny your greefes to your Friend.
2210Ham. Sir I lacke Aduancement.
Rosin. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of
the King himselfe, for your Succession in Denmarke?
Ham. I, but while the grasse growes, the Prouerbe is
something musty.
2215
Enter one with a Recorder.
O the Recorder. Let me see, to withdraw with you, why
do you go about to recouer the winde of mee, as if you
would driue me into a toyle?
Guild. O my Lord, if my Dutie be too bold, my loue
2220is too vnmannerly.
Ham. I do not well vnderstand that. Will you play
vpon this Pipe?
Guild. My Lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
2225Guild. Beleeue me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.
Guild. I know no touch of it, my Lord.
Ham. 'Tis as easie as lying: gouerne these Ventiges
with your finger and thumbe, giue it breath with your
2230mouth, and it will discourse most excellent Musicke.
Looke you, these are the stoppes.
Guild. But these cannot I command to any vtterance
of hermony, I haue not the skill.
Ham. Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing
2235you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would
seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart
of my Mysterie; you would sound mee from my lowest
Note, to the top of my Compasse: and there is much Mu-
sicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot
2240you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am easier to bee
plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what Instrument you will,
though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God
blesse you Sir.
Enter Polonius.
2245Polon. My Lord; the Queene would speak with you,
and presently.
Ham. Do you see that Clowd? that's almost in shape
like a Camell.
Polon. By'th'Misse, and it's like a Camell indeed.
2250Ham. Me thinkes it is like a Weazell.
Polon. It is back'd like a Weazell.
Ham. Or like a Whale?
Polon. Verie like a Whale.
Ham. Then will I come to my Mother, by and by:
2255They foole me to the top of my bent.
I will come by and by.
Polon. I will say so.
Exit.
Ham. By and by, is easily said. Leaue me Friends:
'Tis now the verie witching time of night,
2260When Churchyards yawne, and Hell it selfe breaths out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter businesse as the day
Would quake to looke on. Soft now, to my Mother:
Oh Heart, loose not thy Nature; let not euer
2265The Soule of Nero, enter this firme bosome:
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
I will speake Daggers to her, but vse none:
My Tongue and Soule in this be Hypocrites.
How in my words someuer she be shent,
2270To giue them Seales, neuer my Soule consent.
Enter King, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.
King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,
To let his madnesse range. Therefore prepare you,
I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,
2275And he to England shall along with you:
The termes of our estate, may not endure
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely grow
Out of his Lunacies.
Guild. We will our selues prouide:
2280Most holie and Religious feare it is
To keepe those many many bodies safe
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie.
Rosin. The single
And peculiar life is bound
2285With all the strength and Armour of the minde,
To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,
That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and rests
The liues of many, the cease of Maiestie
Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth draw
2290What's neere it, with it. It is a massie wheele
Fixt on the Somnet of the highest Mount,
To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand lesser things
Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,
Each small annexment, pettie consequence
2295Attends the boystrous Ruine. Neuer alone
Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone.
King. Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;
For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,
Which now goes too free-footed.
2300Both. We will haste vs.
Exeunt Gent.
Enter Polonius.
Pol. My Lord, he's going to his Mothers Closset:
Behinde the Arras Ile conuey my selfe
To heare the Processe. Ile warrant shee'l tax him home,
2305And as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meete that some more audience then a Mother,
Since Nature makes them partiall, should o're-heare
The speech of vantage. Fare you well my Liege,
Ile call vpon you ere you go to bed,
2310And tell you what I know.
King. Thankes deere my Lord.
Oh my offence is ranke, it smels to heauen,
It hath the primall eldest curse vpon't,
A Brothers murther. Pray can I not,
2315Though inclination be as sharpe as will:
My stronger guilt, defeats my strong intent,
And like a man to double businesse bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect; what if this cursed hand
2320Were thicker then it selfe with Brothers blood,
Is there not Raine enough in the sweet Heauens
To wash it white as Snow? Whereto serues mercy,
But to confront the visage of Offence?
And what's in Prayer, but this two-fold force,
2325To be fore-stalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being downe? Then Ile looke vp,
My fault is past. But oh, what forme of Prayer
Can serue my turne? Forgiue me my foule Murther:
That cannot be, since I am still possest
2330Of those effects for which I did the Murther.
My Crowne, mine owne Ambition, and my Queene:
May one be pardon'd, and retaine th'offence?
In the corrupted currants of this world,
Offences gilded hand may shoue by Iustice,
2335And oft 'tis seene, the wicked prize it selfe
Buyes out the Law; but 'tis not so aboue,
There is no shuffling, there the Action lyes
In his true Nature, and we our selues compell'd
Euen to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
2340To giue in euidence. What then? What rests?
Try what Repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched state! Oh bosome, blacke as death!
Oh limed soule, that strugling to be free,
2345Art more ingag'd: Helpe Angels, make assay:
Bow stubborne knees, and heart with strings of Steele,
Be soft as sinewes of the new-borne Babe,
All may be well.
Enter Hamlet.
2350Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying,
And now Ile doo't, and so he goes to Heauen,
And so am I reueng'd: that would be scann'd,
A Villaine killes my Father, and for that
I his foule Sonne, do this same Villaine send
2355To heauen. Oh this is hyre and Sallery, not Reuenge.
He tooke my Father grossely, full of bread,
With all his Crimes broad blowne, as fresh as May,
And how his Audit stands, who knowes, saue Heauen:
But in our circumstance and course of thought
2360'Tis heauie with him: and am I then reueng'd,
To take him in the purging of his Soule,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage? No.
Vp Sword, and know thou a more horrid hent
When he is drunke asleepe: or in his Rage,
2365Or in th'incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or about some acte
That ha's no rellish of Saluation in't,
Then trip him, that his heeles may kicke at Heauen,
And that his Soule may be as damn'd aud blacke
2370As Hell, whereto it goes. My Mother stayes,
This Physicke but prolongs thy sickly dayes.
Exit.
King. My words flye vp, my thoughts remain below,
Words without thoughts, neuer to Heauen go.
Exit.
Enter Queene and Polonius.
2375Pol. He will come straight:
Looke you lay home to him,
Tell him his prankes haue been too broad to beare with,
And that your Grace hath scree'nd, and stoode betweene
Much heate, and him. Ile silence me e'ene heere:
2380Pray you be round with him.
Ham. within. Mother, mother, mother.
Qu. Ile warrant you, feare me not.
Withdraw, I heare him comming.
Enter Hamlet.
2385Ham. Now Mother, what's the matter?
Qu. Hamlet, thou hast thy Father much offended.
Ham. Mother, you haue my Father much offended.
Qu. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
Ham. Go, go, you question with an idle tongue.
2390Qu. Why how now Hamlet?
Ham. Whats the matter now?
Qu. Haue you forgot me?
Ham. No by the Rood, not so:
You are the Queene, your Husbands Brothers wife,
2395But would you were not so. You are my Mother.
Qu. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake.
Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not
boudge:
You go not till I set you vp a glasse,
2400Where you may see the inmost part of you?
Qu. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me?
Helpe, helpe, hoa.
Pol. What hoa, helpe, helpe, helpe.
Ham. How now, a Rat? dead for a Ducate, dead.
2405Pol. Oh I am slaine.
Killes Polonius.
Qu. Oh me, what hast thou done?
Ham. Nay I know not, is it the King?
Qu. Oh what a rash, and bloody deed is this?
Ham. A bloody deed, almost as bad good Mother,
2410As kill a King, and marrie with his Brother.
Qu. As kill a King?
Ham. I Lady, 'twas my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farewell,
I tooke thee for thy Betters, take thy Fortune,
2415Thou find'st to be too busie, is some danger.
Leaue wringing of your hands, peace, sit you downe,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuffe;
If damned Custome haue not braz'd it so,
2420That it is proofe and bulwarke against Sense.
Qu. What haue I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tong,
In noise so rude against me?
Ham. Such an Act
That blurres the grace and blush of Modestie,
2425Cals Vertue Hypocrite, takes off the Rose
From the faire forehead of an innocent loue,
And makes a blister there. Makes marriage vowes
As false as Dicers Oathes. Oh such a deed,
As from the body of Contraction pluckes
2430The very soule, and sweete Religion makes
A rapsidie of words. Heauens face doth glow,
Yea this solidity and compound masse,
With tristfull visage as against the doome,
Is thought-sicke at the act.
2435Qu. Aye me; what act, that roares so lowd, & thun-
ders in the Index.
Ham. Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
The counterfet presentment of two Brothers:
See what a grace was seated on his Brow,
2440Hyperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command
A Station, like the Herald Mercurie
New lighted on a heauen-kissing hill:
A Combination, and a forme indeed,
2445Where euery God did seeme to set his Seale,
To giue the world assurance of a man.
This was your Husband. Looke you now what followes.
Heere is your Husband, like a Mildew'd eare
Blasting his wholsom breath. Haue you eyes?
2450Could you on this faire Mountaine leaue to feed,
And batten on this Moore? Ha? Haue you eyes?
You cannot call it Loue: For at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waites vpon the Iudgement: and what Iudgement
2455Would step from this, to this? What diuell was't,
That thus hath cousend you at hoodman-blinde?
O Shame! where is thy Blush? Rebellious Hell,
If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones,
To flaming youth, let Vertue be as waxe,
2460And melt in her owne fire. Proclaime no shame,
When the compulsiue Ardure giues the charge,
Since Frost it selfe, as actiuely doth burne,
As Reason panders Will.
Qu. O Hamlet, speake no more.
2465Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soule,
And there I see such blacke and grained spots,
As will not leaue their Tinct.
Ham. Nay, but to liue
In the ranke sweat of an enseamed bed,
2470Stew'd in Corruption; honying and making loue
Ouer the nasty Stye.
Qu. Oh speake to me, no more,
These words like Daggers enter in mine eares.
No more sweet Hamlet.
2475Ham. A Murderer, and a Villaine:
A Slaue, that is not twentieth patt the tythe
Of your precedent Lord. A vice of Kings,
A Cutpurse of the Empire and the Rule.
That from a shelfe, the precious Diadem stole,
2480And put it in his Pocket.
Qu. No more.
Enter Ghost.
Ham. A King of shreds and patches.
Saue me; and houer o're me with your wings
2485You heauenly Guards. What would you gracious figure?
Qu. Alas he's mad.
Ham. Do you not come your tardy Sonne to chide,
That laps't in Time and Passion, lets go by
Th'important acting of your dread command? Oh say.
2490Ghost. Do not forget: this Visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But looke, Amazement on thy Mother sits;
O step betweene her, and her fighting Soule,
Conceit in weakest bodies, strongest workes.
2495Speake to her Hamlet.
Ham. How is it with you Lady?
Qu. Alas, how is't with you?
That you bend your eye on vacancie,
And with their corporall ayre do hold discourse.
2500Forth at your eyes, your spirits wildely peepe,
And as the sleeping Soldiours in th'Alarme,
Your bedded haire, like life in excrements,
Start vp, and stand an end. Oh gentle Sonne,
Vpon the heate and flame of thy distemper
2505Sprinkle coole patience. Whereon do you looke?
Ham. On him, on him: look you how pale he glares,
His forme and cause conioyn'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capeable. Do not looke vpon me,
Least with this pitteous action you conuert
2510My sterne effects: then what I haue to do,
Will want true colour; teares perchance for blood.
Qu. To who do you speake this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?
Qu. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.
2515Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?
Qu. No, nothing but our selues.
Ham. Why look you there: looke how it steals away:
My Father in his habite, as he liued,
Looke where he goes euen now out at the Portall.
Exit.
2520Qu. This is the very coynage of your Braine,
This bodilesse Creation extasie is very cunning in.
Ham. Extasie?
My Pulse as yours doth temperately keepe time,
And makes as healthfull Musicke. It is not madnesse
2525That I haue vttered; bring me to the Test
And I the matter will re-word: which madnesse
Would gamboll from. Mother, for loue of Grace,
Lay not a flattering Vnction to your soule,
That not your trespasse, but my madnesse speakes:
2530It will but skin and filme the Vlcerous place,
Whil'st ranke Corruption mining all within,
Infects vnseene. Confesse your selfe to Heauen,
Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
And do not spred the Compost or the Weedes,
2535To make them ranke. Forgiue me this my Vertue,
For in the fatnesse of this pursie times,
Vertue it selfe, of Vice must pardon begge,
Yea courb, and woe, for leaue to do him good.
Qu. Oh Hamlet,
2540Thou hast cleft my heart in twaine.
Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
And liue the purer with the other halfe.
Good night, but go not to mine Vnkles bed,
Assume a Vertue, if you haue it not, refraine to night,
2545And that shall lend a kinde of easinesse
To the next abstinence. Once more goodnight,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
Ile blessing begge of you. For this same Lord,
I do repent: but heauen hath pleas'd it so,
2550To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their Scourge and Minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gaue him: so againe, good night.
I must be cruell, onely to be kinde;
2555Thus bad begins, and worse remaines behinde.
Qu. What shall I do?
Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you do:
Let the blunt King tempt you againe to bed,
Pinch Wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
2560And let him for a paire of reechie kisses,
Or padling in your necke with his damn'd Fingers,
Make you to rauell all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madnesse,
But made in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
2565For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
Would from a Paddocke, from a Bat, a Gibbe,
Such deere concernings hide, Who would do so,
No in despight of Sense and Secrecie,
Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top:
2570Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape
To try Conclusions in the Basket, creepe
And breake your owne necke downe.
Qu. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life: I haue no life to breath
2575What thou hast saide to me.
Ham. I must to England, you know that?
Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on.
Ham. This man shall set me packing:
Ile lugge the Guts into the Neighbor roome,
2580Mother goodnight. Indeede this Counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
Who was in life, a foolish prating Knaue.
Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night Mother.
2585
Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius.
Enter King.
King. There's matters in these sighes.
These profound heaues
You must translate; Tis fit we vnderstand them.
2590Where is your Sonne?
Qu. Ah my good Lord, what haue I seene to night?
King. What Gertrude? How do's Hamlet?
Qu. Mad as the Seas, and winde, when both contend
Which is the Mightier, in his lawlesse fit
2595Behinde the Arras, hearing something stirre,
He whips his Rapier out, and cries a Rat, a Rat,
And in his brainish apprehension killes
The vnseene good old man.
King. On heauy deed:
2600It had bin so with vs had we beene there:
His Liberty is full of threats to all,
To you your selfe, to vs, to euery one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deede be answered?
It will be laide to vs, whose prouidence
2605Should haue kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt,
This mad yong man. But so much was our loue,
We would not vnderstand what was most fit,
But like the Owner of a foule disease,
To keepe it from divulging, let's it feede
2610Euen on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
Qu. To draw apart the body he hath kild,
O're whom his very madnesse like some Oare
Among a Minerall of Mettels base
Shewes it selfe pure. He weepes for what is done.
2615King. Oh Gertrude, come away:
The Sun no sooner shall the Mountaines touch,
But we will ship him hence, and this vilde deed,
We must with all our Maiesty and Skill
Both countenance, and excuse.
Enter Ros. & Guild.
2620Ho Guildenstern:
Friends both go ioyne you with some further ayde:
Hamlet in madnesse hath Polonius slaine,
And from his Mother Clossets hath he drag'd him.
Go seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body
2625Into the Chappell. I pray you hast in this.
Exit Gent.
Come Gertrude, wee'l call vp our wisest friends,
To let them know both what we meane to do,
And what's vntimely done. Oh come away,
My soule is full of discord and dismay.
Exeunt.
2630
Enter Hamlet.
Ham. Safely stowed.
Gentlemen within. Hamlet, Lord Hamlet.
Ham. What noise? Who cals on Hamlet?
Oh heere they come.
Enter Ros. and Guildensterne.
2635Ro. What haue you done my Lord with the dead body?
Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis Kinne.
Rosin. Tell vs where 'tis, that we may take it thence,
And beare it to the Chappell.
Ham. Do not beleeue it.
2640Rosin. Beleeue what?
Ham. That I can keepe your counsell, and not mine
owne. Besides, to be demanded of a Spundge, what re-
plication should be made by the Sonne of a King.
Rosin. Take you me for a Spundge, my Lord?
2645Ham. I sir, that sokes vp the Kings Countenance, his
Rewards, his Authorities (but such Officers do the King
best seruice in the end. He keepes them like an Ape in
the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be last swallowed,
when he needes what you haue glean'd, it is but squee-
2650zing you, and Spundge you shall be dry againe.
Rosin. I vnderstand you not my Lord.
Ham. I am glad of it: a knauish speech sleepes in a
foolish eare.
Rosin. My Lord, you must tell vs where the body is,
2655and go with vs to the King.
Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not
with the body. The King, is a thing---
Guild. A thing my Lord?
Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him, hide Fox, and all
2660after.
Exeunt
Enter King.
King. I haue sent to seeke him, and to find the bodie:
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose:
Yet must not we put the strong Law on him:
2665Hee's loued of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their iudgement, but their eyes:
And where 'tis so, th'Offenders scourge is weigh'd
But neerer the offence: to beare all smooth, and euen,
This sodaine sending him away, must seeme
2670Deliberate pause, diseases desperate growne,
By desperate appliance are releeued,
Or not at all.
Enter Rosincrane.
How now? What hath befalne?
Rosin. Where the dead body is bestow'd my Lord,
2675We cannot get from him.
King. But where is he?
Rosin. Without my Lord, guarded to know your
pleasure.
King. Bring him before vs.
2680Rosin. Hoa, Guildensterne? Bring in my Lord.
Enter Hamlet and Guildensterne.
King. Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Ham. At Supper.
King. At Supper? Where?
2685Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten, a cer-
taine conuocation of wormes are e'ne at him. Your worm
is your onely Emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else
to fat vs, and we fat our selfe for Magots. Your fat King,
and your leane Begger is but variable seruice to dishes,
2690but to one Table that's the end.
King. What dost thou meane by this?
Ham. Nothing but to shew you how a King may go
a Progresse through the guts of a Begger.
King. Where is Polonius.
2695Ham. In heauen, send thither to see. If your Messen-
ger finde him not there, seeke him i'th other place your
selfe: but indeed, if you finde him not this moneth, you
shall nose him as you go vp the staires into the Lobby.
King. Go seeke him there.
2700Ham. He will stay till ye come.
K. Hamlet, this deed of thine, for thine especial safety
Which we do tender, as we deerely greeue
For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence
With fierie Quicknesse. Therefore prepare thy selfe,
2705The Barke is readie, and the winde at helpe,
Th'Associates tend, and euery thing at bent
For England.
Ham. For England?
King. I Hamlet.
2710Ham. Good.
King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a Cherube that see's him: but come, for
England. Farewell deere Mother.
King. Thy louing Father Hamlet.
2715Hamlet. My Mother: Father and Mother is man and
wife: man & wife is one flesh, and so my mother. Come,
for England.
Exit
King. Follow him at foote,
Tempt him with speed aboord:
2720Delay it not, Ile haue him hence to night.
Away, for euery thing is Seal'd and done
That else leanes on th'Affaire, pray you make hast.
And England, if my loue thou holdst at ought,
As my great power thereof may giue thee sense,
2725Since yet thy Cicatrice lookes raw and red
After the Danish Sword, and thy free awe
Payes homage to vs; thou maist not coldly set
Our Soueraigne Processe, which imports at full
By Letters coniuring to that effect
2730The present death of Hamlet. Do it England,
For like the Hecticke in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me: Till I know 'tis done,
How ere my happes, my ioyes were ne're begun.
Exit
Enter Fortinbras with an Armie.
2735For. Go Captaine, from me greet the Danish King,
Tell him that by his license, Fortinbras
Claimes the conueyance of a promis'd March
Ouer his Kingdome. You know the Rendeuous:
If that his Maiesty would ought with vs,
2740We shall expresse our dutie in his eye,
And let him know so.
Cap. I will doo't, my Lord.
For. Go safely on.
Exit.
Enter Queene and Horatio.
2745Qu. I will not speake with her.
Hor. She is importunate, indeed distract, her moode
will needs be pittied.
Qu. What would she haue?
Hor. She speakes much of her Father; saies she heares
2750There's trickes i'th'world, and hems, and beats her heart,
Spurnes enuiously at Strawes, speakes things in doubt,
That carry but halfe sense: Her speech is nothing,
Yet the vnshaped vse of it doth moue
The hearers to Collection; they ayme at it,
2755And botch the words vp fit to their owne thoughts,
Which as her winkes, and nods, and gestures yeeld them,
Indeed would make one thinke there would be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much vnhappily.
Qu. 'Twere good she were spoken with,
2760For she may strew dangerous coniectures
In ill breeding minds. Let her come in.
To my sicke soule (as sinnes true Nature is)
Each toy seemes Prologue, to some great amisse,
So full of Artlesse iealousie is guilt,
2765It spill's it selfe, in fearing to be spilt.
Enter Ophelia distracted.
Ophe, Where is the beauteous Maiesty of Denmark.
Qu. How now Ophelia?
Ophe. How should I your true loue know from another one?
2770By his Cockle hat and staffe, and his Sandal shoone.
Qu. Alas sweet Lady: what imports this Song?
Ophe. Say you? Nay pray you marke.
He is dead and gone Lady, he is dead and gone,
At his head a grasse-greene Turfe, at his heeles a stone.
2775
Enter King.
Qu. Nay but Ophelia.
Ophe. Pray you marke.
White his Shrow'd as the Mountaine Snow.
Qu. Alas, looke heere my Lord.
2780Ophe. Larded with sweet flowers:
Which bewept to the graue did not go,
With true-loue showres.
King. How do ye, pretty Lady?
Ophe. Well, God dil'd you. They say the Owle was
2785a Bakers daughter. Lord, wee know what we are, but
know not what we may be. God be at your Table.
King. Conceit vpon her Father.
Ophe. Pray you let's haue no words of this: but when
they aske you what it meanes, say you this:
2790
To morrow is S. Valentines day, all in the morning betime,
And I a Maid at your Window, to be your Valentine.
Then vp he rose, & don'd his clothes, & dupt the chamber dore,
Let in the Maid, that out a Maid, neuer departed more.
King. Pretty Ophelia.
2795Ophe. Indeed la? without an oath Ile make an end ont.
By gis, and by S. Charity,
Alacke, and fie for shame:
Yong men wil doo't, if they come too't,
By Cocke they are too blame.
2800Quoth she before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to Wed:
So would I ha done by yonder Sunne,
And thou hadst not come to my bed.
King. How long hath she bin this?
2805Ophe. I hope all will be well. We must bee patient,
but I cannot choose but weepe, to thinke they should
lay him i'th'cold ground: My brother shall knowe of it,
and so I thanke you for your good counsell. Come, my
Coach: Goodnight Ladies: Goodnight sweet Ladies:
2810Goodnight, goodnight.
Exit.
King. Follow her close,
Giue her good watch I pray you:
Oh this is the poyson of deepe greefe, it springs
All from her Fathers death. Oh Gertrude, Gertrude,
2815When sorrowes comes, they come not single spies,
But in Battaliaes. First, her Father slaine,
Next your Sonne gone, and he most violent Author
Of his owne iust remoue: the people muddied,
Thicke and vnwholsome in their thoughts, and whispers
2820For good Polonius death; and we haue done but greenly
In hugger mugger to interre him. Poore Ophelia
Diuided from her selfe, and her faire Iudgement,
Without the which we are Pictures, or meere Beasts.
Last, and as much containing as all these,
2825Her Brother is in secret come from France,
Keepes on his wonder, keepes himselfe in clouds,
And wants not Buzzers to infect his eare
With pestilent Speeches of his Fathers death,
Where in necessitie of matter Beggard,
2830Will nothing sticke our persons to Arraigne
In eare and eare. O my deere Gertrude, this,
Like to a murdering Peece in many places,
Giues me superfluous death.
A Noise within.
Enter a Messenger.
2835Qu. Alacke, what noyse is this?
King. Where are my Switzers?
Let them guard the doore. What is the matter?
Mes. Saue your selfe, my Lord.
The Ocean (ouer-peering of his List)
2840Eates not the Flats with more impittious haste
Then young Laertes, in a Riotous head,
Ore-beares your Officers, the rabble call him Lord,
And as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, Custome not knowne,
2845The Ratifiers and props of euery word,
They cry choose we? Laertes shall be King,
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds,
Laertes shall be King, Laertes King.
Qu. How cheerefully on the false Traile they cry,
2850Oh this is Counter you false Danish Dogges.
Noise within. Enter Laertes.
King. The doores are broke.
Laer. Where is the King, sirs? Stand you all without.
All. No, let's come in.
2855Laer. I pray you giue me leaue.
Al. We will, we will.
Laer. I thanke you: Keepe the doore.
Oh thou vilde King, giue me my Father.
Qu. Calmely good Laertes.
2860Laer. That drop of blood, that calmes
Proclaimes me Bastard:
Cries Cuckold to my Father, brands the Harlot
Euen heere betweene the chaste vnsmirched brow
Of my true Mother.
2865King. What is the cause Laertes,
That thy Rebellion lookes so Gyant-like?
Let him go Gertrude: Do not feare our person:
There's such Diuinity doth hedge a King,
That Treason can but peepe to what it would,
2870Acts little of his will. Tell me Laertes,
Why thou art thus Incenst? Let him go Gertrude.
Speake man.
Laer. Where's my Father?
King. Dead.
2875Qu. But not by him.
King. Let him demand his fill.
Laer. How came he dead? Ile not be Iuggel'd with.
To hell Allegeance: Vowes, to the blackest diuell.
Conscience and Grace, to the profoundest Pit.
2880I dare Damnation: to this point I stand,
That both the worlds I giue to negligence,
Let come what comes: onely Ile be reueng'd
Most throughly for my Father.
King. Who shall stay you?
2885Laer. My Will, not all the world,
And for my meanes, Ile husband them so well,
They shall go farre with little.
King. Good Laertes:
If you desire to know the certaintie
2890Of your deere Fathers death, if writ in your reuenge,
That Soop-stake you will draw both Friend and Foe,
Winner and Looser.
Laer. None but his Enemies.
King. Will you know them then.
2895La. To his good Friends, thus wide Ile ope my Armes:
And like the kinde Life-rend'ring Politician,
Repast them with my blood.
King. Why now you speake
Like a good Childe, and a true Gentleman.
2900That I am guiltlesse of your Fathers death,
And am most sensible in greefe for it,
It shall as leuell to your Iudgement pierce
As day do's to your eye.
A noise within. Let her come in.
2905
Enter Ophelia.
Laer. How now? what noise is that?
Oh heate drie vp my Braines, teares seuen times salt,
Burne out the Sence and Vertue of mine eye.
By Heauen, thy madnesse shall be payed by waight,
2910Till our Scale turnes the beame. Oh Rose of May,
Deere Maid, kinde Sister, sweet Ophelia:
Oh Heauens, is't possible, a yong Maids wits,
Should be as mortall as an old mans life?
Nature is fine in Loue, and where 'tis fine,
2915It sends some precious instance of it selfe
After the thing it loues.
Ophe.
They bore him bare fac'd on the Beer,
Hey non nony, nony, hey nony:
And on his graue raines many a teare,
2920Fare you well my Doue.
Laer. Had'st thou thy wits, and did'st perswade Re-
uenge, it could not moue thus.
Ophe. You must sing downe a-downe, and you call
him a-downe-a. Oh, how the wheele becomes it? It is
2925the false Steward that stole his masters daughter.
Laer. This nothings more then matter.
Ophe. There's Rosemary, that's for Remembraunce.
Pray loue remember: and there is Paconcies, that's for
Thoughts.
2930Laer. A document in madnesse, thoughts & remem-
brance fitted.
Ophe. There's Fennell for you, and Columbines: ther's
Rew for you, and heere's some for me. Wee may call it
Herbe-Grace a Sundaies: Oh you must weare your Rew
2935with a difference. There's a Daysie, I would giue you
some Violets, but they wither'd all when my Father dy-
ed: They say, he made a good end;
For bonny sweet Robin is all my ioy.
Laer. Thought, and Affliction, Passion, Hell it selfe:
2940She turnes to Fauour, and to prettinesse.
Ophe.
And will he not come againe,
And will he not come againe:
No, no, he is dead, go to thy Death-bed,
He neuer wil come againe.
2945His Beard as white as Snow,
All Flaxen was his Pole:
He is gone, he is gone, and we cast away mone,
Gramercy on his Soule.
And of all Christian Soules, I pray God.
2950God buy ye.
Exeunt Ophelia
Laer. Do you see this, you Gods?
King. Laertes, I must common with your greefe,
Or you deny me right: go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest Friends you will,
2955And they shall heare and iudge 'twixt you and me;
If by direct or by Colaterall hand
They finde vs touch'd, we will our Kingdome giue,
Our Crowne, our Life, and all that we call Ours
To you in satisfaction. But if not,
2960Be you content to lend your patience to vs,
And we shall ioyntly labour with your soule
To giue it due content.
Laer. Let this be so:
His meanes of death, his obscure buriall;
2965No Trophee, Sword, nor Hatchment o're his bones,
No Noble rite, nor formall ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from Heauen to Earth,
That I must call in question.
King. So you shall:
2970And where th'offence is, let the great Axe fall.
I pray you go with me.
Exeunt
Enter Horatio, with an Attendant.
Hora. What are they that would speake with me?
Ser. Saylors sir, they say they haue Letters for you.
2975Hor. Let them come in,
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Saylor.
Say. God blesse you Sir.
2980Hor. Let him blesse thee too.
Say. Hee shall Sir, and't please him. There's a Letter
for you Sir: It comes from th' Ambassadours that was
bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let
to know it is.
2985
Reads the Letter.
HOratio, When thou shalt haue ouerlook'd this, giue these
Fellowes some meanes to the King: They haue Letters
for him. Ere we were two dayes old at Sea, a Pyrate of very
Warlicke appointment gaue vs Chace. Finding our selues too
2990slow of Saile, we put on a compelled Valour. In the Grapple, I
boorded them: On the instant they got cleare of our Shippe, so
I alone became their Prisoner. They haue dealt with mee, like
Theeues of Mercy, but they knew what they did. I am to doe
a good turne for them. Let the King haue the Letters I haue
2995sent, and repaire thou to me with as much hast as thou wouldest
flye death. I haue words to speake in your eare, will make thee
dumbe, yet are they much too light for the bore of the Matter.
These good Fellowes will bring thee where I am. Rosincrance
and Guildensterne, hold their course for England. Of them
3000I haue much to tell thee, Farewell.
He that thou knowest thine,
Hamlet.
Come, I will giue you way for these your Letters,
And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
3005To him from whom you brought them.
Exit.
Enter King and Laertes.
King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for Friend,
Sith you haue heard, and with a knowing eare,
3010That he which hath your Noble Father slaine,
Pursued my life.
Laer. It well appeares. But tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feates,
So crimefull, and so Capitall in Nature,
3015As by your Safety, Wisedome, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd vp?
King. O for two speciall Reasons,
Which may to you (perhaps) seeme much vnsinnowed,
And yet to me they are strong. The Queen his Mother,
3020Liues almost by his lookes: and for my selfe,
My Vertue or my Plague, be it either which,
She's so coniunctiue to my life and soule;
That as the Starre moues not but in his Sphere,
I could not but by her. The other Motiue,
3025Why to a publike count I might not go,
Is the great loue the generall gender beare him,
Who dipping all his Faults in their affection,
Would like the Spring that turneth Wood to Stone,
Conuert his Gyues to Graces. So that my Arrowes
3030Too slightly timbred for so loud a Winde,
Would haue reuerted to my Bow againe,
And not where I had arm'd them.
Laer. And so haue I a Noble Father lost,
A Sister driuen into desperate tearmes,
3035Who was (if praises may go backe againe)
Stood Challenger on mount of all the Age
For her perfections. But my reuenge will come.
King. Breake not your sleepes for that,
You must not thinke
3040That we are made of stuffe, so flat, and dull,
That we can let our Beard be shooke with danger,
And thinke it pastime. You shortly shall heare more,
I lou'd your Father, and we loue our Selfe,
And that I hope will teach you to imagine---
3045
Enter a Messenger.
How now? What Newes?
Mes. Letters my Lord from Hamlet. This to your
Maiesty: this to the Queene.
King. From Hamlet? Who brought them?
3050Mes. Saylors my Lord they say, I saw them not:
They were giuen me by Claudio, he receiu'd them.
King. Laertes you shall heare them:
Leaue vs.
Exit Messenger
High and Mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your
3055Kingdome. To morrow shall I begge leaue to see your Kingly
Eyes. When I shall (first asking your Pardon thereunto) re-
count th'Occasions of my sodaine, and more strange returne.
Hamlet.
What should this meane? Are all the rest come backe?
3060Or is it some abuse? Or no such thing?
Laer. Know you the hand?
Kin. 'Tis Hamlets Character, naked and in a Post-
script here he sayes alone: Can you aduise me?
Laer. I'm lost in it my Lord; but let him come,
3065It warmes the very sicknesse in my heart,
That I shall liue and tell him to his teeth;
Thus diddest thou.
Kin. If it be so Laertes, as how should it be so:
How otherwise will you be rul'd by me?
3070Laer. If so you'l not o'rerule me to a peace.
Kin. To thine owne peace: if he be now return'd,
As checking at his Voyage, and that he meanes
No more to vndertake it; I will worke him
To an exployt now ripe in my Deuice,
3075Vnder the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no winde of blame shall breath,
But euen his Mother shall vncharge the practice,
And call it accident: Some two Monthes hence
Here was a Gentleman of Normandy,
3080I'ue seene my selfe, and seru'd against the French,
And they ran well on Horsebacke; but this Gallant
Had witchcraft in't; he grew into his Seat,
And to such wondrous doing brought his Horse,
As had he beene encorps't and demy-Natur'd
3085With the braue Beast, so farre he past my thought,
That I in forgery of shapes and trickes,
Come short of what he did.
Laer. A Norman was't?
Kin. A Norman.
3090Laer. Vpon my life Lamound.
Kin. The very same.
Laer. I know him well, he is the Brooch indeed,
And Iemme of all our Nation.
Kin. Hee mad confession of you,
3095And gaue you such a Masterly report,
For Art and exercise in your defence;
And for your Rapier most especially,
That he cryed out, t'would be a sight indeed,
If one could match you Sir. This report of his
3100Did Hamlet so envenom with his Enuy,
That he could nothing doe but wish and begge,
Your sodaine comming ore to play with him;
Now out of this.
Laer. Why out of this, my Lord?
3105Kin. Laertes was your Father deare to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?
Laer. Why aske you this?
Kin. Not that I thinke you did not loue your Father,
3110But that I know Loue is begun by Time:
And that I see in passages of proofe,
Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it:
Hamlet comes backe: what would you vndertake,
To show your selfe your Fathers sonne indeed,
3115More then in words?
Laer. To cut his throat i'th' Church.
Kin. No place indeed should murder Sancturize;
Reuenge should haue no bounds: but good Laertes
Will you doe this, keepe close within your Chamber,
3120Hamlet return'd, shall know you are come home:
Wee'l put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gaue you, bring you in fine together,
And wager on your heads, he being remisse,
3125Most generous, and free from all contriuing,
Will not peruse the Foiles? So that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A Sword vnbaited, and in a passe of practice,
Requit him for your Father.
3130Laer. I will doo't,
And for that purpose Ile annoint my Sword:
I bought an Vnction of a Mountebanke
So mortall, I but dipt a knife in it,
Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare,
3135Collected from all Simples that haue Vertue
Vnder the Moone, can saue the thing from death,
That is but scratcht withall: Ile touch my point,
With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.
3140Kin. Let's further thinke of this,
Weigh what conuenience both of time and meanes
May fit vs to our shape, if this should faile;
And that our drift looke through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assaid; therefore this Proiect
3145Should haue a backe or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proofe: Soft, let me see
Wee'l make a solemne wager on your commings,
I ha't: when in your motion you are hot and dry,
As make your bowts more violent to the end,
3150And that he cals for drinke; Ile haue prepar'd him
A Challice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there; how sweet Queene.
Enter Queene.
3155Queen. One woe doth tread vpon anothers heele,
So fast they'l follow: your Sister's drown'd Laertes.
Laer. Drown'd! O where?
Queen. There is a Willow growes aslant a Brooke,
That shewes his hore leaues in the glassie streame:
3160There with fantasticke Garlands did she come,
Of Crow-flowers, Nettles, Daysies, and long Purples,
That liberall Shepheards giue a grosser name;
But our cold Maids doe Dead Mens Fingers call them:
There on the pendant boughes, her Coronet weeds
3165Clambring to hang; an enuious sliuer broke,
When downe the weedy Trophies, and her selfe,
Fell in the weeping Brooke, her cloathes spred wide,
And Mermaid-like, a while they bore her vp,
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
3170As one incapable of her owne distresse,
Or like a creature Natiue, and indued
Vnto that Element: but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heauy with her drinke,
Pul'd the poore wretch from her melodious buy,
3175To muddy death.
Laer. Alas then, is she drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
Laer. Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my teares: but yet
3180It is our tricke, Nature her custome holds,
Let shame say what it will; when these are gone
The woman will be out: Adue my Lord,
I haue a speech of fire, that faine would blaze,
But that this folly doubts it.
Exit.
3185Kin. Let's follow, Gertrude:
How much I had to doe to calme his rage?
Now feare I this will giue it start againe;
Therefore let's follow.
Exeunt.
Enter two Clownes.
3190Clown. Is she to bee buried in Christian buriall, that
wilfully seekes her owne saluation?
Other. I tell thee she is, and therefore make her Graue
straight, the Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Chri-
stian buriall.
3195Clo. How can that be, vnlesse she drowned her selfe in
her owne defence?
Other. Why 'tis found so.
Clo. It must be Se offendendo, it cannot bee else: for
heere lies the point; If I drowne my selfe wittingly, it ar-
3200gues an Act: and an Act hath three branches. It is an
Act to doe and to performe; argall she drown'd her selfe
wittingly.
Other. Nay but heare you Goodman Deluer.
Clown. Giue me leaue; heere lies the water; good:
3205heere stands the man; good: If the man goe to this wa-
ter and drowne himsele; it is will he nill he, he goes;
marke you that? But if the water come to him & drowne
him; hee drownes not himselfe. Argall, hee that is not
guilty of his owne death, shortens not his owne life.
3210Other. But is this law?
Clo. I marry is't, Crowners Quest Law.
Other. Will you ha the truth on't: if this had not
beene a Gentlewoman, shee should haue beene buried
out of Christian Buriall.
3215Clo. Why there thou say'st. And the more pitty that
great folke should haue countenance in this world to
drowne or hang themselues, more then their euen Christi-
an. Come, my Spade; there is no ancient Gentlemen,
but Gardiners, Ditchers and Graue-makers; they hold vp
3220Adams Profession.
Other. Was he a Gentleman?
Clo. He was the first that euer bore Armes.
Other. Why he had none.
Clo. What, ar't a Heathen? how dost thou vnder-
3225stand the Scripture? the Scripture sayes Adam dig'd;
could hee digge without Armes? Ile put another que-
stion to thee; if thou answerest me not to the purpose, con-
fesse thy selfe---
Other. Go too.
3230Clo. What is he that builds stronger then either the
Mason, the Shipwright, or the Carpenter?
Other. The Gallowes maker; for that Frame outliues a
thousand Tenants.
Clo. I like thy wit well in good faith, the Gallowes
3235does well; but how does it well? it does well to those
that doe ill: now, thou dost ill to say the Gallowes is
built stronger then the Church: Argall, the Gallowes
may doe well to thee. Too't againe, Come.
Other. Who builds stronger then a Mason, a Ship-
3240wright, or a Carpenter?
Clo. I, tell me that, and vnyoake.
Other. Marry, now I can tell.
Clo. Too't.
Other. Masse, I cannot tell.
3245
Enter Hamlet and Horatio a farre off.
Clo. Cudgell thy braines no more about it; for your
dull Asse will not mend his pace with beating; and when
you are ask't this question next, say a Graue-maker: the
Houses that he makes, lasts till Doomesday: go, get thee
3250to Yaughan, fetch me a stoupe of Liquor.
Sings.
In youth when I did loue, did loue,
me thought it was very sweete:
To contract O the time for a my behoue,
3255O me thought there was nothing meete.
Ham. Ha's this fellow no feeling of his businesse, that
he sings at Graue-making?
Hor. Custome hath made it in him a property of ea-
sinesse.
3260Ham. 'Tis ee'n so; the hand of little Imployment hath
the daintier sense.
Clowne sings.
But Age with his stealing steps
hath caught me in his clutch:
3265And hath shipped me intill the Land,
as if I had neuer beene such.
Ham. That Scull had a tongue in it, and could sing
once: how the knaue iowles it to th' grownd, as if it
were Caines Iaw-bone, that did the first murther: It
3270might be the Pate of a Polititian which this Asse o're Of-
fices: one that could circumuent God, might it not?
Hor. It might, my Lord.
Ham. Or of a Courtier, which could say, Good Mor-
row sweet Lord: how dost thou, good Lord? this
3275might be my Lord such a one, that prais'd my Lord such
a ones Horse, when he meant to begge it; might it not?
Hor. I, my Lord.
Ham. Why ee'n so: and now my Lady Wormes,
Chaplesse, and knockt about the Mazard with a Sextons
3280Spade; heere's fine Reuolution, if wee had the tricke to
see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but
to play at Loggets with 'em? mine ake to thinke
on't.
Clowne sings.
3285
A Pickhaxe and a Spade, a Spade,
for and a shrowding-Sheete:
O a Pit of Clay for to be made,
for such a Guest is meete.
Ham. There's another: why might not that bee the
3290Scull of a Lawyer? where be his Quiddits now? his
Quillets? his Cases? his Tenures, and his Tricks? why
doe's he suffer this rude knaue now to knocke him about
the Sconce with a dirty Shouell, and will not tell him of
his Action of Battery? hum. This fellow might be in's
3295time a great buyer of Land, with his Statutes, his Recog-
nizances, his Fines, his double Vouchers, his Recoueries:
Is this the fine of his Fines, and the recouery of his Reco-
ueries, to haue his fine Pate full of fine Dirt? will his
Vouchers vouch him no more of his Purchases, and dou-
3300ble ones too, then the length and breadth of a paire of
Indentures? the very Conueyances of his Lands will
hardly lye in this Boxe; and must the Inheritor himselfe
haue no more? ha?
Hor. Not a iot more, my Lord.
3305Ham. Is not Parchment made of Sheep-skinnes?
Hor. I my Lord, and of Calue-skinnes too.
Ham. They are Sheepe and Calues that seek out assu-
rance in that. I will speake to this fellow: whose Graue's
this Sir?
3310Clo. Mine Sir:
O a Pit of Clay for to be made,
for such a Guest is meete.
Ham. I thinke it be thine indeed: for thou liest in't.
Clo. You lye out on't Sir, and therefore it is not yours:
3315for my part, I doe not lye in't; and yet it is mine.
Ham. Thou dost lye in't, to be in't and say 'tis thine:
'tis for the dead, not for the quicke, therefore thou
lyest.
Clo. 'Tis a quicke lye Sir, 'twill away againe from me
3320to you.
Ham. What man dost thou digge it for?
Clo. For no man Sir.
Ham. What woman then?
Clo. For none neither.
3325Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
Clo. One that was a woman Sir; but rest her Soule,
shee's dead.
Ham. How absolute the knaue is? wee must speake
by the Carde, or equiuocation will vndoe vs: by the
3330Lord Horatio, these three yeares I haue taken note of it,
the Age is growne so picked, that the toe of the Pesant
comes so neere the heeles of our Courtier, hee galls his
Kibe. How long hast thou been a Graue-maker?
Clo. Of all the dayes i'th' yeare, I came too't that day
3335that our last King Hamlet o'recame Fortinbras.
Ham. How long is that since?
Clo. Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that:
It was the very day, that young Hamlet was borne, hee
that was mad, and sent into England.
3340Ham. I marry, why was he sent into England?
Clo. Why, because he was mad; hee shall recouer his
wits there; or if he do not, it's no great matter there.
Ham. Why?
Clo. 'Twill not be seene in him, there the men are as
3345mad as he.
Ham. How came he mad?
Clo. Very strangely they say.
Ham. How strangely?
Clo. Faith e'ene with loosing his wits.
3350Ham. Vpon what ground?
Clo. Why heere in Denmarke: I haue bin sixeteene
heere, man and Boy thirty yeares.
Ham. How long will a man lie 'ith' earth ere he rot?
Clo. Ifaith, if he be not rotten before he die (as we haue
3355many pocky Coarses now adaies, that will scarce hold
the laying in) he will last you some eight yeare, or nine
yeare. A Tanner will last you nine yeare.
Ham. Why he, more then another?
Clo. Why sir, his hide is so tan'd with his Trade, that
3360he will keepe out water a great while. And your water,
is a sore Decayer of your horson dead body. Heres a Scull
now: this Scul, has laine in the earth three & twenty years.
Ham. Whose was it?
Clo. A whoreson mad Fellowes it was;
3365Whose doe you thinke it was?
Ham. Nay, I know not.
Clo. A pestlence on him for a mad Rogue, a pou'rd a
Flaggon of Renish on my head once. This same Scull
Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull, the Kings Iester.
3370Ham. This?
Clo. E'ene that.
Ham. Let me see. Alas poore Yorick, I knew him Ho-
ratio, a fellow of infinite Iest; of most excellent fancy, he
hath borne me on his backe a thousand times: And how
3375abhorred my Imagination is, my gorge rises at it. Heere
hung those lipps, that I haue kist I know not how oft.
VVhere be your Iibes now? Your Gambals? Your
Songs? Your flashes of Merriment that were wont to
set the Table on a Rore? No one now to mock your own
3380Ieering? Quite chopfalne? Now get you to my Ladies
Chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this
fauour she must come. Make her laugh at that: pry-
thee Horatio tell me one thing.
Hor. What's that my Lord?
3385Ham. Dost thou thinke Alexander lookt o'this fa-
shion i'th' earth?
Hor. E'ene so.
Ham. And smelt so? Puh.
Hor. E'ene so, my Lord.
3390Ham. To what base vses we may returne Horatio.
Why may not Imagination trace the Noble dust of A-
lexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole.
Hor. 'Twere to consider: to curiously to consider so.
Ham. No faith, not a iot. But to follow him thether
3395with modestie enough, & likeliehood to lead it; as thus.
Alexander died: Alexander was buried: Alexander re-
turneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make
Lome, and why of that Lome (whereto he was conuer-
ted) might they not stopp a Beere-barrell?
3400Imperiall sar, dead and turn'd to clay,
Might stop a hole to keepe the winde away.
Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a Wall, t'expell the winters flaw.
But soft, but soft, aside; heere comes the King.
3405
Enter King, Queene, Laertes, and a Coffin,
with Lords attendant.
The Queene, the Courtiers. Who is that they follow,
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken,
The Coarse they follow, did with disperate hand,
3410Fore do it owne life; 'twas some Estate.
Couch we a while, and mark.
Laer. What Cerimony else?
Ham. That is Laertes, a very Noble youth: Marke.
Laer. What Cerimony else?
3415Priest. Her Obsequies haue bin as farre inlarg'd.
As we haue warrantis, her death was doubtfull,
And but that great Command, o're-swaies the order,
She should in ground vnsanctified haue lodg'd,
Till the last Trumpet. For charitable praier,
3420Shardes, Flints, and Peebles, should be throwne on her:
Yet heere she is allowed her Virgin Rites,
Her Maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of Bell and Buriall.
Laer. Must there no more be done?
3425Priest. No more be done:
We should prophane the seruice of the dead,
To sing sage Requiem, and such rest to her
As to peace-parted Soules.
Laer. Lay her i'th' earth,
3430And from her faire and vnpolluted flesh,
May Violets spring. I tell thee (churlish Priest)
A Ministring Angell shall my Sister be,
When thou liest howling?
Ham. What, the faire Ophelia?
3435Queene. Sweets, to the sweet farewell.
I hop'd thou should'st haue bin my Hamlets wife:
I thought thy Bride-bed to haue deckt (sweet Maid)
And not t'haue strew'd thy Graue.
Laer. Oh terrible woer,
3440Fall ten times trebble, on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed, thy most Ingenious sence
Depriu'd thee of. Hold off the earth a while,
Till I haue caught her once more in mine armes:
Leaps in the graue.
3445Now pile your dust, vpon the quicke, and dead,
Till of this flat a Mountaine you haue made,
To o're top old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blew Olympus.
Ham. What is he, whose griefes
3450Beares such an Emphasis? whose phrase of Sorrow
Coniure the wandring Starres, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane.
Laer. The deuill take thy soule.
3455Ham. Thou prai'st not well,
I prythee take thy fingers from my throat;
Sir though I am not Spleenatiue, and rash,
Yet haue I something in me dangerous,
Which let thy wisenesse feare. Away thy hand.
3460King. Pluck them asunder.
Qu. Hamlet, Hamlet.
Gen. Good my Lord be quiet.
Ham. Why I will fight with him vppon this Theme.
Vntill my eielids will no longer wag.
3465Qu. Oh my Sonne, what Theame?
Ham. I lou'd Ophelia; fortie thousand Brothers
Could not (with all there quantitie of Loue)
Make vp my summe. What wilt thou do for her?
King. Oh he is mad Laertes,
3470Qu. For loue of God forbeare him.
Ham. Come show me what thou'lt doe.
Woo't weepe? Woo't fight? Woo't teare thy selfe?
Woo't drinke vp Esile, eate a Crocodile?
Ile doo't. Dost thou come heere to whine;
3475To outface me with leaping in her Graue?
Be buried quicke with her, and so will I.
And if thou prate of Mountaines; let them throw
Millions of Akers on vs; till our ground
Sindging his pate against the burning Zone,
3480Make Ossa like a wart. Nay, and thoul't mouth,
Ile rant as well as thou.
Kin. This is meere Madnesse:
And thus awhile the fit will worke on him:
Anon as patient as the female Doue,
3485When that her golden Cuplet are disclos'd;
His silence will sit drooping.
Ham. Heare you Sir:
What is the reason that you vse me thus?
I loud' you euer; but it is no matter:
3490Let Hercules himselfe doe what he may,
The Cat will Mew, and Dogge will haue his day.
Exit.
Kin. I pray you good Horatio wait vpon him,
Strengthen you patience in our last nights speech,
Wee'l put the matter to the present push:
3495Good Gertrude set some watch ouer your Sonne,
This Graue shall haue a liuing Monument:
An houre of quiet shortly shall we see;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
Exeunt.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
3500Ham. So much for this Sir; now let me see the other,
You doe remember all the Circumstance.
Hor. Remember it my Lord?
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kinde of fighting,
That would not let me sleepe; me thought I lay
3505Worse then the mutines in the Bilboes, rashly,
(And praise be rashnesse for it) let vs know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serues vs well,
When our deare plots do paule, and that should teach vs,
There's a Diuinity that shapes our ends,
3510Rough-hew them how we will.
Hor. That is most certaine.
Ham. Vp from my Cabin
My sea-gowne scarft about me in the darke,
Grop'd I to finde out them; had my desire,
3515Finger'd their Packet, and in fine, withdrew
To mine owne roome againe, making so bold,
(My feares forgetting manners) to vnseale
Their grand Commission, where I found Horatio,
Oh royall knauery: An exact command,
3520Larded with many seuerall sorts of reason;
Importing Denmarks health, and Englands too,
With hoo, such Bugges and Goblins in my life,
That on the superuize no leasure bated,
No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
3525My head shoud be struck off.
Hor. Ist possible?
Ham. Here's the Commission, read it at more leysure:
But wilt thou heare me how I did proceed?
Hor. I beseech you.
3530Ham. Being thus benetted round with Villaines,
Ere I could make a Prologue to my braines,
They had begun the Play. I sate me downe,
Deuis'd a new Commission, wrote it faire,
I once did hold it as our Statists doe,
3535A basenesse to write faire; and laboured much
How to forget that learning: but Sir now,
It did me Yeomans seruice: wilt thou know
The effects of what I wrote?
Hor. I, good my Lord.
3540Ham. An earnest Coniuration from the King,
As England was his faithfull Tributary,
As loue betweene them, as the Palme should flourish,
As Peace should still her wheaten Garland weare,
And stand a Comma 'tweene their amities,
3545And many such like Assis of great charge,
That on the view and know of these Contents,
Without debatement further, more or lesse,
He should the bearers put to sodaine death,
Not shriuing time allowed.
3550Hor. How was this seal'd?
Ham. Why, euen in that was Heauen ordinate;
I had my fathers Signet in my Purse,
Which was the Modell of that Danish Seale:
Folded the Writ vp in forme of the other,
3555Subscrib'd it, gau't th' impression, plac't it safely,
The changeling neuer knowne: Now, the next day
Was our Sea Fight, and what to this was sement,
Thou know'st already.
Hor. So Guildensterne and Rosincrance, go too't.
3560Ham. Why man, they did make loue to this imployment
They are not neere my Conscience; their debate
Doth by their owne insinuation grow:
'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes
Betweene the passe, and fell incensed points
3565Of mighty opposites.
Hor. Why, what a King is this?
Ham. Does it not, thinkst thee, stand me now vpon
He that bath kil'd my King, and whor'd my Mother,
Popt in betweene th'election and my hopes,
3570Throwne out his Angle for my proper life,
And with such coozenage; is't not perfect conscience,
To quit him with this arme? And is't not to be damn'd
To let this Canker of our nature come
In further euill.
3575Hor. It must be shortly knowne to him from England
What is the issue of the businesse there.
Ham. It will be short,
The interim's mine, and a mans life's no more
Then to say one: but I am very sorry good Horatio,
3580That to Laertes I forgot my selfe;
For by the image of my Cause, I see
The Portraiture of his; Ile count his fauours:
But sure the brauery of his griefe did put me
Into a Towring passion.
3585Hor. Peace, who comes heere?
Enter young Osricke.
Osr. Your Lordship is right welcome back to Den-
Ham. I humbly thank you Sir, dost know this waterflie?
Hor. No my good Lord.
3590Ham. Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to
know him: he hath much Land, and fertile; let a Beast
be Lord of Beasts, and his Crib shall stand at the Kings
Messe; 'tis a Chowgh; but as I saw spacious in the pos-
session of dirt.
3595Osr. Sweet Lord, if your friendship were at leysure,
I should impart a thing to you from his Maiesty.
Ham. I will receiue it with all diligence of spirit; put
your Bonet to his right vse, 'tis for the head.
Osr. I thanke your Lordship, 'tis very hot.
3600Ham. No, beleeue mee 'tis very cold, the winde is
Northerly.
Osr. It is indifferent cold my Lord indeed.
Ham. Mee thinkes it is very soultry, and hot for my
Complexion.
3605Osr. Exceedingly, my Lord, it is very soultry, as 'twere
I cannot tell how: but my Lord, his Maiesty bad me sig-
nifie to you, that he ha's laid a great wager on your head:
Sir, this is the matter.
Ham. I beseech you remember.
3610Osr. Nay, in good faith, for mine ease in good faith:
Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at
his weapon.
Ham. What's his weapon?
Osr. Rapier and dagger.
3615Ham. That's two of his weapons; but well.
Osr. The sir King ha's wag'd with him six Barbary Hor-
ses, against the which he impon'd as I take it, sixe French
Rapiers and Poniards, with their assignes, as Girdle,
Hangers or so: three of the Carriages infaith are very
3620deare to fancy, very responsiue to the hilts, most delicate
carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
Ham. What call you the Carriages?
Osr. The Carriages Sir, are the hangers.
Ham. The phrase would bee more Germaine to the
3625matter: If we could carry Cannon by our sides; I would
it might be Hangers till then; but on sixe Barbary Hor-
ses against sixe French Swords: their Assignes, and three
liberall conceited Carriages, that's the French but a-
gainst the Danish; why is this impon'd as you call it?
3630Osr. The King Sir, hath laid that in a dozen passes be-
tweene you and him, hee shall not exceed you three hits;
He hath one twelue for mine, and that would come to
imediate tryall, if your Lordship would vouchsafe the
Answere.
3635Ham. How if I answere no?
Osr. I meane my Lord, the opposition of your person
in tryall.
Ham. Sir, I will walke heere in the Hall; if it please
his Maiestie, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let
3640the Foyles bee brought, the Gentleman willing, and the
King hold his purpose; I will win for him if I can: if
not, Ile gaine nothing but my shame, and the odde hits.
Osr. Shall I redeliuer you ee'n so?
Ham. To this effect Sir, after what flourish your na-
3645ture will.
Osr. I commend my duty to your Lordship.
Ham. Yours, yours; hee does well to commend it
himselfe, there are no tongues else for's tongue.
Hor. This Lapwing runs away with the shell on his
3650head.
Ham. He did Complie with his Dugge before hee
suck't it: thus had he and mine more of the same Beauy
that I know the drossie age dotes on; only got the tune of
the time, and outward habite of encounter, a kinde of
3655yesty collection, which carries them through & through
the most fond and winnowed opinions; and doe but blow
them to their tryalls: the Bubbles are out.
Hor. You will lose this wager, my Lord.
Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France,
3660I haue beene in continuall practice; I shall winne at the
oddes: but thou wouldest not thinke how all heere a-
bout my heart: but it is no matter.
Hor. Nay, good my Lord.
Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kinde of
3665gain-giuing as would perhaps trouble a woman.
Hor. If your minde dislike any thing, obey. I will fore-
stall their repaire hither, and say you are not fit.
Ham. Not a whit, we defie Augury; there's a speciall
Prouidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not
3670to come: if it bee not to come, it will bee now: if it
be not now; yet it will come; the readinesse is all, since no
man ha's ought of what he leaues. What is't to leaue be-
times?
Enter King, Queene, Laertes and Lords, with other Atten-
3675
dants with Foyles, and Gauntlets, a Table and
Flagons of Wine on it.
Kin. Come Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
Ham. Giue me your pardon Sir, I'ue done you wrong,
But pardon't as you are a Gentleman.
3680This presence knowes,
And you must needs haue heard how I am punisht
With sore distraction? What I haue done
That might your nature honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I heere proclaime was madnesse:
3685Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Neuer Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away:
And when he's not himselfe, do's wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it:
Who does it then? His Madnesse? If't be so,
3690Hamlet is of the Faction that is wrong'd,
His madnesse is poore Hamlets Enemy.
Sir, in this Audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill,
Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts,
3695That I haue shot mine Arrow o're the house,
And hurt my Mother.
Laer. I am satisfied in Nature,
Whose motiue in this case should stirre me most
To my Reuenge. But in my termes of Honor
3700I stand aloofe, and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder Masters of knowne Honor,
I haue a voyce, and president of peace
To keepe my name vngorg'd. But till that time,
I do receiue your offer'd loue like loue,
3705And wil not wrong it.
Ham. I do embrace it freely,
And will this Brothers wager frankely play.
Giue vs the Foyles: Come on.
Laer. Come one for me.
3710Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance,
Your Skill shall like a Starre i'th'darkest night,
Sticke fiery off indeede.
Laer. You mocke me Sir.
Ham. No by this hand.
3715King. Giue them the Foyles yong Osricke,
Cousen Hamlet, you know the wager.
Ham. Verie well my Lord,
Your Grace hath laide the oddes a'th'weaker side.
King. I do not feare it,
3720I haue seene you both:
But since he is better'd, we haue therefore oddes.
Laer. This is too heauy,
Let me see another.
Ham. This likes me well,
3725These Foyles haue all a length.
Prepare to play.
Osricke. I my good Lord.
King. Set me the Stopes of wine vpon that Table:
If Hamlet giue the first, or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
3730Let all the Battlements their Ordinance fire,
The King shal drinke to Hamlets better breath,
And in the Cup an vnion shal he throw
Richer then that, which foure successiue Kings
In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne.
3735Giue me the Cups,
And let the Kettle to the Trumpets speake,
The Trumpet to the Cannoneer without,
The Cannons to the Heauens, the Heauen to Earth,
Now the King drinkes to Hamlet. Come, begin,
3740And you the Iudges beare a wary eye.
Ham. Come on sir.
Laer. Come on sir.
They play.
Ham. One.
Laer. No.
3745Ham. Iudgement.
Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Laer. Well: againe.
King. Stay, giue me drinke.
Hamlet, this Pearle is thine,
3750Here's to thy health. Giue him the cup,
Trumpets sound, and shot goes off.
Ham. Ile play this bout first, set by a-while.
Come: Another hit; what say you?
Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confesse.
3755King. Our Sonne shall win.
Qu. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Heere's a Napkin, rub thy browes,
The Queene Carowses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Ham. Good Madam.
3760King. Gertrude, do not drinke.
Qu. I will my Lord;
I pray you pardon me.
King. It is the poyson'd Cup, it is too late.
Ham. I dare not drinke yet Madam,
3765By and by.
Qu. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. My Lord, Ile hit him now.
King. I do not thinke't.
Laer. And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.
3770Ham. Come for the third.
Laertes, you but dally,
I pray you passe with your best violence,
I am affear'd you make a wanton of me.
Laer. Say you so? Come on.
Play.
3775Osr. Nothing neither way.
Laer. Haue at you now.
In scuffling they change Rapiers.
King. Part them, they are incens'd.
Ham. Nay come, againe.
3780Osr. Looke to the Queene there hoa.
Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't my Lord?
Osr. How is't Laertes?
Laer. Why as a Woodcocke
To mine Sprindge, Osricke,
3785I am iustly kill'd with mine owne Treacherie.
Ham. How does the Queene?
King. She sounds to see them bleede.
Qu. No, no, the drinke, the drinke.
Oh my deere Hamlet, the drinke, the drinke,
3790I am poyson'd.
Ham. Oh Villany! How? Let the doore be lock'd.
Treacherie, seeke it out.
Laer. It is heere Hamlet.
Hamlet, thou art slaine,
3795No Medicine in the world can do thee good.
In thee, there is not halfe an houre of life;
The Treacherous Instrument is in thy hand,
Vnbated and envenom'd: the foule practise
Hath turn'd it selfe on me. Loe, heere I lye,
3800Neuer to rise againe: Thy Mothers poyson'd:
I can no more, the King, the King's too blame.
Ham. The point envenom'd too,
Then venome to thy worke.
Hurts the King.
3805All. Treason, Treason.
King. O yet defend me Friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Heere thou incestuous, murdrous,
Damned Dane,
Drinke off this Potion: Is thy Vnion heere?
3810Follow my Mother.
King Dyes.
Laer. He is iustly seru'd.
It is a poyson temp'red by himselfe:
Exchange forgiuenesse with me, Noble Hamlet;
Mine and my Fathers death come not vpon thee,
3815Nor thine on me.
Dyes.
Ham. Heauen make thee free of it, I follow thee.
I am dead Horatio, wretched Queene adiew,
You that looke pale, and tremble at this chance,
That are but Mutes or audience to this acte:
3820Had I but time (as this fell Sergeant death
Is strick'd in his Arrest) oh I could tell you.
But let it be: Horatio, I am dead,
Thou liu'st, report me and my causes right
To the vnsatisfied.
3825Hor. Neuer beleeue it.
I am more an Antike Roman then a Dane:
Heere's yet some Liquor left.
Ham. As th'art a man, giue me the Cup.
Let go, by Heauen Ile haue't.
3830Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
(Things standing thus vnknowne) shall liue behind me.
If thou did'st euer hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicitie awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in paine,
3835To tell my Storie.
March afarre off, and shout within.
What warlike noyse is this?
Enter Osricke.
Osr. Yong Fortinbras, with conquest come frõ Poland
3840To th' Ambassadors of England giues rhis warlike volly.
Ham. O I dye Horatio:
The potent poyson quite ore-crowes my spirit,
I cannot liue to heare the Newes from England,
But I do prophesie th'election lights
3845On Fortinbras, he ha's my dying voyce,
So tell him with the occurrents more and lesse,
Which haue solicited. The rest is silence. O, o, o, o.
Dyes
Hora. Now cracke a Noble heart:
Goodnight sweet Prince,
3850And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest,
Why do's the Drumme come hither?
Enter Fortinbras and English Ambassador, with Drumme,
Colours, and Attendants.
Fortin. Where is this sight?
3855Hor. What is it ye would see;
If ought of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
For. His quarry cries on hauocke. Oh proud death,
What feast is toward in thine eternall Cell.
That thou so many Princes, at a shoote,
3860So bloodily hast strooke.
Amb. The sight is dismall,
And our affaires from England come too late,
The eares are senselesse that should giue vs hearing,
To tell him his command'ment is fulfill'd,
3865That Rosincrance and Guildensterne are dead:
Where should we haue our thankes?
Hor. Not from his mouth,
Had it th'abilitie of life to thanke you:
He neuer gaue command'ment for their death.
3870But since so iumpe vpon this bloodie question,
You from the Polake warres, and you from England
Are heere arriued. Giue order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view,
And let me speake to th'yet vnknowing world,
3875How these things came about. So shall you heare
Of carnall, bloudie, and vnnaturall acts,
Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters
Of death's put on by cunning, and forc'd cause,
And in this vpshot, purposes mistooke,
3880Falne on the Inuentors heads. All this can I
Truly deliuer.
For. Let vs hast to heare it,
And call the Noblest to the Audience.
For me, with sorrow, I embrace my Fortune,
3885I haue some Rites of memory in this Kingdome,
Which are ro claime, my vantage doth
Inuite me,
Hor. Of that I shall haue alwayes cause to speake,
And from his mouth
3890Whose voyce will draw on more:
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Euen whiles mens mindes are wilde,
Lest more mischance
On plots, and errors happen.
3895For. Let foure Captaines
Beare Hamlet like a Soldier to the Stage,
For he was likely, had he beene put on
To haue prou'd most royally:
And for his passage,
3900The Souldiours Musicke, and the rites of Warre
Speake lowdly for him.
Take vp the body; Such a sight as this
Becomes the Field, but heere shewes much amis.
Go, bid the Souldiers shoote.
3905
Exeunt Marching: after the which, a Peale of
Ordenance are shot off.
FINIS.