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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

    The Tragicall Hi storie of
    HAMLETPrince of Denmarke.
    Enter Two Centinels.
    1. STand: who is that?
    2. Tis I.
    10 1. O you come mo st carefully vpon your watch,
    2. And if you meete Marcellus and Horatio,
    The partners of my watch, bid them make ha ste.
    1. I will: See who goes there.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    20 Hor. Friends to this ground.
    Mar. And leegemen to the Dane,
    O farewell hone st souldier, who hath releeued you?
    1. Barnardo hath my place, giue you good night.
    Mar. Holla, Barnardo.
    2. Say, is Horatio there?
    Hor. A peece of him.
    2. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.
    30 Mar. What hath this thing appear'd againe to night.
    2. I haue seene nothing.
    Mar. Horatio sayes tis but our fanta sie,
    And wil not let beliefe take hold of him,
    Touching this dreaded sight twice seene by vs,
    35 Therefore I haue intreated him a long with vs
    To watch the minutes of this night,
    That if againe this apparition come,
    He may approoue our eyes, and speake to it.
    Hor. Tut, t'will not appeare.
    40 2. Sit downe I pray, and let vs once againe
    A s s aile your eares that are so fortified,
    What we haue two nights seene.
    Hor. Wel, sit we downe, and let vs heare Bernardo speake
    45 of this.
    2. La st night of al, when yonder starre that's we st -
    ward from the pole, had made his course to
    Illumine that part of heauen. Where now it burnes,
    50 The bell then towling one.
    Enter Gho st.
    Mar. Breake off your talke, see where it comes againe.
    2. In the same figure like the King that's dead,
    Mar. Thou art a scholler, speake to it Horatio.
    55 2. Lookes it not like the king?
    Hor. Mo st like, it horrors mee with feare and wonder.
    2. It would be spoke to.
    Mar. Que stion it Horatio.
    Hor. What art thou that thus vsurps the state, in
    Which the Maie stie of buried Denmarke did sometimes
    Walke? By heauen I charge thee speake.
    Mar. It is offended. exit Gho st.
    2. See, it stalkes away.
    65 Hor. Stay, speake, speake, by heauen I charge thee
    65 speake.
    Mar. Tis gone and makes no answer.
    2. How now Horatio, you tremble and looke pale,
    Is not this something more than fanta sie?
    70 What thinke you on't?
    Hor. Afore my God, I might not this beleeue, without
    the sen sible and true auouch of my owne eyes.
    Mar. Is it not like the King?
    75 Hor. As thou art to thy selfe,
    Such was the very armor he had on,
    When he the ambitious Norway combated.
    So frownd he once, when in an angry parle
    He smot the sleaded pollax on the yce,
    80 Tis strange.
    Mar. Thus twice before, and iump at this dead hower,
    With Mar shall stalke he pa s s ed through our watch.
    Hor. In what particular to worke, I know not,
    But in the thought and scope of my opinion,
    85 This bodes some strange eruption to the state.
    Mar. Good, now sit downe, and tell me he that knowes
    Why this same strikt and mo st obseruant watch,
    So nightly toyles the subiect of the land,
    And why such dayly co st of brazen Cannon
    90 And forraine marte, for implements of warre,
    Why such impre s s e of ship-writes, whose sore taske
    Does not diuide the sunday from the weeke:
    What might be toward that this sweaty march
    Doth make the night ioynt labourer with the day,
    95 Who is't that can informe me?
    Hor. Mary that can I, at lea st the whisper goes so,
    Our late King, who as you know was by Forten-
    Bra s s e of Norway,
    100 Thereto prickt on by a mo st emulous cause, dared to
    The combate, in which our valiant Hamlet,
    For so this side of our knowne world e steemed him,
    Did slay this Fortenbra s s e,
    Who by a seale compact well ratified, by law
    And heraldrie, did forfeit with his life all those
    105 His lands which he stoode seazed of by the conqueror,
    Again st the which a moity competent,
    Was gaged by our King:
    Now sir, yong Fortenbra s s e,
    Of inapproued mettle hot and full,
    Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there,
    115 Sharkt vp a sight of lawle s s e Resolutes
    For food and diet to some enterprise,
    That hath a stomacke in't: and this (I take it) is the
    Chiefe head and ground of this our watch.
    125 Enter the Gho st.
    But loe, behold, see where it comes againe,
    Ile cro s s e it, though it bla st me: stay illu sion,
    If there be any good thing to be done,
    130 That may doe ease to thee, and grace to mee,
    130 Speake to mee.
    If thou art priuy to thy countries fate,
    Which happly foreknowing may preuent, O speake to me,
    Or if thou ha st extorted in thy life,
    Or hoorded treasure in the wombe of earth,
    135 For which they say you Spirites oft walke in death, speake
    to me, stay and speake, speake, stoppe it Marcellus.
    2. Tis heere. exit Gho st.
    140 Hor. Tis heere.
    Marc. Tis gone, O we doe it wrong, being so maie sti-
    call, to offer it the shew of violence,
    For it is as the ayre invelmorable,
    145 And our vaine blowes malitious mockery.
    2. It was about to speake when the Cocke crew.
    Hor. And then it faded like a guilty thing,
    Vpon a fearefull summons: I haue heard
    The Cocke, that is the trumpet to the morning,
    150 Doth with his earely and shrill crowing throate,
    Awake the god of day, and at his sound,
    Whether in earth or ayre, in sea or fire,
    The strauagant and erring spirite hies
    To his confines, and of the trueth heereof
    155 This present obiect made probation.
    Marc. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke,
    Some say, that euer gain st that season comes,
    Wherein our Sauiours birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
    160 And then they say, no spirite dare walke abroade,
    The nights are wholesome, then no planet frikes,
    No Fairie takes, nor Witch hath powre to charme,
    So gratious, and so hallowed is that time.
    Hor. So haue I heard, and doe in parte beleeue it:
    165 But see the Sunne in ru s s et mantle clad,
    Walkes ore the deaw of yon hie mountaine top,
    Breake we our watch vp, and by my aduise,
    Let vs impart what wee haue seene to night
    Vnto yong Hamlet: for vpon my life
    170 This Spirite dumbe to vs will speake to him:
    Do you consent, wee shall acquaint him with it,
    As needefull in our loue, fitting our duetie?
    Marc. Lets doo't I pray, and I this morning know,
    Where we shall finde him mo st conueniently.