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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
    Ham. The ayre bites shrewd; it is an eager and
    605 An nipping winde, what houre i' st?
    Hor. I think it lacks of twelue, Sound Trumpets.
    Mar. No, t'is strucke.
    Hor. Indeed I heard it not, what doth this mean my lord?
    Ham. O the king doth wake to night, & takes his rowse,
    Keepe wa s s el, and the swaggering vp-spring reeles,
    And as he dreames, his draughts of reni sh downe,
    615 The kettle, drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out,
    The triumphes of his pledge.
    Hor. Is it a cu stome here?
    Ham. I mary i' st and though I am
    Natiue here, and to the maner borne,
    620 It is a cu stome, more honourd in the breach,
    Then in the obseruance.
    Enter the Gho st.
    Hor. Looke my Lord, it comes.
    Ham. Angels and Mini sters of grace defend vs,
    625 Be thou a spirite of health, or goblin damn'd,
    Bring with thee ayres from heanen, or bla sts from hell:
    Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
    Thou comme st in such que stionable shape,
    That I will speake to thee,
    Ile call thee Hamlet, King, Father, Royall Dane,
    630 O answere mee, let mee not bur st in ignorance,
    But say why thy canonizd bones hearsed in death
    Haue bur st their ceremonies: why thy Sepulcher,
    In which wee saw thee quietly interr'd,
    635 Hath bur st his ponderous and marble Iawes,
    To ca st thee vp againe: what may this meane,
    That thou, dead corse, againe in compleate steele,
    Reui s s ets thus the glimses of the Moone,
    Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature,
    640 So horridely to shake our dispo sition,
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules?
    Say, speake, wherefore, what may this meane?
    Hor. It beckons you, as though it had something
    645 To impart to you alone.
    Mar. Looke with what courteous action
    It waues you to a more remoued ground,
    But do not go with it.
    650 Hor. No, by no meanes my Lord.
    Ham. It will not speake, then will I follow it.
    Hor. What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord.
    660 That beckles ore his bace, into the sea,
    And there a s s ume some other horrible shape,
    Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
    And driue you into madne s s e: thinke of it.
    Ham. Still am I called, go on, ile follow thee.
    665 Hor. My Lord, you shall not go.
    Ham. Why what should be the feare?
    I do not set my life at a pinnes fee,
    655 And for my soule, what can it do to that?
    Being a thing immortall, like it selfe,
    Go on, ile follow thee.
    Mar. My Lord be rulde, you shall not goe.
    Ham. My fate cries out, and makes each pety Artiue
    670 As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue,
    Still am I cald, vnhand me gentlemen;
    By heauen ile make a gho st of him that lets me,
    Away I say, go on, ile follow thee.
    675 Hor. He waxeth desperate with imagination.
    Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
    Hor. Haue after; to what i s s ue will this sort?
    Mar. Lets follow, tis not fit thus to obey him.
    exit.