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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 and the Players.
    Ham. Pronounce me this speech trippingly a the tongue
    as I taught thee,
    1850 Mary and you mouth it, as a many of your players do
    I'de rather heare a towne bull bellow,
    Then such a fellow speake my lines.
    Nor do not saw the aire thus with your hands,
    But giue euery thing his action with temperance.
    O it offends mee to the soule, to heare a rebu stious periwig (fellow,
    To teare a pa s sion in totters, into very ragges,
    To split the eares of the ignoraut, who for the
    Mo st parte are capable of nothing but dumbe shewes and (noises,
    1860 I would haue such a fellow whipt, for o're doing, tarmagant
    It out, Herodes Herod.
    players My Lorde, wee haue indifferently reformed that
    1885 among vs.
    Ham. The better, the better, mend it all together:
    There be fellowes that I haue seene play,
    And heard others commend them, and that highly too,
    That hauing neither the gate of Chri stian, Pagan,
    1880 Nor Turke, haue so strutted and bellowed,
    1880 That you would a thought, some of Natures journeymen
    Had made men, and not made them well,
    They imitated humanitie, so abhominable:
    Take heede, auoyde it.
    players I warrant you my Lord.
    Ham. And doe you heare? let not your Clowne speake
    More then is set downe, there be of them I can tell you
    That will laugh themselues, to set on some
    Quantitie of barren spectators to laugh with them,
    1890 Albeit there is some nece s s ary point in the Play
    Then to be obserued: O t'is vile, and shewes
    A pittifull ambition in the foole the vseth it.
    1892.1 And then you haue some agen, that keepes one sute
    Os iea sts, as a man is knowne by one sute of
    Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his iea sts downe
    In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus:
    1892.5 Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige? and, you owe me
    A quarters wages: and, my coate wants a cullison:
    And your beere is sowre: and, blabbering with his lips,
    And thus keeping in his cinkapase of iea sts,
    When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a ie st
    1892.10 Vnle s s e by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare:
    Mai sters tell him of it.
    1900 players We will my Lord.
    Ham. Well, goe make you ready. exeunt players.
    Horatio. Heere my Lord.
    Ham. Horatio, thou art euen as iu st a man,
    1905 As e're my conuersation cop'd withall.
    Hor. O my lord!
    Ham. Nay why should I flatter thee?
    1910 Why should the poore be flattered?
    What gaine should I receiue by flattering thee,
    That nothing hath but thy good minde?
    Let flattery sit on those time-plea sing tongs,
    To glose with them that loues to heare their praise,
    1912.1 And not with such as thou Horatio.
    There is a play to night, wherein one Sceane they haue
    Comes very neere the murder of my father,
    When thou shalt see that Act afoote,
    Marke thou the King, doe but obserue his lookes,
    For I mine eies will riuet to his face:
    And if he doe not bleach, and change at that,
    It is a damned gho st that we haue seene.
    Horatio, haue a care, obserue him well.
    Hor. My lord, mine eies shall still be on his face,
    1940 And not the smalle st alteration
    That shall appeare in him, but I shall note it.
    Ham. Harke, they come.
    Enter King, Queene, Corambis, and other Lords.
    King How now son Hamlet, how fare you, shall we haue (a play?
    Ham. Yfaith the Camelions di sh, not capon cramm'd,
    1950 feede a the ayre.
    I father: My lord, you playd in the Vniuer sitie.
    1955 Cor. That I did my L: and I was counted a good actor.
    Ham. What did you enact there?
    Cor. My lord, I did act Iuliussar, I was killed
    in the Capitoll, Brutus killed me.
    1960 Ham. It was a brute parte of him,
    1960 To kill so capitall a calfe.
    Come, be these Players ready?
    Queene Hamlet come sit downe by me.
    Ham. No by my faith mother, heere's a mettle more at- (tractiue:
    Lady will you giue me leaue, and so forth:
    To lay my head in your lappe?
    Ofel. No my Lord.
    Ham. Vpon your lap, what do you thinke I meant con- (trary matters?
    1990 Enter in a Dumbe Shew, the King and the Queene, he sits
    downe in an Arbor, she leaues him: Then enters Luci -
    anus with poyson in a Viall, and powres it in his eares, and
    goes away: Then the Queene commeth and findes him
    dead: and goes away with the other.
    Ofel. What meanes this my Lord? Enter the Prologue.
    Ham. This is myching Mallico, that meanes my chiefe.
    Ofel. What doth this meane my lord?
    Ham. you shall heare anone, this fellow will tell you all.
    2010 Ofel. Will he tell vs what this shew meanes?
    Ham. I, or any shew you'le shew him,
    Be not afeard to shew, hee'le not be afeard to tell:
    O these Players cannot keepe counsell, thei'le tell all.
    Prol. For vs, and for our Tragedie,
    Heere stowpiug to your clemencie,
    We begge your hearing patiently.
    2020 Ham. I' st a prologue, or a poe sie for a ring?
    Ofel. T'is short my Lord.
    Ham. As womens loue.
    Enter the Duke and Dutche s s e.
    Duke Full fortie yeares are pa st, their date is gone,
    Since happy time ioyn'd both our hearts as one:
    2028.1 And now the blood that fill'd my youthfull veines,
    Runnes weakely in their pipes, and all the straines
    Of mu sicke, which whilome pleasde mine eare,
    Is now a burthen that Age cannot beare:
    2028.5 And therefore sweete Nature mu st pay his due,
    2040 To heauen mu st I, and leaue the earth with you.
    2040.1 Dutche s s e O say not so, le st that you kill my heart,
    When death takes you, let life from me depart.
    Duke Content thy selfe, when ended is my date,
    Thon mai st (perchance) haue a more noble mate,
    2043.1 More wise, more youthfull, and one.
    2045 Dutche s s e O speake no more for then I am accur st,
    None weds the second, but she kils the fir st:
    A second time I kill my Lord that's dead,
    When second husband ki s s es me in bed.
    Ham. O wormewood, wormewood!
    Duke I doe beleeue you sweete, what now you speake,
    2055 But what we doe determine oft we breake,
    2080 For our demises stil are ouerthrowne,
    Our thoughts are ours, their end's none of our owne:
    So thinke you will no second husband wed,
    But die thy thoughts, when thy fir st Lord is dead.
    Dutche s s e Both here and there pursue me la sting strife,
    If once a widdow, euer I be wife.
    2090 Ham. If she should breake now.
    Duke T'is deepely sworne, sweete leaue me here a while,
    My spirites growe dull, and faine I would beguile the tedi-
    ous time with sleepe.
    2095 Dutche s s e Sleepe rocke thy braine,
    And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine. exit Lady
    Ham. Madam, how do you like this play?
    Queene The Lady prote sts too much.
    Ham. O but shee'le keepe her word.
    2100 King Haue you heard the argument, is there no offence
    in it?
    Ham. No offence in the world, poyson in ie st, poison in (ie st.
    King What do you call the name of the play?
    2105 Ham. Mouse-trap: mary how trapically: this play is
    The image of a murder done in guyana, Albertus
    Was the Dukes name, his wife Bapti sta,
    Father, it is a knaui sh peece a worke: but what
    A that, it toucheth not vs, you and I that haue free
    2110 Soules, let the galld iade wince, this is one
    Lucianus nephew to the King.
    Ofel. Ya're as good as a Chorus my lord.
    Ham. I could interpret the loue you beare, if I sawe the
    2115 poopies dallying.
    1975 Ofel. Y'are very pleasant my lord.
    Ham. Who I, your onlie jig-maker, why what shoulde
    a man do but be merry? for looke how cheerefully my mo-
    1980 ther lookes, my father died within these two houres.
    Ofel. Nay, t'is twice two months, my Lord.
    Ham. Two months, nay then let the diuell weare blacke,
    For i'le haue a sute of Sables: Iesus, two months dead,
    1985 And not forgotten yet? nay then there's some
    Likelyhood, a gentlemans death may outliue memorie,
    But by my faith hee mu st build churches then,
    Or els hee mu st follow the olde Epitithe,
    With hoh, with ho, the hobi-horse is forgot.
    Ofel. Your ie sts are keene my Lord.
    Ham. It would co st you a groning to take them off.
    Ofel. Still better and worse.
    2120 Ham. So you mu st take your husband, begin. Murdred
    Begin, a poxe, leaue thy damnable faces and begin,
    Come, the croking rauen doth bellow for reuenge.
    Murd. Thoughts blacke, hands apt, drugs fit, and time (agreeing.
    Confederate season, else no creature seeing:
    Thou mixture rancke, of midnight weedes collected,
    With Hecates bane thrise bla sted, thrise infected,
    Thy naturall magicke, and dire propertie,
    2130 One wholesome life vsurps immediately. exit.
    Ham. He poysons him for his e state.
    2140 King Lights, I will to bed.
    Cor. The king rises, lights hoe.
    Exeunt King and Lordes.
    Ham. What, frighted with false fires?
    Then let the stricken deere goe weepe,
    The Hart vngalled play,
    2145 For some mu st laugh, while some mu st weepe,
    Thus runnes the world away.
    2146.1 Hor. The king is mooued my lord.
    Hor. I Horatio, i'le take the Gho sts word
    For more then all the coyne in Denmarke.
    Enter Ro s s encraft and Gilder stone.
    Ross. Now my lord, how i' st with you?
    2165 Ham. And if the king like not the tragedy,
    Why then belike he likes it not perdy.
    2166.1 Ross. We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant,
    My good lord, let vs againe intreate
    To know of you the ground and cause of your di stempera- (ture
    Gil. My lord, your mother craues to speake with you.
    Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.
    2203.1 Ross. But my good Lord, shall I intreate thus much?
    Ham. I pray will you play vpon this pipe?
    Ross. Alas my lord I cannot.
    Ham. Pray will you.
    2225 Gil. I haue no skill my Lord.
    Ham. why looke, it is a thing of nothing,
    T'is but stopping of these holes,
    And with a little breath from your lips,
    2230 It will giue mo st delicate mu sick.
    Gil. But this cannot wee do my Lord.
    Ham. Pray now, pray hartily, I beseech you.
    Ros. My lord wee cannot.
    Ham. Why how vnworthy a thing would you make of (me?
    2235 You would seeme to know my stops, you would play vpon mee,
    You would search the very inward part of my hart,
    And diue into the secrect of my soule.
    2240 Zownds do you thinke I am ea sier to be pla'yd
    On, then a pipe? call mee what In strument
    You will, though you can frett mee, yet you can not
    Play vpon mee, be sides, to be demanded by a spunge.
    Ros. How a spunge my Lord?
    2645 Ham. I sir, a spunge, that sokes vp the kings
    2645 Countenance, fauours, and rewardes, that makes
    His liberalitie your store house: but such as you,
    Do the king, in the end, be st seruise;
    For hee doth keep you as an Ape doth nuttes,
    In the corner of his Iaw, fir st mouthes you,
    Then swallowes you: so when hee hath need
    Of you, t'is but squee sing of you,
    2650 And spunge, you shall be dry againe, you shall.
    2650.1 Ros. Wel my Lord wee'le take our leaue.
    Ham Farewell, farewell, God ble s s e you.
    2242.1 Exit Ro s s encraft and Gilder stone.
    Enter Corambis
    2245 Cor. My lord, the Queene would speake with you.
    Ham. Do you see yonder clowd in the shape of a camell?
    Cor. T'is like a camell in deed.
    2250 Ham. Now me thinkes it's like a weasel.
    Cor. T'is back't like a weasell.
    Ham. Or like a whale.
    Cor. Very like a whale. exit Coram.
    Ham. Why then tell my mother i'le come by and by.
    2254.1 Good night Horatio.
    Hor. Good night vnto your Lord ship. exit Horatio.
    Ham. My mother she hath sent to speake with me:
    O God, let ne're the heart of Nero enter
    2265 This soft bosome.
    Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall.
    I will speake daggers, those sharpe wordes being spent,
    2270 To doe her wrong my soule shall ne're consent. exit.