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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 2, 1604)

    Prince of Denmarke.
    indeuidible, or Poem vnlimited. Sceneca cannot be too heauy, nor
    Plautus too light for the lawe of writ, and the liberty: these are the
    1450 only men.
    Ham. O Ieptha Iudge of Israell, what a treasure had' st thou?
    Pol. What a treasure had he my Lord?
    Ham. Why one faire daughter and no more, the which he loued
    1455 pa s sing well.
    Pol. Still on my daughter.
    Ham. Am I not i'th right old Ieptha?
    Pol. If you call me Ieptha my Lord, I haue a daughter that I loue (pa s sing well.
    Ham. Nay that followes not.
    Pol. What followes then my Lord?
    Ham. Why as by lot God wot, and then you knowe it came to
    pa s s e, as mo st like it was; the fir st rowe of the pious chanson will
    showe you more, for looke where my abridgment comes.
    Enter the Players.
    Ham. You are welcome mai sters, welcome all, I am glad to see thee
    well, welcome good friends, oh old friend, why thy face is va-
    lanct since I saw thee la st, com' st thou to beard me in Denmark?
    1470 what my young Lady and mi stris, by lady your Ladi shippe is
    nerer to heauen, then when I saw you la st by the altitude of a
    chopine, pray God your voyce like a peece of vncurrant gold,
    bee not crackt within the ring: mai sters you are all welcome,
    weele ento't like friendly Fankners, fly at any thing we see,
    1475 weele haue a speech straite, come giue vs a ta st of your quality,
    come a pa s sionate speech.
    Player. What speech my good Lord?
    Ham. I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer acted,
    1480 or if it was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd not
    the million, t'was cauiary to the generall, but it was as I receaued
    it & others, whose iudgements in such matters cried in the top
    of mine, an excellent play, well dige sted in the scenes, set downe
    1485 with as much mode stie as cunning. I remember one sayd there
    were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor no
    matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
    but cald it an hone st method, as wholesome as sweete, & by very
    much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefely loued,
    t'was Aeneas talke to Dido, & there about of it especially when he
    1490 speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
    this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pirbus like Th'ircanian
    bea st