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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    175 Flori sh. Enter Claudius, King of Denmarke, Gertrad the Queene,
    Counsaile: as Polonius, and his Sonne Laertes,
    Hamlet, Cum Alijs.
    Claud. Though yet of Hamlet our deare brothers death
    180 The memorie be greene, and that it vs befitted
    To beare our harts in griefe, and our whole Kingdome,
    To be contracted in one browe of woe
    Yet so farre hath discretion fought with nature,
    That we with wise st sorrowe thinke on him
    185 Together with remembrance of our selues:
    Therefore our sometime Si ster, now our Queene
    Th'imperiall ioyntre s s e to this warlike state
    Haue we as twere with a defeated ioy
    With an auspitious, and a dropping eye,
    190 With mirth in funerall, and with dirdge in marriage,
    In equall scale waighing delight and dole
    Taken to wife: nor haue we heerein bard
    Your better wisdomes, which haue freely gone
    With this affaire along (for all our thankes)
    195 Now followes that you knowe young Fortinbra s s e,
    Holding a weake supposall of our worth
    Or thinking by our late deare brothers death
    Our state to be di sioynt, and out of frame
    Coleagued with this dreame of his aduantage
    200 He hath not faild to pe stur vs with me s s age
    Importing the surrender of those lands
    Lo st by his father, with all bands of lawe
    To our mo st valiant brother, so much for him:
    205 Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting,
    Thus much the bu sines is, we haue heere writ
    To Norway Vncle of young Fortenbra s s e
    Who impotent and bedred scarcely heares
    Of this his Nephewes purpose; to suppre s s e
    210 His further gate heerein, in that the leuies,
    The li sts, and full proportions are all made
    Out of his subiect, and we heere dispatch
    You good Cornelius, and you Valtemand,
    For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,
    215 Giuing to you no further personall power
    To bu sines with the King, more then the scope
    Of these delated articles allowe:
    Farwell, and let your ha st commend your dutie.
    Cor. Vo. In that, and all things will we showe our dutie.
    220 King. We doubt it nothing, hartely farwell.
    And now Laertes whats the newes with you?
    You told vs of some sute, what i st Laertes?
    You cannot speake of reason to the Dane
    225 And lose your voyce; what wold' st thou begge Laertes,?
    That shall not be my offer, not thy asking,
    The head is not more natiue to the hart
    The hand more in strumentall to the mouth
    Then is the throne of Denmarke to thy father,
    230 What would' st thou haue Laertes?
    Laer. My dread Lord,
    Your leaue and fauour to returne to Fraunce,
    From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke,
    To showe my dutie in your Coronation;
    235 Yet now I mu st confe s s e, that duty done
    My thoughts and wi shes bend againe toward Fraunce
    And bowe them to your gracious leaue and pardon.
    King. Haue you your fathers leaue, what saies Polonius?
    240 Polo. Hath my Lord wroung from me my slowe leaue
    240.1 By laboursome petition, and at la st
    Vpon his will I seald my hard consent,
    I doe beseech you giue him leaue to goe.
    King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine
    And thy be st graces spend it at thy will:
    But now my Co sin Hamlet, and my sonne.
    245 Ham. A little more then kin, and le s s e then kind.
    King. How is it that the clowdes still hang on you.
    Ham. Not so much my Lord, I am too much in the sonne.
    Queene. Good Hamlet ca st thy nighted colour off
    And let thine eye looke like a friend on Denmarke,
    250 Doe not for euer with thy vailed lids
    Seeke for thy noble Father in the du st,
    Thou know' st tis common all that liues mu st die,
    Pa s sing through nature to eternitie.
    Ham. I Maddam, it is common.
    255 Quee. If it be
    VVhy seemes it so perticuler with thee.
    Ham. Seemes Maddam, nay it is, I know not seemes,
    Tis not alone my incky cloake coold mother
    Nor cu stomary suites of solembe blacke
    260 Nor windie suspiration of for st breath
    No, nor the fruitfull riuer in the eye,
    Nor the deiected hauior of the visage
    Together with all formes, moodes, chapes of griefe
    That can deuote me truely, these indeede seeme,
    265 For they are actions that a man might play
    But I haue that within which pa s s es showe
    These but the trappings and the suites of woe.
    King. Tis sweete and commendable in your nature Hamlet,
    270 To giue these mourning duties to your father
    But you mu st knowe your father lo st a father,
    That father lo st, lo st his, and the suruiuer bound
    In filliall obligation for some tearme
    To doe obsequious sorrowe, but to perseuer
    275 In ob stinate condolement, is a course
    Of impious stubbornes, tis vnmanly griefe,
    It showes a will mo st incorrect to heauen
    A hart vnfortified, or minde impatient
    An vnder standing simple and vnschoold
    280 For what we knowe mu st be, and is as common
    As any the mo st vulgar thing to sence,
    Why should we in our peui sh oppo sition
    Take it to hart, fie, tis a fault to heauen,
    A fault again st the dead, a fault to nature,
    285 To reason mo st absurd, whose common theame
    Is death of fathers, and who still hath cryed
    From the fir st course, till he that died to day
    This mu st be so: we pray you throw to earth
    This vnpreuailing woe, and thinke of vs
    290 As of a father, for let the world take note
    You are the mo st imediate to our throne,
    And with no le s s e nobilitie of loue
    Then that which deare st father beares his sonne,
    Doe I impart toward you for your intent
    295 In going back to schoole in Wittenberg,
    It is mo st retrogard to our de sire,
    And we beseech you bend you to remaine
    Heere in the cheare and comfort of our eye,
    Our chiefe st courtier, co sin, and our sonne.
    300 Quee. Let not thy mother loose her prayers Hamlet,
    I pray thee stay with vs, goe not to Wittenberg.
    Ham. I shall in all my be st obay you Madam.
    King. Why tis a louing and a faire reply,
    305 Be as our selfe in Denmarke, Madam come,
    This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
    Sits smiling to my hart, in grace whereof,
    No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
    But the great Cannon to the cloudes shall tell.
    310 And the Kings rowse the heauen shall brute againe,
    Respeaking earthly thunder; come away. Flori sh . Exeunt all, but Hamlet
    Ham. O that this too too sallied fle sh would melt,
    Thaw and resolue it selfe into a dewe,
    315 Or that the euerla sting had not fixt
    His cannon gain st seale slaughter, ô God, God,
    How wary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
    Seeme to me all the vses of this world?
    Fie on't, ah fie, tis an vnweeded garden
    320 That growes to seede, things rancke and grose in nature,
    Po s s e s s e it meerely that it should come thus
    But two months dead, nay not so much, not two,
    So excellent a King, that was to this
    Hiperion to a satire, so louing to my mother,
    325 That he might not beteeme the winds of heauen
    Vi site her face too roughly, heauen and earth
    Mu st I remember, why she should hang on him
    As if increase of appetite had growne
    By what it fed on, and yet within a month,
    330 Let 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 bodie
    Like Niobe all teares, why she
    O God, a bea st that wants discourse of reason
    335 Would haue mourn'd longer, married with my Vncle,
    My fathers brother, but no more like my father
    Then I to Hercules, within a month,
    Ere yet the salt of mo st vnrighteous teares,
    Had left the flu shing in her gauled eyes
    340 She married, ô mo st wicked speede; to po st
    With such dexteritie to ince stious sheets,
    It is not, nor it cannot come to good,
    But breake my hart, for I mu st hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio,Marcellus, and Bernardo.
    345 Hora. Haile to your Lord ship.
    Ham. I am glad to see you well; Horatio, or I do forget my selfe.
    Hora. The same my Lord, and your poore seruant euer.
    350 Ham. Sir my good friend, Ile change that name with you,
    And what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?
    Mar. My good Lord.
    355 Ham. I am very glad to see you, (good euen sir)
    But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?
    Hora. A truant dispo sition good my Lord.
    Ham. I would not heare your enimie say so,
    Nor shall you doe my eare that violence
    360 To make it tru ster of your owne report
    Again st your selfe, I knowe you are no truant,
    But what is your affaire in Elsonoure?
    Weele teach you for to drinke ere you depart.
    Hora. My Lord, I came to see your fathers funerall.
    365 Ham. I pre thee doe not mocke me fellowe studient,
    I thinke it was to my mothers wedding.
    Hora. Indeede my Lord it followed hard vppon.
    Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funerall bak't meates
    Did coldly furni sh forth the marriage tables,
    370 Would I had met my deare st foe in heauen
    Or euer I had seene that day Horatio,
    My father, me thinkes I see my father.
    Hora. Where my Lord?
    Ham. In my mindes eye Horatio.
    375 Hora. I saw him once, a was a goodly King.
    Ham. A was a man take him for all in all
    I shall not looke vppon his like againe.
    Hora. My Lord I thinke I saw him ye sternight.
    Ham. saw, who?
    380 Hora. My Lord the King your father.
    Ham. The King my father?
    Hora. Season your admiration for a while
    With an attent eare till I may deliuer
    Vppon the witnes of these gentlemen
    385 This maruile to you.
    Ham. For Gods loue let me heare?
    Hora. Two nights together had these gentlemen
    Marcellus, and Barnardo, on their watch
    In the dead wa st and middle of the night
    390 Beene thus incountred, a figure like your father
    Armed at poynt, exactly Capapea
    Appeares before them, and with solemne march,
    Goes slowe and stately by them; thrice he walkt
    By their oppre st and feare surprised eyes
    395 Within his tronchions length, whil' st they di stil'd
    Almo st to gelly, with the act of feare
    Stand dumbe and speake not to him; this to me
    In dreadfull secre sie impart they did,
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400 Whereas they had deliuered both in time
    Forme of the thing, each word made true and good,
    The Appari sion comes: I knewe your father,
    These hands are not more like.
    Ham. But where was this?
    405 Mar. My Lord vppon the platforme where we watch
    Ham. Did you not speake to it?
    Hora. My Lord I did,
    But answere made it none, yet once me thought
    It lifted vp it head, and did addre s s e
    410 It selfe to motion like as it would speake:
    But euen then the morning Cock crewe loude,
    And at the sound it shrunk in ha st away
    And vani sht from our sight.
    Ham. Tis very strange.
    415 Hora. As I doe liue my honor'd Lord tis true
    And we did thinke it writ downe in our dutie
    To let you knowe of it.
    Ham. Indeede Sirs but this troubles me,
    Hold you the watch to night?
    420 All. We doe my Lord.
    Ham. Arm'd say you?
    All. Arm'd my Lord.
    Ham. From top to toe?
    All. My Lord from head to foote.
    425 Ham. Then sawe you not his face.
    Hora. O yes my Lord, he wore his beauer vp.
    Ham. What look't he frowningly?
    Hora. A countenance more in sorrow then in anger.
    Ham. Pale, or red?
    430 Hora. Nay very pale.
    Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?
    Hora. Mo st con stantly.
    Ham. I would I had beene there.
    Hora. It would haue much a maz'd you.
    435 Ham. Very like, stayd it long?
    Hora. While one with moderate ha st might tell a hundreth.
    Both. Longer, longer.
    Hora. Not when I saw't.
    Ham. His beard was gri s sl'd, no.
    440 Hora. It was as I haue seene it in his life
    A sable siluer'd.
    Ham. I will watch to nigh
    Perchaunce twill walke againe.
    Hora. I warn't it will.
    Ham. If it a s s ume my noble fathers person,
    445 Ile speake to it though hell it selfe should gape
    And bid me hold my peace; I pray you all
    If you haue hetherto conceald this sight
    Let it be tenable in your silence still,
    And what someuer els shall hap to night,
    450 Giue it an vnder standing but no tongue,
    I will requite your loues, so farre you well:
    Vppon the platforme twixt a leauen and twelfe
    Ile vi site you.
    All. Our dutie to your honor. Exeunt.
    455 Ham. Your loues, as mine to you, farwell.
    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, fonde deedes will rise
    Though all the earth ore-whelme them to mens eyes. Exit.