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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    175Florish. Enter Claudius, King of Denmarke, Gertrad theQueene,
    Counsaile: as Polonius, and his Sonne Laertes,
    Hamlet, Cum Alijs.
    Claud. Though yet of Hamlet our deare brothers death
    180The 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 wisest sorrowe thinke on him
    185Together with remembrance of our selues:
    Therefore our sometime Sister, now our Queene
    Th'imperiall ioyntresse to this warlike state
    Haue we as twere with a defeated ioy
    With an auspitious, and a dropping eye,
    190With 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)
    195Now followes that you knowe young Fortinbrasse,
    Holding a weake supposall of our worth
    Or thinking by our late deare brothers death
    Our state to be disioynt, and out of frame
    Coleagued with this dreame of his aduantage
    200He hath not faild to pestur vs with message
    Importing the surrender of those lands
    Lost by his father, with all bands of lawe
    To our most valiant brother, so much for him:
    205Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting,
    Thus much the busines is, we haue heere writ
    To Norway Vncle of young Fortenbrasse
    Who impotent and bedred scarcely heares
    Of this his Nephewes purpose; to suppresse
    210His further gate heerein, in that the leuies,
    The lists, 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,
    215Giuing to you no further personall power
    To busines with the King, more then the scope
    Of these delated articles allowe:
    Farwell, and let your hast commend your dutie.
    Cor. Vo. In that, and all things will we showe our dutie.
    220King. We doubt it nothing, hartely farwell.
    And now Laertes whats the newes with you?
    You told vs of some sute, what ist Laertes?
    You cannot speake of reason to the Dane
    225And 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 instrumentall to the mouth
    Then is the throne of Denmarke to thy father,
    230What 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;
    235Yet now I must confesse, that duty done
    My thoughts and wishes bend againe toward Fraunce
    And bowe them to your gracious leaue and pardon.
    King. Haue you your fathers leaue, what saies Polonius?
    240Polo. Hath my Lord wroung from me my slowe leaue
    240.1By laboursome petition, and at last
    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 best graces spend it at thy will:
    But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my sonne.
    245Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse 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 cast thy nighted colour off
    And let thine eye looke like a friend on Denmarke,
    250Doe not for euer with thy vailed lids
    Seeke for thy noble Father in the dust,
    Thou know'st tis common all that liues must die,
    Passing through nature to eternitie.
    Ham. I Maddam, it is common.
    255Quee. 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 customary suites of solembe blacke
    260Nor windie suspiration of forst 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,
    265For they are actions that a man might play
    But I haue that within which passes showe
    These but the trappings and the suites of woe.
    King. Tis sweete and commendable in your nature Hamlet,
    270To giue these mourning duties to your father
    But you must knowe your father lost a father,
    That father lost, lost his, and the suruiuer bound
    In filliall obligation for some tearme
    To doe obsequious sorrowe, but to perseuer
    275In obstinate condolement, is a course
    Of impious stubbornes, tis vnmanly griefe,
    It showes a will most incorrect to heauen
    A hart vnfortified, or minde impatient
    An vnderstanding simple and vnschoold
    280For what we knowe must be, and is as common
    As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
    Why should we in our peuish opposition
    Take it to hart, fie, tis a fault to heauen,
    A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
    285To reason most absurd, whose common theame
    Is death of fathers, and who still hath cryed
    From the first course, till he that died to day
    This must be so: we pray you throw to earth
    This vnpreuailing woe, and thinke of vs
    290As of a father, for let the world take note
    You are the most imediate to our throne,
    And with no lesse nobilitie of loue
    Then that which dearest father beares his sonne,
    Doe I impart toward you for your intent
    295In going back to schoole in Wittenberg,
    It is most retrogard to our desire,
    And we beseech you bend you to remaine
    Heere in the cheare and comfort of our eye,
    Our chiefest courtier, cosin, and our sonne.
    300Quee. Let not thy mother loose her prayers Hamlet,
    I pray thee stay with vs, goe not to Wittenberg.
    Ham. I shall in all my best obay you Madam.
    King. Why tis a louing and a faire reply,
    305Be 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.
    310And the Kings rowse the heauen shall brute againe,
    Respeaking earthly thunder; come away. Florish. Exeunt all, but Hamlet
    Ham. O that this too too sallied flesh would melt,
    Thaw and resolue it selfe into a dewe,
    315Or that the euerlasting had not fixt
    His cannon gainst 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
    320That growes to seede, things rancke and grose in nature,
    Possesse 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,
    325That he might not beteeme the winds of heauen
    Visite her face too roughly, heauen and earth
    Must 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,
    330Let 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 beast that wants discourse of reason
    335Would 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 most vnrighteous teares,
    Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes
    340She married, ô most wicked speede; to post
    With such dexteritie to incestious sheets,
    It is not, nor it cannot come to good,
    But breake my hart, for I must hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio,Marcellus, and Bernardo.
    345Hora. Haile to your Lordship.
    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.
    350Ham. Sir my good friend, Ile change that name with you,
    And what make you from WittenbergHoratio?
    Mar. My good Lord.
    355Ham. I am very glad to see you, (good euen sir)
    But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?
    Hora. A truant disposition good my Lord.
    Ham. I would not heare your enimie say so,
    Nor shall you doe my eare that violence
    360To make it truster of your owne report
    Against 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.
    365Ham. 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 furnish forth the marriage tables,
    370Would I had met my dearest 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.
    375Hora. 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 yesternight.
    Ham. saw, who?
    380Hora. 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
    385This 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 wast and middle of the night
    390Beene 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 opprest and feare surprised eyes
    395Within his tronchions length, whil'st they distil'd
    Almost to gelly, with the act of feare
    Stand dumbe and speake not to him; this to me
    In dreadfull secresie impart they did,
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400Whereas they had deliuered both in time
    Forme of the thing, each word made true and good,
    The Apparision comes: I knewe your father,
    These hands are not more like.
    Ham. But where was this?
    405Mar. 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 addresse
    410It selfe to motion like as it would speake:
    But euen then the morning Cock crewe loude,
    And at the sound it shrunk in hast away
    And vanisht from our sight.
    Ham. Tis very strange.
    415Hora. 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?
    420All. 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.
    425Ham. 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?
    430Hora. Nay very pale.
    Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?
    Hora. Most constantly.
    Ham. I would I had beene there.
    Hora. It would haue much a maz'd you.
    435Ham. Very like, stayd it long?
    Hora. While one with moderate hast might tell a hundreth.
    Both. Longer, longer.
    Hora. Not when I saw't.
    Ham. His beard was grissl'd, no.
    440Hora. 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 assume my noble fathers person,
    445Ile 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,
    450Giue it an vnderstanding but no tongue,
    I will requite your loues, so farre you well:
    Vppon the platforme twixt a leauen and twelfe
    Ile visite you.
    All. Our dutie to your honor. Exeunt.
    455Ham. 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.