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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus.
    Ham. The ayre bites shroudly, it is very colde.
    605Hora. It is nipping, and an eager ayre.
    Ham. What houre now?
    Hora. I thinke it lackes of twelfe.
    Mar. No, it is strooke.
    Hora. Indeede; I heard it not, it then drawes neere the season,
    610Wherein the spirit held his wont to walke
    A florish of trumpets
    What does this meane my Lord?
    Ham. The King doth wake to night and takes his rowse.
    Keepes wassell and the swaggring vp-spring reeles:
    And as he draines his drafts of Rennish downe,
    615The kettle drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out
    The triumph of his pledge.
    Hora. Is it a custome?
    Ham. I marry ist,
    But to my minde, though I am natiue heere
    620And to the manner borne, it is a custome
    More honourd in the breach, then the obseruance.
    621.1This heauy headed reueale east and west
    Makes vs tradust, and taxed of other nations,
    They clip vs drunkards, and with Swinish phrase
    Soyle our addition, and indeede it takes
    621.5From our atchieuements, though perform'd at height
    The pith and marrow of our attribute,
    So oft it chaunces in particuler men,
    That for some vicious mole of nature in them
    As in their birth wherein they are not guilty,
    621.10(Since nature cannot choose his origin)
    By their ore-grow'th of some complextion
    Oft breaking downe the pales and forts of reason,
    Or by some habit, that too much ore-leauens
    The forme of plausiue manners, that these men
    621.15Carrying I say the stamp of one defect
    Being Natures liuery, or Fortunes starre,
    His vertues els be they as pure as grace,
    As infinite as man may vndergoe,
    Shall in the generall censure take corruption
    621.20From that particuler fault: the dram of eale
    Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
    To his owne scandle.
    Enter Ghost.
    Hora. Looke my Lord it comes.
    Ham. Angels and Ministers of grace defend vs:
    625Be thou a spirit of health, or gobl
    in damn'd,
    Bring with thee ayres from heauen, or blasts from hell,
    Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
    Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
    That I will speake to thee, Ile call thee Hamlet,
    630King, father, royall Dane, ô answere mee,
    Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
    Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death
    Haue burst their cerements? why the Sepulcher,
    Wherein we saw thee quietly interr'd
    635Hath op't his ponderous and marble iawes,
    To cast thee vp againe? what may this meane
    That thou dead corse, againe in compleat steele
    Reuisites thus the glimses of the Moone,
    Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature
    640So horridly to shake our disposition
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules,
    Say why is this, wherefore, what should we doe?
    Hora. It beckins you to goe away with it
    645As if it some impartment did desire
    To you alone.
    Mar. Looke with what curteous action
    It waues you to a more remooued ground,
    But doe not goe with it.
    650Hora. No, by no meanes.
    Ham. It will not speake, then I will followe it.
    Hora. Doe not my Lord.
    Ham. Why what should be the feare,
    I doe not set my life at a pinnes fee,
    655And for my soule, what can it doe to that
    Being a thing immortall as it selfe;
    It waues me forth againe, Ile followe it.
    Hora. What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord,
    Or to the dreadfull somnet of the cleefe
    660That bettles ore his base into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrable forme
    Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
    And draw you into madnes, thinke of it,
    663.1The very place puts toyes of desperation
    Without more motiue, into euery braine
    That lookes so many fadoms to the sea
    And heares it rore beneath.
    Ham. It waues me still,
    Goe on, Ile followe thee.
    665Mar. You shall not goe my Lord.
    Ham. Hold of your hands.
    Hora. Be rul'd, you shall not goe.
    Ham. My fate cries out
    And makes each petty arture in this body
    670As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue;
    Still am I cald, vnhand me Gentlemen
    By heauen Ile make a ghost of him that lets me,
    I say away, goe on, Ile followe thee.
    Exit Ghost and Hamlet.
    675Hora. He waxes desperate with imagion.
    Mar. Lets followe, tis not fit thus to obey him.
    Hora. Haue after, to what issue will this come?
    Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
    Hora. Heauen will direct it.
    680Mar. Nay lets follow him.