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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    605 Hora. 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,
    610 Wherein the spirit held his wont to walke A flori sh of trumpets and 2. peeces goes of.
    What does this meane my Lord?
    Ham. The King doth wake to night and takes his rowse.
    Keepes wa s s ell and the swaggring vp-spring reeles:
    And as he draines his drafts of Renni sh downe,
    615 The kettle drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out
    The triumph of his pledge.
    Hora. Is it a cu stome?
    Ham. I marry i st,
    But to my minde, though I am natiue heere
    620 And to the manner borne, it is a cu stome
    More honourd in the breach, then the obseruance.
    621.1 This heauy headed reueale ea st and we st
    Makes vs tradu st, and taxed of other nations,
    They clip vs drunkards, and with Swini sh phrase
    Soyle our addition, and indeede it takes
    621.5 From 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 plau siue manners, that these men
    621.15 Carrying 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
    621.20 From that particuler fault: the dram of eale
    Doth all the noble sub stance of a doubt
    To his owne scandle.
    Enter Gho st .
    Hora. Looke my Lord it comes.
    Ham. Angels and Mini sters of grace defend vs:
    625 Be thou a spirit of health, or gobl
    in damn'd,
    Bring with thee ayres from heauen, or bla sts from hell,
    Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
    Thou com' st in such a que stionable shape,
    That I will speake to thee, Ile call thee Hamlet,
    630 King, father, royall Dane, ô answere mee,
    Let me not bur st in ignorance, but tell
    Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death
    Haue bur st their cerements? why the Sepulcher,
    Wherein we saw thee quietly interr'd
    635 Hath op't his ponderous and marble iawes,
    To ca st thee vp againe? what may this meane
    That thou dead corse, againe in compleat steele
    Reui sites thus the glimses of the Moone,
    Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature
    640 So horridly to shake our dispo sition
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules,
    Say why is this, wherefore, what should we doe? Beckins.
    Hora. It beckins you to goe away with it
    645 As if it some impartment did de sire
    To you alone.
    Mar. Looke with what curteous action
    It waues you to a more remooued ground,
    But doe not goe with it.
    650 Hora. 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,
    655 And 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
    660 That bettles ore his base into the sea,
    And there a s s ume some other horrable forme
    Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
    And draw you into madnes, thinke of it,
    663.1 The 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.
    665 Mar. 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
    670 As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue;
    Still am I cald, vnhand me Gentlemen
    By heauen Ile make a gho st of him that lets me,
    I say away, goe on, Ile followe thee. Exit Gho st and Hamlet.
    675 Hora. He waxes desperate with imagion.
    Mar. Lets followe, tis not fit thus to obey him.
    Hora. Haue after, to what i s s ue will this come?
    Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
    Hora. Heauen will direct it.
    680 Mar. Nay lets follow him. Exeunt.