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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Ghost, and Hamlet.
    Ham. Whether wilt thou leade me, speake, Ile goe no further.
    Ghost. Marke me.
    Ham. I will.
    685Ghost. My houre is almost come
    When I to sulphrus and tormenting flames
    Must render vp my selfe.
    Ham. Alas poore Ghost.
    Ghost. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
    690To what I shall vnfold.
    Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.
    Ghost. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.
    Ham. What?
    Ghost. I am thy fathers spirit,
    695Doomd for a certaine tearme to walke the night,
    And for the day confind to fast in fires,
    Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of nature
    Are burnt and purg'd away: but that I am forbid
    To tell the secrets of my prison house,
    700I could a tale vnfolde whose lightest word
    Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
    Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
    Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
    And each particuler haire to stand an end,
    705Like quils vpon the fearefull Porpentine,
    But this eternall blazon must not be
    To eares of flesh and blood, list, list, ô list:
    If thou did'st euer thy deare father loue.
    Ham. O God.
    710Ghost. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murther.
    Ham. Murther.
    Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is,
    But this most foule, strange and vnnaturall.
    Ham. Hast me to know't, that I with wings as swift
    As meditation, or the thoughts of loue
    May sweepe to my reuenge.
    Ghost. I find thee apt,
    And duller shouldst thou be then the fat weede
    720That rootes it selfe in ease on Lethe wharffe,
    Would'st thou not sturre in this; now Hamlet heare,
    Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my Orchard,
    A Serpent stung me, so the whole eare of Denmarke
    Is by a forged processe of my death
    725Ranckely abusde: but knowe thou noble Youth,
    The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life
    Now weares his Crowne.
    Ham. O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?
    Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
    730With witchcraft of his wits, with trayterous gifts,
    O wicked wit, and giftes that haue the power
    So to seduce; wonne to his shamefull lust
    The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene;
    O Hamlet, what falling off was there
    735From me whose loue was of that dignitie
    That it went hand in hand, euen with the vowe
    I made to her in marriage, and to decline
    Vppon a wretch whose naturall gifts were poore,
    To those of mine; but vertue as it neuer will be mooued,
    740Though lewdnesse court it in a shape of heauen
    So but though to a radiant Angle linckt,
    Will sort it selfe in a celestiall bed
    And pray on garbage.
    But soft, me thinkes I sent the morning ayre,
    Briefe let me be; sleeping within my Orchard,
    745My custome alwayes of the afternoone,
    Vpon my secure houre, thy Vncle stole
    With iuyce of cursed Hebona in a viall,
    And in the porches of my eares did poure
    The leaprous distilment, whose effect
    750Holds such an enmitie with blood of man,
    That swift as quicksiluer it courses through
    The naturall gates and allies of the body,
    And with a sodaine vigour it doth possesse
    And curde like eager droppings into milke,
    755The thin and wholsome blood; so did it mine,
    And a most instant tetter barckt about
    Most Lazerlike with vile and lothsome crust
    All my smooth body.
    Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand,
    760Of life, of Crowne, of Queene at once dispatcht,
    Cut off euen in the blossomes of my sinne,
    Vnhuzled, disappointed, vnanueld,
    No reckning made, but sent to my account
    Withall my imperfections on my head,
    765O horrible, ô horrible, most horrible.
    If thou hast nature in thee beare it not,
    Let not the royall bed of Denmarke be
    A couch for luxury and damned incest.
    But howsomeuer thou pursues this act,
    770Tain't not thy minde, nor let thy soule contriue
    Against thy mother ought, leaue her to heauen,
    And to those thornes that in her bosome lodge
    To prick and sting her, fare thee well at once,
    The Gloworme shewes the matine to be neere
    775And gins to pale his vneffectuall fire,
    Adiew, adiew, adiew, remember me.
    Ham. O all you host of heauen, ô earth, what els,
    And shall I coupple hell, ô fie, hold, hold my hart,
    And you my sinnowes, growe not instant old,
    780But beare me swiftly vp; remember thee,
    I thou poore Ghost whiles memory holds a seate
    In this distracted globe, remember thee,
    Yea, from the table of my memory
    Ile wipe away all triuiall fond records,
    785All sawes of bookes, all formes, all pressures past
    That youth and obseruation coppied there,
    And thy commandement all alone shall liue,
    Within the booke and volume of my braine
    Vnmixt with baser matter, yes by heauen,
    790O most pernicious woman.
    O villaine, villaine, smiling damned villaine,
    My tables, meet it is I set it downe
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villaine,
    At least I am sure it may be so in Denmarke.
    795So Vncle, there you are, now to my word,
    It is adew, adew, remember me.
    I haue sworn't.
    Enter Horatio, and Marcellus.
    Hora. My Lord, my Lord.
    Mar. Lord Hamlet.
    800Hora. Heauens secure him.
    Ham. So be it.
    Mar. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.
    Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy come, and come.
    Mar. How i'st my noble Lord?
    805Hora. What newes my Lord?
    Ham. O, wonderfull.
    Hora. Good my Lord tell it.
    Ham. No, you will reueale it.
    Hora. Not I my Lord by heauen.
    810Mar. Nor I my Lord.
    Ham. How say you then, would hart of man once thinke it,
    But you'le be secret.
    Booth. I by heauen.
    Ham. There's neuer a villaine,
    Dwelling in all Denmarke
    815But hee's an arrant knaue.
    Hora. There needes no Ghost my Lord, come from the graue
    To tell vs this.
    Ham. Why right, you are in the right,
    And so without more circumstance at all
    820I hold it fit that we shake hands and part,
    You, as your busines and desire shall poynt you,
    For euery man hath busines and desire
    Such as it is, and for my owne poore part
    I will goe pray.
    825Hora. These are but wilde and whurling words my Lord.
    Ham. I am sorry they offend you hartily,
    Yes faith hartily.
    Hora. There's no offence my Lord.
    Ham. Yes by Saint Patrick but there is Horatio,
    830And much offence to, touching this vision heere,
    It is an honest Ghost that let me tell you,
    For your desire to knowe what is betweene vs
    Oremastret as you may, and now good friends,
    As you are friends, schollers, and souldiers,
    835Giue me one poore request.
    Hora. What i'st my Lord, we will.
    Ham. Neuer make knowne what you haue seene to night.
    Booth. My Lord we will not.
    Ham. Nay but swear't.
    840Hora. In faith my Lord not I.
    Mar. Nor I my Lord in faith.
    Ham. Vppon my sword.
    Mar. We haue sworne my Lord already.
    Ham. Indeede vppon my sword, indeed.
    845Ghost cries vnder the Stage.
    Ghost. Sweare.
    Ham. Ha, ha, boy, say'st thou so, art thou there trupenny?
    Come on, you heare this fellowe in the Sellerige,
    Consent to sweare.
    Hora. Propose the oath my Lord.
    850Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene
    Sweare by my sword.
    Ghost. Sweare.
    Ham. Hic, & vbique, then weele shift our ground:
    Come hether Gentlemen
    855And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
    Sweare by my sword
    Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard.
    Ghost. Sweare by his sword.
    Ham. Well sayd olde Mole, can'st worke it'h earth so fast,
    860A worthy Pioner, once more remooue good friends.
    Hora. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange.
    Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome,
    There are more things in heauen and earth Horatio
    Then are dream't of in your philosophie, but come
    865Heere as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
    (How strange or odde so mere I beare my selfe,
    As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet,
    To put an Anticke disposition on
    That you at such times seeing me, neuer shall
    870With armes incombred thus, or this head shake,
    Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull phrase,
    As well, well, we knowe, or we could and if we would,
    Or if we list to speake, or there be and if they might,
    Or such ambiguous giuing out, to note)
    875That you knowe ought of me, this doe sweare,
    So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you.
    Ghost. Sweare.
    Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit: so Gentlemen,
    880Withall my loue I doe commend me to you,
    And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,
    May doe t'expresse his loue and frending to you
    God willing shall not lack, let vs goe in together,
    And still your fingers on your lips I pray,
    885The time is out of ioynt, ô cursed spight
    That euer I was borne to set it right.
    Nay come, lets goe together. Exeunt.