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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 and Horatio.
    3500Ham. So much for this sir, now shall you see the other,
    You doe remember all the circumstance.
    Hora. Remember it my Lord.
    Ham. Sir in my hart there was a kind of fighting
    That would not let me sleepe, my thought I lay
    3505Worse then the mutines in the bilbo, rashly,
    And praysd be rashnes for it: let vs knowe,
    Our indiscretion sometime serues vs well
    When our deepe plots doe fall, & that should learne vs
    Ther's a diuinity that shapes our ends,
    3510Rough hew them how we will.
    Hora. That is most certaine.
    Ham. Vp from my Cabin,
    My sea-gowne scarft about me in the darke
    Gropt I to find out them, had my desire,
    3515Fingard their packet, and in fine with-drew
    To mine owne roome againe, making so bold
    My feares forgetting manners to vnfold
    Their graund commission; where I found Horatio
    A royall knauery, an exact command
    3520Larded with many seuerall sorts of reasons,
    Importing Denmarkes health, and Englands to,
    With hoe such bugges and goblines in my life,
    That on the superuise no leasure bated,
    No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
    3525My head should be strooke off.
    Hora. I'st possible?
    Ham. Heeres the commission, read it at more leasure,
    But wilt thou heare now how I did proceed.
    Hora. I beseech you.
    3530Ham. Being thus benetted round with villaines,
    Or I could make a prologue to my braines,
    They had begunne the play, I sat me downe,
    Deuisd a new commission, wrote it faire,
    I once did hold it as our statists doe,
    3535A basenesse to write faire, and labourd much
    How to forget that learning, but sir now
    It did me yemans seruice, wilt thou know
    Th'effect of what I wrote?
    Hora. I good my Lord.
    3540Ham. An earnest coniuration from the King,
    As England was his faithfull tributary,
    As loue betweene them like the palme might florish,
    As peace should still her wheaten garland weare
    And stand a Comma tweene their amities,
    3545And many such like, as sir of great charge,
    That on the view, and knowing of these contents,
    Without debatement further more or lesse,
    He should those bearers put to suddaine death,
    Not shriuing time alow'd.
    3550Hora. How was this seald?
    Ham. Why euen in that was heauen ordinant,
    I had my fathers signet in my purse
    Which was the modill of that Danish seale,
    Folded the writ vp in the forme of th'other,
    3555Subcribe it, gau't th'impression, plac'd it safely,
    The changling neuer knowne: now the next day
    Was our Sea fight, and what to this was sequent
    Thou knowest already.
    Hora. So Guyldensterne and Rosencraus goe too't.
    Ham. They are not neere my conscience, their defeat
    Dooes by their owne insinnuation growe,
    Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
    Betweene the passe and fell incenced points
    3565Of mighty opposits.
    Hora. Why what a King is this!
    Ham. Dooes it not thinke thee stand me now vppon?
    He that hath kild my King, and whor'd my mother,
    Pop't in betweene th'election and my hopes,
    3570Throwne out his Angle for my proper life,
    And with such cusnage, i'st not perfect conscience?
    Enter a Courtier.
    Cour. Your Lordship is right welcome backe to Denmarke.
    Ham. I humble thanke you sir.
    Doost know this water fly?
    Hora. No my good Lord.
    3590Ham. Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to know him,
    He hath much land and fertill: let a beast be Lord of beasts, and his
    crib shall stand at the Kings messe, tis a chough, but as I say, spaci-
    ous in the possession of durt.
    3595Cour. Sweete Lord, if your Lordshippe were at leasure, I should
    impart a thing to you from his Maiestie.
    Ham. I will receaue it sir withall dilligence of spirit, your bonnet
    to his right vse, tis for the head.
    Cour. I thanke your Lordship, it is very hot.
    3600Ham. No belieue me, tis very cold, the wind is Northerly.
    Cour. It is indefferent cold my Lord indeed.
    Ham. But yet me thinkes it is very sully and hot, or my complec-
    3605Cour. Exceedingly my Lord, it is very soultery, as t'were I can-
    not tell how: my Lord his Maiestie bad me signifie to you, that a
    has layed a great wager on your head, sir this is the matter.
    Ham. I beseech you remember.
    3610Cour. Nay good my Lord for my ease in good faith, sir here is newly
    3610.1com to Court Laertes, belieue me an absolute gentlemen, ful of most
    excellent differences, of very soft society, and great showing : in-
    deede to speake sellingly of him, hee is the card or kalender of gen-
    try: for you shall find in him the continent of what part a Gentle-
    3610.5man would see.
    Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
    know to deuide him inuentorially, would dazzie th'arithmaticke of
    memory, and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick saile, but
    in the veritie of extolment, I take him to be a soule of great article,
    3610.10& his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, as to make true dixion
    of him, his semblable is his mirrour, & who els would trace him, his
    vmbrage, nothing more.
    Cour. Your Lordship speakes most infallibly of him.
    Ham. The concernancy sir, why doe we wrap the gentleman in
    3610.15our more rawer breath?
    Cour. Sir.
    Hora. Ist not possible to vnderstand in another tongue, you will
    doo't sir really.
    Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman.
    3610.20Cour. Of Laertes.
    Hora. His purse is empty already, all's golden words are spent.
    Ham. Of him sir.
    Cour. I know you are not ignorant.
    Ham. I would you did sir, yet in faith if you did, it would not
    3610.25much approoue me, well sir.
    Cour. You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is.
    3612.1Ham. I dare not confesse that, least I should compare with
    him in excellence, but to know a man wel, were to knowe himselfe.
    Cour. I meane sir for this weapon, but in the imputation laide on
    him, by them in his meed, hee's vnfellowed.
    Ham. What's his weapon?
    Cour. Rapier and Dagger.
    3615Ham. That's two of his weapons, but well.
    Cour. The King sir hath wagerd with him six Barbary horses,
    againgst the which hee has impaund as I take it six French Rapiers
    and Poynards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger and so. Three
    of the carriages in faith, are very deare to fancy, very reponsiue to
    3620the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
    Ham. What call you the carriages?
    3622.1Hora. I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had
    Cour. The carriage sir are the hangers.
    Ham. The phrase would bee more Ierman to the matter if wee
    3625could carry a cannon by our sides, I would it be might hangers till
    then, but on, six Barbry horses against six French swords their as-
    signes, and three liberall conceited carriages, that's the French
    bet against the Danish, why is this all you call it?
    3630Cour. The King sir, hath layd sir, that in a dozen passes betweene
    your selfe and him, hee shall not exceede you three hits, hee hath
    layd on twelue for nine, and it would come to immediate triall, if
    your Lordshippe would vouchsafe the answere.
    3635Ham. How if I answere no?
    Cour. I meane my Lord the opposition of your person in triall.
    Ham. Sir I will walke heere in the hall, if it please his Maiestie, it
    is the breathing time of day with me, let the foiles be brought, the
    3640Gentleman willing, and the King hold his purpose; I will winne
    for him and I can, if not, I will gaine nothing but my shame, and
    the odde hits.
    Cour. Shall I deliuer you so?
    Ham. To this effect sir, after what florish your nature will.
    Cour. I commend my duty to your Lordshippe.
    Ham. Yours doo's well to commend it himselfe, there are no
    tongues els for's turne.
    Hora. This Lapwing runnes away with the shell on his head.
    Ham. A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it, thus has he and
    many more of the same breede that I know the drossy age dotes on,
    only got the tune of the time, and out of an habit of incounter, a
    kind of histy colection, which carries them through and through
    the most prophane and trennowed opinions, and doe but blowe
    them to their triall, the bubbles are out.
    3657.1Enter a Lord.
    Lord. My Lord, his Maiestie commended him to you by young
    Ostricke, who brings backe to him that you attend him in the hall,
    he sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that
    3657.5you will take longer time?
    Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they followe the Kings plea-
    sure, if his fitnes speakes, mine is ready: now or whensoeuer, pro-
    uided I be so able as now.
    Lord. The King, and Queene, and all are comming downe.
    3657.10Ham. In happy time.
    Lord. The Queene desires you to vse some gentle entertainment
    to Laertes, before you fall to play.
    Ham. Shee well instructs me.
    Hora. You will loose my Lord.
    Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France, I haue bene
    3660in continuall practise, I shall winne at the ods; thou would'st not
    thinke how ill all's heere about my hart, but it is no matter.
    Hora. Nay good my Lord.
    Ham. It is but foolery, but it is such a kinde of gamgiuing, as
    3665would perhapes trouble a woman.
    Hora. If your minde dislike any thing, obay it. I will forstal their
    repaire hether, and say you are not fit.
    Ham. Not a whit, we defie augury, there is speciall prouidence,in
    the fall of a Sparrowe, if it be, tis not to come, if it be not to come,
    3670it will be now, if it be not now, yet it well come, the readines is all,
    since no man of ought he leaues, knowes what ist to leaue betimes,
    3673.1let be.
    A table prepard, Trumpets, Drums and officers with Cushions,
    King, Queene, and all the state, Foiles, daggers,
    and Laertes.
    King. Come Hamlet, come and take this hand from me.
    Ham. Giue me your pardon sir, I haue done you wrong,
    But pardon't as you are a gentleman, 3680this presence knowes,
    And you must needs haue heard, how I am punnisht
    With a sore distraction, what I haue done
    That might your nature, honor, and exception
    Roughly awake, I heare proclame was madnesse,
    3685Wast Hamlet wronged Laertes? neuer Hamlet.
    If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away,
    And when hee's not himselfe, dooes wrong Laertes,
    Then Hamlet dooes it not, Hamlet denies it,
    Who dooes it then? his madnesse. Ift be so,
    3690Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged,
    His madnesse is poore Hamlets enimie,
    Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill,
    Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts
    3695That I haue shot my arrowe ore the house
    And hurt my brother.
    Laer. I am satisfied in nature,
    Whose motiue in this case should stirre me most
    To my reuendge, but in my tearmes of honor
    3700I stand a loofe, and will no reconcilement,
    Till by some elder Maisters of knowne honor
    I haue a voyce and president of peace
    To my name vngord: but all that time
    I doe receaue your offerd loue, like loue,
    3705And will not wrong it.
    Ham. I embrace it freely, and will this brothers wager
    franckly play.
    Giue vs the foiles.
    Laer. Come, one for me.
    3710Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance
    Your skill shall like a starre i'th darkest night
    Stick fiery of indeed.
    Laer. You mocke me sir.
    Ham. No by this hand.
    3715King. Giue them the foiles young Ostricke, cosin Hamlet,
    You knowe the wager.
    Ham. Very well my Lord.
    Your grace has layed the ods a'th weeker side.
    King. I doe not feare it, I haue seene you both,
    But since he is better, we haue therefore ods.
    Laer. This is to heauy: let me see another.
    Ham. This likes me well, these foiles haue all a length.
    Ostr. I my good Lord.
    King. Set me the stoopes of wine vpon that table,
    If Hamlet giue the first or second hit,
    Or quit in answere of the third exchange,
    3730Let all the battlements their ordnance fire.
    The King shall drinke to Hamlets better breath,
    And in the cup an Onixe shall he throwe,
    Richer then that which foure successiue Kings
    In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne: giue me the cups,
    And let the kettle to the trumpet speake,
    The trumpet to the Cannoneere without,
    The Cannons to the heauens, the heauen to earth,
    Now the King drinkes to Hamlet, come beginne. Trumpets the while.
    3740And you the Iudges beare a wary eye.
    Ham. Come on sir.
    Laer. Come my Lord.
    Ham. One.
    Laer. No.
    3745Ham. Iudgement.
    Ostrick. A hit, a very palpable hit. Drum, trumpets and shot.
    Laer. Well, againe.Florish, a peece goes off.
    King. Stay, giue me drinke, Hamlet this pearle is thine.
    3750Heeres to thy health: giue him the cup.
    Ham. Ile play this bout first, set it by a while
    Come, another hit. What say you?
    Laer. I doe confest.
    3755King. Our sonne shall winne.
    Quee. Hee's fat and scant of breath.
    Heere Hamlet take my napkin rub thy browes,
    The Queene carowses to thy fortune Hamlet.
    Ham. Good Madam.
    3760King. Gertrard doe not drinke.
    Quee. I will my Lord, I pray you pardon me.
    King. It is the poysned cup, it is too late.
    Ham. I dare not drinke yet Madam, by and by.
    Quee. Come, let me wipe thy face.
    Laer. My Lord, Ile hit him now.
    King. I doe not think't.
    Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.
    3770Ham. Come for the third Laertes, you doe but dally.
    I pray you passe with your best violence
    I am sure you make a wanton of me.
    Laer. Say you so, come on.
    3775Ostr. Nothing neither way.
    Laer. Haue at you now.
    King. Part them, they are incenst.
    Ham. Nay come againe.
    3780Ostr. Looke to the Queene there howe.
    Hora. They bleed on both sides, how is it my Lord?
    Ostr. How ist Laertes?
    Laer. Why as a woodcock to mine owne sprindge Ostrick,
    3785I am iustly kild with mine owne treachery.
    Ham. How dooes the Queene?
    King. Shee sounds to see them bleed.
    Quee. No, no, the drinke, the drinke, ô my deare Hamlet,
    The drinke the drinke, I am poysned.
    Ham. O villanie, how let the doore be lock't,
    Treachery, seeke it out.
    Laer. It is heere Hamlet, thou art slaine,
    3795No medcin in the world can doe thee good,
    In thee there is not halfe an houres life,
    The treacherous instrument is in my hand
    Vnbated and enuenom'd, the foule practise
    Hath turn'd it selfe on me, loe heere I lie
    3800Neuer to rise againe, thy mother's poysned,
    I can no more, the King, the Kings too blame.
    Ham. The point inuenom'd to, then venome to thy worke.
    3805All. Treason, treason.
    King. O yet defend me friends, I am but hurt.
    Ham. Heare thou incestious damned Dane,
    Drinke of this potion, is the Onixe heere?
    3810Follow my mother.
    Laer. He is iustly serued, it is a poyson temperd by himselfe,
    Exchange forgiuenesse with me noble Hamlet,
    Mine and my fathers death come not vppon thee,
    3815Nor thine on me.
    Ham. Heauen make thee free of it, I follow thee;
    I am dead Horatio, wretched Queene adiew.
    You that looke pale, and tremble at this chance,
    That are but mutes, or audience to this act,
    3820Had I but time, as this fell sergeant Death
    Is strict in his arrest, ô I could tell you,
    But let it be; Horatio I am dead,
    Thou liuest, report me and my cause a right
    To the vnsatisfied.
    3825Hora. Neuer belieue it;
    I am more an anticke Romaine then a Dane,
    Heere's yet some liquer left.
    Ham. As th'art a man
    Giue me the cup, let goe, by heauen Ile hate,
    3830O god Horatio, what a wounded name
    Things standing thus vnknowne, shall I leaue behind me?
    If thou did'st euer hold me in thy hart,
    Absent thee from felicity a while,
    And in this harsh world drawe thy breath in paine A march a farre off.
    3835To tell my story: what warlike noise is this?
    Enter Osrick.
    Osr. Young Fortenbrasse with conquest come from Poland,
    3840To th'embassadors of England giues this warlike volly.
    Ham. O I die Horatio,
    The potent poyson quite ore-crowes my spirit,
    I cannot liue to heare the newes from England,
    But I doe prophecie th'ellection lights
    3845On Fortinbrasse, he has my dying voyce,
    So tell him, with th'occurrants more and lesse
    Which haue solicited, the rest is silence.
    Hora. Now cracks a noble hart, good night sweete Prince,
    3850And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.
    Why dooes the drum come hether?
    Enter Fortenbrasse, with the Embassadors.
    For. Where is this sight?
    3855Hora. What is it you would see?
    If ought of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
    For. This quarry cries on hauock, ô prou'd death
    What feast is toward in thine eternall cell,
    That thou so many Princes at a shot
    3860So bloudily hast strook?
    Embas. The sight is dismall
    And our affaires from England come too late,
    The eares are sencelesse that should giue vs hearing,
    To tell him his commandment is fulfild,
    3865That Rosencraus and Guyldensterne are dead,
    Where should we haue our thankes?
    Hora. Not from his mouth
    Had it th'ability of life to thanke you;
    He neuer gaue commandement for their death;
    3870But since so iump vpon this bloody question
    You from the Pollack warres, and you from England
    Are heere arriued, giue order that these bodies
    High on a stage be placed to the view,
    And let me speake, to yet vnknowing world
    3875How these things came about; so shall you heare
    Of carnall, bloody and vnnaturall acts,
    Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters,
    Of deaths put on by cunning, and for no cause
    And in this vpshot, purposes mistooke,
    3880Falne on th'inuenters heads: all this can I
    Truly deliuer.
    For. Let vs hast to heare it,
    And call the noblest to the audience,
    For me, with sorrowe I embrace my fortune,
    3885I haue some rights, of memory in this kingdome,
    Which now to clame my vantage doth inuite me.
    Hora. Of that I shall haue also cause to speake,
    And from his mouth, whose voyce will drawe no more,
    But let this same be presently perform'd
    Euen while mens mindes are wilde, least more mischance
    On plots and errores happen.
    3895For. Let foure Captaines
    Beare Hamlet like a souldier to the stage,
    For he was likely, had he beene put on,
    To haue prooued most royall; and for his passage,
    3900The souldiers musicke and the right of warre
    Speake loudly for him:
    Take vp the bodies, such a sight as this,
    Becomes the field, but heere showes much amisse.
    Goe bid the souldiers shoote. Exeunt.