Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

The Tragicall Historie of
HAMLETPrince of Denmarke.
Enter Two Centinels.
1. STand: who is that?
2. Tis I.
101. O you come most carefully vpon your watch,
2. And if you meete Marcellus and Horatio,
The partners of my watch, bid them make haste.
1. I will: See who goes there.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
20Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And leegemen to the Dane,
O farewell honest souldier, who hath releeued you?
1. Barnardo hath my place, giue you good night.
Mar. Holla, Barnardo.
2. Say, is Horatio there?
Hor. A peece of him.
2. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.
30Mar. What hath this thing appear'd againe to night.
2. I haue seene nothing.
Mar. Horatio sayes tis but our fantasie,
And wil not let beliefe take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded sight twice seene by vs,
35Therefore I haue intreated him a long with vs
To watch the minutes of this night,
That if againe this apparition come,
He may approoue our eyes, and speake to it.
Hor. Tut, t'will not appeare.
402. Sit downe I pray, and let vs once againe
Assaile your eares that are so fortified,
What we haue two nights seene.
Hor. Wel, sit we downe, and let vs heare Bernardo speake
45of this.
2. Last night of al, when yonder starre that's west-
ward from the pole, had made his course to
Illumine that part of heauen. Where now it burnes,
50The bell then towling one.
Enter Ghost.
Mar. Breake off your talke, see where it comes againe.
2. In the same figure like the King that's dead,
Mar. Thou art a scholler, speake to it Horatio.
552. Lookes it not like the king?
Hor. Most like, it horrors mee with feare and wonder.
2. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Question it Horatio.
Hor. What art thou that thus vsurps the state, in
Which the Maiestie of buried Denmarke did sometimes
Walke? By heauen I charge thee speake.
Mar. It is offended. exit Ghost.
2. See, it stalkes away.
65Hor. Stay, speake, speake, by heauen I charge thee
Mar. Tis gone and makes no answer.
2. How now Horatio, you tremble and looke pale,
Is not this something more than fantasie?
70What thinke you on't?
Hor. Afore my God, I might not this beleeue, without
the sensible and true auouch of my owne eyes.
Prince of Denmarke.
Mar. Is it not like the King?
75Hor. As thou art to thy selfe,
Such was the very armor he had on,
When he the ambitious Norway combated.
So frownd he once, when in an angry parle
He smot the sleaded pollax on the yce,
80Tis strange.
Mar. Thus twice before, and iump at this dead hower,
With Marshall stalke he passed through our watch.
Hor. In what particular to worke, I know not,
But in the thought and scope of my opinion,
85This bodes some strange eruption to the state.
Mar. Good, now sit downe, and tell me he that knowes
Why this same strikt and most obseruant watch,
So nightly toyles the subiect of the land,
And why such dayly cost of brazen Cannon
90And forraine marte, for implements of warre,
Why such impresse of ship-writes, whose sore taske
Does not diuide the sunday from the weeke:
What might be toward that this sweaty march
Doth make the night ioynt labourer with the day,
95Who is't that can informe me?
Hor. Mary that can I, at least the whisper goes so,
Our late King, who as you know was by Forten-
Brasse of Norway,
100Thereto prickt on by a most emulous cause, dared to
The combate, in which our valiant Hamlet,
For so this side of our knowne world esteemed him,
Did slay this Fortenbrasse,
Who by a seale compact well ratified, by law
And heraldrie, did forfeit with his life all those
105His lands which he stoode seazed of by the conqueror,
Against the which a moity competent,
Was gaged by our King:
Now sir, yong Fortenbrasse,
Of inapproued mettle hot and full,
B2 Hath
The Tragedie of Hamlet
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there,
115Sharkt vp a sight of lawlesse Resolutes
For food and diet to some enterprise,
That hath a stomacke in't: and this (I take it) is the
Chiefe head and ground of this our watch.
125 Enter the Ghost.
But loe, behold, see where it comes againe,
Ile crosse it, though it blast me: stay illusion,
If there be any good thing to be done,
130That may doe ease to thee, and grace to mee,
Speake to mee.
If thou art priuy to thy countries fate,
Which happly foreknowing may preuent, O speake to me,
Or if thou hast extorted in thy life,
Or hoorded treasure in the wombe of earth,
135For which they say you Spirites oft walke in death, speake
to me, stay and speake, speake, stoppe it Marcellus.
2. Tis heere. exit Ghost.
140Hor. Tis heere.
Marc. Tis gone, O we doe it wrong, being so maiesti-
call, to offer it the shew of violence,
For it is as the ayre invelmorable,
145And our vaine blowes malitious mockery.
2. It was about to speake when the Cocke crew.
Hor. And then it faded like a guilty thing,
Vpon a fearefull summons: I haue heard
The Cocke, that is the trumpet to the morning,
150Doth with his earely and shrill crowing throate,
Awake the god of day, and at his sound,
Whether in earth or ayre, in sea or fire,
The strauagant and erring spirite hies
To his confines, and of the trueth heereof
155This present obiect made probation.
Marc. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke,
Some say, that euer gainst that season comes,
Wherein our Sauiours birth is celebrated,
Prince of Denmarke.
The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
160And then they say, no spirite dare walke abroade,
The nights are wholesome, then no planet frikes,
No Fairie takes, nor Witch hath powre to charme,
So gratious, and so hallowed is that time.
Hor. So haue I heard, and doe in parte beleeue it:
165But see the Sunne in russet mantle clad,
Walkes ore the deaw of yon hie mountaine top,
Breake we our watch vp, and by my aduise,
Let vs impart what wee haue seene to night
Vnto yong Hamlet: for vpon my life
170This Spirite dumbe to vs will speake to him:
Do you consent, wee shall acquaint him with it,
As needefull in our loue, fitting our duetie?
Marc. Lets doo't I pray, and I this morning know,
Where we shall finde him most conueniently.