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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 1, 1603)

    Enter King, Queene, Hamlet, Leartes, Corambis,
    and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
    King Lordes, we here haue writ to Fortenbrasse,
    Nephew to olde Norway, who impudent
    And bed-rid, scarcely heares of this his
    Nephews purpose: and Wee heere dispatch
    Yong good Cornelia, and you Voltemar
    For bearers of these greetings to olde
    Norway, giuing to you no further personall power
    To businesse with the King,
    Then those related articles do shew:
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your dutie.
    Gent. In this and all things will wee shew our dutie.
    220King. Wee doubt nothing, hartily farewel:
    And now Leartes, what's the news with you?
    You said you had a sute what i'st Leartes?
    Lea. My gratious Lord, your fauorable licence,
    231.1Now that the funerall rites are all performed,
    B3 I
    The Tragedie of Hamlet
    I may haue leaue to go againe to France,
    232.1For though the fauour of your grace might stay mee,
    Yet something is there whispers in my hart,
    Which makes my minde and spirits bend all for France.
    King: Haue you your fathers leaue, Leartes?
    240Cor. He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced graunt,
    And I beseech you grant your Highnesse leaue.
    241.1King With all our heart, Leartes fare thee well.
    Lear. I in all loue and dutie take my leaue.
    King. And now princely Sonne Hamlet, Exit.
    What meanes these sad and melancholy moodes?
    For your intent going to Wittenberg,
    Wee hold it most vnmeet and vnconuenient,
    296.1Being the Ioy and halfe heart of your mother.
    Therefore let mee intreat you stay in Court,
    All Denmarkes hope our coosin and dearest Sonne.
    Ham. My lord, ti's not the sable sute I weare:
    No nor the teares that still stand in my eyes,
    Nor the distracted hauiour in the visage,
    Nor all together mixt with outward semblance,
    263.1Is equall to the sorrow of my heart,
    Him haue I lost I must of force forgoe,
    These but the ornaments and sutes of woe.
    King This shewes a louing care in you, Sonne Hamlet,
    But you must thinke your father lost a father,
    That father dead, lost his, and so shalbe vntill the
    272.1Generall ending. Therefore cease laments,
    It is a fault gainst heauen, fault gainst the dead,
    A fault gainst nature, and in reasons
    Common course most certaine,
    None liues on earth, but hee is borne to die.
    300Que. Let not thy mother loose her praiers H amlet,
    Stay here with vs, go not to Wittenburg.
    Ham. I shall in all my best obay you madam.
    King Spoke like a kinde and a most louing Sonne,
    And there's no health the King shall drinke to day,
    Prince of Denmarke.
    But the great Canon to the clowdes shall tell
    310The rowse the King shall drinke vnto Prince Hamlet.
    Exeunt all but Hamlet.
    Ham. O that this too much grieu'd and sallied flesh
    Would melt to nothing, or that the vniuersall
    313.1Globe of heauen would turne al to a Chaos!
    O God, within two months; no not two: married,
    330Mine vncle: O let me not thinke of it,
    My fathers brother: but no more like
    My father, then I to Hercules.
    Within two months, ere yet the salt of most
    Vnrighteous teares had left their flushing
    In her galled eyes: she married, O God, a beast
    Deuoyd of reason would not haue made
    Such speede: Frailtie, thy name is Woman,
    Why she would hang on him, as if increase
    Of appetite had growne by what it looked on.
    340O wicked wicked speede, to make such
    Dexteritie to incestuous sheetes,
    Ere yet the shooes were olde,
    The which she followed my dead fathers corse
    Like Nyobe, all teares: married, well it is not,
    Nor it cannot come to good:
    But breake my heart, for I must holde my tongue.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    345Hor. Health to your Lordship.
    Ham. I am very glad to see
    you, (Horatio) or I much
    forget my selfe.
    Hor. The same my Lord, and your poore seruant euer.
    350Ham. O my good friend, I change that name with you:
    but what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?
    Marc. My good Lord.
    355Ham. I am very glad to see you, good euen sirs:
    But what is your affaire in Elsenoure?
    Weele teach you to drinke deepe ere you depart.
    The Tragedy of Hamlet
    Hor. A trowant disposition, my good Lord.
    Ham. Nor shall you make mee truster
    360Of your owne report against your selfe:
    Sir, I know you are no trowant:
    But what is your affaire in Elsenoure?
    Hor. My good Lord, I came to see your fathers funerall.
    365Ham. O I pre thee do not mocke mee fellow studient,
    I thinke it was to see my mothers wedding.
    Hor. Indeede my Lord, it followed hard vpon.
    Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funerall bak't meates
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables,
    370Would I had met my deerest foe in heauen
    Ere euer I had seene that day Horatio;
    O my father, my father, me thinks I see my father.
    Hor. Where my Lord?
    Ham. Why, in my mindes eye Horatio.
    375Hor. I saw him once, he was a gallant King.
    Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not looke vpon his like againe.
    Hor. My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight,
    Ham. Saw, who?
    380Hor. My Lord, the King your father.
    Ham. Ha, ha, the King my father ke you.
    Hor. Ceasen your admiration for a while
    With an attentiue eare, till I may deliuer,
    Vpon the witnesse of these Gentlemen
    385This wonder to you.
    Ham. For Gods loue let me heare it.
    Hor. Two nights together had these Gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
    In the dead vast and middle of the night.
    390Beene thus incountered by a figure like your father,
    Armed to poynt, exactly Capapea
    Appeeres before them thrise, he walkes
    Before their weake and feare oppressed eies
    395Within his tronchions length,
    Prince of Denmarke
    While they distilled almost to gelly.
    With the act of feare stands dumbe,
    And speake not to him: this to mee
    In dreadfull secresie impart they did.
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400Where as they had deliuered forme of the thing.
    Each part made true and good,
    The Apparition comes: I knew your father,
    These handes are not more like.
    Ham. Tis very strange.
    415Hor. As I do liue, my honord lord, tis true,
    And wee did thinke it right done,
    In our dutie to let you know it.
    Ham. Where was this?
    405Mar. My Lord, vpon the platforme where we watched.
    Ham. Did you not speake to it?
    Hor. My Lord we did, but answere made it none,
    Yet once me thought it was about to speake,
    And lifted vp his head to motion,
    410Like as he would speake, but euen then
    The morning cocke crew lowd, and in all haste,
    It shruncke in haste away, and vanished
    Our sight.
    Ham. Indeed, indeed sirs, but this troubles me:
    Hold you the watch to night?
    420All We do my Lord.
    Ham. Armed say ye?
    All Armed my good Lord.
    Ham. From top to toe?
    All. My good Lord, from head to foote.
    425Ham. Why then saw you not his face?
    Hor. O yes my Lord, he wore his beuer vp.
    Ham. How look't he, frowningly?
    Hor. A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
    Ham. Pale, or red?
    430Hor. Nay, verie pal
    C H am.
    The Tragedie of Hamlet
    Ham. And fixt his eies vpon you.
    Hor. Most constantly.
    Ham. I would I had beene there.
    Hor. It would a much amazed you.
    435Ham. Yea very like, very like, staid it long?
    Hor. While one with moderate pace
    Might tell a hundred.
    Mar. O longer, longer.
    Ham. His beard was grisleld, no.
    440Hor. It was as I haue seene it in his life,
    A sable siluer.
    Ham. I wil watch to night, perchance t'wil walke againe.
    Hor. I warrant it will.
    Ham. If it assume my noble fathers person,
    445Ile speake to it, if hell it selfe should gape,
    And bid me hold my peace, Gentlemen,
    If you haue hither consealed this sight,
    Let it be tenible in your silence still,
    And whatsoeuer else shall chance to night,
    450Giue it an vnderstanding, but no tongue,
    I will requit your loues, so fare you well,
    Vpon the platforme, twixt eleuen and twelue,
    Ile visit you.
    All. Our duties to your honor. excunt.
    455Ham. O your loues, your loues, as mine to you,
    Farewell, my fathers spirit in Armes,
    Well, all's not well. I doubt some foule play,
    Would the night were come,
    Till then, sit still my soule, foule deeds will rise
    Though all the world orewhelme them to mens eies. Exit.