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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
    Ham. The ayre bites shrewd; it is an eager and
    605An nipping winde, what houre i'st?
    Hor. I think it lacks of twelue, Sound Trumpets.
    Mar. No, t'is strucke.
    Prince of Denmarke.
    Hor. Indeed I heard it not, what doth this mean my lord?
    Ham. O the king doth wake to night, & takes his rowse,
    Keepe wassel, and the swaggering vp-spring reeles,
    And as he dreames, his draughts of renish downe,
    615The kettle, drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out,
    The triumphes of his pledge.
    Hor. Is it a custome here?
    Ham. I mary i'st and though I am
    Natiue here, and to the maner borne,
    620It is a custome, more honourd in the breach,
    Then in the obseruance.
    Enter the Ghost.
    Hor. Looke my Lord, it comes.
    Ham. Angels and Ministers of grace defend vs,
    625Be thou a spirite of health, or goblin damn'd,
    Bring with thee ayres from heanen, or blasts from hell:
    Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
    Thou commest in such questionable shape,
    That I will speake to thee,
    Ile call thee Hamlet, King, Father, Royall Dane,
    630O answere mee, let mee not burst in ignorance,
    But say why thy canonizd bones hearsed in death
    Haue burst their ceremonies: why thy Sepulcher,
    In which wee saw thee quietly interr'd,
    635Hath burst his ponderous and marble Iawes,
    To cast thee vp againe: what may this meane,
    That thou, dead corse, againe in compleate steele,
    Reuissets thus the glimses of the Moone,
    Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature,
    640So horridely to shake our disposition,
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules?
    Say, speake, wherefore, what may this meane?
    Hor. It beckons you, as though it had something
    645To impart to you alone.
    Mar. Looke with what courteous action
    It waues you to a more remoued ground,
    C3 But
    The Tragedie of Hamlet
    But do not go with it.
    650Hor. No, by no meanes my Lord.
    Ham. It will not speake, then will I follow it.
    Hor. What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord.
    660That beckles ore his bace, into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrible shape,
    Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,
    And driue you into madnesse: thinke of it.
    Ham. Still am I called, go on, ile follow thee.
    665Hor. My Lord, you shall not go.
    Ham. Why what should be the feare?
    I do not set my life at a pinnes fee,
    655And for my soule, what can it do to that?
    Being a thing immortall, like it selfe,
    Go on, ile follow thee.
    Mar. My Lord be rulde, you shall not goe.
    Ham. My fate cries out, and makes each pety Artiue
    670As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue,
    Still am I cald, vnhand me gentlemen;
    By heauen ile make a ghost of him that lets me,
    Away I say, go on, ile follow thee.
    675Hor. He waxeth desperate with imagination.
    Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.
    Hor. Haue after; to what issue will this sort?
    Mar. Lets follow, tis not fit thus to obey him.