Part 1 out of 3
Scanner's Notes: What this is and isn't. This was taken from
a copy of Shakespeare's first folio and it is as close as I can
come in ASCII to the printed text.
The elongated S's have been changed to small s's and the
conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling,
punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the
printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put
together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the
Geneva Bible and Shakespeare's First Folio and have unified
spellings according to this template), typo's and expanded
abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within
brackets  is what I have added. So if you don't like that
you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a
Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual
differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may
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then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then
continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn't thrown away but
incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is.
The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different
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The Tragedie of Hamlet
Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
Enter Barnardo and Francisco two Centinels.
Barnardo. Who's there?
Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
Bar. Long liue the King
Fran. You come most carefully vpon your houre
Bar. 'Tis now strook twelue, get thee to bed Francisco
Fran. For this releefe much thankes: 'Tis bitter cold,
And I am sicke at heart
Barn. Haue you had quiet Guard?
Fran. Not a Mouse stirring
Barn. Well, goodnight. If you do meet Horatio and
Marcellus, the Riuals of my Watch, bid them make hast.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Fran. I thinke I heare them. Stand: who's there?
Hor. Friends to this ground
Mar. And Leige-men to the Dane
Fran. Giue you good night
Mar. O farwel honest Soldier, who hath relieu'd you?
Fra. Barnardo ha's my place: giue you goodnight.
Mar. Holla Barnardo
Bar. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hor. A peece of him
Bar. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus
Mar. What, ha's this thing appear'd againe to night
Bar. I haue seene nothing
Mar. Horatio saies, 'tis but our Fantasie,
And will not let beleefe take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seene of vs,
Therefore I haue intreated him along
With vs, to watch the minutes of this Night,
That if againe this Apparition come,
He may approue our eyes, and speake to it
Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare
Bar. Sit downe a-while,
And let vs once againe assaile your eares,
That are so fortified against our Story,
What we two Nights haue seene
Hor. Well, sit we downe,
And let vs heare Barnardo speake of this
Barn. Last night of all,
When yond same Starre that's Westward from the Pole
Had made his course t' illume that part of Heauen
Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe,
The Bell then beating one
Mar. Peace, breake thee of:
Enter the Ghost.
Looke where it comes againe
Barn. In the same figure, like the King that's dead
Mar. Thou art a Scholler; speake to it Horatio
Barn. Lookes it not like the King? Marke it Horatio
Hora. Most like: It harrowes me with fear & wonder
Barn. It would be spoke too
Mar. Question it Horatio
Hor. What art thou that vsurp'st this time of night,
Together with that Faire and Warlike forme
In which the Maiesty of buried Denmarke
Did sometimes march: By Heauen I charge thee speake
Mar. It is offended
Barn. See, it stalkes away
Hor. Stay: speake; speake: I Charge thee, speake.
Exit the Ghost.
Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer
Barn. How now Horatio? You tremble & look pale:
Is not this something more then Fantasie?
What thinke you on't?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this beleeue
Without the sensible and true auouch
Of mine owne eyes
Mar. Is it not like the King?
Hor. As thou art to thy selfe,
Such was the very Armour he had on,
When th' Ambitious Norwey combatted:
So frown'd he once, when in an angry parle
He smot the sledded Pollax on the Ice.
Mar. Thus twice before, and iust at this dead houre,
With Martiall stalke, hath he gone by our Watch
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not:
But in the grosse and scope of my Opinion,
This boades some strange erruption to our State
Mar. Good now sit downe, & tell me he that knowes
Why this same strict and most obseruant Watch,
So nightly toyles the subiect of the Land,
And why such dayly Cast of Brazon Cannon
And Forraigne Mart for Implements of warre:
Why such impresse of Ship-wrights, whose sore Taske
Do's not diuide the Sunday from the weeke,
What might be toward, that this sweaty hast
Doth make the Night ioynt-Labourer with the day:
Who is't that can informe me?
Hor. That can I,
At least the whisper goes so: Our last King,
Whose Image euen but now appear'd to vs,
Was (as you know) by Fortinbras of Norway,
(Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate Pride)
Dar'd to the Combate. In which, our Valiant Hamlet,
(For so this side of our knowne world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras: who by a Seal'd Compact,
Well ratified by Law, and Heraldrie,
Did forfeite (with his life) all those his Lands
Which he stood seiz'd on, to the Conqueror:
Against the which, a Moity competent
Was gaged by our King: which had return'd
To the Inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he bin Vanquisher, as by the same Cou'nant
And carriage of the Article designe,
His fell to Hamlet. Now sir, young Fortinbras,
Of vnimproued Mettle, hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, heere and there,
Shark'd vp a List of Landlesse Resolutes,
For Foode and Diet, to some Enterprize
That hath a stomacke in't: which is no other
(And it doth well appeare vnto our State)
But to recouer of vs by strong hand
And termes Compulsatiue, those foresaid Lands
So by his Father lost: and this (I take it)
Is the maine Motiue of our Preparations,
The Sourse of this our Watch, and the cheefe head
Of this post-hast, and Romage in the Land.
Enter Ghost againe.
But soft, behold: Loe, where it comes againe:
Ile crosse it, though it blast me. Stay Illusion:
If thou hast any sound, or vse of Voyce,
Speake to me. If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me; speak to me.
If thou art priuy to thy Countries Fate
(Which happily foreknowing may auoyd) Oh speake.
Or, if thou hast vp-hoorded in thy life
Extorted Treasure in the wombe of Earth,
(For which, they say, you Spirits oft walke in death)
Speake of it. Stay, and speake. Stop it Marcellus
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my Partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand
Barn. 'Tis heere
Hor. 'Tis heere
Mar. 'Tis gone.
We do it wrong, being so Maiesticall
To offer it the shew of Violence,
For it is as the Ayre, invulnerable,
And our vaine blowes, malicious Mockery
Barn. It was about to speake, when the Cocke crew
Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing
Vpon a fearfull Summons. I haue heard,
The Cocke that is the Trumpet to the day,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding Throate
Awake the God of Day: and at his warning,
Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Ayre,
Th' extrauagant, and erring Spirit, hyes
To his Confine. And of the truth heerein,
This present Obiect made probation
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke.
Some sayes, that euer 'gainst that Season comes
Wherein our Sauiours Birch is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long:
And then (they say) no Spirit can walke abroad,
The nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike,
No Faiery talkes, nor Witch hath power to Charme:
So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time
Hor. So haue I heard, and do in part beleeue it.
But looke, the Morne in Russet mantle clad,
Walkes o're the dew of yon high Easterne Hill,
Breake we our Watch vp, and by my aduice
Let vs impart what we haue seene to night
Vnto yong Hamlet. For vpon my life,
This Spirit dumbe to vs, will speake to him:
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needfull in our Loues, fitting our Duty?
Mar. Let do't I pray, and I this morning know
Where we shall finde him most conueniently.
Enter Claudius King of Denmarke, Gertrude the Queene, Hamlet,
Laertes, and his Sister Ophelia, Lords Attendant.
King. Though yet of Hamlet our deere Brothers death
The memory be greene: and that it vs befitted
To beare our hearts in greefe, and our whole Kingdome
To be contracted in one brow of woe:
Yet so farre hath Discretion fought with Nature,
That we with wisest sorrow thinke on him,
Together with remembrance of our selues.
Therefore our sometimes Sister, now our Queene,
Th' imperiall Ioyntresse of this warlike State,
Haue we, as 'twere, with a defeated ioy,
With one Auspicious, and one Dropping eye,
With mirth in Funerall, and with Dirge in Marriage,
In equall Scale weighing Delight and Dole
Taken to Wife; nor haue we heerein barr'd
Your better Wisedomes, which haue freely gone
With this affaire along, for all our Thankes.
Now followes, that you know young Fortinbras,
Holding a weake supposall of our worth;
Or thinking by our late deere Brothers death,
Our State to be disioynt, and out of Frame,
Colleagued with the dreame of his Aduantage;
He hath not fayl'd to pester vs with Message,
Importing the surrender of those Lands
Lost by his Father: with all Bonds of Law
To our most valiant Brother. So much for him.
Enter Voltemand and Cornelius.
Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting
Thus much the businesse is. We haue heere writ
To Norway, Vncle of young Fortinbras,
Who Impotent and Bedrid, scarsely heares
Of this his Nephewes purpose, to suppresse
His further gate heerein. In that the Leuies,
The Lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subiect: and we heere dispatch
You good Cornelius, and you Voltemand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
Giuing to you no further personall power
To businesse with the King, more then the scope
Of these dilated Articles allow:
Farewell, and let your hast commend your duty
Volt. In that, and all things, will we shew our duty
King. We doubt it nothing, heartily farewell.
Exit Voltemand and Cornelius.
And now Laertes, what's the newes with you?
You told vs of some suite. What is't Laertes?
You cannot speake of Reason to the Dane,
And loose your voyce. What would'st thou beg Laertes,
That shall not be my Offer, not thy Asking?
The Head is not more Natiue to the Heart,
The Hand more instrumentall to the Mouth,
Then is the Throne of Denmarke to thy Father.
What would'st thou haue Laertes?
Laer. Dread my Lord,
Your leaue and fauour to returne to France,
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke
To shew my duty in your Coronation,
Yet now I must confesse, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend againe towards France,
And bow them to your gracious leaue and pardon
King. Haue you your Fathers leaue?
What sayes Pollonius?
Pol. He hath my Lord:
I do beseech you giue him leaue to go
King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will:
But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my Sonne?
Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse then kinde
King. How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?
Ham. Not so my Lord, I am too much i'th' Sun
Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nightly colour off,
And let thine eye looke like a Friend on Denmarke.
Do not for euer with thy veyled lids
Seeke for thy Noble Father in the dust;
Thou know'st 'tis common, all that liues must dye,
Passing through Nature, to Eternity
Ham. I Madam, it is common
Queen. If it be;
Why seemes it so particular with thee
Ham. Seemes Madam? Nay, it is: I know not Seemes:
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloake (good Mother)
Nor Customary suites of solemne Blacke,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitfull Riuer in the Eye,
Nor the deiected hauiour of the Visage,
Together with all Formes, Moods, shewes of Griefe,
That can denote me truly. These indeed Seeme,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I haue that Within, which passeth show;
These, but the Trappings, and the Suites of woe
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable
In your Nature Hamlet,
To giue these mourning duties to your Father:
But you must know, your Father lost a Father,
That Father lost, lost his, and the Suruiuer bound
In filiall Obligation, for some terme
To do obsequious Sorrow. But to perseuer
In obstinate Condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornnesse. 'Tis vnmanly greefe,
It shewes a will most incorrect to Heauen,
A Heart vnfortified, a Minde impatient,
An Vnderstanding simple, and vnschool'd:
For, what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
Why should we in our peeuish Opposition
Take it to heart? Fye, 'tis a fault to Heauen,
A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature,
To Reason most absurd, whose common Theame
Is death of Fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first Coarse, till he that dyed to day,
This must be so. We pray you throw to earth
This vnpreuayling woe, and thinke of vs
As of a Father; For let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our Throne,
And with no lesse Nobility of Loue,
Then that which deerest Father beares his Sonne,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
In going backe to Schoole in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remaine
Heere in the cheere and comfort of our eye,
Our cheefest Courtier Cosin, and our Sonne
Qu. Let not thy Mother lose her Prayers Hamlet:
I prythee stay with vs, go not to Wittenberg
Ham. I shall in all my best
Obey you Madam
King. Why 'tis a louing, and a faire Reply,
Be as our selfe in Denmarke. Madam come,
This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
But the great Cannon to the Clowds shall tell,
And the Kings Rouce, the Heauens shall bruite againe,
Respeaking earthly Thunder. Come away.
Ham. Oh that this too too solid Flesh, would melt,
Thaw, and resolue it selfe into a Dew:
Or that the Euerlasting had not fixt
His Cannon 'gainst Selfe-slaughter. O God, O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
Seemes to me all the vses of this world?
Fie on't? Oh fie, fie, 'tis an vnweeded Garden
That growes to Seed: Things rank, and grosse in Nature
Possesse it meerely. That it should come to this:
But two months dead: Nay, not so much; not two,
So excellent a King, that was to this
Hiperion to a Satyre: so louing to my Mother,
That he might not beteene the windes of heauen
Visit her face too roughly. Heauen and Earth
Must I remember: why she would hang on him,
As if encrease of Appetite had growne
By what is fed on; and yet within a month?
Let me not thinke on't: Frailty, thy name is woman.
A little Month, or ere those shooes were old,
With which she followed my poore Fathers body
Like Niobe, all teares. Why she, euen she.
(O Heauen! A beast that wants discourse of Reason
Would haue mourn'd longer) married with mine Vnkle,
My Fathers Brother: but no more like my Father,
Then I to Hercules. Within a Moneth?
Ere yet the salt of most vnrighteous Teares
Had left the flushing of her gauled eyes,
She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to Incestuous sheets:
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But breake my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus.
Hor. Haile to your Lordship
Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget my selfe
Hor. The same my Lord,
And your poore Seruant euer
Ham. Sir my good friend,
Ile change that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?
Mar. My good Lord
Ham. I am very glad to see you: good euen Sir.
But what in faith make you from Wittemberge?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my Lord
Ham. I would not haue your Enemy say so;
Nor shall you doe mine eare that violence,
To make it truster of your owne report
Against your selfe. I know you are no Truant:
But what is your affaire in Elsenour?
Wee'l teach you to drinke deepe, ere you depart
Hor. My Lord, I came to see your Fathers Funerall
Ham. I pray thee doe not mock me (fellow Student)
I thinke it was to see my Mothers Wedding
Hor. Indeed my Lord, it followed hard vpon
Ham. Thrift thrift Horatio: the Funerall Bakt-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the Marriage Tables;
Would I had met my dearest foe in heauen,
Ere I had euer seene that day Horatio.
My father, me thinkes I see my father
Hor. Oh where my Lord?
Ham. In my minds eye (Horatio)
Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly King
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all:
I shall not look vpon his like againe
Hor. My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight
Ham. Saw? Who?
Hor. My Lord, the King your Father
Ham. The King my Father?
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent eare; till I may deliuer
Vpon the witnesse of these Gentlemen,
This maruell to you
Ham. For Heauens loue let me heare
Hor. Two nights together, had these Gentlemen
(Marcellus and Barnardo) on their Watch
In the dead wast and middle of the night
Beene thus encountred. A figure like your Father,
Arm'd at all points exactly, Cap a Pe,
Appeares before them, and with sollemne march
Goes slow and stately: By them thrice he walkt,
By their opprest and feare-surprized eyes,
Within his Truncheons length; whilst they bestil'd
Almost to Ielly with the Act of feare,
Stand dumbe and speake not to him. This to me
In dreadfull secrecie impart they did,
And I with them the third Night kept the Watch,
Whereas they had deliuer'd both in time,
Forme of the thing; each word made true and good,
The Apparition comes. I knew your Father:
These hands are not more like
Ham. But where was this?
Mar. My Lord vpon the platforme where we watcht
Ham. Did you not speake to it?
Hor. My Lord, I did;
But answere made it none: yet once me thought
It lifted vp it head, and did addresse
It selfe to motion, like as it would speake:
But euen then, the Morning Cocke crew lowd;
And at the sound it shrunke in hast away,
And vanisht from our sight
Ham. Tis very strange
Hor. As I doe liue my honourd Lord 'tis true;
And we did thinke it writ downe in our duty
To let you know of it
Ham. Indeed, indeed Sirs; but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to Night?
Both. We doe my Lord
Ham. Arm'd, say you?
Both. Arm'd, my Lord
Ham. From top to toe?
Both. My Lord, from head to foote
Ham. Then saw you not his face?
Hor. O yes, my Lord, he wore his Beauer vp
Ham. What, lookt he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more in sorrow then in anger
Ham. Pale, or red?
Hor. Nay very pale
Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?
Hor. Most constantly
Ham. I would I had beene there
Hor. It would haue much amaz'd you
Ham. Very like, very like: staid it long?
Hor. While one with moderate hast might tell a hundred
All. Longer, longer
Hor. Not when I saw't
Ham. His Beard was grisly? no
Hor. It was, as I haue seene it in his life,
A Sable Siluer'd
Ham. Ile watch to Night; perchance 'twill wake againe
Hor. I warrant you it will
Ham. If it assume my noble Fathers person,
Ile speake to it, though Hell it selfe should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you haue hitherto conceald this sight;
Let it bee treble in your silence still:
And whatsoeuer els shall hap to night,
Giue it an vnderstanding but no tongue;
I will requite your loues; so fare ye well:
Vpon the Platforme twixt eleuen and twelue,
Ile visit you
All. Our duty to your Honour.
Ham. Your loue, as mine to you: farewell.
My Fathers Spirit in Armes? All is 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 earth orewhelm them to mens eies.
Enter Laertes and Ophelia.
Laer. My necessaries are imbark't; Farewell:
And Sister, as the Winds giue Benefit,
And Conuoy is assistant; doe not sleepe,
But let me heare from you
Ophel. Doe you doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fauours,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in Bloude;
A Violet in the youth of Primy Nature;
Froward, not permanent; sweet not lasting
The suppliance of a minute? No more
Ophel. No more but so
Laer. Thinke it no more:
For nature cressant does not grow alone,
In thewes and Bulke: but as his Temple waxes,
The inward seruice of the Minde and Soule
Growes wide withall. Perhaps he loues you now,
And now no soyle nor cautell doth besmerch
The vertue of his feare: but you must feare
His greatnesse weigh'd, his will is not his owne;
For hee himselfe is subiect to his Birth:
Hee may not, as vnuallued persons doe,
Carue for himselfe; for, on his choyce depends
The sanctity and health of the whole State.
And therefore must his choyce be circumscrib'd
Vnto the voyce and yeelding of that Body,
Whereof he is the Head. Then if he sayes he loues you,
It fits your wisedome so farre to beleeue it;
As he in his peculiar Sect and force
May giue his saying deed: which is no further,
Then the maine voyce of Denmarke goes withall.
Then weight what losse your Honour may sustaine,
If with too credent eare you list his Songs;
Or lose your Heart; or your chast Treasure open
To his vnmastred importunity.
Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare Sister,
And keepe within the reare of your Affection;
Out of the shot and danger of Desire.
The chariest Maid is Prodigall enough,
If she vnmaske her beauty to the Moone:
Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious stroakes,
The Canker Galls, the Infants of the Spring
Too oft before the buttons be disclos'd,
And in the Morne and liquid dew of Youth,
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then, best safety lies in feare;
Youth to it selfe rebels, though none else neere
Ophe. I shall th' effect of this good Lesson keepe,
As watchmen to my heart: but good my Brother
Doe not as some vngracious Pastors doe,
Shew me the steepe and thorny way to Heauen;
Whilst like a puft and recklesse Libertine
Himselfe, the Primrose path of dalliance treads,
And reaks not his owne reade
Laer. Oh, feare me not.
I stay too long; but here my Father comes:
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles vpon a second leaue
Polon. Yet heere Laertes? Aboord, aboord for shame,
The winde sits in the shoulder of your saile,
And you are staid for there: my blessing with you;
And these few Precepts in thy memory,
See thou Character. Giue thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any vnproportion'd thoughts his Act:
Be thou familiar; but by no meanes vulgar:
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tride,
Grapple them to thy Soule, with hoopes of Steele:
But doe not dull thy palme, with entertainment
Of each vnhatch't, vnfledg'd Comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrell: but being in
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Giue euery man thine eare; but few thy voyce:
Take each mans censure; but reserue thy iudgement:
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy;
But not exprest in fancie; rich, not gawdie:
For the Apparell oft proclaimes the man.
And they in France of the best ranck and station,
Are of a most select and generous cheff in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For lone oft loses both it selfe and friend:
And borrowing duls the edge of Husbandry.
This aboue all; to thine owne selfe be true:
And it must follow, as the Night the Day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my Blessing season this in thee
Laer. Most humbly doe I take my leaue, my Lord
Polon. The time inuites you, goe, your seruants tend
Laer. Farewell Ophelia, and remember well
What I haue said to you
Ophe. Tis in my memory lockt,
And you your selfe shall keepe the key of it
Polon. What ist Ophelia he hath said to you?
Ophe. So please you, somthing touching the L[ord]. Hamlet
Polon. Marry, well bethought:
Tis told me he hath very oft of late
Giuen priuate time to you; and you your selfe
Haue of your audience beene most free and bounteous.
If it be so, as so tis put on me;
And that in way of caution: I must tell you,
You doe not vnderstand your selfe so cleerely,
As it behoues my Daughter, and your Honour.
What is betweene you, giue me vp the truth?
Ophe. He hath my Lord of late, made many tenders
Of his affection to me
Polon. Affection, puh. You speake like a greene Girle,
Vnsifted in such perillous Circumstance.
Doe you beleeue his tenders, as you call them?
Ophe. I do not know, my Lord, what I should thinke
Polon. Marry Ile teach you; thinke your selfe a Baby,
That you haue tane his tenders for true pay,
Which are not starling. Tender your selfe more dearly;
Or not to crack the winde of the poore Phrase,
Roaming it thus, you'l tender me a foole
Ophe. My Lord, he hath importun'd me with loue,
In honourable fashion
Polon. I, fashion you may call it, go too, go too
Ophe. And hath giuen countenance to his speech,
My Lord, with all the vowes of Heauen
Polon. I, Springes to catch Woodcocks. I doe know
When the Bloud burnes, how Prodigall the Soule
Giues the tongue vowes: these blazes, Daughter,
Giuing more light then heate; extinct in both,
Euen in their promise, as it is a making;
You must not take for fire. For this time Daughter,
Be somewhat scanter of your Maiden presence;
Set your entreatments at a higher rate,
Then a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Beleeue so much in him, that he is young,
And with a larger tether may he walke,
Then may be giuen you. In few, Ophelia,
Doe not beleeue his vowes; for they are Broakers,
Not of the eye, which their Inuestments show:
But meere implorators of vnholy Sutes,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plaine tearmes, from this time forth,
Haue you so slander any moment leisure,
As to giue words or talke with the Lord Hamlet:
Looke too't, I charge you; come your wayes
Ophe. I shall obey my Lord.
Enter Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus.
Ham. The Ayre bites shrewdly: is it very cold?
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager ayre
Ham. What hower now?
Hor. I thinke it lacks of twelue
Mar. No, it is strooke
Hor. Indeed I heard it not: then it drawes neere the season,
Wherein the Spirit held his wont to walke.
What does this meane my Lord?
Ham. The King doth wake to night, and takes his rouse,
Keepes wassels and the swaggering vpspring reeles,
And as he dreines his draughts of Renish downe,
The kettle Drum and Trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his Pledge
Horat. Is it a custome?
Ham. I marry ist;
And to my mind, though I am natiue heere,
And to the manner borne: It is a Custome
More honour'd in the breach, then the obseruance.
Hor. Looke my Lord, it comes
Ham. Angels and Ministers of Grace defend vs:
Be thou a Spirit of health, or Goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee ayres from Heauen, or blasts from Hell,
Be thy euents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
That I will speake to thee. Ile call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royall Dane: Oh, oh, answer me,
Let me not burst in Ignorance; but tell
Why thy Canoniz'd bones Hearsed in death,
Haue burst their cerments, why the Sepulcher
Wherein we saw thee quietly enurn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and Marble iawes,
To cast thee vp againe? What may this meane?
That thou dead Coarse againe in compleat steele,
Reuisits thus the glimpses of the Moone,
Making Night hidious? And we fooles of Nature,
So horridly to shake our disposition,
With thoughts beyond thee; reaches of our Soules,
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we doe?
Ghost beckens Hamlet.
Hor. It beckons you to goe away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone
Mar. Looke with what courteous action
It wafts you to a more remoued ground:
But doe not goe with it
Hor. No, by no meanes
Ham. It will not speake: then will I follow it
Hor. Doe not my Lord
Ham. Why, what should be the feare?
I doe not set my life at a pins fee;
And for my Soule, what can it doe to that?
Being a thing immortall as it selfe:
It waues me forth againe; Ile follow it
Hor. What if it tempt you toward the Floud my Lord?
Or to the dreadfull Sonnet of the Cliffe,
That beetles o're his base into the Sea,
And there assumes some other horrible forme,
Which might depriue your Soueraignty of Reason,
And draw you into madnesse thinke of it?
Ham. It wafts me still: goe on, Ile follow thee
Mar. You shall not goe my Lord
Ham. Hold off your hand
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not goe
Ham. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty Artire in this body,
As hardy as the Nemian Lions nerue:
Still am I cal'd? Vnhand me Gentlemen:
By Heau'n, Ile make a Ghost of him that lets me:
I say away, goe on, Ile follow thee.
Exeunt. Ghost & Hamlet.
Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination
Mar. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him
Hor. Haue after, to what issue will this come?
Mar. Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke
Hor. Heauen will direct it
Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Ham. Where wilt thou lead me? speak; Ile go no further
Gho. Marke me
Ham. I will
Gho. My hower is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting Flames
Must render vp my selfe
Ham. Alas poore Ghost
Gho. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall vnfold
Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare
Gho. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare
Gho. I am thy Fathers Spirit,
Doom'd for a certaine terme to walke the night;
And for the day confin'd to fast in Fiers,
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;
I could a Tale vnfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like Starres, start from their Spheres,
Thy knotty and combined lockes to part,
And each particular haire to stand an end,
Like Quilles vpon the fretfull Porpentine:
But this eternall blason must not be
To eares of flesh and bloud; list Hamlet, oh list,
If thou didst euer thy deare Father loue
Ham. Oh Heauen!
Gho. Reuenge his foule and most vnnaturall Murther
Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is;
But this most foule, strange, and vnnaturall
Ham. Hast, hast me to know it,
That with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of Loue,
May sweepe to my Reuenge
Ghost. I finde thee apt,
And duller should'st thou be then the fat weede
That rots it selfe in ease, on Lethe Wharfe,
Would'st thou not stirre in this. Now Hamlet heare:
It's giuen out, that sleeping in mine Orchard,
A Serpent stung me: so the whole eare of Denmarke,
Is by a forged processe of my death
Rankly abus'd: But know thou Noble youth,
The Serpent that did sting thy Fathers life,
Now weares his Crowne
Ham. O my Propheticke soule: mine Vncle?
Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate Beast
With witchcraft of his wits, hath Traitorous guifts.
Oh wicked Wit, and Gifts, that haue the power
So to seduce? Won to this shamefull Lust
The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene:
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there,
From me, whose loue was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand, euen with the Vow
I made to her in Marriage; and to decline
Vpon a wretch, whose Naturall gifts were poore
To those of mine. But Vertue, as it neuer wil be moued,
Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of Heauen:
So Lust, though to a radiant Angell link'd,
Will sate it selfe in a Celestiall bed, & prey on Garbage.
But soft, me thinkes I sent the Mornings Ayre;
Briefe let me be: Sleeping within mine Orchard,
My custome alwayes in the afternoone;
Vpon my secure hower thy Vncle stole
With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl,
And in the Porches of mine eares did poure
The leaperous Distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with bloud of Man,
That swift as Quick-siluer, it courses through
The naturall Gates and Allies of the body;
And with a sodaine vigour it doth posset
And curd, like Aygre droppings into Milke,
The thin and wholsome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant Tetter bak'd about,
Most Lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth Body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a Brothers hand,
Of Life, of Crowne, and Queene at once dispatcht;
Cut off euen in the Blossomes of my Sinne,
Vnhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head;
Oh horrible Oh 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 howsoeuer thou pursuest this Act,
Taint not thy mind; nor let thy Soule contriue
Against thy Mother ought; leaue her to heauen,
And to those Thornes that in her bosome lodge,
To pricke and sting her. Fare thee well at once;
The Glow-worme showes the Matine to be neere,
And gins to pale his vneffectuall Fire:
Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me.
Ham. Oh all you host of Heauen! Oh Earth; what els?
And shall I couple Hell? Oh fie: hold my heart;
And you my sinnewes, grow not instant Old;
But beare me stiffely vp: Remember thee?
I, thou poore Ghost, while memory holds a seate
In this distracted Globe: Remember thee?
Yea, from the Table of my Memory,
Ile wipe away all triuiall fond Records,
All sawes of Bookes, all formes, all presures past,
That youth and obseruation coppied there;
And thy Commandment all alone shall liue
Within the Booke and Volume of my Braine,
Vnmixt with baser matter; yes yes, by Heauen:
Oh most pernicious woman!
Oh Villaine, Villaine, smiling damned Villaine!
My Tables, my Tables; meet it is I set it downe,
That one may smile, and smile and be a Villaine;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmarke;
So Vnckle there you are: now to my word;
It is; Adue, Adue, Remember me: I haue sworn't
Hor. & Mar. within. My Lord, my Lord.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Mar. Lord Hamlet
Hor. Heauen secure him
Mar. So be it
Hor. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy; come bird, come
Mar. How ist my Noble Lord?
Hor. What newes, my Lord?
Ham. Oh wonderfull!
Hor. Good my Lord tell it
Ham. No you'l reueale it
Hor. Not I, my Lord, by Heauen
Mar. Nor I, my Lord
Ham. How say you then, would heart of man once think it?
But you'l be secret?
Both. I, by Heau'n, my Lord
Ham. There's nere a villaine dwelling in all Denmarke
But hee's an arrant knaue
Hor. There needs no Ghost my Lord, come from the
Graue, to tell vs this
Ham. Why right, you are i'th' right;
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part:
You, as your busines and desires shall point you:
For euery man ha's businesse and desire,
Such as it is: and for mine owne poore part,
Looke you, Ile goe pray
Hor. These are but wild and hurling words, my Lord
Ham. I'm sorry they offend you heartily:
Yes faith, heartily
Hor. There's no offence my Lord
Ham. Yes, by Saint Patricke, but there is my Lord,
And much offence too, touching this Vision heere:
It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you:
For your desire to know what is betweene vs,
O'remaster't as you may. And now good friends,
As you are Friends, Schollers and Soldiers,
Giue me one poore request
Hor. What is't my Lord? we will
Ham. Neuer make known what you haue seen to night
Both. My Lord, we will not
Ham. Nay, but swear't
Hor. Infaith my Lord, not I
Mar. Nor I my Lord: in faith
Ham. Vpon my sword
Marcell. We haue sworne my Lord already
Ham. Indeed, vpon my sword, Indeed
Ghost cries vnder the Stage.
Ham. Ah ha boy, sayest thou so. Art thou there truepenny?
Come one you here this fellow in the selleredge
Consent to sweare
Hor. Propose the Oath my Lord
Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene.
Sweare by my sword
Ham. Hic & vbique? Then wee'l shift for grownd,
Come hither Gentlemen,
And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard:
Sweare by my Sword
Ham. Well said old Mole, can'st worke i'th' ground so fast?
A worthy Pioner, once more remoue good friends
Hor. Oh 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 our Philosophy. But come,
Here as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
How strange or odde so ere I beare my selfe;
(As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet
To put an Anticke disposition on:)
That you at such time seeing me, neuer shall
With Armes encombred thus, or thus, head shake;
Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull Phrase;
As well, we know, or we could and if we would,
Or if we list to speake; or there be and if there might,
Or such ambiguous giuing out to note,
That you know ought of me; this not to doe:
So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you:
Ham. Rest, rest perturbed Spirit: so Gentlemen,
With all my loue I doe commend me to you;
And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,
May doe t' expresse his loue and friending to you,
God willing shall not lacke: let vs goe in together,
And still your fingers on your lippes I pray,
The time is out of ioynt: Oh cursed spight,
That euer I was borne to set it right.
Nay, come let's goe together.
Enter Polonius, and Reynoldo.
Polon. Giue him his money, and these notes Reynoldo
Reynol. I will my Lord
Polon. You shall doe maruels wisely: good Reynoldo,
Before you visite him you make inquiry
Of his behauiour
Reynol. My Lord, I did intend it
Polon. Marry, well said;
Very well said. Looke you Sir,
Enquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
And how, and who; what meanes; and where they keepe:
What company, at what expence: and finding
By this encompassement and drift of question,
That they doe know my sonne: Come you more neerer
Then your particular demands will touch it,
Take you as 'twere some distant knowledge of him,
And thus I know his father and his friends,
And in part him. Doe you marke this Reynoldo?
Reynol. I, very well my Lord
Polon. And in part him, but you may say not well;
But if't be hee I meane, hees very wilde;
Addicted so and so; and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so ranke,
As may dishonour him; take heed of that:
But Sir, such wanton, wild, and vsuall slips,
As are Companions noted and most knowne
To youth and liberty
Reynol. As gaming my Lord
Polon. I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
Quarelling, drabbing. You may goe so farre
Reynol. My Lord that would dishonour him
Polon. Faith no, as you may season it in the charge;
You must not put another scandall on him,
That hee is open to Incontinencie;
That's not my meaning: but breath his faults so quaintly,
That they may seeme the taints of liberty;
The flash and out-breake of a fiery minde,
A sauagenes in vnreclaim'd bloud of generall assault
Reynol. But my good Lord
Polon. Wherefore should you doe this?
Reynol. I my Lord, I would know that
Polon. Marry Sir, heere's my drift,
And I belieue it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sulleyes on my Sonne,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'th' working:
Marke you your party in conuerse; him you would sound,
Hauing euer seene. In the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breath of guilty, be assur'd
He closes with you in this consequence:
Good sir, or so, or friend, or Gentleman.
According to the Phrase and the Addition,
Of man and Country
Reynol. Very good my Lord
Polon. And then Sir does he this?
He does: what was I about to say?
I was about say somthing: where did I leaue?
Reynol. At closes in the consequence:
At friend, or so, and Gentleman
Polon. At closes in the consequence, I marry,
He closes with you thus. I know the Gentleman,
I saw him yesterday, or tother day;
Or then or then, with such and such; and as you say,
There was he gaming, there o'retooke in's Rouse,
There falling out at Tennis; or perchance,
I saw him enter such a house of saile;
Videlicet, a Brothell, or so forth. See you now;
Your bait of falshood, takes this Cape of truth;
And thus doe we of wisedome and of reach
With windlesses, and with assaies of Bias,
By indirections finde directions out:
So by my former Lecture and aduice
Shall you my Sonne; you haue me, haue you not?
Reynol. My Lord I haue
Polon. God buy you; fare you well
Reynol. Good my Lord
Polon. Obserue his inclination in your selfe
Reynol. I shall my Lord
Polon. And let him plye his Musicke
Reynol. Well, my Lord.
How now Ophelia, what's the matter?
Ophe. Alas my Lord, I haue beene so affrighted
Polon. With what, in the name of Heauen?
Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my Chamber,
Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd,
No hat vpon his head, his stockings foul'd,
Vngartred, and downe giued to his Anckle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a looke so pitious in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,
To speake of horrors: he comes before me
Polon. Mad for thy Loue?
Ophe. My Lord, I doe not know: but truly I do feare it
Polon. What said he?
Ophe. He tooke me by the wrist, and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all his arme;
And with his other hand thus o're his brow,
He fals to such perusall of my face,
As he would draw it. Long staid he so,
At last, a little shaking of mine Arme:
And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe;
He rais'd a sigh, so pittious and profound,
That it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,
And end his being. That done, he lets me goe,
And with his head ouer his shoulders turn'd,
He seem'd to finde his way without his eyes,
For out adores he went without their helpe;
And to the last, bended their light on me
Polon. Goe with me, I will goe seeke the King,
This is the very extasie of Loue,
Whose violent property foredoes it selfe,
And leads the will to desperate Vndertakings,
As oft as any passion vnder Heauen,
That does afflict our Natures. I am sorrie,
What haue you giuen him any hard words of late?
Ophe. No my good Lord: but as you did command,
I did repell his Letters, and deny'de
His accesse to me
Pol. That hath made him mad.
I am sorrie that with better speed and iudgement
I had not quoted him. I feare he did but trifle,
And meant to wracke thee: but beshrew my iealousie:
It seemes it is as proper to our Age,
To cast beyond our selues in our Opinions,
As it is common for the yonger sort
To lacke discretion. Come, go we to the King,
This must be knowne, being kept close might moue
More greefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue.
Enter King, Queene, Rosincrane, and Guildensterne Cum alijs.
King. Welcome deere Rosincrance and Guildensterne.
Moreouer, that we much did long to see you,
The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke
Our hastie sending. Something haue you heard
Of Hamlets transformation: so I call it,
Since not th' exterior, nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should bee
More then his Fathers death, that thus hath put him
So much from th' vnderstanding of himselfe,
I cannot deeme of. I intreat you both,
That being of so young dayes brought vp with him:
And since so Neighbour'd to his youth, and humour,
That you vouchsafe your rest heere in our Court
Some little time: so by your Companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from Occasions you may gleane,
That open'd lies within our remedie
Qu. Good Gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you,
And sure I am, two men there are not liuing,
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To shew vs so much Gentrie, and good will,
As to expend your time with vs a-while,
For the supply and profit of our Hope,
Your Visitation shall receiue such thankes
As fits a Kings remembrance
Rosin. Both your Maiesties
Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs,
Put your dread pleasures, more into Command
Then to Entreatie
Guil. We both obey,
And here giue vp our selues, in the full bent,
To lay our Seruices freely at your feete,
To be commanded
King. Thankes Rosincrance, and gentle Guildensterne
Qu. Thankes Guildensterne and gentle Rosincrance.
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed Sonne.
Go some of ye,
And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is
Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises
Pleasant and helpfull to him.
Pol. Th' Ambassadors from Norwey, my good Lord,
Are ioyfully return'd
King. Thou still hast bin the father of good Newes
Pol. Haue I, my Lord? Assure you, my good Liege,
I hold my dutie, as I hold my Soule,
Both to my God, one to my gracious King:
And I do thinke, or else this braine of mine
Hunts not the traile of Policie, so sure
As I haue vs'd to do: that I haue found
The very cause of Hamlets Lunacie
King. Oh speake of that, that I do long to heare
Pol. Giue first admittance to th' Ambassadors,
My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Feast
King. Thy selfe do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tels me my sweet Queene, that he hath found
The head and sourse of all your Sonnes distemper
Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine,
His Fathers death, and our o're-hasty Marriage.
Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.
King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends:
Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey?
Volt. Most faire returne of Greetings, and Desires.
Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse
His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Poleak:
But better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your Highnesse, whereat greeued,
That so his Sicknesse, Age, and Impotence
Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arrests
On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes,
Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine,
Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more
To giue th' assay of Armes against your Maiestie.
Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy,
Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee,
And his Commission to imploy those Soldiers
So leuied as before, against the Poleak:
With an intreaty heerein further shewne,
That it might please you to giue quiet passe
Through your Dominions, for his Enterprize,
On such regards of safety and allowance,
As therein are set downe
King. It likes vs well:
And at our more consider'd time wee'l read,
Answer, and thinke vpon this Businesse.
Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour.
Go to your rest, at night wee'l Feast together.
Most welcome home.
Pol. This businesse is very well ended.
My Liege, and Madam, to expostulate
What Maiestie should be, what Dutie is,
Why day is day; night, night; and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste Night, Day, and Time.
Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit,
And tediousnesse, the limbes and outward flourishes,
I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad:
Mad call I it; for to define true Madnesse,
What is't, but to be nothing else but mad.
But let that go
Qu. More matter, with lesse Art
Pol. Madam, I sweare I vse no Art at all:
That he is mad, 'tis true: 'Tis true 'tis pittie,
And pittie it is true: A foolish figure,
But farewell it: for I will vse no Art.
Mad let vs grant him then: and now remaines
That we finde out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect;
For this effect defectiue, comes by cause,
Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus. Perpend,
I haue a daughter: haue, whil'st she is mine,
Who in her Dutie and Obedience, marke,
Hath giuen me this: now gather, and surmise.
To the Celestiall, and my Soules Idoll, the most beautifed Ophelia.
That's an ill Phrase, a vilde Phrase, beautified is a vilde
Phrase: but you shall heare these in her excellent white
Qu. Came this from Hamlet to her
Pol. Good Madam stay awhile, I will be faithfull.
Doubt thou, the Starres are fire,
Doubt, that the Sunne doth moue:
Doubt Truth to be a Lier,
But neuer Doubt, I loue.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these Numbers: I haue not Art to
reckon my grones; but that I loue thee best, oh most Best beleeue
Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this
Machine is to him, Hamlet.
This in Obedience hath my daughter shew'd me:
And more aboue hath his soliciting,
As they fell out by Time, by Meanes, and Place,
All giuen to mine eare
King. But how hath she receiu'd his Loue?
Pol. What do you thinke of me?
King. As of a man, faithfull and Honourable
Pol. I wold faine proue so. But what might you think?
When I had seene this hot loue on the wing,
As I perceiued it, I must tell you that
Before my Daughter told me what might you
Or my deere Maiestie your Queene heere, think,
If I had playd the Deske or Table-booke,
Or giuen my heart a winking, mute and dumbe,
Or look'd vpon this Loue, with idle sight,
What might you thinke? No, I went round to worke,
And (my yong Mistris) thus I did bespeake
Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,
This must not be: and then, I Precepts gaue her,
That she should locke her selfe from his Resort,
Admit no Messengers, receiue no Tokens:
Which done, she tooke the Fruites of my Aduice,
And he repulsed. A short Tale to make,
Fell into a Sadnesse, then into a Fast,
Thence to a Watch, thence into a Weaknesse,
Thence to a Lightnesse, and by this declension
Into the Madnesse whereon now he raues,
And all we waile for
King. Do you thinke 'tis this?
Qu. It may be very likely
Pol. Hath there bene such a time, I'de fain know that,
That I haue possitiuely said, 'tis so,
When it prou'd otherwise?
King. Not that I know
Pol. Take this from this; if this be otherwise,
If Circumstances leade me, I will finde
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeede
Within the Center
King. How may we try it further?
Pol. You know sometimes
He walkes foure houres together, heere
In the Lobby
Qu. So he ha's indeed
Pol. At such a time Ile loose my Daughter to him,
Be you and I behinde an Arras then,
Marke the encounter: If he loue her not,
And be not from his reason falne thereon;
Let me be no Assistant for a State,
And keepe a Farme and Carters
King. We will try it.
Enter Hamlet reading on a Booke.
Qu. But looke where sadly the poore wretch
Pol. Away I do beseech you, both away,
Ile boord him presently.
Exit King & Queen.
Oh giue me leaue. How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Ham. Well, God-a-mercy
Pol. Do you know me, my Lord?
Ham. Excellent, excellent well: y'are a Fishmonger
Pol. Not I my Lord
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man
Pol. Honest, my Lord?
Ham. I sir, to be honest as this world goes, is to bee
one man pick'd out of two thousand
Pol. That's very true, my Lord
Ham. For if the Sun breed Magots in a dead dogge,
being a good kissing Carrion-
Haue you a daughter?
Pol. I haue my Lord
Ham. Let her not walke i'thSunne: Conception is a
blessing, but not as your daughter may conceiue. Friend
Pol. How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter:
yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a Fishmonger:
he is farre gone, farre gone: and truly in my youth,
I suffred much extreamity for loue: very neere this. Ile
speake to him againe. What do you read my Lord?
Ham. Words, words, words
Pol. What is the matter, my Lord?
Ham. Betweene who?
Pol. I meane the matter you meane, my Lord
Ham. Slanders Sir: for the Satyricall slaue saies here,
that old men haue gray Beards; that their faces are wrinkled;
their eyes purging thicke Amber, or Plum-Tree
Gumme: and that they haue a plentifull locke of Wit,
together with weake Hammes. All which Sir, though I
most powerfully, and potently beleeue; yet I holde it
not Honestie to haue it thus set downe: For you your
selfe Sir, should be old as I am, if like a Crab you could
Pol. Though this be madnesse,
Yet there is Method in't: will you walke
Out of the ayre my Lord?
Ham. Into my Graue?
Pol. Indeed that is out o'th' Ayre:
How pregnant (sometimes) his Replies are?
That often Madnesse hits on,
Which Reason and Sanitie could not
So prosperously be deliuer'd of.
I will leaue him,
And sodainely contriue the meanes of meeting
Betweene him, and my daughter.
My Honourable Lord, I will most humbly
Take my leaue of you
Ham. You cannot Sir take from me any thing, that I
will more willingly part withall, except my life, my
Polon. Fare you well my Lord
Ham. These tedious old fooles
Polon. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet; there
Enter Rosincran and Guildensterne.
Rosin. God saue you Sir
Guild. Mine honour'd Lord?
Rosin. My most deare Lord?
Ham. My excellent good friends? How do'st thou
Guildensterne? Oh, Rosincrane; good Lads: How doe ye
Rosin. As the indifferent Children of the earth
Guild. Happy, in that we are not ouer-happy: on Fortunes
Cap, we are not the very Button
Ham. Nor the Soales of her Shoo?
Rosin. Neither my Lord
Ham. Then you liue about her waste, or in the middle
of her fauour?
Guil. Faith, her priuates, we
Ham. In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true:
she is a Strumpet. What's the newes?
Rosin. None my Lord; but that the World's growne
Ham. Then is Doomesday neere: But your newes is
not true. Let me question more in particular: what haue
you my good friends, deserued at the hands of Fortune,
that she sends you to Prison hither?
Guil. Prison, my Lord?
Ham. Denmark's a Prison
Rosin. Then is the World one
Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many Confines,
Wards, and Dungeons; Denmarke being one o'th'
Rosin. We thinke not so my Lord
Ham. Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is
Rosin. Why then your Ambition makes it one: 'tis
too narrow for your minde
Ham. O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and
count my selfe a King of infinite space; were it not that
I haue bad dreames
Guil. Which dreames indeed are Ambition: for the
very substance of the Ambitious, is meerely the shadow
of a Dreame
Ham. A dreame it selfe is but a shadow
Rosin. Truely, and I hold Ambition of so ayry and
light a quality, that it is but a shadowes shadow
Ham. Then are our Beggers bodies; and our Monarchs
and out-stretcht Heroes the Beggers Shadowes:
shall wee to th' Court: for, by my fey I cannot reason?
Both. Wee'l wait vpon you
Ham. No such matter. I will not sort you with the
rest of my seruants: for to speake to you like an honest
man: I am most dreadfully attended; but in the beaten
way of friendship, What make you at Elsonower?
Rosin. To visit you my Lord, no other occasion
Ham. Begger that I am, I am euen poore in thankes;
but I thanke you: and sure deare friends my thanks
are too deare a halfepeny; were you not sent for? Is it
your owne inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
deale iustly with me: come, come; nay speake
Guil. What should we say my Lord?
Ham. Why any thing. But to the purpose; you were
sent for; and there is a kinde confession in your lookes;
which your modesties haue not craft enough to color,
I know the good King & Queene haue sent for you
Rosin. To what end my Lord?
Ham. That you must teach me: but let mee coniure
you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
our youth, by the Obligation of our euer-preserued loue,
and by what more deare, a better proposer could charge
you withall; be euen and direct with me, whether you
were sent for or no
Rosin. What say you?
Ham. Nay then I haue an eye of you: if you loue me
hold not off
Guil. My Lord, we were sent for
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and
Queene: moult no feather, I haue of late, but wherefore
I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of exercise;
and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my disposition;
that this goodly frame the Earth, seemes to me a sterrill
Promontory; this most excellent Canopy the Ayre,
look you, this braue ore-hanging, this Maiesticall Roofe,
fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing
to mee, then a foule and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing
how expresse and admirable? in Action, how like an Angel?
in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the Parragon of Animals; and yet to me, what is
this Quintessence of Dust? Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so
Rosin. My Lord, there was no such stuffe in my
Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights
Rosin. To thinke, my Lord, if you delight not in Man,
what Lenton entertainment the Players shall receiue
from you: wee coated them on the way, and hither are
they comming to offer you Seruice
Ham. He that playes the King shall be welcome; his
Maiesty shall haue Tribute of mee: the aduenturous
Knight shal vse his Foyle and Target: the Louer shall
not sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in
peace: the Clowne shall make those laugh whose lungs
are tickled a'th' sere: and the Lady shall say her minde
freely; or the blanke Verse shall halt for't: what Players
Rosin. Euen those you were wont to take delight in
the Tragedians of the City
Ham. How chances it they trauaile? their residence
both in reputation and profit was better both
Rosin. I thinke their Inhibition comes by the meanes
of the late Innouation?
Ham. Doe they hold the same estimation they did
when I was in the City? Are they so follow'd?
Rosin. No indeed, they are not
Ham. How comes it? doe they grow rusty?
Rosin. Nay, their indeauour keepes in the wonted
pace; But there is Sir an ayrie of Children, little
Yases, that crye out on the top of question; and
are most tyrannically clap't for't: these are now the
fashion, and so be-ratled the common Stages (so they
call them) that many wearing Rapiers, are affraide of
Goose-quils, and dare scarse come thither
Ham. What are they Children? Who maintains 'em?
How are they escorted? Will they pursue the Quality no
longer then they can sing? Will they not say afterwards
if they should grow themselues to common Players (as
it is most like if their meanes are not better) their Writers
do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their
Rosin. Faith there ha's bene much to do on both sides:
and the Nation holds it no sinne, to tarre them to Controuersie.
There was for a while, no mony bid for argument,
vnlesse the Poet and the Player went to Cuffes in
Ham. Is't possible?
Guild. Oh there ha's beene much throwing about of
Ham. Do the Boyes carry it away?
Rosin. I that they do my Lord. Hercules & his load too
Ham. It is not strange: for mine Vnckle is King of
Denmarke, and those that would make mowes at him
while my Father liued; giue twenty, forty, an hundred
Ducates a peece, for his picture in Little. There is something
in this more then Naturall, if Philosophie could
finde it out.
Flourish for the Players.
Guil. There are the Players
Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcom to Elsonower: your
hands, come: The appurtenance of Welcome, is Fashion
and Ceremony. Let me comply with you in the Garbe,
lest my extent to the Players (which I tell you must shew
fairely outward) should more appeare like entertainment
then yours. You are welcome: but my Vnckle Father,
and Aunt Mother are deceiu'd
Guil. In what my deere Lord?
Ham. I am but mad North, North-West: when the
Winde is Southerly, I know a Hawke from a Handsaw.
Pol. Well be with you Gentlemen
Ham. Hearke you Guildensterne, and you too: at each
eare a hearer: that great Baby you see there, is not yet
out of his swathing clouts
Rosin. Happily he's the second time come to them: for
they say, an old man is twice a childe
Ham. I will Prophesie. Hee comes to tell me of the
Players. Mark it, you say right Sir: for a Monday morning
'twas so indeed
Pol. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you
Ham. My Lord, I haue Newes to tell you.
When Rossius an Actor in Rome-
Pol. The Actors are come hither my Lord
Ham. Buzze, buzze
Pol. Vpon mine Honor
Ham. Then can each Actor on his Asse-
Polon. The best Actors in the world, either for Tragedie,
Comedie, Historie, Pastorall:
Scene indiuidible: or Poem
vnlimited. Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plautus
too light, for the law of Writ, and the Liberty. These are
the onely men
Ham. O Iephta Iudge of Israel, what a Treasure had'st
Pol. What a Treasure had he, my Lord?
Ham. Why one faire Daughter, and no more,
The which he loued passing well
Pol. Still on my Daughter
Ham. Am I not i'th' right old Iephta?
Polon. If you call me Iephta my Lord, I haue a daughter
that I loue passing well
Ham. Nay that followes not
Polon. What followes then, my Lord?
Ha. Why, As by lot, God wot: and then you know, It
came to passe, as most like it was: The first rowe of the
Pons Chanson will shew you more. For looke where my
Enter foure or fiue Players.
Y'are welcome Masters, welcome all. I am glad to see
thee well: Welcome good Friends. Oh my olde Friend?
Thy face is valiant since I saw thee last: Com'st thou to
beard me in Denmarke? What, my yong Lady and Mistris?
Byrlady your Ladiship is neerer Heauen then when
I saw you last, by the altitude of a Choppine. Pray God
your voice like a peece of vncurrant Gold be not crack'd
within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome: wee'l e'ne
to't like French Faulconers, flie at any thing we see: wee'l
haue a Speech straight. Come giue vs a tast of your quality:
come, a passionate speech
1.Play. What speech, my Lord?
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
neuer Acted: or if it was, not aboue once, for the Play I
remember pleas'd not the Million, 'twas Cauiarie to the
Generall: but it was (as I receiu'd it, and others, whose
iudgement in such matters, cried in the top of mine) an
excellent Play; well digested in the Scoenes, set downe
with as much modestie, as cunning. I remember one said,
there was no Sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory;
nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the
Author of affectation, but cal'd it an honest method. One
cheefe Speech in it, I cheefely lou'd, 'twas Aeneas Tale
to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks
of Priams slaughter. If it liue in your memory, begin at
this Line, let me see, let me see: The rugged Pyrrhus like
th'Hyrcanian Beast. It is not so: it begins with Pyrrhus
The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose Sable Armes
Blacke as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the Ominous Horse,
Hath now this dread and blacke Complexion smear'd
With Heraldry more dismall: Head to foote
Now is he to take Geulles, horridly Trick'd
With blood of Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sonnes,
Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrannous, and damned light
To their vilde Murthers, roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o're-sized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Olde Grandsire Priam seekes
Pol. Fore God, my Lord, well spoken, with good accent,
and good discretion
1.Player. Anon he findes him,
Striking too short at Greekes. His anticke Sword,
Rebellious to his Arme, lyes where it falles
Repugnant to command: vnequall match,
Pyrrhus at Priam driues, in Rage strikes wide:
But with the whiffe and winde of his fell Sword,
Th' vnnerued Father fals. Then senselesse Illium,
Seeming to feele his blow, with flaming top
Stoopes to his Bace, and with a hideous crash
Takes Prisoner Pyrrhus eare. For loe, his Sword
Which was declining on the Milkie head
Of Reuerend Priam, seem'd i'th' Ayre to sticke:
So as a painted Tyrant Pyrrhus stood,
And like a Newtrall to his will and matter, did nothing.
But as we often see against some storme,
A silence in the Heauens, the Racke stand still,
The bold windes speechlesse, and the Orbe below
As hush as death: Anon the dreadfull Thunder
Doth rend the Region. So after Pyrrhus pause,
A rowsed Vengeance sets him new a-worke,
And neuer did the Cyclops hammers fall
On Mars his Armours, forg'd for proofe Eterne,
With lesse remorse then Pyrrhus bleeding sword
Now falles on Priam.
Out, out, thou Strumpet-Fortune, all you Gods,
In generall Synod take away her power:
Breake all the Spokes and Fallies from her wheele,
And boule the round Naue downe the hill of Heauen,
As low as to the Fiends
Pol. This is too long
Ham. It shall to'th Barbars, with your beard. Prythee
say on: He's for a Iigge, or a tale of Baudry, or hee
sleepes. Say on; come to Hecuba
1.Play. But who, O who, had seen the inobled Queen
Ham. The inobled Queene?
Pol. That's good: Inobled Queene is good
1.Play. Run bare-foot vp and downe,
Threatning the flame
With Bisson Rheume: A clout about that head,
Where late the Diadem stood, and for a Robe
About her lanke and all ore-teamed Loines,
A blanket in th' Alarum of feare caught vp.
Who this had seene, with tongue in Venome steep'd,
'Gainst Fortunes State, would Treason haue pronounc'd?
But if the Gods themselues did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his Sword her Husbands limbes,
The instant Burst of Clamour that she made
(Vnlesse things mortall moue them not at all)
Would haue made milche the Burning eyes of Heauen,
And passion in the Gods
Pol. Looke where he ha's not turn'd his colour, and
ha's teares in's eyes. Pray you no more