The Project Gutenberg eBook of Hamlet

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Hamlet

Author: William Shakespeare

Release date: July 1, 2000 [eBook #2265]
Most recently updated: May 23, 2019

Language: English


Project Gutenberg's Etext of Shakespeare's The Tragedie of Hamlet

Executive Director's Notes:

In addition to the notes below, and so you will *NOT* think all the spelling errors introduced by the printers of the time have been corrected, here are the first few lines of Hamlet, as they are presented herein:

  Barnardo. Who's there?
  Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
your selfe

Bar. Long liue the King


As I understand it, the printers often ran out of certain words or letters they had often packed into a "cliche". . .this is the original meaning of the term cliche. . .and thus, being unwilling to unpack the cliches, and thus you will see some substitutions that look very odd. . .such as the exchanges of u for v, v for u, above. . .and you may wonder why they did it this way, presuming Shakespeare did not actually write the play in this manner. . . .

The answer is that they MAY have packed "liue" into a cliche at a time when they were out of "v"'s. . .possibly having used "vv" in place of some "w"'s, etc. This was a common practice of the day, as print was still quite expensive, and they didn't want to spend more on a wider selection of characters than they had to.

You will find a lot of these kinds of "errors" in this text, as I have mentioned in other times and places, many "scholars" have an extreme attachment to these errors, and many have accorded them a very high place in the "canon" of Shakespeare. My father read an assortment of these made available to him by Cambridge University in England for several months in a glass room constructed for the purpose. To the best of my knowledge he read ALL those available . . .in great detail. . .and determined from the various changes, that Shakespeare most likely did not write in nearly as many of a variety of errors we credit him for, even though he was in/famous for signing his name with several different spellings.

So, please take this into account when reading the comments below made by our volunteer who prepared this file: you may see errors that are "not" errors. . . .

So. . .with this caveat. . .we have NOT changed the canon errors, here is the Project Gutenberg Etext of Shakespeare's The Tragedie of Hamlet.

Michael S. Hart
Project Gutenberg
Executive Director


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 purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer's habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and 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 First Folio editions' best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best etext possible. My email address for right now are and I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The Tragedie of Hamlet

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Barnardo and Francisco two Centinels.

  Barnardo. Who's there?
  Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
your selfe

Bar. Long liue the King

   Fran. Barnardo?
  Bar. He

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.

Exit Fran.

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.
'Tis strange

   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.

Exit Ghost.

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.


Scena Secunda.

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.


Manet Hamlet.

  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.

Scena Tertia

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.
Enter Polonius.

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

Laer. Farewell.

Exit Laer.

  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.
Enter Ghost.

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

   Ham. What?
  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

   Ham. 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

Gho. Sweare.

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

Gho. Sweare

   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

Gho. Sweare

   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:

Ghost. Sweare

   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.


Actus Secundus.

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.

Enter Ophelia.

  Polon. Farewell:
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.


Scena Secunda.

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.

  Queene. Amen.
Enter Polonius.

  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.

Exit Ambass.

  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.

The Letter.

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
bosome, these

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
it. Adieu.
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
Comes reading

   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 looke too't

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 go backward

   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?
A happinesse,
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 life

Polon. Fare you well my Lord

Ham. These tedious old fooles

   Polon. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet; there
hee is.
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' worst

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 a prison

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 thoughts

Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, Man delights not me? 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 are they? 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 wayes

   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 owne Succession

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 the Question

   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.
Enter Polonius.

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: Pastoricall-Comicall-Historicall-Pastorall: Tragicall-Historicall: Tragicall-Comicall-Historicall-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
Abridgements come.
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

Ham. 'Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest, soone. Good my Lord, will you see the Players wel bestow'd. Do ye heare, let them be well vs'd: for they are the Abstracts and breefe Chronicles of the time. After your death, you were better haue a bad Epitaph, then their ill report while you liued

Pol. My Lord, I will vse them according to their desart

Ham. Gods bodykins man, better. Vse euerie man after his desart, and who should scape whipping: vse them after your own Honor and Dignity. The lesse they deserue, the more merit is in your bountie. Take them in

Pol. Come sirs.

Exit Polon.

  Ham. Follow him Friends: wee'l heare a play to morrow.
Dost thou heare me old Friend, can you play the
murther of Gonzago?
  Play. I my Lord

   Ham. Wee'l ha't to morrow night. You could for a
need study a speech of some dosen or sixteene lines, which
I would set downe, and insert in't? Could ye not?
  Play. I my Lord

   Ham. Very well. Follow that Lord, and looke you
mock him not. My good Friends, Ile leaue you til night
you are welcome to Elsonower?
  Rosin. Good my Lord.


Manet Hamlet.

  Ham. I so, God buy'ye: Now I am alone.
Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slaue am I?
Is it not monstrous that this Player heere,
But in a Fixion, in a dreame of Passion,
Could force his soule so to his whole conceit,
That from her working, all his visage warm'd;
Teares in his eyes, distraction in's Aspect,
A broken voyce, and his whole Function suiting
With Formes, to his Conceit? And all for nothing?
For Hecuba?
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weepe for her? What would he doe,
Had he the Motiue and the Cue for passion
That I haue? He would drowne the Stage with teares,
And cleaue the generall eare with horrid speech:
Make mad the guilty, and apale the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed,
The very faculty of Eyes and Eares. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-metled Rascall, peake
Like Iohn a-dreames, vnpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing: No, not for a King,
Vpon whose property, and most deere life,
A damn'd defeate was made. Am I a Coward?
Who calles me Villaine? breakes my pate a-crosse?
Pluckes off my Beard, and blowes it in my face?
Tweakes me by'th' Nose? giues me the Lye i'th' Throate,
As deepe as to the Lungs? Who does me this?
Ha? Why I should take it: for it cannot be,
But I am Pigeon-Liuer'd, and lacke Gall
To make Oppression bitter, or ere this,
I should haue fatted all the Region Kites
With this Slaues Offall, bloudy: a Bawdy villaine,
Remorselesse, Treacherous, Letcherous, kindles villaine!
Oh Vengeance!
Who? What an Asse am I? I sure, this is most braue,
That I, the Sonne of the Deere murthered,
Prompted to my Reuenge by Heauen, and Hell,
Must (like a Whore) vnpacke my heart with words,
And fall a Cursing like a very Drab.
A Scullion? Fye vpon't: Foh. About my Braine.
I haue heard, that guilty Creatures sitting at a Play,
Haue by the very cunning of the Scoene,
Bene strooke so to the soule, that presently
They haue proclaim'd their Malefactions.
For Murther, though it haue no tongue, will speake
With most myraculous Organ. Ile haue these Players,
Play something like the murder of my Father,
Before mine Vnkle. Ile obserue his lookes,
Ile rent him to the quicke: If he but blench
I know my course. The Spirit that I haue seene
May be the Diuell, and the Diuel hath power
T' assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps
Out of my Weaknesse, and my Melancholly,
As he is very potent with such Spirits,
Abuses me to damne me. Ile haue grounds
More Relatiue then this: The Play's the thing,
Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King.


Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrance,
Guildenstern, and

  King. And can you by no drift of circumstance
Get from him why he puts on this Confusion:
Grating so harshly all his dayes of quiet
With turbulent and dangerous Lunacy

   Rosin. He does confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,
But from what cause he will by no meanes speake

   Guil. Nor do we finde him forward to be sounded,
But with a crafty Madnesse keepes aloofe:
When we would bring him on to some Confession
Of his true state

   Qu. Did he receiue you well?
  Rosin. Most like a Gentleman

Guild. But with much forcing of his disposition

   Rosin. Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply

   Qu. Did you assay him to any pastime?
  Rosin. Madam, it so fell out, that certaine Players
We ore-wrought on the way: of these we told him,
And there did seeme in him a kinde of ioy
To heare of it: They are about the Court,
And (as I thinke) they haue already order
This night to play before him

   Pol. 'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to intreate your Maiesties
To heare, and see the matter

   King. With all my heart, and it doth much content me
To heare him so inclin'd. Good Gentlemen,
Giue him a further edge, and driue his purpose on
To these delights

Rosin. We shall my Lord.


  King. Sweet Gertrude leaue vs too,
For we haue closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may there
Affront Ophelia. Her Father, and my selfe (lawful espials)
Will so bestow our selues, that seeing vnseene
We may of their encounter frankely iudge,
And gather by him, as he is behaued,
If't be th' affliction of his loue, or no.
That thus he suffers for

   Qu. I shall obey you,
And for your part Ophelia, I do wish
That your good Beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlets wildenesse: so shall I hope your Vertues
Will bring him to his wonted way againe,
To both your Honors

Ophe. Madam, I wish it may

   Pol. Ophelia, walke you heere. Gracious so please ye
We will bestow our selues: Reade on this booke,
That shew of such an exercise may colour
Your lonelinesse. We are oft too blame in this,
'Tis too much prou'd, that with Deuotions visage,
And pious Action, we do surge o're
The diuell himselfe

   King. Oh 'tis true:
How smart a lash that speech doth giue my Conscience?
The Harlots Cheeke beautied with plaist'ring Art
Is not more vgly to the thing that helpes it,
Then is my deede, to my most painted word.
Oh heauie burthen!
  Pol. I heare him comming, let's withdraw my Lord.


Enter Hamlet.

  Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
That Flesh is heyre too? 'Tis a consummation
Deuoutly to be wish'd. To dye to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there's the rub,
For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
When we haue shuffel'd off this mortall coile,
Must giue vs pawse. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd Loue, the Lawes delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardles beare
To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
Then flye to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o're, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The faire Ophelia? Nimph, in thy Orizons
Be all my sinnes remembred

   Ophe. Good my Lord,
How does your Honor for this many a day?
  Ham. I humbly thanke you: well, well, well

   Ophe. My Lord, I haue Remembrances of yours,
That I haue longed long to re-deliuer.
I pray you now, receiue them

Ham. No, no, I neuer gaue you ought

   Ophe. My honor'd Lord, I know right well you did,
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd,
As made the things more rich, then perfume left:
Take these againe, for to the Noble minde
Rich gifts wax poore, when giuers proue vnkinde.
There my Lord

   Ham. Ha, ha: Are you honest?
  Ophe. My Lord

   Ham. Are you faire?
  Ophe. What meanes your Lordship?
  Ham. That if you be honest and faire, your Honesty
should admit no discourse to your Beautie

Ophe. Could Beautie my Lord, haue better Comerce then your Honestie? Ham. I trulie: for the power of Beautie, will sooner transforme Honestie from what is, to a Bawd, then the force of Honestie can translate Beautie into his likenesse. This was sometime a Paradox, but now the time giues it proofe. I did loue you once

Ophe. Indeed my Lord, you made me beleeue so

Ham. You should not haue beleeued me. For vertue cannot so innocculate our old stocke, but we shall rellish of it. I loued you not

Ophe. I was the more deceiued

Ham. Get thee to a Nunnerie. Why would'st thou be a breeder of Sinners? I am my selfe indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better my Mother had not borne me. I am very prowd, reuengefull, Ambitious, with more offences at my becke, then I haue thoughts to put them in imagination, to giue them shape, or time to acte them in. What should such Fellowes as I do, crawling betweene Heauen and Earth. We are arrant Knaues all, beleeue none of vs. Goe thy wayes to a Nunnery. Where's your Father? Ophe. At home, my Lord

Ham. Let the doores be shut vpon him, that he may play the Foole no way, but in's owne house. Farewell

Ophe. O helpe him, you sweet Heauens

Ham. If thou doest Marry, Ile giue thee this Plague for thy Dowrie. Be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as Snow, thou shalt not escape Calumny. Get thee to a Nunnery. Go, Farewell. Or if thou wilt needs Marry, marry a fool: for Wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a Nunnery go, and quickly too. Farwell

Ophe. O heauenly Powers, restore him

Ham. I haue heard of your pratlings too wel enough. God has giuen you one pace, and you make your selfe another: you gidge, you amble, and you lispe, and nickname Gods creatures, and make your Wantonnesse, your Ignorance. Go too, Ile no more on't, it hath made me mad. I say, we will haue no more Marriages. Those that are married already, all but one shall liue, the rest shall keep as they are. To a Nunnery, go.

Exit Hamlet.

  Ophe. O what a Noble minde is heere o're-throwne?
The Courtiers, Soldiers, Schollers: Eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectansie and Rose of the faire State,
The glasse of Fashion, and the mould of Forme,
Th' obseru'd of all Obseruers, quite, quite downe.
Haue I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
That suck'd the Honie of his Musicke Vowes:
Now see that Noble, and most Soueraigne Reason,
Like sweet Bels iangled out of tune, and harsh,
That vnmatch'd Forme and Feature of blowne youth,
Blasted with extasie. Oh woe is me,
T'haue seene what I haue seene: see what I see.
Enter King, and Polonius.

  King. Loue? His affections do not that way tend,
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd Forme a little,
Was not like Madnesse. There's something in his soule?
O're which his Melancholly sits on brood,
And I do doubt the hatch, and the disclose
Will be some danger, which to preuent
I haue in quicke determination
Thus set it downe. He shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected Tribute:
Haply the Seas and Countries different
With variable Obiects, shall expell
This something setled matter in his heart:
Whereon his Braines still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himselfe. What thinke you on't?
  Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I beleeue
The Origin and Commencement of this greefe
Sprung from neglected loue. How now Ophelia?
You neede not tell vs, what Lord Hamlet saide,
We heard it all. My Lord, do as you please,
But if you hold it fit after the Play,
Let his Queene Mother all alone intreat him
To shew his Greefes: let her be round with him,
And Ile be plac'd so, please you in the eare
Of all their Conference. If she finde him not,
To England send him: Or confine him where
Your wisedome best shall thinke

   King. It shall be so:
Madnesse in great Ones, must not vnwatch'd go.


Enter Hamlet, and two or three of the Players.

Ham. Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you trippingly on the Tongue: But if you mouth it, as many of your Players do, I had as liue the Town-Cryer had spoke my Lines: Nor do not saw the Ayre too much your hand thus, but vse all gently; for in the verie Torrent, Tempest, and (as I say) the Whirle-winde of Passion, you must acquire and beget a Temperance that may giue it Smoothnesse. O it offends mee to the Soule, to see a robustious Pery-wig-pated Fellow, teare a Passion to tatters, to verie ragges, to split the eares of the Groundlings: who (for the most part) are capeable of nothing, but inexplicable dumbe shewes, & noise: I could haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it outHerod's Herod. Pray you auoid it

Player. I warrant your Honor

Ham. Be not too tame neyther: but let your owne Discretion be your Tutor. Sute the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action, with this speciall obseruance: That you ore-stop not the modestie of Nature; for any thing so ouer-done, is fro[m] the purpose of Playing, whose end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twer the Mirrour vp to Nature; to shew Vertue her owne Feature, Scorne her owne Image, and the verie Age and Bodie of the Time, his forme and pressure. Now, this ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it make the vnskilfull laugh, cannot but make the Iudicious greeue; The censure of the which One, must in your allowance o'reway a whole Theater of Others. Oh, there bee Players that I haue seene Play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speake it prophanely) that neyther hauing the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, or Norman, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue thought some of Natures Iouerney-men had made men, and not made them well, they imitated Humanity so abhominably

Play. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with vs, Sir

Ham. O reforme it altogether. And let those that play your Clownes, speake no more then is set downe for them. For there be of them, that will themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of barren Spectators to laugh too, though in the meane time, some necessary Question of the Play be then to be considered: that's Villanous, & shewes a most pittifull Ambition in the Foole that vses it. Go make you readie.

Exit Players.

Enter Polonius, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.

How now my Lord,
Will the King heare this peece of Worke?
  Pol. And the Queene too, and that presently

Ham. Bid the Players make hast.

Exit Polonius.

Will you two helpe to hasten them?
  Both. We will my Lord.


Enter Horatio.

  Ham. What hoa, Horatio?
  Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your Seruice

   Ham. Horatio, thou art eene as iust a man
As ere my Conuersation coap'd withall

Hora. O my deere Lord

   Ham. Nay, do not thinke I flatter:
For what aduancement may I hope from thee,
That no Reuennew hast, but thy good spirits
To feed & cloath thee. Why shold the poor be flatter'd?
No, let the Candied tongue, like absurd pompe,
And crooke the pregnant Hindges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow faining? Dost thou heare,
Since my deere Soule was Mistris of my choyse,
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for her selfe. For thou hast bene
As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing.
A man that Fortunes buffets, and Rewards
Hath 'tane with equall Thankes. And blest are those,
Whose Blood and Iudgement are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a Pipe for Fortunes finger.
To sound what stop she please. Giue me that man,
That is not Passions Slaue, and I will weare him
In my hearts Core. I, in my Heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.
There is a Play to night to before the King.
One Scoene of it comes neere the Circumstance
Which I haue told thee, of my Fathers death.
I prythee, when thou see'st that Acte a-foot,
Euen with the verie Comment of my Soule
Obserue mine Vnkle: If his occulted guilt,
Do not it selfe vnkennell in one speech,
It is a damned Ghost that we haue seene:
And my Imaginations are as foule
As Vulcans Stythe. Giue him needfull note,
For I mine eyes will riuet to his Face:
And after we will both our iudgements ioyne,
To censure of his seeming

   Hora. Well my Lord.
If he steale ought the whil'st this Play is Playing,
And scape detecting, I will pay the Theft.
Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosincrance,
Guildensterne, and
other Lords attendant with his Guard carrying Torches. Danish
March. Sound
a Flourish.

  Ham. They are comming to the Play: I must be idle.
Get you a place

   King. How fares our Cosin Hamlet?
  Ham. Excellent Ifaith, of the Camelions dish: I eate
the Ayre promise-cramm'd, you cannot feed Capons so

   King. I haue nothing with this answer Hamlet, these
words are not mine

   Ham. No, nor mine. Now my Lord, you plaid once
i'th' Vniuersity, you say?
  Polon. That I did my Lord, and was accounted a good

   Ham. And what did you enact?
  Pol. I did enact Iulius Caesar, I was kill'd i'th' Capitol:
Brutus kill'd me

   Ham. It was a bruite part of him, to kill so Capitall a
Calfe there. Be the Players ready?
  Rosin. I my Lord, they stay vpon your patience

Qu. Come hither my good Hamlet, sit by me

Ha. No good Mother, here's Mettle more attractiue

   Pol. Oh ho, do you marke that?
  Ham. Ladie, shall I lye in your Lap?
  Ophe. No my Lord

   Ham. I meane, my Head vpon your Lap?
  Ophe. I my Lord

   Ham. Do you thinke I meant Country matters?
  Ophe. I thinke nothing, my Lord

   Ham. That's a faire thought to ly betweene Maids legs
  Ophe. What is my Lord?
  Ham. Nothing

   Ophe. You are merrie, my Lord?
  Ham. Who I?
  Ophe. I my Lord

Ham. Oh God, your onely Iigge-maker: what should a man do, but be merrie. For looke you how cheerefully my Mother lookes, and my Father dyed within's two Houres

Ophe. Nay, 'tis twice two moneths, my Lord

Ham. So long? Nay then let the Diuel weare blacke, for Ile haue a suite of Sables. Oh Heauens! dye two moneths ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great mans Memorie, may out-liue his life halfe a yeare: But byrlady he must builde Churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the Hoby-horsse, whose Epitaph is, For o, For o, the Hoby-horse is forgot.

Hoboyes play. The dumbe shew enters.

Enter a King and Queene, very louingly; the Queene embracing
him. She
kneeles, and makes shew of Protestation vnto him. He takes her
vp, and
declines his head vpon her neck. Layes him downe vpon a Banke
of Flowers.
She seeing him a-sleepe, leaues him. Anon comes in a Fellow,
takes off his
Crowne, kisses it, and powres poyson in the Kings eares, and
Exits. The
Queene returnes, findes the King dead, and makes passionate
Action. The
Poysoner, with some two or three Mutes comes in againe, seeming
to lament
with her. The dead body is carried away: The Poysoner Wooes the
Queene with
Gifts, she seemes loath and vnwilling awhile, but in the end,
accepts his


  Ophe. What meanes this, my Lord?
  Ham. Marry this is Miching Malicho, that meanes

   Ophe. Belike this shew imports the Argument of the
  Ham. We shall know by these Fellowes: the Players
cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all

   Ophe. Will they tell vs what this shew meant?
  Ham. I, or any shew that you'l shew him. Bee not
you asham'd to shew, hee'l not shame to tell you what it

   Ophe. You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the
Enter Prologue.

For vs, and for our Tragedie,
Heere stooping to your Clemencie:
We begge your hearing Patientlie

   Ham. Is this a Prologue, or the Poesie of a Ring?
  Ophe. 'Tis briefe my Lord

   Ham. As Womans loue.
Enter King and his Queene.

  King. Full thirtie times hath Phoebus Cart gon round,
Neptunes salt Wash, and Tellus Orbed ground:
And thirtie dozen Moones with borrowed sheene,
About the World haue times twelue thirties beene,
Since loue our hearts, and Hymen did our hands
Vnite comutuall, in most sacred Bands

   Bap. So many iournies may the Sunne and Moone
Make vs againe count o're, ere loue be done.
But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,
So farre from cheere, and from your former state,
That I distrust you: yet though I distrust,
Discomfort you (my Lord) it nothing must:
For womens Feare and Loue, holds quantitie,
In neither ought, or in extremity:
Now what my loue is, proofe hath made you know,
And as my Loue is siz'd, my Feare is so

   King. Faith I must leaue thee Loue, and shortly too:
My operant Powers my Functions leaue to do:
And thou shalt liue in this faire world behinde,
Honour'd, belou'd, and haply, one as kinde.
For Husband shalt thou-
  Bap. Oh confound the rest:
Such Loue, must needs be Treason in my brest:
In second Husband, let me be accurst,
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first

Ham. Wormwood, Wormwood

   Bapt. The instances that second Marriage moue,
Are base respects of Thrift, but none of Loue.
A second time, I kill my Husband dead,
When second Husband kisses me in Bed

   King. I do beleeue you. Think what now you speak:
But what we do determine, oft we breake:
Purpose is but the slaue to Memorie,
Of violent Birth, but poore validitie:
Which now like Fruite vnripe stickes on the Tree,
But fall vnshaken, when they mellow bee.
Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
To pay our selues, what to our selues is debt:
What to our selues in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of other Greefe or Ioy,
Their owne ennactors with themselues destroy:
Where Ioy most Reuels, Greefe doth most lament;
Greefe ioyes, Ioy greeues on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That euen our Loues should with our Fortunes change.
For 'tis a question left vs yet to proue,
Whether Loue lead Fortune, or else Fortune Loue.
The great man downe, you marke his fauourites flies,
The poore aduanc'd, makes Friends of Enemies:
And hitherto doth Loue on Fortune tend,
For who not needs, shall neuer lacke a Frend:
And who in want a hollow Friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his Enemie.
But orderly to end, where I begun,
Our Willes and Fates do so contrary run,
That our Deuices still are ouerthrowne,
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne.
So thinke thou wilt no second Husband wed.
But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead

   Bap. Nor Earth to giue me food, nor Heauen light,
Sport and repose locke from me day and night:
Each opposite that blankes the face of ioy,
Meet what I would haue well, and it destroy:
Both heere, and hence, pursue me lasting strife,
If once a Widdow, euer I be Wife

Ham. If she should breake it now

   King. 'Tis deepely sworne:
Sweet, leaue me heere a while,
My spirits grow dull, and faine I would beguile
The tedious day with sleepe

Qu. Sleepe rocke thy Braine,


And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.


  Ham. Madam, how like you this Play?
  Qu. The Lady protests to much me thinkes

Ham. Oh but shee'l keepe her word

   King. Haue you heard the Argument, is there no Offence
  Ham. No, no, they do but iest, poyson in iest, no Offence
i'th' world

King. What do you call the Play? Ham. The Mouse-trap: Marry how? Tropically: This Play is the Image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the Dukes name, his wife Baptista: you shall see anon: 'tis a knauish peece of worke: But what o'that? Your Maiestie, and wee that haue free soules, it touches vs not: let the gall'd iade winch: our withers are vnrung. Enter Lucianus.

This is one Lucianus nephew to the King

Ophe. You are a good Chorus, my Lord

Ham. I could interpret betweene you and your loue: if I could see the Puppets dallying

Ophe. You are keene my Lord, you are keene

Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my edge

Ophe. Still better and worse

Ham. So you mistake Husbands. Begin Murderer. Pox, leaue thy damnable Faces, and begin. Come, the croaking Rauen doth bellow for Reuenge

   Lucian. Thoughts blacke, hands apt,
Drugges fit, and Time agreeing:
Confederate season, else, no Creature seeing:
Thou mixture ranke, of Midnight Weeds collected,
With Hecats Ban, thrice blasted, thrice infected,
Thy naturall Magicke, and dire propertie,
On wholsome life, vsurpe immediately.

Powres the poyson in his eares.

Ham. He poysons him i'th' Garden for's estate: His name's Gonzago: the Story is extant and writ in choyce Italian. You shall see anon how the Murtherer gets the loue of Gonzago's wife

Ophe. The King rises

Ham. What, frighted with false fire

   Qu. How fares my Lord?
  Pol. Giue o're the Play

King. Giue me some Light. Away

All. Lights, Lights, Lights.


Manet Hamlet & Horatio.

  Ham. Why let the strucken Deere go weepe,
The Hart vngalled play:
For some must watch, while some must sleepe;
So runnes the world away.
Would not this Sir, and a Forrest of Feathers, if the rest of
my Fortunes turne Turke with me; with two Prouinciall
Roses on my rac'd Shooes, get me a Fellowship in a crie
of Players sir

Hor. Halfe a share

   Ham. A whole one I,
For thou dost know: Oh Damon deere,
This Realme dismantled was of Ioue himselfe,
And now reignes heere.
A verie verie Paiocke

Hora. You might haue Rim'd

   Ham. Oh good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for
a thousand pound. Did'st perceiue?
  Hora. Verie well my Lord

   Ham. Vpon the talke of the poysoning?
  Hora. I did verie well note him.
Enter Rosincrance and Guildensterne.

  Ham. Oh, ha? Come some Musick. Come y Recorders:
For if the King like not the Comedie,
Why then belike he likes it not perdie.
Come some Musicke

Guild. Good my Lord, vouchsafe me a word with you

Ham. Sir, a whole History

Guild. The King, sir

   Ham. I sir, what of him?
  Guild. Is in his retyrement, maruellous distemper'd

   Ham. With drinke Sir?
  Guild. No my Lord, rather with choller

Ham. Your wisedome should shew it selfe more richer, to signifie this to his Doctor: for for me to put him to his Purgation, would perhaps plundge him into farre more Choller

Guild. Good my Lord put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildely from my affayre

Ham. I am tame Sir, pronounce

Guild. The Queene your Mother, in most great affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you

Ham. You are welcome

Guild. Nay, good my Lord, this courtesie is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a wholsome answer, I will doe your Mothers command'ment: if not, your pardon, and my returne shall bee the end of my Businesse

Ham. Sir, I cannot

Guild. What, my Lord? Ham. Make you a wholsome answere: my wits diseas'd. But sir, such answers as I can make, you shal command: or rather you say, my Mother: therfore no more but to the matter. My Mother you say

   Rosin. Then thus she sayes: your behauior hath stroke
her into amazement, and admiration

   Ham. Oh wonderfull Sonne, that can so astonish a
Mother. But is there no sequell at the heeles of this Mothers
  Rosin. She desires to speake with you in her Closset,
ere you go to bed

   Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our Mother.
Haue you any further Trade with vs?
  Rosin. My Lord, you once did loue me

Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers

Rosin. Good my Lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do freely barre the doore of your owne Libertie, if you deny your greefes to your Friend

Ham. Sir I lacke Aduancement

   Rosin. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of
the King himselfe, for your Succession in Denmarke?
  Ham. I, but while the grasse growes, the Prouerbe is
something musty.
Enter one with a Recorder.

O the Recorder. Let me see, to withdraw with you, why do you go about to recouer the winde of mee, as if you would driue me into a toyle? Guild. O my Lord, if my Dutie be too bold, my loue is too vnmannerly

   Ham. I do not well vnderstand that. Will you play
vpon this Pipe?
  Guild. My Lord, I cannot

Ham. I pray you

Guild. Beleeue me, I cannot

Ham. I do beseech you

Guild. I know no touch of it, my Lord

Ham. 'Tis as easie as lying: gouerne these Ventiges with your finger and thumbe, giue it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most excellent Musicke. Looke you, these are the stoppes

Guild. But these cannot I command to any vtterance of hermony, I haue not the skill

Ham. Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart of my Mysterie; you would sound mee from my lowest Note, to the top of my Compasse: and there is much Musicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am easier to bee plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what Instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God blesse you Sir. Enter Polonius.

  Polon. My Lord; the Queene would speak with you,
and presently

   Ham. Do you see that Clowd? that's almost in shape
like a Camell

Polon. By'th' Masse, and it's like a Camell indeed

Ham. Me thinkes it is like a Weazell

Polon. It is back'd like a Weazell

   Ham. Or like a Whale?
  Polon. Verie like a Whale

   Ham. Then will I come to my Mother, by and by:
They foole me to the top of my bent.
I will come by and by

   Polon. I will say so.

  Ham. By and by, is easily said. Leaue me Friends:
'Tis now the verie witching time of night,
When Churchyards yawne, and Hell it selfe breaths out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter businesse as the day
Would quake to looke on. Soft now, to my Mother:
Oh Heart, loose not thy Nature; let not euer
The Soule of Nero, enter this firme bosome:
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
I will speake Daggers to her, but vse none:
My Tongue and Soule in this be Hypocrites.
How in my words someuer she be shent,
To giue them Seales, neuer my Soule consent.
Enter King, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.

  King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,
To let his madnesse range. Therefore prepare you,
I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,
And he to England shall along with you:
The termes of our estate, may not endure
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely grow
Out of his Lunacies

   Guild. We will our selues prouide:
Most holie and Religious feare it is
To keepe those many many bodies safe
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie

   Rosin. The single
And peculiar life is bound
With all the strength and Armour of the minde,
To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,
That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and rests
The liues of many, the cease of Maiestie
Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth draw
What's neere it, with it. It is a massie wheele
Fixt on the Somnet of the highest Mount.
To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand lesser things
Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,
Each small annexment, pettie consequence
Attends the boystrous Ruine. Neuer alone
Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone

   King. Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;
For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,
Which now goes too free-footed

Both. We will haste vs.

Exeunt. Gent.

Enter Polonius.

  Pol. My Lord, he's going to his Mothers Closset:
Behinde the Arras Ile conuey my selfe
To heare the Processe. Ile warrant shee'l tax him home,
And as you said, and wisely was it said,
'Tis meete that some more audience then a Mother,
Since Nature makes them partiall, should o're-heare
The speech of vantage. Fare you well my Liege,
Ile call vpon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know

   King. Thankes deere my Lord.
Oh my offence is ranke, it smels to heauen,
It hath the primall eldest curse vpon't,
A Brothers murther. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharpe as will:
My stronger guilt, defeats my strong intent,
And like a man to double businesse bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect; what if this cursed hand
Were thicker then it selfe with Brothers blood,
Is there not Raine enough in the sweet Heauens
To wash it white as Snow? Whereto serues mercy,
But to confront the visage of Offence?
And what's in Prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be fore-stalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd being downe? Then Ile looke vp,
My fault is past. But oh, what forme of Prayer
Can serue my turne? Forgiue me my foule Murther:
That cannot be, since I am still possest
Of those effects for which I did the Murther.
My Crowne, mine owne Ambition, and my Queene:
May one be pardon'd, and retaine th' offence?
In the corrupted currants of this world,
Offences gilded hand may shoue by Iustice,
And oft 'tis seene, the wicked prize it selfe
Buyes out the Law; but 'tis not so aboue,
There is no shuffling, there the Action lyes
In his true Nature, and we our selues compell'd
Euen to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To giue in euidence. What then? What rests?
Try what Repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched state! Oh bosome, blacke as death!
Oh limed soule, that strugling to be free,
Art more ingag'd: Helpe Angels, make assay:
Bow stubborne knees, and heart with strings of Steele,
Be soft as sinewes of the new-borne Babe,
All may be well.
Enter Hamlet.

  Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying,
And now Ile doo't, and so he goes to Heauen,
And so am I reueng'd: that would be scann'd,
A Villaine killes my Father, and for that
I his foule Sonne, do this same Villaine send
To heauen. Oh this is hyre and Sallery, not Reuenge.
He tooke my Father grossely, full of bread,
With all his Crimes broad blowne, as fresh as May,
And how his Audit stands, who knowes, saue Heauen:
But in our circumstance and course of thought
'Tis heauie with him: and am I then reueng'd,
To take him in the purging of his Soule,
When he is fit and season'd for his passage? No.
Vp Sword, and know thou a more horrid hent
When he is drunke asleepe: or in his Rage,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At gaming, swearing, or about some acte
That ha's no rellish of Saluation in't,
Then trip him, that his heeles may kicke at Heauen,
And that his Soule may be as damn'd and blacke
As Hell, whereto it goes. My Mother stayes,
This Physicke but prolongs thy sickly dayes.

  King. My words flye vp, my thoughts remain below,
Words without thoughts, neuer to Heauen go.

Enter Queene and Polonius.

  Pol. He will come straight:
Looke you lay home to him,
Tell him his prankes haue been too broad to beare with,
And that your Grace hath screen'd, and stoode betweene
Much heate, and him. Ile silence me e'ene heere:
Pray you be round with him

Ham. within. Mother, mother, mother

   Qu. Ile warrant you, feare me not.
Withdraw, I heare him coming.
Enter Hamlet.

  Ham. Now Mother, what's the matter?
  Qu. Hamlet, thou hast thy Father much offended

Ham. Mother, you haue my Father much offended

Qu. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue

Ham. Go, go, you question with an idle tongue

   Qu. Why how now Hamlet?
  Ham. Whats the matter now?
  Qu. Haue you forgot me?
  Ham. No by the Rood, not so:
You are the Queene, your Husbands Brothers wife,
But would you were not so. You are my Mother

Qu. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake

   Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not
You go not till I set you vp a glasse,
Where you may see the inmost part of you?
  Qu. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me?
Helpe, helpe, hoa

Pol. What hoa, helpe, helpe, helpe

Ham. How now, a Rat? dead for a Ducate, dead

Pol. Oh I am slaine.

Killes Polonius

   Qu. Oh me, what hast thou done?
  Ham. Nay I know not, is it the King?
  Qu. Oh what a rash, and bloody deed is this?
  Ham. A bloody deed, almost as bad good Mother,
As kill a King, and marrie with his Brother

   Qu. As kill a King?
  Ham. I Lady, 'twas my word.
Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farewell,
I tooke thee for thy Betters, take thy Fortune,
Thou find'st to be too busie, is some danger.
Leaue wringing of your hands, peace, sit you downe,
And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
If it be made of penetrable stuffe;
If damned Custome haue not braz'd it so,
That it is proofe and bulwarke against Sense

   Qu. What haue I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tong,
In noise so rude against me?
  Ham. Such an Act
That blurres the grace and blush of Modestie,
Cals Vertue Hypocrite, takes off the Rose
From the faire forehead of an innocent loue,
And makes a blister there. Makes marriage vowes
As false as Dicers Oathes. Oh such a deed,
As from the body of Contraction pluckes
The very soule, and sweete Religion makes
A rapsidie of words. Heauens face doth glow,
Yea this solidity and compound masse,
With tristfull visage as against the doome,
Is thought-sicke at the act

   Qu. Aye me; what act, that roares so lowd, & thunders
in the Index

   Ham. Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
The counterfet presentment of two Brothers:
See what a grace was seated on his Brow,
Hyperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command
A Station, like the Herald Mercurie
New lighted on a heauen-kissing hill:
A Combination, and a forme indeed,
Where euery God did seeme to set his Seale,
To giue the world assurance of a man.
This was your Husband. Looke you now what followes.
Heere is your Husband, like a Mildew'd eare
Blasting his wholsom breath. Haue you eyes?
Could you on this faire Mountaine leaue to feed,
And batten on this Moore? Ha? Haue you eyes?
You cannot call it Loue: For at your age,
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
And waites vpon the Iudgement: and what Iudgement
Would step from this, to this? What diuell was't,
That thus hath cousend you at hoodman-blinde?
O Shame! where is thy Blush? Rebellious Hell,
If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones,
To flaming youth, let Vertue be as waxe.
And melt in her owne fire. Proclaime no shame,
When the compulsiue Ardure giues the charge,
Since Frost it selfe, as actiuely doth burne,
As Reason panders Will

   Qu. O Hamlet, speake no more.
Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soule,
And there I see such blacke and grained spots,
As will not leaue their Tinct

   Ham. Nay, but to liue
In the ranke sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew'd in Corruption; honying and making loue
Ouer the nasty Stye

   Qu. Oh speake to me, no more,
These words like Daggers enter in mine eares.
No more sweet Hamlet

   Ham. A Murderer, and a Villaine:
A Slaue, that is not twentieth part the tythe
Of your precedent Lord. A vice of Kings,
A Cutpurse of the Empire and the Rule.
That from a shelfe, the precious Diadem stole,
And put it in his Pocket

   Qu. No more.
Enter Ghost.

  Ham. A King of shreds and patches.
Saue me; and houer o're me with your wings
You heauenly Guards. What would your gracious figure?
  Qu. Alas he's mad

   Ham. Do you not come your tardy Sonne to chide,
That laps't in Time and Passion, lets go by
Th' important acting of your dread command? Oh say

   Ghost. Do not forget: this Visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But looke, Amazement on thy Mother sits;
O step betweene her, and her fighting Soule,
Conceit in weakest bodies, strongest workes.
Speake to her Hamlet

   Ham. How is it with you Lady?
  Qu. Alas, how is't with you?
That you bend your eye on vacancie,
And with their corporall ayre do hold discourse.
Forth at your eyes, your spirits wildely peepe,
And as the sleeping Soldiours in th' Alarme,
Your bedded haire, like life in excrements,
Start vp, and stand an end. Oh gentle Sonne,
Vpon the heate and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle coole patience. Whereon do you looke?
  Ham. On him, on him: look you how pale he glares,
His forme and cause conioyn'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capeable. Do not looke vpon me,
Least with this pitteous action you conuert
My sterne effects: then what I haue to do,
Will want true colour; teares perchance for blood

   Qu. To who do you speake this?
  Ham. Do you see nothing there?
  Qu. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see

   Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?
  Qu. No, nothing but our selues

   Ham. Why look you there: looke how it steals away:
My Father in his habite, as he liued,
Looke where he goes euen now out at the Portall.

  Qu. This is the very coynage of your Braine,
This bodilesse Creation extasie is very cunning in

   Ham. Extasie?
My Pulse as yours doth temperately keepe time,
And makes as healthfull Musicke. It is not madnesse
That I haue vttered; bring me to the Test
And I the matter will re-word: which madnesse
Would gamboll from. Mother, for loue of Grace,
Lay not a flattering Vnction to your soule,
That not your trespasse, but my madnesse speakes:
It will but skin and filme the Vlcerous place,
Whil'st ranke Corruption mining all within,
Infects vnseene. Confesse your selfe to Heauen,
Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
And do not spred the Compost on the Weedes,
To make them ranke. Forgiue me this my Vertue,
For in the fatnesse of this pursie times,
Vertue it selfe, of Vice must pardon begge,
Yea courb, and woe, for leaue to do him good

   Qu. Oh Hamlet,
Thou hast cleft my heart in twaine

   Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
And liue the purer with the other halfe.
Good night, but go not to mine Vnkles bed,
Assume a Vertue, if you haue it not, refraine to night,
And that shall lend a kinde of easinesse
To the next abstinence. Once more goodnight,
And when you are desirous to be blest,
Ile blessing begge of you. For this same Lord,
I do repent: but heauen hath pleas'd it so,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their Scourge and Minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well
The death I gaue him: so againe, good night.
I must be cruell, onely to be kinde;
Thus bad begins and worse remaines behinde

   Qu. What shall I do?
  Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you do:
Let the blunt King tempt you againe to bed,
Pinch Wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
And let him for a paire of reechie kisses,
Or padling in your necke with his damn'd Fingers,
Make you to rauell all this matter out,
That I essentially am not in madnesse,
But made in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
Would from a Paddocke, from a Bat, a Gibbe,
Such deere concernings hide, Who would do so,
No in despight of Sense and Secrecie,
Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top:
Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape
To try Conclusions in the Basket, creepe
And breake your owne necke downe

   Qu. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life: I haue no life to breath
What thou hast saide to me

   Ham. I must to England, you know that?
  Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on

   Ham. This man shall set me packing:
Ile lugge the Guts into the Neighbor roome,
Mother goodnight. Indeede this Counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
Who was in life, a foolish prating Knaue.
Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good night Mother.
Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius.

Enter King.

  King. There's matters in these sighes.
These profound heaues
You must translate; Tis fit we vnderstand them.
Where is your Sonne?
  Qu. Ah my good Lord, what haue I seene to night?
  King. What Gertrude? How do's Hamlet?
  Qu. Mad as the Seas, and winde, when both contend
Which is the Mightier, in his lawlesse fit
Behinde the Arras, hearing something stirre,
He whips his Rapier out, and cries a Rat, a Rat,
And in his brainish apprehension killes
The vnseene good old man

   King. Oh heauy deed:
It had bin so with vs had we beene there:
His Liberty is full of threats to all,
To you your selfe, to vs, to euery one.
Alas, how shall this bloody deede be answered?
It will be laide to vs, whose prouidence
Should haue kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt,
This mad yong man. But so much was our loue,
We would not vnderstand what was most fit,
But like the Owner of a foule disease,
To keepe it from divulging, let's it feede
Euen on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
  Qu. To draw apart the body he hath kild,
O're whom his very madnesse like some Oare
Among a Minerall of Mettels base
Shewes it selfe pure. He weepes for what is done

   King. Oh Gertrude, come away:
The Sun no sooner shall the Mountaines touch,
But we will ship him hence, and this vilde deed,
We must with all our Maiesty and Skill
Both countenance, and excuse.
Enter Ros. & Guild.

Ho Guildenstern:
Friends both go ioyne you with some further ayde:
Hamlet in madnesse hath Polonius slaine,
And from his Mother Clossets hath he drag'd him.
Go seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body
Into the Chappell. I pray you hast in this.
Exit Gent.

Come Gertrude, wee'l call vp our wisest friends,
To let them know both what we meane to do,
And what's vntimely done. Oh come away,
My soule is full of discord and dismay.


Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Safely stowed

Gentlemen within. Hamlet, Lord Hamlet

   Ham. What noise? Who cals on Hamlet?
Oh heere they come.
Enter Ros. and Guildensterne.

  Ro. What haue you done my Lord with the dead body?
  Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis Kinne

   Rosin. Tell vs where 'tis, that we may take it thence,
And beare it to the Chappell

Ham. Do not beleeue it

   Rosin. Beleeue what?
  Ham. That I can keepe your counsell, and not mine
owne. Besides, to be demanded of a Spundge, what replication
should be made by the Sonne of a King

Rosin. Take you me for a Spundge, my Lord? Ham. I sir, that sokes vp the Kings Countenance, his Rewards, his Authorities (but such Officers do the King best seruice in the end. He keepes them like an Ape in the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be last swallowed, when he needes what you haue glean'd, it is but squeezing you, and Spundge you shall be dry againe

Rosin. I vnderstand you not my Lord

   Ham. I am glad of it: a knauish speech sleepes in a
foolish eare

   Rosin. My Lord, you must tell vs where the body is,
and go with vs to the King

   Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not
with the body. The King, is a thing-
  Guild. A thing my Lord?
  Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him, hide Fox, and all


Enter King.

  King. I haue sent to seeke him, and to find the bodie:
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose:
Yet must not we put the strong Law on him:
Hee's loued of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their iudgement, but their eyes:
And where 'tis so, th' Offenders scourge is weigh'd
But neerer the offence: to beare all smooth, and euen,
This sodaine sending him away, must seeme
Deliberate pause, diseases desperate growne,
By desperate appliance are releeued,
Or not at all.
Enter Rosincrane.

How now? What hath befalne?
  Rosin. Where the dead body is bestow'd my Lord,
We cannot get from him

   King. But where is he?
  Rosin. Without my Lord, guarded to know your

King. Bring him before vs

   Rosin. Hoa, Guildensterne? Bring in my Lord.
Enter Hamlet and Guildensterne.

  King. Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
  Ham. At Supper

King. At Supper? Where? Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten, a certaine conuocation of wormes are e'ne at him. Your worm is your onely Emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat vs, and we fat our selfe for Magots. Your fat King, and your leane Begger is but variable seruice to dishes, but to one Table that's the end

   King. What dost thou meane by this?
  Ham. Nothing but to shew you how a King may go
a Progresse through the guts of a Begger

King. Where is Polonius

Ham. In heauen, send thither to see. If your Messenger finde him not there, seeke him i'th other place your selfe: but indeed, if you finde him not this moneth, you shall nose him as you go vp the staires into the Lobby

King. Go seeke him there

Ham. He will stay till ye come

   K. Hamlet, this deed of thine, for thine especial safety
Which we do tender, as we deerely greeue
For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence
With fierie Quicknesse. Therefore prepare thy selfe,
The Barke is readie, and the winde at helpe,
Th' Associates tend, and euery thing at bent
For England

   Ham. For England?
  King. I Hamlet

Ham. Good

King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes

   Ham. I see a Cherube that see's him: but come, for
England. Farewell deere Mother

King. Thy louing Father Hamlet

Hamlet. My Mother: Father and Mother is man and wife: man & wife is one flesh, and so my mother. Come, for England.


  King. Follow him at foote,
Tempt him with speed aboord:
Delay it not, Ile haue him hence to night.
Away, for euery thing is Seal'd and done
That else leanes on th' Affaire, pray you make hast.
And England, if my loue thou holdst at ought,
As my great power thereof may giue thee sense,
Since yet thy Cicatrice lookes raw and red
After the Danish Sword, and thy free awe
Payes homage to vs; thou maist not coldly set
Our Soueraigne Processe, which imports at full
By Letters coniuring to that effect
The present death of Hamlet. Do it England,
For like the Hecticke in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me: Till I know 'tis done,
How ere my happes, my ioyes were ne're begun.


Enter Fortinbras with an Armie.

  For. Go Captaine, from me greet the Danish King,
Tell him that by his license, Fortinbras
Claimes the conueyance of a promis'd March
Ouer his Kingdome. You know the Rendeuous:
If that his Maiesty would ought with vs,
We shall expresse our dutie in his eye,
And let him know so

Cap. I will doo't, my Lord

   For. Go safely on.

Enter Queene and Horatio.

Qu. I will not speake with her

   Hor. She is importunate, indeed distract, her moode
will needs be pittied

   Qu. What would she haue?
  Hor. She speakes much of her Father; saies she heares
There's trickes i'th' world, and hems, and beats her heart,
Spurnes enuiously at Strawes, speakes things in doubt,
That carry but halfe sense: Her speech is nothing,
Yet the vnshaped vse of it doth moue
The hearers to Collection; they ayme at it,
And botch the words vp fit to their owne thoughts,
Which as her winkes, and nods, and gestures yeeld them,
Indeed would make one thinke there would be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much vnhappily

   Qu. 'Twere good she were spoken with,
For she may strew dangerous coniectures
In ill breeding minds. Let her come in.
To my sicke soule (as sinnes true Nature is)
Each toy seemes Prologue, to some great amisse,
So full of Artlesse iealousie is guilt,
It spill's it selfe, in fearing to be spilt.
Enter Ophelia distracted.

Ophe. Where is the beauteous Maiesty of Denmark

   Qu. How now Ophelia?
  Ophe. How should I your true loue know from another one?
By his Cockle hat and staffe, and his Sandal shoone

   Qu. Alas sweet Lady: what imports this Song?
  Ophe. Say you? Nay pray you marke.
He is dead and gone Lady, he is dead and gone,
At his head a grasse-greene Turfe, at his heeles a stone.
Enter King.

Qu. Nay but Ophelia

   Ophe. Pray you marke.
White his Shrow'd as the Mountaine Snow

Qu. Alas, looke heere my Lord

   Ophe. Larded with sweet Flowers:
Which bewept to the graue did not go,
With true-loue showres

   King. How do ye, pretty Lady?
  Ophe. Well, God dil'd you. They say the Owle was
a Bakers daughter. Lord, wee know what we are, but
know not what we may be. God be at your Table

King. Conceit vpon her Father

   Ophe. Pray you let's haue no words of this: but when
they aske you what it meanes, say you this:
To morrow is S[aint]. Valentines day, all in the morning betime,
And I a Maid at your Window, to be your Valentine.
Then vp he rose, & don'd his clothes, & dupt the chamber dore,
Let in the Maid, that out a Maid, neuer departed more

King. Pretty Ophelia

   Ophe. Indeed la? without an oath Ile make an end ont.
By gis, and by S[aint]. Charity,
Alacke, and fie for shame:
Yong men wil doo't, if they come too't,
By Cocke they are too blame.
Quoth she before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to Wed:
So would I ha done by yonder Sunne,
And thou hadst not come to my bed

King. How long hath she bin thus? Ophe. I hope all will be well. We must bee patient, but I cannot choose but weepe, to thinke they should lay him i'th' cold ground: My brother shall knowe of it, and so I thanke you for your good counsell. Come, my Coach: Goodnight Ladies: Goodnight sweet Ladies: Goodnight, goodnight. Enter.

  King. Follow her close,
Giue her good watch I pray you:
Oh this is the poyson of deepe greefe, it springs
All from her Fathers death. Oh Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrowes comes, they come not single spies,
But in Battalians. First, her Father slaine,
Next your Sonne gone, and he most violent Author
Of his owne iust remoue: the people muddied,
Thicke and vnwholsome in their thoughts, and whispers
For good Polonius death; and we haue done but greenly
In hugger mugger to interre him. Poore Ophelia
Diuided from her selfe, and her faire Iudgement,
Without the which we are Pictures, or meere Beasts.
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her Brother is in secret come from France,
Keepes on his wonder, keepes himselfe in clouds,
And wants not Buzzers to infect his eare
With pestilent Speeches of his Fathers death,
Where in necessitie of matter Beggard,
Will nothing sticke our persons to Arraigne
In eare and eare. O my deere Gertrude, this,
Like to a murdering Peece in many places,
Giues me superfluous death.

A Noise within.

Enter a Messenger.

  Qu. Alacke, what noyse is this?
  King. Where are my Switzers?
Let them guard the doore. What is the matter?
  Mes. Saue your selfe, my Lord.
The Ocean (ouer-peering of his List)
Eates not the Flats with more impittious haste
Then young Laertes, in a Riotous head,
Ore-beares your Officers, the rabble call him Lord,
And as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, Custome not knowne,
The Ratifiers and props of euery word,
They cry choose we? Laertes shall be King,
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds,
Laertes shall be King, Laertes King

   Qu. How cheerefully on the false Traile they cry,
Oh this is Counter you false Danish Dogges.

Noise within. Enter Laertes.

King. The doores are broke

Laer. Where is the King, sirs? Stand you all without

All. No, let's come in

Laer. I pray you giue me leaue

Al. We will, we will

   Laer. I thanke you: Keepe the doore.
Oh thou vilde King, giue me my Father

Qu. Calmely good Laertes

   Laer. That drop of blood, that calmes
Proclaimes me Bastard:
Cries Cuckold to my Father, brands the Harlot
Euen heere betweene the chaste vnsmirched brow
Of my true Mother

   King. What is the cause Laertes,
That thy Rebellion lookes so Gyant-like?
Let him go Gertrude: Do not feare our person:
There's such Diuinity doth hedge a King,
That Treason can but peepe to what it would,
Acts little of his will. Tell me Laertes,
Why thou art thus Incenst? Let him go Gertrude.
Speake man

   Laer. Where's my Father?
  King. Dead

Qu. But not by him

King. Let him demand his fill

   Laer. How came he dead? Ile not be Iuggel'd with.
To hell Allegeance: Vowes, to the blackest diuell.
Conscience and Grace, to the profoundest Pit.
I dare Damnation: to this point I stand,
That both the worlds I giue to negligence,
Let come what comes: onely Ile be reueng'd
Most throughly for my Father

   King. Who shall stay you?
  Laer. My Will, not all the world,
And for my meanes, Ile husband them so well,
They shall go farre with little

   King. Good Laertes:
If you desire to know the certaintie
Of your deere Fathers death, if writ in your reuenge,
That Soop-stake you will draw both Friend and Foe,
Winner and Looser

Laer. None but his Enemies

King. Will you know them then

   La. To his good Friends, thus wide Ile ope my Armes:
And like the kinde Life-rend'ring Politician,
Repast them with my blood

   King. Why now you speake
Like a good Childe, and a true Gentleman.
That I am guiltlesse of your Fathers death,
And am most sensible in greefe for it,
It shall as leuell to your Iudgement pierce
As day do's to your eye.

A noise within. Let her come in.

Enter Ophelia.

  Laer. How now? what noise is that?
Oh heate drie vp my Braines, teares seuen times salt,
Burne out the Sence and Vertue of mine eye.
By Heauen, thy madnesse shall be payed by waight,
Till our Scale turnes the beame. Oh Rose of May,
Deere Maid, kinde Sister, sweet Ophelia:
Oh Heauens, is't possible, a yong Maids wits,
Should be as mortall as an old mans life?
Nature is fine in Loue, and where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of it selfe
After the thing it loues

   Ophe. They bore him bare fac'd on the Beer,
Hey non nony, nony, hey nony:
And on his graue raines many a teare,
Fare you well my Doue

   Laer. Had'st thou thy wits, and did'st perswade Reuenge,
it could not moue thus

Ophe. You must sing downe a-downe, and you call him a-downe-a. Oh, how the wheele becomes it? It is the false Steward that stole his masters daughter

Laer. This nothings more then matter

   Ophe. There's Rosemary, that's for Remembraunce.
Pray loue remember: and there is Paconcies, that's for

   Laer. A document in madnesse, thoughts & remembrance

Ophe. There's Fennell for you, and Columbines: ther's Rew for you, and heere's some for me. Wee may call it Herbe-Grace a Sundaies: Oh you must weare your Rew with a difference. There's a Daysie, I would giue you some Violets, but they wither'd all when my Father dyed: They say, he made a good end; For bonny sweet Robin is all my ioy

   Laer. Thought, and Affliction, Passion, Hell it selfe:
She turnes to Fauour, and to prettinesse

   Ophe. And will he not come againe,
And will he not come againe:
No, no, he is dead, go to thy Death-bed,
He neuer wil come againe.
His Beard as white as Snow,
All Flaxen was his Pole:
He is gone, he is gone, and we cast away mone,
Gramercy on his Soule.
And of all Christian Soules, I pray God.
God buy ye.

Exeunt. Ophelia

  Laer. Do you see this, you Gods?
  King. Laertes, I must common with your greefe,
Or you deny me right: go but apart,
Make choice of whom your wisest Friends you will,
And they shall heare and iudge 'twixt you and me;
If by direct or by Colaterall hand
They finde vs touch'd, we will our Kingdome giue,
Our Crowne, our Life, and all that we call Ours
To you in satisfaction. But if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to vs,
And we shall ioyntly labour with your soule
To giue it due content

   Laer. Let this be so:
His meanes of death, his obscure buriall;
No Trophee, Sword, nor Hatchment o're his bones,
No Noble rite, nor formall ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from Heauen to Earth,
That I must call in question

   King. So you shall:
And where th' offence is, let the great Axe fall.
I pray you go with me.


Enter Horatio, with an Attendant.

  Hora. What are they that would speake with me?
  Ser. Saylors sir, they say they haue Letters for you

   Hor. Let them come in,
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Saylor.

Say. God blesse you Sir

Hor. Let him blesse thee too

Say. Hee shall Sir, and't please him. There's a Letter for you Sir: It comes from th' Ambassadours that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

Reads the Letter.

Horatio, When thou shalt haue ouerlook'd this, giue these Fellowes some meanes to the King: They haue Letters for him. Ere we were two dayes old at Sea, a Pyrate of very Warlicke appointment gaue vs Chace. Finding our selues too slow of Saile, we put on a compelled Valour. In the Grapple, I boorded them: On the instant they got cleare of our Shippe, so I alone became their Prisoner. They haue dealt with mee, like Theeues of Mercy, but they knew what they did. I am to doe a good turne for them. Let the King haue the Letters I haue sent, and repaire thou to me with as much hast as thou wouldest flye death. I haue words to speake in your eare, will make thee dumbe, yet are they much too light for the bore of the Matter. These good Fellowes will bring thee where I am. Rosincrance and Guildensterne, hold their course for England. Of them I haue much to tell thee, Farewell. He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come, I will giue you way for these your Letters, And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them. Enter.

Enter King and Laertes.

  King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal,
And you must put me in your heart for Friend,
Sith you haue heard, and with a knowing eare,
That he which hath your Noble Father slaine,
Pursued my life

   Laer. It well appeares. But tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feates,
So crimefull, and so Capitall in Nature,
As by your Safety, Wisedome, all things else,
You mainly were stirr'd vp?
  King. O for two speciall Reasons,
Which may to you (perhaps) seeme much vnsinnowed,
And yet to me they are strong. The Queen his Mother,
Liues almost by his lookes: and for my selfe,
My Vertue or my Plague, be it either which,
She's so coniunctiue to my life, and soule;
That as the Starre moues not but in his Sphere,
I could not but by her. The other Motiue,
Why to a publike count I might not go,
Is the great loue the generall gender beare him,
Who dipping all his Faults in their affection,
Would like the Spring that turneth Wood to Stone,
Conuert his Gyues to Graces. So that my Arrowes
Too slightly timbred for so loud a Winde,
Would haue reuerted to my Bow againe,
And not where I had arm'd them

   Laer. And so haue I a Noble Father lost,
A Sister driuen into desperate tearmes,
Who was (if praises may go backe againe)
Stood Challenger on mount of all the Age
For her perfections. But my reuenge will come

   King. Breake not your sleepes for that,
You must not thinke
That we are made of stuffe, so flat, and dull,
That we can let our Beard be shooke with danger,
And thinke it pastime. You shortly shall heare more,
I lou'd your Father, and we loue our Selfe,
And that I hope will teach you to imagine-
Enter a Messenger.

How now? What Newes?
  Mes. Letters my Lord from Hamlet, This to your
Maiesty: this to the Queene

   King. From Hamlet? Who brought them?
  Mes. Saylors my Lord they say, I saw them not:
They were giuen me by Claudio, he receiu'd them

   King. Laertes you shall heare them:
Leaue vs.

Exit Messenger

High and Mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your
Kingdome. To morrow shall I begge leaue to see your Kingly
Eyes. When I shall (first asking your Pardon thereunto) recount
th' Occasions of my sodaine, and more strange returne.
What should this meane? Are all the rest come backe?
Or is it some abuse? Or no such thing?
  Laer. Know you the hand?
  Kin. 'Tis Hamlets Character, naked and in a Postscript
here he sayes alone: Can you aduise me?
  Laer. I'm lost in it my Lord; but let him come,
It warmes the very sicknesse in my heart,
That I shall liue and tell him to his teeth;
Thus diddest thou

   Kin. If it be so Laertes, as how should it be so:
How otherwise will you be rul'd by me?
  Laer. If so you'l not o'rerule me to a peace

   Kin. To thine owne peace: if he be now return'd,
As checking at his Voyage, and that he meanes
No more to vndertake it; I will worke him
To an exployt now ripe in my Deuice,
Vnder the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no winde of blame shall breath,
But euen his Mother shall vncharge the practice,
And call it accident: Some two Monthes hence
Here was a Gentleman of Normandy,
I'ue seene my selfe, and seru'd against the French,
And they ran well on Horsebacke; but this Gallant
Had witchcraft in't; he grew into his Seat,
And to such wondrous doing brought his Horse,
As had he beene encorps't and demy-Natur'd
With the braue Beast, so farre he past my thought,
That I in forgery of shapes and trickes,
Come short of what he did

   Laer. A Norman was't?
  Kin. A Norman

Laer. Vpon my life Lamound

Kin. The very same

   Laer. I know him well, he is the Brooch indeed,
And Iemme of all our Nation

   Kin. Hee mad confession of you,
And gaue you such a Masterly report,
For Art and exercise in your defence;
And for your Rapier most especiall,
That he cryed out, t'would be a sight indeed,
If one could match you Sir. This report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his Enuy,
That he could nothing doe but wish and begge,
Your sodaine comming ore to play with him;
Now out of this

   Laer. Why out of this, my Lord?
  Kin. Laertes was your Father deare to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?
  Laer. Why aske you this?
  Kin. Not that I thinke you did not loue your Father,
But that I know Loue is begun by Time:
And that I see in passages of proofe,
Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it:
Hamlet comes backe: what would you vndertake,
To show your selfe your Fathers sonne indeed,
More then in words?
  Laer. To cut his throat i'th' Church

   Kin. No place indeed should murder Sancturize;
Reuenge should haue no bounds: but good Laertes
Will you doe this, keepe close within your Chamber,
Hamlet return'd, shall know you are come home:
Wee'l put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gaue you, bring you in fine together,
And wager on your heads, he being remisse,
Most generous, and free from all contriuing,
Will not peruse the Foiles? So that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A Sword vnbaited, and in a passe of practice,
Requit him for your Father

   Laer. I will doo't.
And for that purpose Ile annoint my Sword:
I bought an Vnction of a Mountebanke
So mortall, I but dipt a knife in it,
Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare,
Collected from all Simples that haue Vertue
Vnder the Moone, can saue the thing from death,
That is but scratcht withall: Ile touch my point,
With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly,
It may be death

   Kin. Let's further thinke of this,
Weigh what conuenience both of time and meanes
May fit vs to our shape, if this should faile;
And that our drift looke through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assaid; therefore this Proiect
Should haue a backe or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proofe: Soft, let me see
Wee'l make a solemne wager on your commings,
I ha't: when in your motion you are hot and dry,
As make your bowts more violent to the end,
And that he cals for drinke; Ile haue prepar'd him
A Challice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there; how sweet Queene.
Enter Queene.

  Queen. One woe doth tread vpon anothers heele,
So fast they'l follow: your Sister's drown'd Laertes

   Laer. Drown'd! O where?
  Queen. There is a Willow growes aslant a Brooke,
That shewes his hore leaues in the glassie streame:
There with fantasticke Garlands did she come,
Of Crow-flowers, Nettles, Daysies, and long Purples,
That liberall Shepheards giue a grosser name;
But our cold Maids doe Dead Mens Fingers call them:
There on the pendant boughes, her Coronet weeds
Clambring to hang; an enuious sliuer broke,
When downe the weedy Trophies, and her selfe,
Fell in the weeping Brooke, her cloathes spred wide,
And Mermaid-like, a while they bore her vp,
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her owne distresse,
Or like a creature Natiue, and indued
Vnto that Element: but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heauy with her drinke,
Pul'd the poore wretch from her melodious buy,
To muddy death

   Laer. Alas then, is she drown'd?
  Queen. Drown'd, drown'd

   Laer. Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my teares: but yet
It is our tricke, Nature her custome holds,
Let shame say what it will; when these are gone
The woman will be out: Adue my Lord,
I haue a speech of fire, that faine would blaze,
But that this folly doubts it.

  Kin. Let's follow, Gertrude:
How much I had to doe to calme his rage?
Now feare I this will giue it start againe;
Therefore let's follow.


Enter two Clownes.

Clown. Is she to bee buried in Christian buriall, that wilfully seekes her owne saluation? Other. I tell thee she is, and therefore make her Graue straight, the Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian buriall

   Clo. How can that be, vnlesse she drowned her selfe in
her owne defence?
  Other. Why 'tis found so

Clo. It must be Se offendendo, it cannot bee else: for heere lies the point; If I drowne my selfe wittingly, it argues an Act: and an Act hath three branches. It is an Act to doe and to performe; argall she drown'd her selfe wittingly

Other. Nay but heare you Goodman Deluer

Clown. Giue me leaue; heere lies the water; good: heere stands the man; good: If the man goe to this water and drowne himselfe; it is will he nill he, he goes; marke you that? But if the water come to him & drowne him; hee drownes not himselfe. Argall, hee that is not guilty of his owne death, shortens not his owne life

   Other. But is this law?
  Clo. I marry is't, Crowners Quest Law

Other. Will you ha the truth on't: if this had not beene a Gentlewoman, shee should haue beene buried out of Christian Buriall

Clo. Why there thou say'st. And the more pitty that great folke should haue countenance in this world to drowne or hang themselues, more then their euen Christian. Come, my Spade; there is no ancient Gentlemen, but Gardiners, Ditchers and Graue-makers; they hold vp Adams Profession

   Other. Was he a Gentleman?
  Clo. He was the first that euer bore Armes

Other. Why he had none

Clo. What, ar't a Heathen? how doth thou vnderstand the Scripture? the Scripture sayes Adam dig'd; could hee digge without Armes? Ile put another question to thee; if thou answerest me not to the purpose, confesse thy selfe- Other. Go too

   Clo. What is he that builds stronger then either the
Mason, the Shipwright, or the Carpenter?
  Other. The Gallowes maker; for that Frame outliues a
thousand Tenants

Clo. I like thy wit well in good faith, the Gallowes does well; but how does it well? it does well to those that doe ill: now, thou dost ill to say the Gallowes is built stronger then the Church: Argall, the Gallowes may doe well to thee. Too't againe, Come

   Other. Who builds stronger then a Mason, a Shipwright,
or a Carpenter?
  Clo. I, tell me that, and vnyoake

Other. Marry, now I can tell

Clo. Too't

   Other. Masse, I cannot tell.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio a farre off.

Clo. Cudgell thy braines no more about it; for your dull Asse will not mend his pace with beating; and when you are ask't this question next, say a Graue-maker: the Houses that he makes, lasts till Doomesday: go, get thee to Yaughan, fetch me a stoupe of Liquor.


In youth when I did loue, did loue,
me thought it was very sweete:
To contract O the time for a my behoue,
O me thought there was nothing meete

   Ham. Ha's this fellow no feeling of his businesse, that
he sings at Graue-making?
  Hor. Custome hath made it in him a property of easinesse

   Ham. 'Tis ee'n so; the hand of little Imployment hath
the daintier sense

Clowne sings. But Age with his stealing steps hath caught me in his clutch: And hath shipped me intill the Land, as if I had neuer beene such

Ham. That Scull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knaue iowles it to th' grownd, as if it were Caines Iaw-bone, that did the first murther: It might be the Pate of a Polititian which this Asse o're Offices: one that could circumuent God, might it not? Hor. It might, my Lord

Ham. Or of a Courtier, which could say, Good Morrow sweet Lord: how dost thou, good Lord? this might be my Lord such a one, that prais'd my Lord such a ones Horse, when he meant to begge it; might it not? Hor. I, my Lord

Ham. Why ee'n so: and now my Lady Wormes, Chaplesse, and knockt about the Mazard with a Sextons Spade; heere's fine Reuolution, if wee had the tricke to see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at Loggets with 'em? mine ake to thinke on't

Clowne sings. A Pickhaxe and a Spade, a Spade, for and a shrowding-Sheete: O a Pit of Clay for to be made, for such a Guest is meete

Ham. There's another: why might not that bee the Scull of a Lawyer? where be his Quiddits now? his Quillets? his Cases? his Tenures, and his Tricks? why doe's he suffer this rude knaue now to knocke him about the Sconce with a dirty Shouell, and will not tell him of his Action of Battery? hum. This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of Land, with his Statutes, his Recognizances, his Fines, his double Vouchers, his Recoueries: Is this the fine of his Fines, and the recouery of his Recoueries, to haue his fine Pate full of fine Dirt? will his Vouchers vouch him no more of his Purchases, and double ones too, then the length and breadth of a paire of Indentures? the very Conueyances of his Lands will hardly lye in this Boxe; and must the Inheritor himselfe haue no more? ha? Hor. Not a iot more, my Lord

   Ham. Is not Parchment made of Sheep-skinnes?
  Hor. I my Lord, and of Calue-skinnes too

Ham. They are Sheepe and Calues that seek out assurance in that. I will speake to this fellow: whose Graue's this Sir? Clo. Mine Sir: O a Pit of Clay for to be made, for such a Guest is meete

Ham. I thinke it be thine indeed: for thou liest in't

Clo. You lye out on't Sir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I doe not lye in't; and yet it is mine

Ham. Thou dost lye in't, to be in't and say 'tis thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quicke, therefore thou lyest

   Clo. 'Tis a quicke lye Sir, 'twill away againe from me
to you

   Ham. What man dost thou digge it for?
  Clo. For no man Sir

   Ham. What woman then?
  Clo. For none neither

   Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
  Clo. One that was a woman Sir; but rest her Soule,
shee's dead

Ham. How absolute the knaue is? wee must speake by the Carde, or equiuocation will vndoe vs: by the Lord Horatio, these three yeares I haue taken note of it, the Age is growne so picked, that the toe of the Pesant comes so neere the heeles of our Courtier, hee galls his Kibe. How long hast thou been a Graue-maker? Clo. Of all the dayes i'th' yeare, I came too't that day that our last King Hamlet o'recame Fortinbras

   Ham. How long is that since?
  Clo. Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that:
It was the very day, that young Hamlet was borne, hee
that was mad, and sent into England

   Ham. I marry, why was he sent into England?
  Clo. Why, because he was mad; hee shall recouer his
wits there; or if he do not, it's no great matter there

   Ham. Why?
  Clo. 'Twill not be seene in him, there the men are as
mad as he

   Ham. How came he mad?
  Clo. Very strangely they say

   Ham. How strangely?
  Clo. Faith e'ene with loosing his wits

   Ham. Vpon what ground?
  Clo. Why heere in Denmarke: I haue bin sixeteene
heere, man and Boy thirty yeares

Ham. How long will a man lie i'th' earth ere he rot? Clo. Ifaith, if he be not rotten before he die (as we haue many pocky Coarses now adaies, that will scarce hold the laying in) he will last you some eight yeare, or nine yeare. A Tanner will last you nine yeare

Ham. Why he, more then another? Clo. Why sir, his hide is so tan'd with his Trade, that he will keepe out water a great while. And your water, is a sore Decayer of your horson dead body. Heres a Scull now: this Scul, has laine in the earth three & twenty years

   Ham. Whose was it?
  Clo. A whoreson mad Fellowes it was;
Whose doe you thinke it was?
  Ham. Nay, I know not

   Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad Rogue, a pour'd a
Flaggon of Renish on my head once. This same Scull
Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull, the Kings Iester

   Ham. This?
  Clo. E'ene that

Ham. Let me see. Alas poore Yorick, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite Iest; of most excellent fancy, he hath borne me on his backe a thousand times: And how abhorred my Imagination is, my gorge rises at it. Heere hung those lipps, that I haue kist I know not how oft. Where be your Iibes now? Your Gambals? Your Songs? Your flashes of Merriment that were wont to set the Table on a Rore? No one now to mock your own Ieering? Quite chopfalne? Now get you to my Ladies Chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this fauour she must come. Make her laugh at that: prythee Horatio tell me one thing

   Hor. What's that my Lord?
  Ham. Dost thou thinke Alexander lookt o'this fashion
i'th' earth?
  Hor. E'ene so

Ham. And smelt so? Puh

Hor. E'ene so, my Lord

Ham. To what base vses we may returne Horatio. Why may not Imagination trace the Noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole

Hor. 'Twere to consider: to curiously to consider so

   Ham. No faith, not a iot. But to follow him thether
with modestie enough, & likeliehood to lead it; as thus.
Alexander died: Alexander was buried: Alexander returneth
into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make
Lome, and why of that Lome (whereto he was conuerted)
might they not stopp a Beere-barrell?
Imperiall Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
Might stop a hole to keepe the winde away.
Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a Wall, t' expell the winters flaw.
But soft, but soft, aside; heere comes the King.
Enter King, Queene, Laertes, and a Coffin, with Lords attendant.

The Queene, the Courtiers. Who is that they follow,
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken,
The Coarse they follow, did with disperate hand,
Fore do it owne life; 'twas some Estate.
Couch we a while, and mark

   Laer. What Cerimony else?
  Ham. That is Laertes, a very Noble youth: Marke

   Laer. What Cerimony else?
  Priest. Her Obsequies haue bin as farre inlarg'd.
As we haue warrantie, her death was doubtfull,
And but that great Command, o're-swaies the order,
She should in ground vnsanctified haue lodg'd,
Till the last Trumpet. For charitable praier,
Shardes, Flints, and Peebles, should be throwne on her:
Yet heere she is allowed her Virgin Rites,
Her Maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of Bell and Buriall

   Laer. Must there no more be done ?
  Priest. No more be done:
We should prophane the seruice of the dead,
To sing sage Requiem, and such rest to her
As to peace-parted Soules

   Laer. Lay her i'th' earth,
And from her faire and vnpolluted flesh,
May Violets spring. I tell thee (churlish Priest)
A Ministring Angell shall my Sister be,
When thou liest howling?
  Ham. What, the faire Ophelia?
  Queene. Sweets, to the sweet farewell.
I hop'd thou should'st haue bin my Hamlets wife:
I thought thy Bride-bed to haue deckt (sweet Maid)
And not t'haue strew'd thy Graue

   Laer. Oh terrible woer,
Fall ten times trebble, on that cursed head
Whose wicked deed, thy most Ingenious sence
Depriu'd thee of. Hold off the earth a while,
Till I haue caught her once more in mine armes:

Leaps in the graue.

Now pile your dust, vpon the quicke, and dead,
Till of this flat a Mountaine you haue made,
To o're top old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blew Olympus

   Ham. What is he, whose griefes
Beares such an Emphasis? whose phrase of Sorrow
Coniure the wandring Starres, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane

Laer. The deuill take thy soule

   Ham. Thou prai'st not well,
I prythee take thy fingers from my throat;
Sir though I am not Spleenatiue, and rash,
Yet haue I something in me dangerous,
Which let thy wisenesse feare. Away thy hand

King. Pluck them asunder

Qu. Hamlet, Hamlet

Gen. Good my Lord be quiet

   Ham. Why I will fight with him vppon this Theme.
Vntill my eielids will no longer wag

   Qu. Oh my Sonne, what Theame?
  Ham. I lou'd Ophelia; fortie thousand Brothers
Could not (with all there quantitie of Loue)
Make vp my summe. What wilt thou do for her?
  King. Oh he is mad Laertes,
  Qu. For loue of God forbeare him

   Ham. Come show me what thou'lt doe.
Woo't weepe? Woo't fight? Woo't teare thy selfe?
Woo't drinke vp Esile, eate a Crocodile?
Ile doo't. Dost thou come heere to whine;
To outface me with leaping in her Graue?
Be buried quicke with her, and so will I.
And if thou prate of Mountaines; let them throw
Millions of Akers on vs; till our ground
Sindging his pate against the burning Zone,
Make Ossa like a wart. Nay, and thou'lt mouth,
Ile rant as well as thou

   Kin. This is meere Madnesse:
And thus awhile the fit will worke on him:
Anon as patient as the female Doue,
When that her Golden Cuplet are disclos'd;
His silence will sit drooping

   Ham. Heare you Sir:
What is the reason that you vse me thus?
I lou'd you euer; but it is no matter:
Let Hercules himselfe doe what he may,
The Cat will Mew, and Dogge will haue his day.

  Kin. I pray you good Horatio wait vpon him,
Strengthen your patience in our last nights speech,
Wee'l put the matter to the present push:
Good Gertrude set some watch ouer your Sonne,
This Graue shall haue a liuing Monument:
An houre of quiet shortly shall we see;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be.


Enter Hamlet and Horatio

   Ham. So much for this Sir; now let me see the other,
You doe remember all the Circumstance

   Hor. Remember it my Lord?
  Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kinde of fighting,
That would not let me sleepe; me thought I lay
Worse then the mutines in the Bilboes, rashly,
(And praise be rashnesse for it) let vs know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serues vs well,
When our deare plots do paule, and that should teach vs,
There's a Diuinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will

Hor. That is most certaine

   Ham. Vp from my Cabin
My sea-gowne scarft about me in the darke,
Grop'd I to finde out them; had my desire,
Finger'd their Packet, and in fine, withdrew
To mine owne roome againe, making so bold,
(My feares forgetting manners) to vnseale
Their grand Commission, where I found Horatio,
Oh royall knauery: An exact command,
Larded with many seuerall sorts of reason;
Importing Denmarks health, and Englands too,
With hoo, such Bugges and Goblins in my life,
That on the superuize no leasure bated,
No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
My head should be struck off

   Hor. Ist possible?
  Ham. Here's the Commission, read it at more leysure:
But wilt thou heare me how I did proceed?
  Hor. I beseech you

   Ham. Being thus benetted round with Villaines,
Ere I could make a Prologue to my braines,
They had begun the Play. I sate me downe,
Deuis'd a new Commission, wrote it faire,
I once did hold it as our Statists doe,
A basenesse to write faire; and laboured much
How to forget that learning: but Sir now,
It did me Yeomans seriuce: wilt thou know
The effects of what I wrote?
  Hor. I, good my Lord

   Ham. An earnest Coniuration from the King,
As England was his faithfull Tributary,
As loue betweene them, as the Palme should flourish,
As Peace should still her wheaten Garland weare,
And stand a Comma 'tweene their amities,
And many such like Assis of great charge,
That on the view and know of these Contents,
Without debatement further, more or lesse,
He should the bearers put to sodaine death,
Not shriuing time allowed

   Hor. How was this seal'd?
  Ham. Why, euen in that was Heauen ordinate;
I had my fathers Signet in my Purse,
Which was the Modell of that Danish Seale:
Folded the Writ vp in forme of the other,
Subscrib'd it, gau't th' impression, plac't it safely,
The changeling neuer knowne: Now, the next day
Was our Sea Fight, and what to this was sement,
Thou know'st already

Hor. So Guildensterne and Rosincrance, go too't

   Ham. Why man, they did make loue to this imployment
They are not neere my Conscience; their debate
Doth by their owne insinuation grow:
'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes
Betweene the passe, and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites

   Hor. Why, what a King is this?
  Ham. Does it not, thinkst thee, stand me now vpon
He that hath kil'd my King, and whor'd my Mother,
Popt in betweene th' election and my hopes,
Throwne out his Angle for my proper life,
And with such coozenage; is't not perfect conscience,
To quit him with this arme? And is't not to be damn'd
To let this Canker of our nature come
In further euill

   Hor. It must be shortly knowne to him from England
What is the issue of the businesse there

   Ham. It will be short,
The interim's mine, and a mans life's no more
Then to say one: but I am very sorry good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot my selfe;
For by the image of my Cause, I see
The Portraiture of his; Ile count his fauours:
But sure the brauery of his griefe did put me
Into a Towring passion

   Hor. Peace, who comes heere?
Enter young Osricke.

Osr. Your Lordship is right welcome back to Denmarke

   Ham. I humbly thank you Sir, dost know this waterflie?
  Hor. No my good Lord

Ham. Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to know him: he hath much Land, and fertile; let a Beast be Lord of Beasts, and his Crib shall stand at the Kings Messe; 'tis a Chowgh; but as I saw spacious in the possession of dirt

   Osr. Sweet Lord, if your friendship were at leysure,
I should impart a thing to you from his Maiesty

   Ham. I will receiue it with all diligence of spirit; put
your Bonet to his right vse, 'tis for the head

Osr. I thanke your Lordship, 'tis very hot

   Ham. No, beleeue mee 'tis very cold, the winde is

Osr. It is indifferent cold my Lord indeed

   Ham. Mee thinkes it is very soultry, and hot for my

   Osr. Exceedingly, my Lord, it is very soultry, as 'twere
I cannot tell how: but my Lord, his Maiesty bad me signifie
to you, that he ha's laid a great wager on your head:
Sir, this is the matter

Ham. I beseech you remember

Osr. Nay, in good faith, for mine ease in good faith: Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at his weapon

   Ham. What's his weapon?
  Osr. Rapier and dagger

Ham. That's two of his weapons; but well

Osr. The sir King ha's wag'd with him six Barbary horses, against the which he impon'd as I take it, sixe French Rapiers and Poniards, with their assignes, as Girdle, Hangers or so: three of the Carriages infaith are very deare to fancy, very responsiue to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit

   Ham. What call you the Carriages?
  Osr. The Carriages Sir, are the hangers

Ham. The phrase would bee more Germaine to the matter: If we could carry Cannon by our sides; I would it might be Hangers till then; but on sixe Barbary Horses against sixe French Swords: their Assignes, and three liberall conceited Carriages, that's the French but against the Danish; why is this impon'd as you call it? Osr. The King Sir, hath laid that in a dozen passes betweene you and him, hee shall not exceed you three hits; He hath one twelue for mine, and that would come to imediate tryall, if your Lordship would vouchsafe the Answere

   Ham. How if I answere no?
  Osr. I meane my Lord, the opposition of your person
in tryall

Ham. Sir, I will walke heere in the Hall; if it please his Maiestie, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let the Foyles bee brought, the Gentleman willing, and the King hold his purpose; I will win for him if I can: if not, Ile gaine nothing but my shame, and the odde hits

   Osr. Shall I redeliuer you ee'n so?
  Ham. To this effect Sir, after what flourish your nature

Osr. I commend my duty to your Lordship

   Ham. Yours, yours; hee does well to commend it
himselfe, there are no tongues else for's tongue

   Hor. This Lapwing runs away with the shell on his

Ham. He did Complie with his Dugge before hee suck't it: thus had he and mine more of the same Beauty that I know the drossie age dotes on; only got the tune of the time, and outward habite of encounter, a kinde of yesty collection, which carries them through & through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and doe but blow them to their tryalls: the Bubbles are out

Hor. You will lose this wager, my Lord

Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France, I haue beene in continuall practice; I shall winne at the oddes: but thou wouldest not thinke how all heere about my heart: but it is no matter

Hor. Nay, good my Lord

   Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kinde of
gain-giuing as would perhaps trouble a woman

   Hor. If your minde dislike any thing, obey. I will forestall
their repaire hither, and say you are not fit

Ham. Not a whit, we defie Augury; there's a speciall Prouidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come: if it bee not to come, it will bee now: if it be not now; yet it will come; the readinesse is all, since no man ha's ought of what he leaues. What is't to leaue betimes? Enter King, Queene, Laertes and Lords, with other Attendants with Foyles, and Gauntlets, a Table and Flagons of Wine on it.

Kin. Come Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me

   Ham. Giue me your pardon Sir, I'ue done you wrong,
But pardon't as you are a Gentleman.
This presence knowes,
And you must needs haue heard how I am punisht
With sore distraction? What I haue done
That might your nature honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I heere proclaime was madnesse:
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Neuer Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away:
And when he's not himselfe, do's wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it:
Who does it then? His Madnesse? If't be so,
Hamlet is of the Faction that is wrong'd,
His madnesse is poore Hamlets Enemy.
Sir, in this Audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill,
Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts,
That I haue shot mine Arrow o're the house,
And hurt my Mother

   Laer. I am satisfied in Nature,
Whose motiue in this case should stirre me most
To my Reuenge. But in my termes of Honor
I stand aloofe, and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder Masters of knowne Honor,
I haue a voyce, and president of peace
To keepe my name vngorg'd. But till that time,
I do receiue your offer'd loue like loue,
And wil not wrong it

   Ham. I do embrace it freely,
And will this Brothers wager frankely play.
Giue vs the Foyles: Come on

Laer. Come one for me

   Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance,
Your Skill shall like a Starre i'th' darkest night,
Sticke fiery off indeede

Laer. You mocke me Sir

Ham. No by this hand

   King. Giue them the Foyles yong Osricke,
Cousen Hamlet, you know the wager

   Ham. Verie well my Lord,
Your Grace hath laide the oddes a'th' weaker side

   King. I do not feare it,
I haue seene you both:
But since he is better'd, we haue therefore oddes

   Laer. This is too heauy,
Let me see another

   Ham. This likes me well,
These Foyles haue all a length.

Prepare to play.

Osricke. I my good Lord

   King. Set me the Stopes of wine vpon that Table:
If Hamlet giue the first, or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the Battlements their Ordinance fire,
The King shal drinke to Hamlets better breath,
And in the Cup an vnion shal he throw
Richer then that, which foure successiue Kings
In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne.
Giue me the Cups,
And let the Kettle to the Trumpets speake,
The Trumpet to the Cannoneer without,
The Cannons to the Heauens, the Heauen to Earth,
Now the King drinkes to Hamlet. Come, begin,
And you the Iudges beare a wary eye

Ham. Come on sir

Laer. Come on sir.

They play.

Ham. One

Laer. No

Ham. Iudgement

Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit

Laer. Well: againe

   King. Stay, giue me drinke.
Hamlet, this Pearle is thine,
Here's to thy health. Giue him the cup,

Trumpets sound, and shot goes off.

  Ham. Ile play this bout first, set by a-while.
Come: Another hit; what say you?
  Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confesse

King. Our Sonne shall win

   Qu. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Heere's a Napkin, rub thy browes,
The Queene Carowses to thy fortune, Hamlet

Ham. Good Madam

King. Gertrude, do not drinke

   Qu. I will my Lord;
I pray you pardon me

King. It is the poyson'd Cup, it is too late

   Ham. I dare not drinke yet Madam,
By and by

Qu. Come, let me wipe thy face

Laer. My Lord, Ile hit him now

King. I do not thinke't

Laer. And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience

   Ham. Come for the third.
Laertes, you but dally,
I pray you passe with your best violence,
I am affear'd you make a wanton of me

Laer. Say you so? Come on.


Osr. Nothing neither way

Laer. Haue at you now.

In scuffling they change Rapiers.

King. Part them, they are incens'd

Ham. Nay come, againe

Osr. Looke to the Queene there hoa

   Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't my Lord?
  Osr. How is't Laertes?
  Laer. Why as a Woodcocke
To mine Sprindge, Osricke,
I am iustly kill'd with mine owne Treacherie

   Ham. How does the Queene?
  King. She sounds to see them bleede

   Qu. No, no, the drinke, the drinke.
Oh my deere Hamlet, the drinke, the drinke,
I am poyson'd

   Ham. Oh Villany! How? Let the doore be lock'd.
Treacherie, seeke it out

   Laer. It is heere Hamlet.
Hamlet, thou art slaine,
No Medicine in the world can do thee good.
In thee, there is not halfe an houre of life;
The Treacherous Instrument is in thy hand,
Vnbated and envenom'd: the foule practise
Hath turn'd it selfe on me. Loe, heere I lye,
Neuer to rise againe: Thy Mothers poyson'd:
I can no more, the King, the King's too blame

   Ham. The point envenom'd too,
Then venome to thy worke.

Hurts the King.

All. Treason, Treason

King. O yet defend me Friends, I am but hurt

   Ham. Heere thou incestuous, murdrous,
Damned Dane,
Drinke off this Potion: Is thy Vnion heere?
Follow my Mother.

King Dyes.

  Laer. He is iustly seru'd.
It is a poyson temp'red by himselfe:
Exchange forgiuenesse with me, Noble Hamlet;
Mine and my Fathers death come not vpon thee,
Nor 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 acte:
Had I but time (as this fell Sergeant death
Is strick'd in his Arrest) oh I could tell you.
But let it be: Horatio, I am dead,
Thou liu'st, report me and my causes right
To the vnsatisfied

   Hor. Neuer beleeue it.
I am more an Antike Roman then a Dane:
Heere's yet some Liquor left

   Ham. As th'art a man, giue me the Cup.
Let go, by Heauen Ile haue't.
Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
(Things standing thus vnknowne) shall liue behind me.
If thou did'st euer hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicitie awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in paine,
To tell my Storie.

March afarre off, and shout within.

What warlike noyse is this?
Enter Osricke.

  Osr. Yong Fortinbras, with conquest come fro[m] Poland
To th' Ambassadors of England giues this warlike volly

   Ham. O I dye Horatio:
The potent poyson quite ore-crowes my spirit,
I cannot liue to heare the Newes from England,
But I do prophesie th' election lights
On Fortinbras, he ha's my dying voyce,
So tell him with the occurrents more and lesse,
Which haue solicited. The rest is silence. O, o, o, o.


  Hora. Now cracke a Noble heart:
Goodnight sweet Prince,
And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest,
Why do's the Drumme come hither?
Enter Fortinbras and English Ambassador, with Drumme, Colours,

  Fortin. Where is this sight?
  Hor. What is it ye would see;
If ought of woe, or wonder, cease your search

   For. His quarry cries on hauocke. Oh proud death,
What feast is toward in thine eternall Cell.
That thou so many Princes, at a shoote,
So bloodily hast strooke

   Amb. The sight is dismall,
And our affaires from England come too late,
The eares are senselesse that should giue vs hearing,
To tell him his command'ment is fulfill'd,
That Rosincrance and Guildensterne are dead:
Where should we haue our thankes?
  Hor. Not from his mouth,
Had it th' abilitie of life to thanke you:
He neuer gaue command'ment for their death.
But since so iumpe vpon this bloodie question,
You from the Polake 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 th' yet vnknowing world,
How these things came about. So shall you heare
Of carnall, bloudie, and vnnaturall acts,
Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters
Of death's put on by cunning, and forc'd cause,
And in this vpshot, purposes mistooke,
Falne on the Inuentors head. All this can I
Truly deliuer

   For. Let vs hast to heare it,
And call the Noblest to the Audience.
For me, with sorrow, I embrace my Fortune,
I haue some Rites of memory in this Kingdome,
Which are to claime, my vantage doth
Inuite me,
  Hor. Of that I shall haue alwayes cause to speake,
And from his mouth
Whose voyce will draw on more:
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Euen whiles mens mindes are wilde,
Lest more mischance
On plots, and errors happen

   For. Let foure Captaines
Beare Hamlet like a Soldier to the Stage,
For he was likely, had he beene put on
To haue prou'd most royally:
And for his passage,
The Souldiours Musicke, and the rites of Warre
Speake lowdly for him.
Take vp the body; Such a sight as this
Becomes the Field, but heere shewes much amis.
Go, bid the Souldiers shoote.

Exeunt. Marching: after the which, a Peale of Ordenance are shot off.

FINIS. The tragedie of HAMLET, Prince of Denmarke.