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The tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke: an electronic edition.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities.
Funder: Joint Information Systems Committee.
Manuscript annotations encoded and checked by Folger Shakepeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC, 20003
Electronic edition created by Oxford Digital Library (Bodleian Library (University of Oxford)), Osney One Building, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0EW
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First publication edition. 2009-03
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Publisher: Shakespeare Quartos Archive

Available for non-commercial use, according to the terms of the Creative Commons license, attribution non-commercial.

Transcription of the printed text and annotations created from digital images of the Huntington Library copy of the 1603 quarto.

Bibliographic Information:
author: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
uniform title: Hamlet
statement title: The tragicall historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke
estcCitationNo: S111109
estcSystemNo: 6182594
estcHoldingsSystemNo: 1009110
shelfMark: Huntington 69304

MS Identifier: Huntington Library
Hand Notes:
hand-anon1: This post-1700 hand wrote numbers and a shelfmark on the pastedown inside the front cover.
hand-anon2: This post-1700 hand wrote foliation on the bottom left margin of each leaf, starting on the first page of printed text with the number 27.
hand-anon3: This post-1700 hand wrote an apparent cataloging date on the bottom margin of the first page of printed text.
hand-anon4: This post-1700 hand wrote an alpha-numeric code on the bottom margin of the first page of printed text.
hand-anon5: This post-1700 hand wrote lines and strokes on the mount of page B2.
hand-anon6: This post-1700 hand wrote textual interventions throughout.
hand-anon7: This post-1700 hand wrote a shelfmark in the lower left corner of the back pastedown.
hand-anon8: This post-1700 hand wrote an apparent cataloging date on the bottom margin of the back pastedown.
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Gilt borders and ornament on front cover. Title tooled in gilt reads “HAMLET
LONDON 1603”

Gilt borders and ornament on facsimile image 002a.

Gilt borders and ornament on facsimile image 040b. Text tooled in gilt reads “BOUND BY MACDONALD”.

Gilt borders and ornament on spine. Text tooled in gilt reads “HAMLET — SHAKESPEARE — 1603”.

Gilt borders on back cover.

Label onfacsimile image 002a

2008-10-17: Proofed and reviewed by ODL.
2008-10-22: Checked by ODL.
2008-11-01: Annotations and gaps checked by the Folger.
2009-01-14: Consistency checked by ODL.
2009-02-16: TEI header amended by ODL.
2009-02-18: LCCN changes made by ODL.
2009-03-06: key changed to ref. facs added to pb. facsimile added.

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C 22 275
h., Wm. Plays

Tragicall Historie of
Prince of Denmarke
As it hath beene diuerse times acted by his Highnesse ser­
uants in the Cittie of London: as also in the two V­
niuersities of Cambridge and Oxford, and else‐where
Printer's mark incorporating the initials “N L”.
At London printed for N.L. and Iohn Trundell.
1603.27cat 8 Jun '17 Bex K-B 472

The Tragicall Historie of
Prince of Denmarke.
Enter two Centinels.
STand: who is that?

Tis I.

O you come most carefully vpon your watch,

And if you meete Marcellus and Horatio,

The partners of my watch, bid them make haste.

I will: See who goes there.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Friends to this ground.

And leegemen to the Dane,

O farewell honest souldier, who hath releeued you?

Barnardo hath my place, giue you good night.

Holla, Barnardo.

Say, is Horatio there?

A peece of him.

Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.

What hath this thing appear'd againe to night.

I haue seene nothing.

Horatio sayes tis but our fantasie,

And wil not let beliefe take hold of him,

Touching this dreaded sight twice seene by vs,28


Therefore I haue intreated him along with vs

To watch the minutes of this night,

That if againe this apparition come,

He may approoue our eyes, and speake to it.

Tut, t'will not appeare.

Sit downe I pray, and let vs once againe

Assaile your eares that are so fortified,

What we haue two nights seene.

Wel, sit we downe, and let vs heare Bernardo speake
of this.

Last night of al, when yonder starre that's west­
ward from the pole, had made his course to

Illumine that part of heauen. Where now it burnes,

The bell then towling one.

Enter Ghost.
Breake off your talke, see where it comes againe.

In the same figure like the King that's dead,

Thou art a scholler, speake to it Horatio.

Lookes it not like the king?

Most like, it horrors mee with feare and wonder.

It would be spoke to.

Question it Horatio.

What art thou that thus vsurps the state, in

Which the Maiestie of buried Denmarke did sometimes

Walke? By heauen I charge thee speake.

It is offended.
exit Ghost.

See, it stalkes away.

Stay, speake, speake, by heauen I charge thee

Tis gone and makes no answer.

How now Horatio, you tremble and looke pale,

Is not this something more than fantasie?

What thinke you on't?

Afore my God, I might not this beleeue, without
the sensible and true auouch of my owne eyes.


Prince of Denmarke.
Is it not like the King?

As thou art to thy selfe,

Such was the very armor he had on,

When he the ambitious Norway combated.

So frownd he once, when in an angry parle

He smot the sleaded pollax on the yce,

Tis strange.

Thus twice before, and iump at this dead hower,

With Marshall stalke he passed through our watch.

In what particular to worke, I know not,

But in the thought and scope of my opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to the state.

Good, now sit downe, and tell me he that knowes

Why this same strikt and most obseruant watch,

So nightly toyles the subiect of the land,

And why such dayly cost of brazen Cannon

And forraine marte, for implements of warre,

Why such impresse of ship‐writes, whose sore taske

Does not diuide the sunday from the weeke:

What might be toward that this sweaty march

Doth make the night ioynt labourer with the day,

Who is't that can informe me?

Mary that can I, at least the whisper goes so,

Our late King, who as you know was by Forten­
of Norway,

Thereto prickt on by a most emulous cause, dared to

The combate, in which our valiant Hamlet,

For so this side of our knowne world esteemed him,

Did slay this Fortenbrasse,

Who by a seale compact well ratified, by law

And heraldrie, did forfeit with his life all those

His lands which he stoode seazed of by the conqueror,

Against the which a moity competent,

Was gaged by our King:

Now sir, yong Fortenbrasse,

Of inapproued mettle hot and full,29


Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there,

Sharkt vp a sight of lawlesse Resolutes

For food and diet to some enterprise,

That hath a stomacke in't: and this (I take it) is the

Chiefe head and ground of this our watch.

Enter the Ghost.
But loe, behold, see where it comes againe,

Ile crosse it, though it blast me: stay illusion,

If there be any good thing to be done,

That may doe ease to thee, and grace to mee,

Speake to mee.

If thou art priuy to thy countries fate,

Which happly foreknowing may preuent, O speake to me,

Or if thou hast extorted in thy life,

Or hoorded treasure in the wombe of earth,

For which they say you Spirites oft walke in death, speake
to me, stay and speake, speake, stoppe it Marcellus.

Tis heere.
exit Ghost.

Tis heere.

Tis gone, O we doe it wrong, being so maiesti­
call, to offer it the shew of violence,

For it is as the ayre invelmorable,

And our vaine blowes malitious mockery.

It was about to speake when the Cocke crew.

And then it faded like a guilty thing,

Vpon a fearefull summons: I haue heard

The Cocke, that is the trumpet to the morning,

Doth with his earely and shrill crowing throate,

Awake the god of day, and at his sound,

Whether in earth or ayre, in sea or fire,

The strauagant and erring spirite hies

To his confines, and of the trueth heereof

This present obiect made probation.

It faded on the crowing of the Cocke,

Some say, that euer gainst that season comes,

Wherein our Sauiours birth is celebrated,


Prince of Denmarke.
The bird of dawning singeth all night long,

And then they say, no spirite dare walke abroade,

The nights are wholesome, then no planet frikes,

No Fairie takes, nor Witch hath powre to charme,

So gratious, and so hallowed is that time.

So haue I heard, and doe in parte beleeue it:

But see the Sunne in russet mantle clad,

Walkes ore the deaw of yon hie mountaine top,

Breake we our watch vp, and by my aduise,

Let vs impart what wee haue seene to night

Vnto yong Hamlet: for vpon my life

This Spirite dumbe to vs will speake to him:

Do you consent, wee shall acquaint him with it,

As needefull in our loue, fitting our duetie?

Lets doo't I pray, and I this morning know,

Where we shall finde him most conueniently.

Enter King, Queene, Hamlet, Leartes, Corambis,
and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
Lordes, we here haue writ to Fortenbrasse,

Nephew to olde Norway, who impudotent

And bed‐rid, scarcely heares of this his

Nephews purpose: and Wee heere dispatch

Yong good Corneliao, and you Voltemar

For bearers of these greetings to olde

Norway, giuing to you no further personall power

To businesse with the King,

Then those related articles do shew:

Farewell, and let your haste commend your dutie.

In this and all things will wee shew our dutie.

Wee doubt nothing, hartily farewel:

And now Leartes what's the newes with you?

You said you had a sute what i'st Leartes?

My gratious Lord, your fauorable licence,

Now that the funerall rites are all performed,30


The Tragedie of Hamlet
I may haue leaue to go againe to France,

For though the fauour of your grace might stay mee,

Yet something is there whispers in my hart,

Which makes my minde and spirits bend all for France.

Haue you your fathers leaue, Leartes?

He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced graunt,

And I beseech you grant your Highnesse leaue.

With all our heart, Leartes fare thee well.

I in all loue and dutie take my leaue.

And now princely Sonne Hamlet,

What meanes these sad and melancholy moodes?

For your intent going to Wittenberg,

Wee hold it most vnmeet and vnconuenient,

Being the Ioy and halfe heart of your mother.

Therefore let mee intreat you stay in Court,

All Denmarkes hope our coosin and dearest Sonne.

My lord, ti's not the sable sute I weare:

No nor the teares that still stand in my eyes,

Nor the distracted hauiour in the visage,

Nor all together mixt with outward semblance,

Is equall to the sorrow of my heart,

Him haue I lost I must of force forgoe,

These but the ornaments and sutes of woe.

This shewes a louing care in you, Sonne Hamlet,

But you must thinke your father lost a father,

That father dead, lost his, and so shalbe vntill the

Generall ending. Therefore cease laments,

It is a fault gainst heauen, fault gainst the dead,

A fault gainst nature, and in reasons

Common course most certaine,

None liues on earth, but hee is borne to die.

Let not thy mother loose her praiers Hamlet,

Stay here with vs, go not to Wittenberg.

I shall in all my best obay you madam.

Spoke like a kinde and a most louing Sonne,

And there's no health the King shall drinke to day,


Prince of Denmarke.
But the great Canon to the clowdes shall tell

The rowse the King shall drinke vnto Prince Hamlet.

Exeunt all but Hamlet.
O that this too much grieu'd and sallied flesh

Would melt to nothing, or that the vniuersall

Globe of heauen would turne al to a Chaos!

O God within two moneths; no not two: maried,

Mine vncle: O let me not thinke of it,

My fathers brother: but no more like

My father, then I to Hercules.

Within two months, ere yet the salt of most

Vnrighteous teates had left their flushing

In her galled eyes: she married, O God, a beast

Deuoyd of reason would not haue made

Such speede: Frailtie, thy name is Woman,

Why she would hang on him, as if increase

Of appetite had growne by what it looked on.

O wicked wicked speede, to make such

Dexteritie to incestuous sheetes,

Ere yet the shooes were olde,

The which she followed my dead fathers corse

Like Nyobe, all teares: married, well it is not,

Nor it cannot come to good:

But breake my heart, for I must holde my tongue.

Health to your Lordship.

I am very glad to see you, (Horatio) or I much
forget my selfe.

The same my Lord, and your poore seruant euer.

O my good friend, I change that name with you:
but what make you from WittenbergHoratio?


My good Lord.

I am very glad to see you, good euen sirs:

But what is your affaire in Elsenoure?

Weele teach you to drinke deepe ere you depart.31


The Tragedy of Hamlet
A trowant disposition, my good Lord.

Nor shall you make mee truster

Of your owne report against your selfe:

Sir, I know you are no trowant:

But what is your affaire in Elsenoure?

My good Lord, I came to see your fathers funerall.

O I pre thee do not mocke mee fellow studient,

I thinke it was to see my mothers wedding.

Indeede my Lord, it followed hard vpon.

Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funerall bak't meates

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables,

Would I had met my deerest foe in heauen

Ere euer I had seene that day Horatio;

O my father, my father, me thinks I see my father,

Where my Lord?

Why, in my mindes eye Horatio.

I saw him once, he was a gallant King.

He was a man, take him for all in all,

I shall not looke vpon his like againe.

My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight,

Saw, who?

My Lord, the King your father.

Ha, ha, the King my father ke you.

Ceasen your admiration for a while

With an attentiue eare, till I may deliuer,

Vpon the witnesse of these Gentlemen

This wonder to you.

For Gods loue let me heare it.

Two nights together had these Gentlemen,

Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,

In the dead vast and middle of the night.

Beene thus incountered by a figure like your father,

Armed to poynt, exactly Capapea

Appeeres before them thrise, he walkes

Before their weake and feare oppressed eies.

Within his tronchions length,


Prince of Denmarke
While they distilled almost to gelly.

With the act of feare stands dumbe,

And speake not to him: this to mee

In dreadfull secresie impart they did.

And I with them the third night kept the watch,

Where as they had deliuered forme of the thing.

Each part made true and good,

The Apparition comes: I knew your father,

These handes are not more like.

Tis very strange.

As I do liue, my honord lord, tis true,

And wee did thinke it right done,

In our dutie to let you know it.

Where was this?

My Lord, vpon the platforme where we watched.

Did you not speake to it?

My Lord we did, but answere made it none,

Yet once me thought it was about to speake,

And lifted vp his head to motion,

Like as he would speake, but euen then

The morning cocke crew lowd, and in all haste,

It shruncke in haste away, and vanished

Our sight.

Indeed, indeed sirs, but this troubles me:

Hold you the watch to night?

We do my Lord.

Armed say ye?

Armed my good Lord.

From top to toe?

My good Lord, from head to foote.

Why then saw you not his face?

O yes my Lord, he wore his beuer vp.

How look't he, frowningly?

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

Pale, or red?

Nay, verie pal32


And fixt his eies vpon you.

Most constantly.

I would I had beene there.

It would a much amazed you.

Yea very like, very like, staid it long?

While one with moderate pace

Might tell a hundred.

O longer, longer.

His beard was grisleld, no.

It was as I haue seene it in his life,

A sable siluer.

I wil watch to night, perchance t'wil walke againe.

I warrant it will.

If it assume my noble fathers person,

Ile speake to it, if hell it selfe should gape,

And bid me hold my peace, Gentlemen,

If you haue hither consealed this sight,

Let it be tenible in your silence still,

And whatsoeuer else shall chance to night,

Giue it an vnderstanding, but no tongue,

I will requit your loues, so fare you well,

Vpon the platforme, twixt eleuen and twelue,

Ile visit you.

Our duties to your honor.

O your loues, your loues, as mine to you,

Farewell, my fathers spirit in Armes,

Well, all's not well. I doubt some foule play,

Would the night were come,

Till then, sit still my soule, foule deeds will rise

Though all the world orewhelme them to mens eies.

EnterLeartes and Ofelia.
My necessaries are inbarkt, I must aboord,

But ere I part, marke what I say to thee:

I see P_ince Hamlet makes a shew of loue

Beware Ofelia, do not trust his vowes,

Perhaps he loues you now, and now his tongue,


Prince of Denmarke.
Speakes from his heart, but yet take heed my sister,

The Chariest maide is prodigall enough,

If she vnmaske hir beautie to the Moone.

Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious thoughts,

Belieu't Ofelia, therefore keepe a loofe

Lest that he trip thy honor and thy fame.

Brother, to this I haue lent attentiue eare,

And doubt not but to keepe my honour firme,

But my deere brother, do not you

Like to a cunning Sophister,

Teach me the path and ready way to heauen,

While you forgetting what is said to me,

Your selfe, like to a carelesse libertine

Doth giue his heart, his appetite at ful,

And little recks how that his honour dies.

No, feare it not my deere Ofelia,

Here comes my father, occasion smiles vpon a second leaue.

Enter Corambis.
Yet here Leartes? aboord, aboord, for shame,

The winde sits in the shoulder of your saile,

And you are staid for, there my blessing with thee

And these few precepts in thy memory.

“Be thou familiar, but by no meanes vulgare;

“Those friends thou hast, and their adoptions tried,

“Graple them to thee with a hoope of steele,

“But do not dull the palme with entertaine,

“Of euery new vnfleg'd courage,

“Beware of entrance into a quarrell; but being in,

“Beare it that the opposed may beware of thee,

“Costly thy apparrell, as thy purse can buy.

“But not exprest in fashion,

“For the apparell oft proclaimes the man.

And they of France of the chiefe rancke and station

Are of a most select and generall chiefe in that:

“This aboue all, to thy owne selfe be true,

And it must follow as the night the day,33


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Thou canst not then be false to any one,

Farewel, my blessing with thee.

I humbly take my leaue, farewell Ofelia,

And remember well what I haue said to you.

It is already lock't within my hart,

And you your selfe shall keepe the key of it.

What i'st Ofelia he hath saide to you?

Somthing touching the prince Hamlet.

Mary wel thought on, t'is giuen me to vnderstand,

That you haue bin too prodigall of your maiden presence

Vnto Prince Hamlet, if it be so,

As so tis giuen to mee, and that in waie of caution

I must tell you; you do not vnderstand your selfe

So well as befits my honor, and your credite.

My lord, he hath made many tenders of his loue
to me.

Tenders, I, I, tenders you may call them.

And withall, such earnest vowes.

Springes to catch woodcocks,

What, do not I know when the blood doth burne,

How prodigall the tongue lends the heart vowes,

In briefe, be more scanter of your maiden presence,

Or tendring thus you'l tender mee a foole.

I shall obay my lord in all I may.

Ofelia, receiue none of his letters,

“For louers lines are snares to intrap the heart;

“Refuse his tokens, both of them are keyes

To vnlocke Chastitie vnto Desire;

Come in Ofelia, such men often proue,

“Great in their wordes, but little in their loue.

I will my lord.

EnterHamlet, Horatio, andMarcellus.
The ayre bites shrewd; it is an eager and

An nipping winde, what houre i'st?

I think it lacks of twelue,
Sound Trumpets.

No, t'is strucke.


Prince of Denmarke.
Indeed I heard it not, what doth this mean my lord?

O the king doth wake to night, & takes his rowse,

Keepe wassel, and the swaggering vp‐spring reeles,

And as he dreames, his draughts of renish downe,

The kettle, drumme, and trumpet, thus bray out,

The triumphes of his pledge.

Is it a custome here?

I mary i'st and though I am

Natiue here, and to the maner borne,

It is a custome, more honourd in the breach,

Then in the obseruance.

Enter the Ghost.
Looke my Lord, it comes.

Angels and Ministers of grace defend vs,

Be thou a spirite of health, or goblin damn'd,

Bring with thee ayres from heauen, or blasts from hell:

Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou commest in such questionable shape,

That I will speake to thee,

Ile call thee Hamlet, King, Father, Royall Dane,

O answere mee, let mee not burst in ignorance,

But say why thy canonizd bones hearsed in death

Haue burst their ceremonies: why thy Sepulcher,

In which wee saw thee quietly interr'd,

Hath burst his ponderous and marble Iawes,

To cast thee vp againe: what may this meane,

That thou, dead corse, againe in compleate steele,

Reuissets thus the glimses of the Moone,

Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature,

So horridely to shake our disposition,

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules?

Say, speake, wherefore, what may this meane?

It beckons you, as though it had something

To impart to you alone.

Looke with what courteous action

It waues you to a more remoued ground,34


The Tragedie of Hamlet
But do not go with it.

No, by no meanes my Lord.

It will not speake, then will I follow it.

What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord.

That beckles ore his bace, into the sea,

And there assume some other horrible shape,

Which might depriue your soueraigntie of reason,

And driue you into madnesse: thinke of it.

Still am I called, go on, ile follow thee.

My Lord, you shall not go.

Why what should be the feare?

I do not set my life at a pinnes fee,

And for my soule, what can it do to that?

Being a thing immortall, like it selfe,

Go on, ile follow thee.

My Lord be rulde, you shall not goe.

My fate cries out, and makes each pety Artiue

As hardy as the Nemeon Lyons nerue,

Still am I cald, vnhand me gentlemen;

By heauen ile make a ghost of him that lets me,

Away I say, go on, ile follow thee.

He waxeth desperate with imagination.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmarke.

Haue after; to what issue will this sort?

Lets follow, tis not fit thus to obey him.

Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Ile go no farther, whither wilt thou leade me?

Marke me.

I will.

I am thy fathers spirit, doomd for a time

To walke the night, and all the day

Confinde in flaming fire,

Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of Nature

Arepurged and burnt away.

Alas poore Ghost.

Nay pitty me not, but to my vnfolding


Prince of Denmarke.
Lend thy listning eare, but that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison house

I would a tale vnfold, whose lightest word

Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy yong blood,

Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,

Thy knotted and combined locks to part,

And each particular haire to stand on end

Like quils vpon the fretfull Porpentine,

But this same blazon must not be, to eares of flesh and blood

Hamlet, if euer thou didst thy deere father loue.

O God.

Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murder:


Yea, murder in the highest degree,

As in the least tis bad,

But mine most foule, beastly, and vnnaturall.

Haste me to knowe it, that with wings as swift as
meditation, or the thought of it, may sweepe to my reuenge.

O I finde thee apt, and duller shouldst thou be

Then the fat weede which rootes it selfe in ease

On Lethe wharffe: briefe let me be.

Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my orchard,

A Serpent stung me; so the whole eare of Denmarke

Is with a forged Prosses of my death rankely abusde:

But know thou noble Youth: he that did sting

Thy fathers heart, now weares his Crowne.

O my prophetike soule, my vncle! my vncle!

Yea he, that incestuous wretch, wonne to his will (with gifts,

O wicked will, and gifts! that haue the power

So to seduce my most seeming vertuous Queene,

But vertue, as it neuer will be moued,

Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of heauen,

So Lust, though to a radiant angle linckt,

Would fate it selfe from a celestiall bedde,

And prey on garbage: but soft, me thinkes

I sent the mornings ayre, briefe let me be,35


Sleeping within my Orchard, my custome alwayes

In the after noone, vpon my secure houre

Thy vncle came, with iuyce of Hebona

In a viall, and through the porches of my eares

Did powre the leaprous distilment, whose effect

Hold such an enmitie with blood of man,

That swift as quickesiluer, it posteth through

The naturall gates and allies of the body,

And turnes the thinne and wholesome blood

Like eager dropings into milke.

And all my smoothe body, barked, and tetterd ouer.

Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand

Of Crowne, of Queene, of life, of dignitie

At once depriued, no reckoning made of,

But sent vnto my graue,

With all my accompts and sinnes vpon my head,

O horrible, most horrible!

O God!

If thou hast nature in thee, beare it not,

But howsoeuer, let not thy heart

Conspire against thy mother aught,

Leaue her to heauen,

And to the burthen that her conscience beares.

I must be gone, the Glo‐worme shewes the Martin

To be neere, and gin's to pale his vneffectuall fire:

Hamlet adue, adue, adue: remember me.

O all you hoste of heauen! O earth, what else?

And shall I couple hell; remember thee?

Yes thou poore Ghost; from the tables

Of my memorie, ile wipe away all sawes of Bookes,

All triuiall fond conceites

That euer youth, or else obseruance noted,

And thy remembrance, all alone shall sit.

Yes, yes, by heauen, a damnd pernitious villaine,

Murderous, bawdy, smiling damned villaine,

(My tables) meet it is I set it downe,


Prince of Denmarke
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villayne;

At least I am sure, it may be so in D_nmarke.

So vncle, there you are, there you are.

Now to the words; it is adue adue: remember me,

Soe t'is enough I haue sworne.

My lord, my lord.

Enter. Horatio,
and Marcellus.
Lord Hamlet.

Ill, lo, lo, ho, ho.

Ham: Mar.
Ill, lo, lo, so, ho, so, come boy, come.

Heauens secure him.

How i'st my noble lord?

What news my lord?

O wonderfull, wonderful.

Good my lord tel it.

No not I, you'l reueale it.

Not I my Lord by heauen.

Nor I my Lord.

How say you then? would hart of man

Once thinke it? but you'l be secret.

I by heauen, my lord.

There's neuer a villaine dwelling in all Denmarke,

But hee's an arrant knaue.

There need no Ghost come from the graue to tell
you this.

Right, you are in the right, and therefore

I holde it meet without more circumstance at all,

Wee shake hands and part; you as your busines

And desiers shall leade you: for looke you,

Euery man hath busines, and desires, such

As it is, and for my owne poore parte, ile go pray.

These are but wild and wherling words, my Lord.

I am sory they offend you; hartely, yes faith hartily.

Ther's no offence my Lord.

Yes by Saint Patrike but there is Horatio,

And much offence too, touching this vision,

It is an honest ghost, that let mee tell you,36


For your desires to know what is betweene vs,

Or'emaister it as you may:

And now kind frends, as you are frends,

Schollers and gentlmen,

Grant mee one poore request.

What i'st my Lord?

Neuer make known what you haue seene to night

My lord, we will not.

Nay but sweare.

In faith my Lord not I.

Nor I my Lord in faith.

Nay vpon my sword, indeed vpon my sword.


The Gost vnder the stage.
Ha, ha, come you here, this fellow in the s_ll_rige,

Here consent to sweare.

Propose the oth my Lord.

Neuer to speake what you haue seene to night,

Sweare by my sword.


Hic & vbique; nay then weele shift our ground:

Come hither Gentlemen, and lay your handes

Againe vpon this sword, neuer to speake

Of that which you haue seene, sweare by my sword.


Well said old Mole, can'st worke in the earth?
so fast, a worthy Pioner, once more remoue.

Day and night, but this is wondrous strange.

And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome,

There are more things in heauen and earth Horatio,

Then are Dream't of, in your philosophie,

But come here, as before you neuer shall

How strange or odde soere I beare my selfe,

As I perchance hereafter shall thinke meet,

To put an Anticke disposition on,

That you at such times seeing me, neuer shall


Prince of Denmarke.
With Armes, incombred thus, or this head shake,

Or by pronouncing some vndoubtfull phrase,

As well well, wee know, or wee could and if we would,

Or there be, and if they might, or such ambiguous:

Giuing out to note, that you know aught of mee,

This not to doe, so grace, and mercie

At your most need helpe you, sweare


Rest, rest, perturbed spirit: so gentlemen,

In all my loue I do commend mee to you,

And what so poore a man as Hamlet may,

To pleasure you, God willing shall not want,

Nay come lett's go together,

But stil your fingers on your lippes I pray,

The time is out of ioynt, O cursed spite,

That euer I was borne to set it right,

Nay come lett's go together.

Enter Corambis, and Montano.
Montano, here, these letters to my sonne,

And this same mony with my blessing to him,

And bid him ply his learning good Montano.

I will my lord.

You shall do very well Montano, to say thus,

I knew the gentleman, or know his father,

To inquire the manner of his life,

As thus; being amongst his acquaintance,

You may say, you saw him at such a time, marke you mee,

At game, or drincking, swearing, or drabbing,

You may go so farre.

My lord, that will impeach his reputation.

I faith not a whit, no not a whit,

Now happely hee closeth with you in the consequence,

As you may bridle it not disparage him a iote.

What was I a bout to say,

He closeth with him in the consequence.

I, you say right, he closeth with him thus,37


The Tragedy of Hamlet
This will hee say, let mee see what hee will say,

Mary this, I saw him yesterday, or tother day,

Or then, or at such a time, a dicing,

Or at Tennis, I or drincking drunke, or entring

Of a howse of lightnes viz. brothell,

Thus sir do wee that know the world, being men of reach,

By indirections, finde directions forth,

And so shall you my sonne; you ha me, ha you not?

I haue my lord.

Wel, fare you well, commend mee to him.

I will my lord.

And bid him ply his musicke

My lord I wil.

Enter, Ofelia.
Farewel, how now Ofelia, what's the news with you?

O my deare father, such a change in nature,

So great an alteration in a Prince,

So pitifull to him, fearefull to mee,

A maidens eye ne're looked on.

Why what's the matter my Ofelia?

O yong Prince Hamlet, the only floure of Denmark,

Hee is bereft of all the wealth he had,

The Iewell that ador'nd his feature most

Is filcht and stolne away, his wit's bereft him,

Hee found mee walking in the gallery all alone,

There comes hee to mee, with a distracted looke,

His garters lagging downe, his shooes vntide,

And fixt his eyes so stedfast on my face,

As if they had vow'd, this is their latest obiect.

Small while he stoode, but gripes me by the wrist,

And there he holdes my pulse till with a sigh

He doth vnclaspe his holde, and parts away

Silent, as is the mid time of the night:

And as he went, his eie was still on mee,

For thus his head ouer his shoulder looked,

He seemed to finde the way without his eies:


Prince of Denmarke.
For out of doores he went without their helpe,

And so did leaue me.

Madde for thy loue,

What haue you giuen him any crosse wordes of late?

I did repell his letters, deny his gifts,

As you did charge me.

Why that hath made him madde:

By heau'n t'is as proper for our age to cast

Beyond our selues, as t'is for the yonger sort

To leaue their wantonnesse. Well, I am sory

That I was so rash: but what remedy?

Lets to the King, this madnesse may prooue,

Though wilde a while, yet more true to thy loue.

Enter King and Queene, Rossencraft, and Gilderstone.
Right noble friends, that our deere cosin Hamlet

Hath lost the very heart of all his sence,

It is most right, and we most sory for him:

Therefore we doe desire, euen as you tender

Our care to him, and our great loue to you,

That you will labour but to wring from him

The cause and ground of his distemperancie.

Doe this, the king of Denmarke shal be thankefull.

My Lord, whatsoeuer lies within our power

Your maiestie may more commaund in wordes

Then vse perswasions to your liege men, bound

By loue, by duetie, and obedience.

What we may doe for both your Maiesties

To know the griefe troubles the Prince your sonne,

We will indeuour all the best we may,

So in all duetie doe we take our leaue.

Thankes Guilderstone, and gentle Rossencraft.

Thankes Rossencraft, and gentle Gilderstone.

Enter Corambis and Ofelia.
My Lord, the Ambassadors are ioyfully

Return'd from Norway.

Thou still hast beene the father of good news.38


The Tragedie of Hamlet
Haue I my Lord? I assure your grace,

I holde my duetie as I holde my life,

Both to my God, and to my soueraigne King:

And I beleeue, or else this braine of mine

Hunts not the traine of policie so well

As it had wont to doe, but I haue found

The very depth of Hamlets lunacie.

God graunt he hath.

Enter the Ambassadors.
Now Voltemar, what from our brother Norway?

Most faire returnes of greetings and desires,

Vpon our first he sent forth to suppresse

His nephews leuies, which to him appear'd

To be a preparation gainst the Polacke:

But better look't into, he truely found

It was against your Highnesse, whereat grieued,

That so his sickenesse, age, and impotence,

Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests

On Fortenbrasse, which he in briefe obays,

Receiues rebuke from Norway: and in fine,

Makes vow before his vncle, neuer more

To giue the assay of Armes against your Maiestie,

Whereon olde Norway ouercome with ioy,

Giues him three thousand crownes in annuall fee,

And his Commission to employ those souldiers,

So leuied as before, against the Polacke,

With an intreaty heerein further shewne,

That it would please you to giue quiet passe

Through your dominions, for that enterprise

On such regardes of safety and allowances

As therein are set downe.

It likes vs well, and at fit time and leasure

Weele reade and answere these his Articles,

Meane time we thanke you for your well

Tooke labour: go to your rest, at night weele feast togither:

Right welcome home.
exeunt Ambassadors.


Prince of Denmarke.
This busines is very well dispatched.

Now my Lord, touching the yong Prince Hamlet,

Certaine it is that hee is madde: mad let vs grant him then:

Now to know the cause of this effect,

Or else to say the cause of this defect,

For this effect defectiue comes by cause.

Good my Lord be briefe.

Madam I will: my Lord, I haue a daughter,

Haue while shee's mine: for that we thinke

Is surest, we often loose: now to the Prince.

My Lord, but note this letter,

The which my daughter in obedience

Deliuer'd to my handes.

Reade it my Lord.

Marke my Lord.

Doubt that in earth is fire,

Doubt that the starres doe moue,

Doubt trueth to be a liar,

But doe not doubt I loue.

To the beautifull Ofelia:
Thine euer the most vnhappy Prince Hamlet.

My Lord, what doe you thinke of me?

I, or what might you thinke when I sawe this?

As of a true friend and a most louing subiect.

I would be glad to prooue so.

Now when I saw this letter, thus I bespake my maiden:

Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of your starre,

And one that is vnequall for your loue:

Therefore I did commaund her refuse his letters,

Deny his tokens, and to absent her selfe.

Shee as my childe obediently obey'd me.

Now since which time, seeing his loue thus cross'd,

Which I tooke to be idle, and but sport,

He straitway grew into a melancholy,

From that vnto a fast, then vnto distraction,

Then into a sadnesse, from that vnto a madnesse,39


And so by continuance, and weakenesse of the braine

Into this frensie, which now possesseth him:

And if this be not true, take this from this.

Thinke you t'is so?

How? so my Lord, I would very faine know

That thing that I haue saide t'is so, positiuely,

And it hath fallen out otherwise.

Nay, if circumstances leade me on,

Ile finde it out, if it were hid

As deepe as the centre of the earth.

how should wee trie this same?

Mary my good lord thus,

The Princes walke is here in the galery,

There let Ofelia, walke vntill hee comes:

Your selfe and I will stand close in the study,

There shall you heare the effect of all his hart,

And if it proue any otherwise then loue,

Then let my censure faile an other time.

see where hee comes poring vppon a booke.

Ent_r Hamlet.
Madame, will it please your grace

To leaue vs here?

With all my hart.

And here Ofelia, reade you on this booke,

And walke aloofe, the King shal be vnseene.

To be, or not to be, I _here's the point,

To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all:

No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes,

For in that dreame of death, when wee awake,

And borne before an euerlasting Iudge,

From whence no passenger euer_ retur'nd,

The vndiscouered country, at whose sight

The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd.

But for this, the ioyfull hope of this,

Whol'd beare the scornes and flattery of the world,

Scorned by the right rich, the rich curssed of the poore?


Prince of Denmarke
The widow being oppressed, the orphan wrong'd,

The taste of hunger, or a tirants raigne,

And thousand more calamities besides,

To grunt and sweate vnder this weary life,

When that he may his full Quietus make,

With a bare bodkin, who would this indure,

But for a hope of something after death?

Which pusles the braine, and doth confound the sence,

Which makes vs rather beare those euilles we haue,

Than flie to others that we know not of.

I that, O this conscience makes cowardes of vs all,

Lady in thy orizons, be all my sinnes remembred.

My Lord, I haue sought opportunitie, which now

I haue, to redeliuer to your worthy handes, a small remem­
brance, such tokens which I haue receiued of you.

Are you faire?

My Lord.

Are you honest?

What meanes my Lord?

That if you be faire and honest,

Your beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty.

My Lord, can beauty haue better priuiledge than
with honesty?

Yea mary may it; for Beauty may transforme

Honesty, from what she was into a bawd:sooner,

Then Honesty can transforme Beauty:

This was sometimes a Paradox,

But now the time giues it scope.

I neuer gaue you nothing.

My Lord, you know right well you did,

And with them such earnest vowes of loue,

As would haue moou'd the stoniest breast aliue,

But now too true I finde,

Rich giftes waxe poore, when giuers grow vnkinde.

I neuer loued you.

You made me beleeue you did.40


The Tragedie of Hamlet
O thou shouldst not a beleeued me!

Go to a Nunnery goe, why shouldst thou

Be a breeder of sinners? I am my selfe indifferent honest,

But I could accuse my selfe of such crimes

As iIt had beene better my mother had ne're borne me,

O I am very prowde, ambitious, disdainefull,

With more sinnes at my beacke, then I haue thoughts

To put them in, what should such fellowes as I

Do, crawling between heauen and earth?

To a Nunnery goe, we are arrant knaues all,

Beleeue none of vs, to a Nunnery goe.

O heauens secure him!

Wher's thy father?

At home my lord.

For Gods sake let the doores be shut on him,

He may play the foole no where but in his

Owne house: to a Nunnery goe.

Help him good God.

If thou dost marry, Ile giue thee

This plague to thy dowry:

Be thou as chaste as yce, as pure as snowe,

Thou shalt not scape calumny, to a Nunnery goe.

Alas, what change is this?

But if thou wilt needes marry, marry a foole,

For wisemen know well enough,

What monsters you make of them, to a Nunnery goe.

Pray God restore him.

Nay, I haue heard of your paintings too,

God hath giuen you one face,

And you make your selues another,

You fig, and you amble, and you nickname Gods creatures,

Making your wantonnesse, your ignorance,

A pox, t'is scuruy, Ile no more of it,

It hath made me madde: Ile no more marriages,

All that are married but one, shall liue,

The rest shall keepe as they are, to a Nunnery goe,


Prince of Denmarke.
To a Nunnery goe.

Great God of heauen, what a quicke change is this?

The Courtier, Scholler, Souldier, all in him,

All dasht and splinterd thence, O woe is me,

To a seene what I haue seene, see what I see.

Loue? No, no, that's not the cause,
Enter King and

Some deeper thing it is that troubles him.

Wel, something it is: my Lord, content you a while,

I will my selfe goe feele him: let me worke,

Ile try him euery way: see where he comes,

Send you those Gentlemen, let me alone

To finde the depth of this, away, be gone.
exit King.

Now my good Lord, do you know me?
Enter Hamlet.

Yea very well, y'are a fishmonger.

Not I my Lord.

Then sir, I would you were so honest a man,

For to be honest, as this age goes,

Is one man to be pickt out of tenne thousand.

What doe you reade my Lord?

Wordes, wordes.

What's the matter my Lord?

Betweene who?

I meane the matter you reade my Lord.

Mary most vile heresie:

For here the Satyricall Satyre writes,

That olde men haue hollow eyes, weake backes,

Grey beardes, pittifull weake hammes, gowty legges,

All which sir, I most potently beleeue not:

For sir, your selfe shalbe olde as I am,

If like a Crabbe, you could goe backeward.

How pregnant his replies are, and full of wit:

Yet at first he tooke me for a fishmonger:

All this comes by loue, the vemencie of loue,

And when I was yong, I was very idle,

And suffered much extasie in loue, very neere this:

Will you walke out of the aire my Lord?41


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Into my graue.

By the masse that's out of the aire indeed,

Very shrewd answers,

My lord I will take my leaue of you.

Enter Gilderstone, and Rossencraft.
You can take nothing from me sir,

I will more willingly part with all,

Olde doating foole.

You seeke Prince Hamlet, see, there he is.

Health to your Lordship.

What, Gilderstone, and Rossencraft,

Welcome kinde Schoole‐fellowes to Elsanoure.

We thanke your Grace, and would be very glad

You were as when we were at Wittenberg.

I thanke you, but is this visitation free of

Your selues, or were you not sent for?

Tell me true, come, I know the good King and Queene

Sent for you, there is a kinde of confession in your eye:

Come, I know you were sent for.

What say you?

Nay then I see how the winde sits,

Come, you were sent for.

My lord, we were, and willingly if we might,

Know the cause and ground of your discontent.

Why I want preferment.

I thinke not so my lord.

Yes faith, this great world you see contents me not,

No nor the spangled heauens, nor earth, nor sea,

No nor Man that is so glorious a creature,

Contents not me, no nor woman too, though you laugh.

My lord, we laugh not at that.

Why did you laugh then,

When I said, Man did not content mee?

My Lord, we laughed, when you said, Man did not
content you.

What entertainement the Players shall haue,


Prince of Denmarke.
We boorded them a the way: they are comming to you.

Players, what Players be they?

My Lord, the Tragedians of the Citty,

Those that you tooke delight to see so often.

How comes it that they trauell? Do they grow re­

No my Lord, their reputation holds as it was wont.

How then?

Y faith my Lord, noueltie carries it away,

For the principall publike audience that

Came to them, are turned to priuate playes,

And to the humour of children.

I doe not greatly wonder of it,

For those that would make mops and moes

At my vncle, when my father liued,

Now giue a hundred, two hundred pounds

For his picture: but they shall be welcome,

He that playes the King shall haue tribute of me,

The ventrous Knight shall vse his foyle and target,

The louer shall sigh gratis,

The clowne shall make them laugh

That are tickled in the lungs, or the blanke verse shall halt

And the Lady shall haue leaue to speake her minde freely.

The Trumpets sound, Enter Corambis.
Do you see yonder great baby?

He is not yet out of his swadling clowts.

That may be, for they say an olde man

Is twice a childe.

Ile prophecie to you, hee comes to tell mee a the

You say true, a monday last, t'was so indeede.

My lord, I haue news to tell you.

My Lord, I haue newes to tell you:

When Rossios was an Actor in Rome.

The Actors are come hither, my lord.

Buz, buz.

The best Actors in Christendome,

Either for Comedy, Tragedy, Historie, Pastorall,42


The Tragedie of Hamlet
Pastorall, Historicall, Historicall, Comicall,

Comicall historicall, Pastorall, Tragedy historicall:

Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plato too light:

For the law hath writ those are the onely men.

O Iepha Iudge of Israel! what a treasure hadst thou?

Why what a treasure had he my lord?

Why one faire daughter, and no more,

The which he loued passing well.

A, stil harping a my daughter! well my Lord,

If you call me Iepha, I haue a daughter that

I loue passing well.

Nay that followes not.

What followes then my Lord?

Why by lot, or God wot, or as it came to passe,

And so it was, the first verse of the godly Ballet

Wil tel you all: for look you where my abridgement comes:

Welcome maisters, welcome all,
Enter players.

What my olde friend, thy face is vallanced

Since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard me in Denmarke?

My yong lady and mistris, burlady but your

Ladiship is growne by the altitude of a chopine higher than
(you were:

Pray God sir your voyce, like a peece of vncurrant

Golde, be not crack't in the ring: come on maisters,

Weele euen too't, like French Falconers,

Flie at any thing we see, come, a taste of your

Quallitie, a speech, a passionate speech.

What speech my good lord?

I heard thee speake a speech once,

But it was neuer acted: or if it were,

Neuer aboue twice, for as I remember,

It pleased not the vulgar, it was cauiary

To the million: but to me

And others, that receiued it in the like kinde,

Cried in the toppe of their iudgements, an excellent play,

Set downe with as great modestie as cunning:

One said there was no sallets in the lines to make thēthem sauory,


Prince of Denmarke.
But called it an honest methode, as wholesome as sweete.

Come, a speech in it I chiefly remember

Was Æneas tale to Dido,

And then especially where he talkes of Princes slaughter,

If it liue in thy memory beginne at this line,

Let me see.

The rugged Pyrrus, like th'arganian beast:

No t'is not so, it begins with Pirrus:

O I haue it.

The rugged Pirrus, he whose sable armes,

Blacke as his purpose did the night resemble,

When he lay couched in the ominous horse,

Hath now his blacke and grimme complexion smeered

With Heraldry more dismall, head to foote,

Now is he totall guise, horridely tricked

With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sonnes,

Back't and imparched in calagulate gore,

Rifted in earth and fire, olde grandsire Pryam seekes:

So goe on.

Afore God, my Lord, well spoke, and with good

Anone he finds him striking too short at Greeks,

His antike sword rebellious to his Arme,

Lies where it falles, vnable to resist.

Pyrrus at Pryam driues, but all in rage,

Strikes wide, but with the whiffe and winde

Of his fell sword, th'unnerued father falles.

Enough my friend, t'is too long.

It shall to the Barbers with your beard:

A pox, hee's for a ligge, or a tale of bawdry,

Or else he sleepes, come on to Hecuba, come.

But who, O who had seene the mobled Queene?

Mobled Queene is good, faith very good.

All in the alarum and feare of death rose vp,

And o're her weake and all ore‐teeming loynes, a blancket

And a kercher on that head, where late the diademe stoode,

Who this had seene with tongue inuenom'd speech,43


Would treason haue pronounced,

For if the gods themselues had seene her then,

When she saw Pirrus with malitious strokes,

Mincing her husbandes limbs,

It would haue made milch the burning eyes of heauen,

And passion in the gods.

Looke my lord if he hath not changde his colour,

And hath teares in his eyes: no more good heart, no more.

T'is well, t'is very well, I pray my lord,

Will you see the Players well bestowed,

I tell you they are the Chronicles

And briefe abstracts of the time,

After your death I can tell you,

You were better haue a bad Epiteeth,

Then their ill report while you liue.

My lord, I will vse them according to their deserts.

O farre better man, vse euery man after his deserts,

Then who should scape whipping?

Vse them after your owne honor and dignitie,

The lesse they deserue, the greater credit's yours.

Welcome my good fellowes.

Come hither maisters, can you not play the mur­
der of Gonsago?

Yes my Lord.

And could'st not thou for a neede study me

Some dozen or sixteene lines,

Which I would set downe and insert?

Yes very easily my good Lord.

T'is well, I thanke you: follow that lord:

And doe you heare sirs? take heede you mocke him not.

Gentlemen, for your kindnes I thanke you,

And for a time I would desire you leaue me.

Our loue and duetie is at your commaund.

Exeunt all but Hamlet.
Why what a dunghill idiote slaue am I?

Why these Players here draw water from eyes:


Prince of Denmarke
For Hecuba, why what is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?

What would he do and if he had my losse?

His father murdred, and a Crowne bereft him,

He would turne all his teares to droppes of blood,

Amaze the standers by with his laments,

Strike more then wonder in the iudiciall eares,

Confound the ignorant, and make mute the wise,

Indeede his passion would be generall.

Yet I like to an asse and Iohn a Dreames,

Hauing my father murdred by a villaine,

Stand still, and let it passe, why sure I am a coward:

Who pluckes me by the beard, or twites my nose,

Giue's me the lie i'th throate downe to the lungs,

Sure I should take it, or else I haue no gall,

Or by this I should a fatted all the region kites

With this slaues offell, this damned villaine,

Treacherous, bawdy, murderous villaine:

Why this is braue, that I the sonne of my deare father,

Should like a scalion, like a very drabbe

Thus raile in wordes. About my braine,

I haue heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play,

Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, confest a murder

Committed long before.

This spirit that I haue seene may be the Diuell,

And out of my weakenesse and my melancholy,

As he is very potent with such men,

Doth seeke to damne me, I will haue sounder proofes,

The play's the thing,

Wherein I'le catch the conscience of the King.

Enter the King, Queene, and Lordes.
Lordes, can you by no meanes finde

The cause of our sonne Hamlets lunacie?

You being so neere in loue, euen from his youth,

Me thinkes should gaine more than a stranger should.44


The Tragedie of Hamlet
My lord, we haue done all the best we could,

To wring from him the cause of all his griefe,

But still he puts vs off, and by no meanes

Would make an answere to that we exposde.

Yet was he something more inclin'd to mirth

Before we left him, and I take it,

He hath giuen order for a play to night,

At which he craues your highnesse company.

With all our heart, it likes vs very well:

Gentlemen, seeke still to increase his mirth,

Spare for no cost, our coffers shall be open,

And we vnto your selues will still be thankefull.

In all wee can, be sure you shall commaund.

Thankes gentlemen, and what the Queene of (Denmarke

May pleasure you, be sure you shall not want.

Weele once againe vnto the noble Prince.

Thanks to you both: Gertred you'l see this play.

My lord I will, and it ioyes me at the soule

He is inclin'd to any kinde of mirth.

Madame, I pray be ruled by me:

And my good Soueraigne, giue me leaue to speake,

We cannot yet finde out the very ground

Of his distemperance, therefore

I holde it meete, if so it please you,

Else they shall not meete, and thus it is.

What i'st Corambis?

Mary my good lord this, soone when the sports are

Madam, send you in haste to speake with him,

And I my selfe will stand behind the Arras,

There question you the cause of all his griefe,

And then in loue and nature vnto you, hee'le tell you all:

My Lord, how thinke you on'__

It likes vs well, Gerterd, what say you?

With all my heart, soone will I send for him.

My selfe will be that happy messenger,

Who hopes his griefe will be reueal'd to her.
exeunt omnes


Prince of Denmarke.
Enter Hamlet and the Players.
Pronounce me this speech trippingly a the tongue
as I taught thee,

Mary and you mouth it, as a many of your players do

I'de rather heare a towne bull bellow,

Then such a fellow speake my lines.

Nor do not saw the aire thus with your hands,

But giue euery thing his action with temperance.

O it offends mee to the soule, to heare a rebustious periwig

To teare a passion in totters, into very ragges,

To split the eares of the ignorant, who for the

Most parte are capable of nothing but dumbe shewes and

I would haue such a fellow whipt, for o're doing, tarmagant

It out, Herodes Herod.

My Lorde, wee haue indifferently reformed that
among vs.

The better, the better, mend it all together:

There be fellowes that I haue seene play,

And heard others commend them, and that highly too,

That hauing neither the gate of Christian, Pagan,

Nor Turke, haue so strutted and bellowed,

That you would a thought, some of Natures journeymen

Had made men, and not made them well,

They imitated humanitie, so abhominable:

Take heede, auoyde it.

I warrant you my Lord.

And doe you heare? let not your Clowne speake

More then is set downe, there be of them I can tell you

That will laugh themselues, to set on some

Quantitie of barren spectators to laugh with them,

Albeit there is some necessary point in the Play

Then to be obserued: O t'is vile, and shewes

A pittifull ambition in the foole that vseth it.

And then you haue some agen, that keepes one sute

Os ieasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of

Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his ieasts downe45


The Tragedy of Hamlet
In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus:

Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige? and, you owe me

A quarters wages: and, my coate wants a cullison:

And, your beer_ is sowre: and, blabbering with his lips,

And thus keeping in his cinkapase of ieasts,

When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest

Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare:

Maisters tell him of it.

We will my Lord.

Well, goe make you ready.
exeunt players.

Heere my Lord.

Horatio, thou art euen as iust a man,

As e're my conuersation cop'd withall.

O my lord!

Nay why should I flatter thee?

Why should the poore be flattered?

What gaine should I receiue by flattering thee,

That nothing hath but thy good minde?

Let flattery sit on those time‐pleasing tongs,

To glose with them that loues to heare their praise,

And not with such as thou Horatio.

There is a play to night, wherein one Sceane they haue

Comes very neere the murder of my father,

When thou shalt see that Act afoote,

Marke thou the King, doe but obserue his lookes,

For I mine eies will riuet to his face:

And if he doe not bleach, and change at that,

It is a damned ghost that we haue seene.

Horatio, haue a care, obserue him well.

My lord, mine eies shall still be on his face,

And not the smallest alteration

That shall appeare in him, but I shall note it.

Harke, they come.

Enter King, Queene, Corambis, and other Lords.
How now son Hamlet, how fare you, shall we haue
(a play?

Yfaith the Camelions dish, not capon cramm'd,


Prince of Denmarke.
feede a the ayre.

I father: My lord, you playd in the Vniuersitie.

That I did my L: and I was counted a good actor.

What did you enact there?

My lord, I did act Iulius Cæsar, I was killed

in the Capitoll, Brutus killed me.

It was a brute parte of him,

To kill so capitall a calfe.

Come, be these Players ready?

Hamlet come sit downe by me.

No by my faith mother, heere's a mettle more at­ (tractiue:

Lady will you giue me leaue, and so forth:

To lay my head in your lappe?

No my Lord.

Vpon your lap, what do you thinke I meant con­
(trary matters?

Enter in a Dumbe Shew, the King and the Queene, he sits
downe in an Arbor, she leaues him: Then enters Luci­
anus with poyson in a Viall, and powres it in his eares, and
goes away: Then the Queene commeth and findes him
dead: and goes away with the other.
What meanes this my Lord?
Enter the Prologue.

This is myching Mallico, that meanes my chiefe.

What doth this meane my lord?

you shall heare anone, this fellow will tell you all.

Will he tell vs what this shew meanes?

I, or any shew you'le shew him,

Be not afeard to shew, hee'le not be afeard to tell:

O these Players cannot keepe counsell, thei'le tell all.

For vs, and for our Tragedie,

Heere stowping to your clemencie,

We begge your hearing patiently.

I'st a prologue, or a poesie for a ring?

T'is short my Lord.

As womens loue.

Enter the Duke and Dutchesse.
Full fortie yeares are past, their date is gone,46


The Tragedie of Hamlet
Since happy time ioyn'd both our hearts as one:

And now the blood that fill'd my youthfull veines,

Runnes weakely in their pipes, and all the straines

Of musicke, which whilome pleasde mine eare,

Is now a burthen that Age cannot beare:

And therefore sweete Nature must pay his due,

To heauen must I, and leaue the earth with you.

O say not so, lest that you kill my heart,

When death takes you, let life from me depart.

Content thy selfe, when ended is my date,

Thou maist (perchance) haue a more noble mate,

More wise, more youthfull, and one.

O speake no more, for then I am accurst,

None weds the second, but she kils the first:

A second time I kill my Lord that's dead,

When second husband kisses me in bed.

O wormewood, wormewood!

I doe beleeue you sweete, what now you speake,

But what we doe determine oft we breake,

For our demises stil are ouerthrowne,

Our thoughts are ours, their end's none of our owne:

So thinke you will no second husband wed,

But die thy thoughts, when thy first Lord is dead.

Both here and there pursue me lasting strife,

If once a widdow, euer I be wife.

If she should breake now.

T'is deepely sworne, sweete leaue me here a while,

My spirites growe dull, and faine I would beguil_ the tedi­
ous time with sleepe.

Sleepe rocke thy braine,

And neuer come mischance betweene vs twaine.
exit Lady

Madam, how do you like this play?

The Lady protests too much.

O but shee'le keepe her word.

Haue you heard the argument, is there no offence
in it?


Prince of Denmarke.
No offence in the world, poyson in iest, poison in (iest.

What do you call the name of the pl_y?

Mouse‐trap: mary how trapically: this play is

The image of a murder done in guyana, Albert__

Was the Dukes name, his wife Baptista,

Father, it is a knauish peece a worke: but what

A that, it toucheth not vs, you and I that haue free

Soules, let the galld iade wince, this is one

Lucianus nephew to the King.

Ya're as good as a Chorus my lord.

I could interpret the loue you beare, if I sawe the
poopies dallying.

Y'are very pleasant my lord.

Who I, your onlie jig‐maker, why what shoulde
a man do but be merry? for looke how cheerefully my mo­
ther lookes, my father died within these two houres.

Nay, t'is twice two months, my Lord.

Two months, nay then let the diuell weare blacke,

For i'le haue a sute of Sables: Iesus, two months dead,

And not forgotten yet? nay then there's some

Likelyhood, a gentlemans death may outliue memorie,

But by my faith hee must build churches then,

Or els hee must follow the olde Epit itaphe,

With hoh, with ho, the hobi‐horse is forgot.

Your iests are keene my Lord.

It would cost you a groning to take them off.

Still better and worse.

So you must take your husband, begin. Murdred

Begin, a poxe, leaue thy damnable faces and begin,

Come, the croking rauen doth bellow for reuenge.

Thoughts blacke, hands apt, drugs fit, and time (agreeing.

Confederate season, else no creature seeing:

Thou mixture rancke, of midnight weedes collected,

With Hecates bane thrise blasted, thrise infected,

Thy naturall magicke, and dire propertie,

One wholesome life vsurps immediately.47


The Tragedy of Hamlet
He poysons him for his estate.

Lights, I will to bed.

The king rises, lights hoe.

Exeunt King and Lordes.
What, frighted with false fires?

Then let the stricken deere goe weepe,

The Hart vngalled play,

For some must laugh, while some must weepe,

Thus runnes the world away.

The king is mooued my lord.
I Horatio, i'le take the Ghosts word

For more then all the coyne in Denmarke.

Enter Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
Now my lord, how i'st with you?

And if the king like not the tragedy,

Why then belike he likes it not perdy.

We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant,

My good lord, let vs againe intreate

To know of you the ground and cause of your distempera­

My lord, your mother craues to speake with you.

We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.

But my good Lord, shall I intreate thus much?

I pray will you play vpon this pipe?

Alas my lord I cannot.

Pray will you.

I haue no skill my Lord.

why looke, it is a thing of nothing,

T'is but stopping of these holes,

And with a little breath from your lips,

It will giue most delicate musick.

But this cannot wee do my Lord.

Pray now, pray hartily, I beseech you.

My lord wee cannot.

Why how vnworthy a thing would you make of


Prince of Denmarke
You would seeme to know my stops, you would play vpon mee,

You would search the very inward part of my hart,

And diue into the secreet of my soule.

Zownds do you thinke Iam easier to be pla'yd

On, then a pipe? call mee what Instrument

You will, though you can frett mee, yet you can not

Play vpon mee, besides, to be demanded by a spunge.

How a spunge my Lord?

I sir, a spunge, that sokes vp the kings

Countenance, fauours, and rewardes, that makes

His liberalitie your store house: but such as you,

Do the king, in the end, best seruise;

For hee doth keep you as an Ape doth nuttes,

In the corner of his Iaw, first mouthes you,

Then swallowes you: so when hee hath need

Of you, t'is but squeesing of you,

And spunge, you shall be dry againe, you shall.

Wel my Lord wee'le take our leaue.

Farewell, farewell, God blesse you.

Exit Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
Enter Corambis
My lord, the Queene would speake with you.

Do you see yonder clowd in the shape of a camell?

T'is like a camell in deed.

Now me thinkes it's like a weasel.

T'is back't like a weasell.

Or like a whale.

Very like a whale.
exit Coram.

Why then tell my mother i'le come by and by.

Good night Horatio.

Good night vnto your Lordship.
exit Horatio.

My mother she hath sent to speake with me:

O God, let ne're the heart of Nero enter

This soft bosome.

Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall.48


I will speake daggers, those sharpe wordes being spent,

To doe her wrong my soule shall ne're consent.

Enter the King.
O that this wet that falles vpon my face

Would wash the crime cleere from my conscience!

When I looke vp to heauen, I see my trespasse,

The earth doth still crie out vpon my fact,

Pay me the murder of a brother and a king,

And the adulterous fault I haue committed:

O these are sinnes that are vnpardonable:

Why say thy sinnes were blacker then is ieat,

Yet may contrition make them as white as snowe:

I but still to perseuer in a sinne,

It is an act gainst the vniuersall power,

Most wretched man, stoope, bend thee to thy prayer,

Aske grace of heauen to keepe thee from despaire.

hee kneeles. enters Hamlet
I so, come forth and worke thy last,

And thus hee dies: and so am I reuenged:

No, not so: he tooke my father sleeping, his sins brim full,

And how his soule stoode to the state of heauen

Who knowes, saue the immortall powres,

And shall I kill him now,

When he is purging of his soule?

Making his way for heauen, this is a benefit,

And not reuenge: no, get thee vp agen,

When hee's at game swaring, taking his carowse, drinking

Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,

Or at some act that hath no relish

Of saluation in't, then trip him

That his heeles may kicke at heauen,

And fall as lowe as hel: my mother stayes,

This phisicke but prolongs thy weary dayes.
exit Ham.

My wordes fly vp, my sinnes remaine below.


Prince of Denmarke.
No King on earth is safe, if Gods his foe.
exit King.

Enter Queene and Corambis.
Madame, I heare yong Hamlet comming,

I'le shrowde my selfe behinde the Arras.
exit Cor.

Do so my Lord.

Mother, mother, O are you here?

How i'st with you mother?

How i'st with you?

I'le tell you, but first weele make all safe.

Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Mother, you haue my father much offended.

How now boy?

How now mother! come here, sit downe, for you
shall heare me speake.

What wilt thou doe? thou wilt not murder me:

_elpe hoe.

Helpe for the Queene.

I a Rat, dead for a Duckat.

Rash intruding foole, farewell,

I tooke thee for thy better.

Hamlet, what hast thou done?

Not so much harme, good mother,

As to kill a king, and marry with his brother.

How! kill a king!

I a King: nay sit you downe, and ere you part,

If you be made of penitrable stuffe,

I'le make your eyes looke downe into your heart,

And see how horride there and blacke it shews.

Hamlet, what mean'st thou by these killing

Why this I meane, see here, behold this picture,

It is the portraiture, of your deceased husband,

See here a face, to outface Mars himselfe,

An eye, at which his foes did tremble at,

A front wherin all vertues are set downe

For to adorne a king, and guild his crowne,

Whose heart went hand in hand euen with that vow,49


The Tragedy of Hamlet
He made to you in marriage, and he is dead.

Murdred, damnably murdred, this was your husband,

Looke you now, here is your husband,

With a face like Vulcan.

A looke fit for a murder and a rape,

A dull dead hanging looke, and a hell‐bred eie,

To affright children and amaze the world:

And this same haue you left to change with this.

What Diuell thus hath cosoned you at hob‐man blinde?

A! haue you eyes and can you looke on him

That slew my father, and your deere husband,

To liue in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?

O Hamlet, speake no more.

To leaue him that bare a Monarkes minde,

For a king of clowts, of very shreads.

Sweete Hamlet cease.

Nay but still to persist and dwell in sinne,

To sweate vnder the yoke of infamie,

To make increase of shame, to seale damnation.

Hamlet, no more.

Why appetite with you is in the waine,

Your blood runnes backeward now from whence it came,

Who'le chide hote blood within a Virgins heart,

When lust shall dwell within a matrons breast?

Hamlet, thou cleaues my heart in twaine.

O throw away the worser part of it, and keepe the

Enter the ghost in his night gowne.
Saue me, saue me, you gratious

Powers aboue, and houer ouer mee,

With your celestiall wings.

Doe you not come your tardy sonne to chide,

That I thus long haue let reuenge slippe by?

O do not glare with lookes so pittifull!

Lest that my heart of stone yeelde to compassion,


Prince of Denmarke.
And euery part that should assist reu_nge,

Forgoe their proper powers, and fall to pitty.

Hamlet, I once againe appeare to thee,

To put thee in remembrance of my death:

Doe not neglect, nor long time put it off.

But I perceiue by thy distracted lookes,

Thy mother's fearefull, and she stands amazde:

Speake to her Hamlet, for her sex is weake,

Comfort thy mother, Hamlet, thinke on me.

How i'st with you Lady?

Nay, how i'st with you

That thus you bend your eyes on vacancie,

And holde discourse with nothing but with ayre?

Why doe you nothing heare?

Not I.

Nor doe you nothing see?

No neither.

No, why see the king my father, my father, in the

As he liued, looke you how pale he lookes,

See how he steales away out of the Portall,

Looke, there he goes.
exit ghost.

Alas, it is the weakenesse of thy braine,

Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy hearts griefe:

But as I haue a soule, I sweare by heauen,

I neuer knew of this most horride murder:

But Hamlet, this is onely fantasie,

And for my loue forget these idle fits.

Idle, no mother, my pulse doth beate like yours,

It is not madnesse that possesseth Hamlet.

O mother, if euer you did my deare father loue,

Forbeare the adulterous bed to night,

And win your selfe by little as you may,

In time it may be you wil lothe him quite:

And mother, but assist mee in reuenge,

And in his death your infamy shall die.

Hamlet, I vow by that maiesty,50


___ Hamlet
That knowes our thoughts, and lookes into our hearts,

I will conceale, consent, and doe my best,

What stratagem soe're thou shalt deuise.

It is enough, mother good night:

Come sir, I'le prouide for you a graue,

Who was in life a foolish prating knaue.

Exit Hamlet with the dead body.

Enter the King and Lordes.
Now Gertred, what sayes our sonne, how doe you
finde him?

Alas my lord, as raging as the sea:

Whenas he came, I first bespake him faire,

But then he throwes and tosses me about,

As one forgetting that I was his mother:

At last I call'd for help: and as I cried, Corambis

Call'd, which Hamlet no sooner heard, but whips me

Out his rapier, and cries, a Rat, a Rat, and in his rage

The good olde man he killes.

Why this his madnesse will vndoe our state.

Lordes goe to him, inquire the body out.

We will my Lord.
Exeunt Lordes.

Gertred, your sonne shall presently to England,

His shipping is already furnished,

And we haue sent by Rossencrafi and Gilderstone,

Our letters to our deare brother of England,

For Hamlets welfare and his happinesse:

Happly the aire and climate of the Country

May please him better than his natiue home:

See where he comes.

Enter Hamlet and the Lordes.
My lord, we can by no meanes

Know of him where the body is.

Now sonne Hamlet, where is this dead body?

At supper, not where he is eating, but


Prince of Denmarke.
Where he is eaten, a certaine company of politicke wormes
are euen now at him.

Father, your fatte King, and your leane Beggar

Are but variable seruices, two dishes to one messe:

Looke you, a man may fish with that worme

That hath eaten of a King,

And a Beggar eate that fish,

Which that worme hath caught.

What of this?

Nothing father, but to tell you, how a King

May go a progresse through the guttes of a Beggar.

But sonne Hamlet, where is this body?

In heau'n, if you chance to misse him there,

Father, you had best looke in the other partes below

For him, and if you cannot finde him there,

You may chance to nose him as you go vp the lobby.

Make haste and finde him out.

Nay doe you heare? do not make too much haste,

I'le warrant you hee'le stay till you come.

Well sonne Hamlet, we in care of you: but specially
in tender preseruation of your health,

The which we price euen as our proper selfe,

It is our minde you forthwith goe for England,

The winde fits faire, you shall aboorde to night,

Lord Rossencraft and Gilderstone shall goe along with you.

O with all my heart: farewel mother.

Your louing father, Hamlet.

My mother I say: you married my mother,

My mother is your wife, man and wife is one flesh,

And so (my mother) farewel: for England hoe.

exeunt all but the king.
Gertred, leaue me,

And take your leaue of Hamlet,

To England is he gone, ne're to returne:

Our Letters are vnto the King of England,

That on the sight of them, on his allegeance,51


He presently without demaunding why,

That Hamlet loose his head, for he must die,

There's more in him than shallow eyes can see:

He once being dead, why then our state is free.

Enter Fortenbrasse, Drumme and Souldiers.
Captaine, from vs goe greete

The king of Denmarke:

Tell him that Fortenbrasse nephew to old Norway,

Craues a free passe and conduct ouer his land,

According to the Articles agreed on:

You know our Randevous, goe march away.
exeunt all.

enter King and Queene.
Hamlet is ship't for England, fare him well,

I hope to heare good newes from thence ere long,

If euery thing fall out to our content,

As I doe make no doubt but so it shall.

God grant it may, heau'ns keep my Hamlet safe:

But this mischance of olde Corambis death,

Hath piersed so the yong Ofeliaes heart,

That she, poore maide, is quite bereft her wittes.

Alas deere heart! And on the other side,

We vnderstand her brother's come from France,

And he hath halfe the heart of all our Land,

And hardly hee'le forget his fathers death,

Vnlesse by some meanes he be pacified.

O see where the yong Ofelia is!

Enter Ofelia playing on a Lute, and her haire
downe singing.
How should I your true loue know

From another man?

By his cockle hatte, and his staffe,


Prince of Denmarke
And his sandall shoone.

White his shrowde as mountaine snowe,

Larded with sweete flowers,

That bewept to the graue did not goe

With true louers showers:

He is dead and gone Lady, he is dead and gone,

At his head a grasse greene turffe,

At his heeles a stone.

How i'st with you sweete Ofelia?

Well God yeeld you,

It grieues me to see how they laid him in the cold ground,

I could not chuse but weepe:

And will he not come againe?

And will he not come againe?

No, no, hee's gone, and we cast away mone,

And he neuer will come againe.

His beard as white as snowe:

All flaxen was his pole,

He is dead, he is gone,

And we cast away moane:

God a mercy on his soule.

And of all christen soules I pray God.

God be with you Ladies, God be with you.
exit Ofelia.

A pretty wretch! this is a change indeede:

O Time, how swiftly runnes our ioyes away?

Content on earth was neuer certaine bred,

To day we laugh and liue, to morrow dead.

How now, what noyse is that?

A noyse within. enter Leartes.
Stay there vntill I come,

O thou vilde king, giue me my father:

Speake, say, where's my father?


Who hath murdred him? speake, i'le not

Be juggled with, for he is murdred.

True, but not by him.52


By whome, by heau'n I'le be resolued.

Let him goe Gertred, away, I feare him not,

There's fuch diuinitie doth wall a king,

That treason dares not looke on.

Let him goe Gertred, that your father is murdred,

T'is true, and we most sory for it,

Being the chiefest piller of our state:

Therefore will you like a most desperate gamster,

Swoop‐stake‐like, draw at friend, and foe, and all?

To his good friends thus wide I'le ope mine arms,

And locke them in my hart, but to his foes,

I will no reconcilement but by bloud.

Why now you speake like a most louing sonne:

And that in soule we sorrow for for his death,

Your selfe ere long shall be a witnesse,

Meane while be patient, and content your selfe.

Enter Ofelia as before.
Who's this, Ofelia? O my deere sister!

I'st possible a yong maides life,

Should be as mortall as an olde mans sawe?

O heau'ns themselues! how now Ofelia?

Wel God a mercy, I a bin gathering of floures:

Here, here is rew for you,

You may call it hearb a grace a Sundayes,

Heere's some for me too: you must weare your rew

With a difference, there's a dazie.

Here Loue, there's rosemary for you

For remembrance: I pray Loue remember,

And there's pansey for thoughts.

A document in madnes, thoughts, remembrance:

O God, O God!

There is fennell for you, I would a giu'n you

Some violets, but they all withered, when

My father died: alas, they say the owle was

A Bakers daughter, we see what we are,

But can not tell what we shall be.


Prince of Denmarke.
For bonny sweete Robin is all my ioy.

Thoughts & afflictions, torments worse than hell.

Nay Loue, I pray you make no words of this now:

I pray now, you shall sing a downe,

And you a downe a, t'is a the Kings daughter

And the false steward, and if any body

Aske you of any thing, say you this.

To morrow is saint Valentines day,

All in the morning betime,

And a maide at your window,

To be your Valentine:

The yong man rose, and dan'd his clothes,

And dupt the chamber doore,

Let in the maide, that out a maide

Neuer departed more.

Nay I pray marke now,

By gisse, and by saint Charitie,

Away, and fie for shame:

Yong men will doo't when they come too't:

By cocke they are too blame.

Quoth she, before you tumbled me,

You promised me to wed.

So would I a done, by yonder Sunne,

If thou hadst not come to my bed.

So God be with you all, God bwy Ladies.

God bwy you Loue.
exit Ofelia.

Griefe vpon griefe, my father murdered,

My sister thus distracted:

Cursed be his soule that wrought this wicked act.

Content you good Leartes for a time,

Although I know your griefe is as a floud,

Brimme full of sorrow, but forbeare a while,

And thinke already the reuenge is done

On him that makes you such a haplesse sonne.

You haue preuail'd my Lord, a while I'le striue,

To bury griefe within a tombe of wrath,53


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Which once vnhearsed, then the world shall heare

Leartes had a father he held deere.

No more of that, ere many dayes be done,

You shall heare that you do not dreame vpon.
exeunt om.

Enter Horatio and the Queene.
Madame, your sonne is safe arriv'de in Denmarke,

This letter I euen now receiv'd of him,

Whereas he writes how he escap't the danger,

And subtle treason that the king had plotted,

Being crossed by the contention of the windes,

He found the Packet sent to the king of England,

Wherein he saw himselfe betray'd to death,

As at his next conuersion with your grace,

He will relate the circumstance at full.

Then I perceiue there's treason in his lookes

That seem'd to sugar o're his villanie:

But I will soothe and please him for a time,

For murderous mindes are alwayes jealous,

But know not you Horatio where he is?

Yes Madame, and he hath appoynted me

To meete him on the east side of the Cittie

To morrow morning.

O faile not, good Horatio, and withall, com­ (mend me

A mothers care to him, bid him a while

Be wary of his presence, lest that he

Faile in that he goes about.

Madam, neuer make doubt of that:

I thinke by this the news be come to court:

He is arriv'de, obserue the king, and you shall

Quickely finde, Hamlet being here,

Things fell not to his minde.

But what became of Gilderstone and Rossencraft?

He being set ashore, they went for England,

And in the Packet there writ down that doome

To be perform'd on them poynted for him:

And by great chance he had his fathers Seale,


Prince of Denmarke.
So all was done without discouerie.

Thankes be to heauen for blessing of the prince,

Horatio once againe I take my leaue,

With thowsand mothers blessings to my sonne.

Madam adue.

Enter King and Leartes.
Hamlet from England! is it possible?

What chance is this? they are gone, and he come home.

O he is welcome, by my soule he is:

At it my iocund heart doth leape for ioy,

That I shall liue to tell him, thus he dies.

Leartes, content your selfe, be rulde by me,

And you shall haue no let for your reuenge.

My will, not all the world.

Nay but Leartes, marke the plot I haue layde,

I haue heard him often with a greedy wish,

Vpon some praise that he hath heard of you

Touching your weapon, which with all his heart,

He might be once tasked for to try your cunning.

And how for this?

Mary Leartes thus: I'le lay a wager,

Shalbe on Hamlets side, and you shall giue the oddes,

The which will draw him with a more desire,

To try the maistry, that in twelue venies

You gaine not three of him: now this being granted,

When you are hot in midst of all your play,

Among the foyles shall a keene rapier lie,

Steeped in a mixtur_ of deadly poyson,

That if it drawes but the least dramme of blood,

In any part of him, he cannot liue:

This being done will free you from suspition,

And not the deerest friend that Hamlet lov'de

Will euer haue Leartes in suspect.

My lord, I like it well:

But say lord Hamlet should refuse this match.

I'le warrant you, wee'le put on you54


Such a report of singularitie,

Will bring him on, although against his will.

And lest that all should misse,

I'le haue a potion that shall ready stand,

In all his heate when that he calles for drinke,

Shall be his period and our happinesse.

T'is excellent, O would the time were come!

Here comes the Queene.
enter the Queene.

How now Gertred, why looke you heauily?

O my Lord, the yong Ofelia

Hauing made a garland of sundry sortes of floures,

Sitting vpon a willow by a brooke,

The enuious sprig broke, into the brooke she fell,

And for a while her clothes spread wide abroade,

Bore the yong Lady vp: and there she sate smiling,

Euen Mermaide‐like, twixt heauen and earth,

Chaunting olde sundry tunes vncapable

As it were of her distresse, but long it could not be,

Till that her clothes, being heauy with their drinke,

Dragg'd the sweete wretch to death.

So, she is drownde:

Too much of water hast thou Ofelia,

Therefore I will not drowne thee in my teares,

Reuenge it is must yeeld this heart releefe,

For woe begets woe, and griefe hangs on griefe.

enter Clowne and an other.
I say no, she ought not to be buried

In christian buriall.

Why sir?

Mary because shee's drownd.

But she did not drowne her selfe.

No, that's certaine, the water drown'd her.

Yea but it was against her will.

No, I deny that, for looke you sir, I stand here,

If the water come to me, I drowne not my selfe:

But if I goe to the water, and am there drown'd,


Prince of Denmarke.
Ergo I am guiltie of my owne death:

Y'are gone, goe y'are gone sir.

I but see, she hath christian buriall,

Because she is a great woman.

Mary more's the pitty, that great folke

Should haue more authoritie to hang or drowne

Themselues, more than other people:

Goe fetch me a stope of drinke, but before thou

Goest, tell me one thing, who buildes strongest,

Of a Mason, a Shipwright, or a Carpenter?

Why a Mason, for he buildes all of stone,

And will indure long.

That's prety, too't agen, too't agen.

Why then a Carpenter, for he buildes the gallowes,

And that brings many a one to his long home.

Prety agen, the gallowes doth well, mary howe
dooes it well? the gallowes dooes well to them that doe ill,
goe get thee gone:

And if any one aske thee hereafter, say,

A Graue‐maker, for the houses he buildes

Last till Doomes‐day. Fetch me a stope of beere, goe.

Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
A picke‐axe and a spade,

A spade for and a winding sheete,

Most fit it is, for t'will be made,
he throwes vp a shouel.

For such a ghest most meete.

Hath this fellow any feeling of himselfe,

That is thus merry in making of a graue?

See how the slaue joles their heads against the earth.

My lord, Custome hath made it in him seeme no­ (thing.

A pick‐axe and a spade, a spade,

For and a winding sheete,

Most fit it is for to be made,

For such a ghest most meet.

Looke you, there's another Horatio.55


Why mai't not be the scull of some Lawyer?

Me thinkes he should indite that fellow

Of an action of Batterie, for knocking

Him about the pate with's shouel: now where is your

Quirkes and quillets now, your vouchers and

Double vouchers, your leases and free‐holde,

And tenements? why that same boxe there will scarse

Holde the conueiance of his land, and must

The honor lie there? O pittifull transformance!

I prethee tell me Horatio,

Is parchment made of sheep‐skinnes?

I my Lorde, and of calues‐skinnes too.

Ifaith they prooue themselues sheepe and calues

That deale with them, or put their trust in them.

There's another, why may not that be such a ones

Scull, that praised my Lord such a ones horse,

When he meant to beg him? Horatio, I prethee

Lets question yonder fellow.

Now my friend, whose graue is this?

Mine sir.

But who must lie in it?

If I should say, I should, I should lie in my throat

What man must be buried here?

No man sir.

What woman?

No woman neither sir, but indeede

One that was a woman.

An excellent fellow by the Lord Horatio,

This seauen yeares haue I noted it: the toe of the pesant,

Comes so neere the heele of the courtier,

That hee gawles his kibe, I prethee tell mee one thing,

How long will a man lie in the ground before hee rots?

I faith sir, if hee be not rotten before

He be laide in, as we haue many pocky corses,

He will last you, eight yeares, a tanner

Will last you eight yeares full out, or nine.


Prince of Denmarke
And why a tanner?

Why his hide is so tanned with his trade,

That it will holde out water, that's a parlous

Deuourer of your dead body, a great soaker.

Looke you, heres a scull hath bin here this dozen yeare,

Let me see, I euer since our last king Hamlet

Slew Fortenbrasse in combat, yong Hamlets father,

Hee that's mad.

I mary, how came he madde?

Ifaith very strangely, by loosing of his wittes.

Vpon what ground?

A this ground, in Denmarke.

Where is he now?

Why now they sent him to England.

To England! wherefore?

Why they say he shall haue his wittes there,

Or if he haue not, t'is no great matter there,

It will not be seene there.

Why not there?

Why there they say the men are as mad as he.

Whose scull was this?

This, a plague on him, a madde rogues it was,

He powred once a whole flagon of Rhenish of my head,

Why do not you know him? this was one Yorickes scull.

Was this? I prethee let me see it, alas poore Yoricke

I knew him Horatio,

A fellow of infinite mirth, he hath caried mee twenty times
vpon his backe, here hung those lippes that I haue Kissed a
hundred times, and to see, now they abhorre me: Wheres
your iests now Yoricke? your flashes of meriment: now go
to my Ladies chamber, and bid her paint her selfe an inch
thicke, to this she must come Yoricke. Horatio, I prethee
tell me one thing, doost thou thinke that Alexander looked

Euen so my Lord.

And smelt thus?56


I my lord, no otherwise.


No, why might not imagination worke, as thus of
Alexander, Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander
became earth, of earth we make clay, and Alexander being
but clay, why might not time bring to passe, that he might
stoppe the boung hole of a beere barrell?

Imperious Cæsar dead and turnd to clay,

Might stoppe a hole, to keepe the winde away.

Enter King and Queene, Leartes, and other lordes,
with a Priest after the coffin.
What funerall's this that all the Court laments?

It shews to be some noble parentage:

Stand by a while.

What ceremony else? say, what ceremony else?

My Lord, we haue done all that lies in vs,

And more than well the church can tolerate,

She hath had a Dirge sung for her maiden soule:

And but for fauour of the king, and you,

She had beene buried in the open fieldes,

Where now she is allowed christian buriall.

So, I tell thee churlish Priest, a ministring Angell
shall my sister be, when thou liest howling.

The faire Ofelia dead!

Sweetes to the sweete, farewell:

I had thought to adorne thy bridale bed, faire maide,

And not to follow thee vnto thy graue.

Forbeare the earth a while: sister farewell:

Leartes leapes into the graue.
Now powre your earth on, _lympus hie,

And make a hill to o're top olde Pellon:
Hamlet leapes
in after Leartes

Whats he that coniures so?

Beholde tis I, Hamlet the Dane.

The diuell take thy soule.

O thou praiest not well,

I prethee take thy hand from off my throate,

For there is something in me dangerous,


Prince of Denmarke.
Which let thy wisedome feare, holde off thy hand:

I lou'de Ofelia as deere as twenty brothers could:

Shew me what thou wilt doe for her:

Wilt fight, wilt fast, wilt pray,

Wilt drinke vp vessels, eate a crocadile? Ile doot:

Com'st thou here to whine?

And where thou talk'st of burying thee a liue,

Here let vs stand: and let them throw on vs,

Whole hills of earth, till with the heighth therof,

Make Oosell as a Wart.

Forbeare Leartes, now is hee mad, as is the sea,

Anone as milde and gentle as a Doue:

Therfore a while giue his wilde humour scope.

What is the reason sir that you wrong mee thus?

I neuer gaue you cause: but stand away,

A Cat will meaw, a Dog will haue a day.

Exit Hamlet and Horatio.
Alas, it is his madnes makes him thus,

And not his heart, Leartes.

My lord, t'is so: but wee'le no longer trifle,

This very day shall Hamlet drinke his last,

For presently we meane to send to him,

Therfore Leartes b_ in readynes.

My lord, till then my soule will not bee quiet.

Come Gertred, wee'l haue Leartes, and our sonne,

Made friends and Louers, as befittes them both,

Euen as they tender vs, and loue their countrie.

God grant they may.
exeunt omnes.

Enter Hamlet and Horatio
beleeue mee, it greeues mee much Horatio,

That to Leartes I forgot my selfe:

For by my selfe me thinkes I feele his griefe,

Though there's a difference in each others wrong.

Enter a Bragart G_ntleman.
Horatio, but marke yon water‐flie,

The Court knowes him, but hee knowes not the Court.57


Now God saue thee, sweete prince Hamlet.

And you sir: foh, how the muske‐cod smels!

I come with an embassage from his maiesty to you

I shall sir giue you attention:

By my troth me thinkes t'is very colde.

It is indeede very rawish colde.

T'is hot me thinkes.

Very swoltery hote:

The King, sweete Prince, hath layd a wager on your side,

Six Barbary horse, against six french rapiers,

With all their acoutrements too, a the carriages:

In good faith they are very curiously wrought.

The cariages sir, I do not know what you meane.

The girdles, and hangers sir, and such like.

The worde had beene more cosin german to the
phrase, if he could haue carried the canon by his side,

And howe's the wager? I vnderstand you now.

Mary sir, that yong Leartes in twelue venies

At Rapier and Dagger do not get three oddes of you,

And on your side the King hath laide,

And desires you to be in readinesse.

Very well, if the King dare venture his wager,

I dare venture my skull: when must this be?

My Lord, presently, the king, and her maiesty,

With the rest of the best iudgement in the Court,

Are comming downe into the outward pallace.

Goe tell his maiestie, I wil attend him.

I shall deliuer your most sweet answer.

You may sir, none better, for y'are spiced,

Else he had a bad nose could not smell a foole.

He will disclose himselfe without inquirie.

Beleeue me Horatio, my hart is on the sodaine

Very sore, all here about.

My lord, forbeare the challenge then.

No Horatio, not I, if danger be now,

Why then it is not to come, theres a predestinate prouidence


in the fall of a sparrow: heere comes the King.

Enter King, Queene, Leartes, Lordes.
Now sonne Hamlet, we haue laid vpon your head,

And make no question but to haue the best.

Your maiestie hath laide a the weaker side.

We doubt it not, deliuer them the foiles.

First Leartes, heere's my hand and loue,

Protesting that I neuer wrongd Leartes.

If Hamlet in his madnesse did amisse,

That was not Hamlet, but his madnes did it,

And all the wrong I e're did to Leartes,

I here proclaime was madnes, therefore lets be at peace,

And thinke I haue shot mine arrow o're the house,

And hurt my brother.

Sir I am satisfied in nature,

But in termes of honor I'le stand aloofe,

And will no reconcilement,

Till by some elder maisters of our time

I may be satisfied.

Giue them the foyles.

I'le be your foyle Leartes, these foyles,

Haue all a laught, come on sir:
a hit.

No none.
Heere they play_


A hit, a most palpable hit.

Well, come againe.
They play againe.

Another. Iudgement.

I, I grant, a tuch, a tuch.

Here Hamlet, the king doth drinke a health to the_

Here Hamlet, take my napkin, wipe thy face.

Giue him the wine.

Set it by, I'le haue another bowt first,

I'le drinke anone.

Here Hamlet, thy mother drinkes to thee.

Shee drinkes.
Do not drinke Gertred: O t'is the poysned cup!58


Leartes come, you dally with me,

I pray you passe with your most cunningst play.

I! say you so? haue at you,

Ile hit you now my Lord:

And yet it goes almost against my conscience.

Come on sir.

They catch one anothers Rapiers, and both are wounded,
Leartes falles downe, the Queene falles downe and dies.
Looke to the Queene.

O the drinke, the drinke, Hamlet, the drinke.

Treason, ho, keepe the gates.

How ist my Lord Leartes?

Euen as a coxcombe should,

Foolishly slaine with my owne weapon:

Hamlet, thou hast not in thee halfe an houre of life,

The fatall Instrument is in thy hand.

Vnbated and invenomed: thy mother's poysned

That drinke was made for thee.

The poysned Instrument within my hand?

Then venome to thy venome, die damn'd villaine:

Come drinke, here lies thy vnion here.
The king dies.

O he is iustly serued:

Hamlet, before I die, here take my hand,

And withall, my loue: I doe forgiue thee.
Leartes dies.

And I thee, O I am dead Horatio, fare thee well.

No, I am more an antike Roman,

Then a Dane, here is some poison left.

Vpon my loue I charge thee let it goe,

O fie Horatio, and if thou shouldst die,

What a scandale wouldst thou leaue behinde?

What tongue should tell the story of our deaths,

If not from thee? O my heart sinckes Horatio,

Mine eyes haue lost their sight, my tongue his vse:

Farewel Horatio, heauen receiue my soule.
Ham. dies.


This page is a facsimile from the British Library copy. For more information, see the foreword to Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto: A Facsimile Edition of Copies Primarily from the Henry E. Huntington Library, edited by Michael J. B. Allen and Kenneth Muir (University of California Press, 1981).
Prince of Denmarke.
Enter Voltemar and the Ambassadors from England.
enter Fortenbrasse with his traine.
Where is this bloudy sight?

If aught of woe or wonder you'ld behold,

Then looke vpon this tragicke spectacle.

O imperious death! how many Princes

Hast thou at one draft bloudily shot to death?

Our ambassie that we haue brought from Eng­

Where be these Princes that should heare vs speake?

O most moft vnlooked for time! vnhappy country.

Content your selues, Ile shew to all, the ground,

The first beginning of this Tragedy:

Let there a scaffold be rearde vp in the market place,

And let the State of the world be there:

Where you shall heare such a sad story tolde,

That neuer mortall man could more vnfolde.

I haue some rights of memory to this kingdome,

Which now to claime my leisure doth inuite mee:

Let foure of our chiefest Captaines

Beare Hamlet like a souldier to his graue:

For he was likely, had he liued,

To a prou'd most royall.

Take vp the bodie, such a fight as this

Becomes the fieldes, but here doth much amisse.


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