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Gilt border, ornament and armorial binding stamp of Garrick, David, 1717-1779 on front cover and back cover. Title tooled in gilt on spine reads “SHAKESPEARE. HAMLET. LOND. 1605.”.
Label on spine reads “C. 34”
Label on spine reads “k2”
Yellow ink stamp MVSEVM BRITANNICUM within octagonal border on facsimile image 005a.
Yellow ink stamp BRITISH MUSEUM with crown at centre on facsimile image 054a.
K. Shakspere (W.)
To the Celestiall and my soules Idoll, the most beau
tifiedOphelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase,
beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in
her excellent white bosome, these &c.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to recken
my grones, but that I loue thee best, ô most best belieue it, adew.
Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this machine is to him. (Hamlet.
How say you by that, still harping on my daughter, yet hee
knewe me not at first, a sayd I was a Fishmonger, a is farre gone,
and truly in my youth, I suffred much extremity for loue, very
neere this. Ile speake to him againe. What doe you reade my
Slaunders sir; for the satericall rogue sayes heere, that old
men haue gray beards, that their faces are wrinckled, their eyes
purging thick Amber, & plumtree gum, & that they haue a plen
Indeede that's out of the ayre; how pregnant sometimes
his replies are, a happines that often madnesse hits on, which reason
and sanctity could not so prosperously be deliuered of. I will leaue
him and my daughter. My Lord, I will take my leaue of you.
You cannot take from mee any thing that I will not more
willingly part withall: except my life, except my life, except my
Begger that I am, I am euer poore in thankes, but I thanke
you, and sure deare friends, my thankes are too deare a halfpeny:
were you not sent for? is it your owne inclining? is it a free visitati
on? come, come, deale iustly with me, come, come, nay speake.
Any thing but to'th purpose: you were sent for, and there is
a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modesties haue not
craft enough to cullour, I know the good King and Queene haue
sent for you.
That you must teach me: but let me coniure you, by the
rights of our fellowship, by the consonancie of our youth, by the
obligation of our euer preserued loue; and by what more deare a
better proposer can charge you withall, bee euen and direct with
me whether you were sent for or no.
I will tell you why, so shall my anticipation preuent your
discouery, and your secrecie to the King & Queene moult no fea
ther, I haue of late, but wherefore I knowe not, lost all my mirth,
forgon all custome of exercises: and indeede it goes so heauily with
my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seemes to mee a
sterill promontorie, this most excellent Canopie the ayre, looke
you, this braue orehanging firmament, this maiesticall roofe fret
ted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapoures. What peece of worke is a
man, how noble in reason, how infinit in faculties, in forme and
moouing, how expresse and admirable in action, how like an An
gell in apprehension, how like a God: the beautie of the world; the
paragon of Annimales; and yet to me, what is this Quintessence of
dust: man delights not me, nor women neither, though by your
smilling, you seeme to say so.
To thinke my Lord if you delight not in man, what Lenton
entertainment the players shall receaue from you, we coted them
on the way, and hether are they comming to offer you seruice.
He that playes the King shal be welcome, his Maiestie shal
haue tribute on me, the aduenterous Knight shall vse his foyle and
target, the Louer shall not sigh gratis, the humorus Man shall end
his part in peace, and the Lady shall say her minde freely: or the
black verse shall hault for't. What players are they?
It is not very strange, for my Vncle is King of Denmarke, and
those that would make mouths at him while my father liued, giue
twenty, fortie, fifty, a hundred duckets a peece, for his Picture
in little, s'bloud there is somthing in this more then naturall, if
Philosophie could find it out.
Gentlemen you are welcome to Elsonoure, your hands come
then, th'appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremonie; let
mee comply with you in this garb: let me extent to the players,
which I tell you must showe fairely outwards, should more ap
peare like entertainment then yours? you are welcome: but my
Vncle‐father, and Aunt‐mother, are deceaued.
The best actors in the world, either for Tragedie, Comedy,
History, Pastorall, Pastorall Comicall, Historicall Pastorall, scene
Why as by lot God wot, and then you knowe it came to
passe, as most like it was; the first rowe of the pious chanson will
showe you more, for looke where my abridgment comes.
You are welcome maisters, welcome all, I am glad to see thee
well, welcome good friends, oh old friend, why thy face is va
lanct since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard me in Denmark?
what my young Lady and mistris, by lady your Ladishippe is
nerer to heauen, then when I saw you last by the altitude of a
chopine, pray God your voyce like a peece of vncurrant gold,
bee not crackt within the ring: maisters you are all welcome,
weele ento't like friendly Faukners, fly at any thing we see,
weele haue a speech straite, come giue vs a tast of your quality,
come a passionate speech.
I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer acted,
or if it was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd not
the million, t'was cauiary to the generall, but it was as I receaued
it & others, whose iudgements in such matters cried in the top
of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set downe
with as much modestie as cunning. I remember one sayd there
were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor no
matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but cald it an honest method, as wholesome as sweete, & by very
much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefely loued,
_'was Aeneas talke to Dido, & there about of it especially when he
speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pir_us like Th'ircanian
Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest of this soone,
Good my Lord will you see the players well bestowed; doe you
heare, let them be well vsed, for they are the abstract and breefe
Chronicles of the time; after your death you were better haue a
bad Epitaph then their ill report while you liue.
Gods bodkin man, much better, vse euery man after his de
sert, & who shall scape whipping, vse them after your owne honor
and dignity, the lesse they deserue the more merrit is in your boun
ty. Take them in.
Weele hate to morrowe night, you could for neede study
a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
downe and insert in't, could you not?
I truly, for the power of beautie will sooner transforme ho
nestie from what it is to a bawde, then the force of honestie can trans
late beautie into his likenes, this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time giues it proofe, I did loue you once.
Get thee a Nunry, why would'st thou be a breeder of sin
ners, I am my selfe indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse mee of
such things, that it were better my Mother had not borne mee: I am
very proude, reuengefull, ambitious, with more offences at my beck,
then I haue thoughts to put them in, imagination to giue them shape,
or time to act them in: what should such fellowes as I do crauling be
tweene earth and heauen, wee are arrant knaues, beleeue none of vs,
goe thy waies to a Nunry. Where's your father?
If thou doost marry, Ile giue thee this plague for thy dow
rie, be thou as chast as yce, as pure as snow, thou sha_t not escape ca
lumny; get thee to a Nunry, farewell. Or if thou wilt needes marry,
marry a foole, for wise men knowe well enough what monsters you
make of them: to a Nunry goe, and quickly to, farewell.
I haue heard of your paintings well enough, God hath gi
uen you one face, and you make your selfes another, you gig & am
ble, and you list you nickname Gods creatures, and make your wan
tonnes ignorance; goe to, Ile no more on't, it hath made me madde,
I say we will haue no mo marriage, those that are married alreadie, all
but one shall liue, the rest shall keep as they are: to a Nunry go.
Speake the speech I pray you as I pronoun'd it to you, trip
pingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it as many of our Players do,
I had as liue the towne cryer spoke my lines, nor doe not saw the ayre
too much with your hand thus, but vse all gently, for in the very tor
rent tempest, and as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
acquire and beget a temperance, that may giue it smoothnesse, ô it
offends mee to the soule, to heare a robustious perwig‐pated fellowe
Be not too tame neither, but let your owne discretion be
your tutor, sute the action to the word, the word to the action, with
this speciall obseruance, that you ore‐steppe not the modestie of na
ture: For any thing so ore‐doone, is from the purpose of playing,
whose end both at the first, and novve, was and is, to holde as twere
the Mirrour vp to nature, to shew vertue her feature; scorne her own
Image, and the very age and body of the time his forme and pressure:
Now this ouer‐done, or come tardie off, though it makes the vnskil
full laugh, cannot but make the iudicious greeue, the censure of
which one, must in your allowance ore‐weigh a whole Theater of o
thers. O there be Players that I haue seene play, and heard others
praysd, and that highly, not to speake it prophanely, that neither ha
uing th'accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan, nor
man, haue so strutted & bellowed, that I haue thought some of Na
tures Iornimen had made men, and not made them well, they imita
ted humanitie so abhominably.
O reforme it altogether, and let those that play your clownes
speake no more then is set downe for them, for there be of them that
wil themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of barraine spectators
to laugh to, though in the meane time, some necessary question of
the play be then to be considered, that's villanous, and shewes a most
pittifull ambition in the foole that vses it: goe make you readie. How
now my Lord, will the King heare this peece of worke?
O God your onely Iigge‐maker, what should a man do but
be merry, for looke you how cheerefully my mother lookes, and my
father died within's two howres.
The Mousetrap, mary how tropically, this play is the Image
of a murther doone in Vienna,Gonzago is the Dukes name, his wife
Baptista, you shall see anon, tis a knauish peece of worke, but what of
that? your Maiestie, and wee that haue free soules, it touches vs not,
let the gauled Iade winch, our withers are vnwrong. This is one Lu
cianus, Nephew to the King.
So you mistake your husbands. Beginne murtherer, leaue
thy damnable faces and begin, come, the croking Rauen doth bellow
A poysons him i'th Garden for his estate, his names Gonza
go, the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian, you shall see
anon how the murtherer gets the loue of Gonzagoes wife.
Your wisedome should shewe it selfe more richer to signifie
this to the Doctor, for, for mee to put him to his purgation, would
perhaps plunge him into more choller.
Nay good my Lord, this curtesie is not of the right breede, if
it shall please you to make me a wholsome aunswere, I will doe your
mothers commaundement, if not, your pardon and my returne, shall
be the end of busines.
Make you a wholsome answer, my wits diseasd, but sir, such
answere as I can make, you shall commaund, or rather as you say, my
mother, therefore no more, but to the matter, my mother you say.
Good my Lord, what is your cause of distemper, you do sure
ly barre the doore vpon your owne liberty if you deny your griefes to
I sir, but while the grasse growes, the prouerbe is something
musty, ô the Recorders, let mee see one, to withdraw with you, why
doe you goe about to recouer the wind of mee, as if you would driue
me into a toyle?
It is as easie as lying; gouerne these ventages with your fin
gers, & the vmber, giue it breath with your mouth, & it wil discourse
most eloquent musique, looke you, these are the stops.
Why looke you now how vnwoorthy a thing you make of
me, you would play vpon mee, you would seeme to know my stops,
you would plucke out the hart of my mistery, you would sound mee
from my lowest note to my compasse, and there is much musique ex
cellent voyce in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak, s'bloud
do you think I am easier to be plaid on then a pipe, call mee what in
strument you wil, though you fret me not, you cannot play vpon me.
God blesse you sir.
That I can keepe your counsaile & not mine owne, besides
to be demaunded of a spunge, what replycation should be made by
the sonne of a King.
I sir, that sokes vp the Kings countenaunce, his rewards, his
authorities, but such Officers doe the King best seruice in the end, he
keepes them like an apple in the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be
last swallowed, when hee needs what you haue gleand, it is but squee
sing you, and spunge you shall be dry againe.
Not where he eates, but where a is eaten, a certaine conua
cation of politique wormes are een at him: your worme is your onely
Emperour for dyet, we fat all creatures els to fat vs, and wee fat our
selues for maggots, your fat King and your leane begger is but varia
ble seruice, two dishes but to one table, that's the end.
In heauen, send thether to see, if your messenger finde him
not thrre, seeke him i'th other place your selfe, but if indeed you find
him not within this month, you shall nose him as you goe vp the
stayres into the Lobby.
I hope all will be well, we must be patient, but I cannot chuse
but weepe to thinke they would lay him i'th cold ground, my brother
shall know of it, and so I thanke you for your good counsaile. Come
my Coach, God night Ladies, god night.
Sweet Ladyes god night, god night.
A shall sir and please him, there's a Letter for you sir, it came
frō th'Embassador that was bound for England, if your name be Ho
ratio, as I am let to know it is.
Horatio, when thou shalt haue ouer‐lookt this, giue these fel
lowes some meanes to the King, they haue Letters for him: Ere wee
were two daies old at Sea, a Pyrat of very warlike appointment gaue
vs chase, finding our selues too slow of saile, wee put on a compelled
valour, and in the grapple I boorded them, on the instant they got
cleere of our shyp, so I alone became theyr prisoner, they haue dealt
with me like thieues of mercie, but they knew what they did, I am to
doe a turne for them, let the King haue the Letters I haue sent, and
repayre thou to me with as much speede as thou wouldest flie death,
I haue wordes to speake in thine eare will make thee dumbe, yet are
So that thou knowest thine Hamlet.
High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your kingdom,
to morrow shall I begge leaue to see your kingly eyes, when I shal first
asking you pardon, there‐vnto recount the occasion of my suddaine
It must be so offended, it cannot be els, for heere lyes the
poynt, if I drowne my selfe wittingly, it argues an act, & an act hath
three branches, it is to act, to doe, to performe, or all; she drownd her
Giue mee leaue, here lyes the water, good, here stands the
Why there thou sayst, and the more pitty that great folke
should haue countnaunce in this world to drowne or hang thēselues ,
more then theyr euen Christen: Come my spade, there is no aunci
ent gentlemen but Gardners, Ditchers, and Grauemakers, they hold
vp Adams profession.
I like thy wit well in good fayth, the gallowes dooes well,
but howe dooes it well? It dooes well to those that do ill, nowe thou
doost ill to say the gallowes is built stronger then the Church, argall,
the gallowes may doo well to thee. Too't againe, come.
Cudgell thy braines no more about it, for your dull asse wil
not mend his pace with beating, and when you are askt this question
next, say a graue‐maker, the houses hee makes lasts till Doomesday.
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once, how the
knaue iowles it to the ground, as if twere Caines iawbone, that did the
first murder, this might be the pate of a pollitician, which this asse now
ore‐reaches; one that would circumuent God, might it not?
Or of a Courtier, which could say good morrow sweet lord,
how doost thou sweet lord? This might be my Lord such a one, that
praised my lord such a ones horse when a went to beg it, might it not?
Why een so, & now my Lady wormes Choples, & knockt
about the massene with a Sextens spade; heere's fine reuolution and
we had the tricke to see't, did these bones cost no more the breeding,
but to play at loggits with them: mine ake to thinke on't.
There's another, why may not that be the skull of a Lawyer,
where be his quiddities now, his quillites, his cases, his tenurs, and his
tricks? why dooes he suffer this madde knaue now to knocke him a
bout the sconce with a durtie shouell, and will not tell him of his acti
on of battery, hum, this fellowe might be in's time a great buyer of
Land, with his Statuts, his recognisances, his fines, his double vou
chers, his recoueries, to haue his fine pate full of fine durt, will vou
chers vouch him no more of his purchases & doubles then the length
and breadth of a payre of Indentures? The very conueyances of his
Lands will scarcely lye in this box, & must th'inheritor himselfe haue
no more, ha.
They are Sheepe and Calues which seeke out assurance in
that, I wil speak to this fellow. Whose graue's this sirra?
How absolute the knaue is, we must speake by the card, or
equiuocation will vndoo vs. By the Lord Horatio, this three yeeres I
haue tooke note of it, the age is growne so picked, that the toe of the
pesant coms so neere the heele of the Courtier he galls his kybe. How
long hast thou been Graue‐maker?
Of the dayes i'th yere I came too't that day that our last king
Hamlet ouercame Fortenbrasse.
Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that, it was that
very day that young Hamlet was borne: hee that is mad and sent into
Fayth if a be not rotten before a die, as we haue many poc
kie corses, that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you som eyght
yeere, or nine yeere. A Tanner will last you nine yeere.
Why sir, his hide is so tand with his trade, that a will keepe
out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whor
son dead body, heer's a scull now hath lyen you i'th earth 23. yeeres.
Alas poore Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
iest, of most excellent fancie, hee hath bore me on his backe a thou
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is: my gorge
rises at it. Heere hung those lyppes that I haue kist I know not howe
oft, where be your gibes now? your gamboles, your songs, your fla
shes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roare, not one
now to mocke your owne grinning, quite chopfalne. Now get you
to my Ladies table, & tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this fa
uour she must come, make her laugh at that.
Prethee Horatio tell me one thing.
To what base vses wee may returne Horatio? Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a find it stopping
No faith, not a iot, but to follow him thether with modes_y
enough, and likelyhood to leade it. Alexander dyed, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth vvee
make Lome, & why of that Lome whereto he was conuerted, might
Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to know him,
He hath much land and fertill: let a beast be Lord of beasts, and his
crib shall stand at the Kings messe, tis a chough, but as I say, spaci
ous in the possession of durt.
Exceedingly my Lord, it is very soultery, as t'were I can
not tell how: my Lord his Maiestie bad me signifie to you, that a
has layed a great wager on your head, sir this is the matter.
Nay good my Lord for my ease in good faith, sir here is newly
com to Court Laertes, belieue me an absolute gentlemen, ful of most
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
memory, and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick saile, but
& his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, as to make true dixion
of him, his semblable is his mirrour, & who els would trace him, his
vmbrage, nothing more.
The King sir hath wagerd with him six Barbary horses,
againgst the which hee has impaund as I take it six French Rapiers
and Poynards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger and so. Three
of the carriages in faith, are very deare to fancy, very reponsiue to
the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
The phrase would bee more Ierman to the matter if wee
could carry a cannon by our sides, I would it be might hangers till
then, but on, six Barbry horses against six French swords their as
signes, and three liberall conceited carriages, that's the French
bet against the Danish, why is this all you call it?
The King sir, hath layd sir, that in a dozen passes betweene
your selfe and him, hee shall not exceede you three hits, hee hath
layd on twelue for nine, and it would come to immediate triall, if
your Lordshippe would vouchsafe the answere.
Sir I will walke heere in the hall, if it please his Maiestie, it
is the breathing time of day with me, let the foiles be brought, the
Gentleman willing, and the King hold his purpose; I will winne
for him and I can, if not, I will gaine nothing but my shame, and
the odde hits.
A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it, thus has he and
many more of the same breede that I know the drossy age dotes on,
only got the tune of the time, and out of an habit of incounter, a
kind of histy colection, which carries them through and through
the most prophane and trennowed opinions, and doe but blowe
them to their triall, the bubbles are out.
My Lord, his Maiestie commended him to you by young
Ostricke, who brings backe to him that you attend him in the hall,
he sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that
you will take longer time?
I am constant to my purposes, they followe the Kings plea
sure, if his fitnes speakes, mine is ready: now or whensoeuer pro
uided I be so able as now.
Not a whit, we defie augury, there is speciall prouidence in
the fall of a Sparrowe, if it be, tis not to come, if it be not to come,
it will be now, if it be not now, yet it well come, the readines is all,
since no man of ought he leaues, knowes what ist to leaue betimes,
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