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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 British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB
Electronic edition created by Oxford Digital Library (Bodleian Library (University of Oxford)), Osney One Building, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0EW
Preliminary keying and encoding by Stylo Graphics Private Limited, 49/1 Purna Das Road, Kolkata 700 029, India

First publication edition. 2009-05
316739 bytes

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 British Library copy of the 1637 quarto. Annotations were checked against the original.

Bibliographic Information:
author: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
uniform title: Hamlet
statement title: The tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark
estcCitationNo: S111099
estcSystemNo: 006182585
estcHoldingsSystemNo: 1009049
shelfMark: BL C.34.k.5

MS Identifier: British Library
Hand Notes:
hand-anon1: This nineteenth-century hand appears only in the library housekeeping annotations on the verso of the blank leaf preceding the titlepage, ‘Shakspere(W.)’ and ‘K’.
hand-anon2: This nineteenth-century hand appears only in the library housekeeping annotations on the verso of the blank leaf preceding the titlepage, the shelfmark ‘C.34.k.5’ and the line which strikes through the previous shelfmark ‘644.c.30’.
hand-anon3: This nineteenth-century hand appears only in the library housekeeping annotations on the verso of the blank leaf which precedes the titlepage, the shelfmark ‘644.c.30’.
hand-cap: This eighteenth-century hand appears only in the bibliographic annotations on the titlepage. ‘G.V’ refers to the play’s place in the original bound volumes, which were arranged by Edward Capell as he catalogued Garrick’s collection.

In a 19th-century English gold tooled red grained sheep binding with the coat of arms of David Garrick tooled in gold on the flat spine. Author, title, place and date of publication are lettered in gold up the spine. The edges of the boards and the turn-ins are gold tooled. The edges of the leaves are gilt. With comb marbled paper endleaves. Bound by the British Museum Bindery.

Yellow ink stamp BRITISH MUSEUM on facsimile image 006a.

Yellow ink stamp BRITISH MUSEUM on facsimile image 057a.

2008-11-02: Proofed and reviewed by ODL.
2008-11-25: Checked by ODL.
2009-01-05: Consistency checked by ODL.
2009-02-12: Final checks by ODL.
2009-02-16: BL key in noteStmt changed by ODL.
2009-02-18: LCCN changes made by ODL.
2009-03-11: Header, key/ref and @facs changes made by ODL.

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Shakspere (W).

C.34. k.5 K

Newly imprinted and inlarged, according to the true
and perfect Copy last Printed.

Printer's mark depicting a bird and the motto “NON ALTVM PETO IS”.

Printed by R. Young for John Smethwicke, and are to be sold at his
Shop in Saint Dunstans Church‐yard in Fleet‐stteet,
under the Diall. 1637.


EnterBarnardoandFrancisco, two Sentinels.
Who's there?

Nay answer me, stand and unfold your selfe.

Long live the King.



You come most carefully upon your houre.

'Tis now strooke twelve: get thee to bed Francisco.

For this reliefe much thanks, 'tis bitter cold,

And I am sicke at heart.

Have you had quiet guard?

Not a mouse stirring.

Well, goodnight:

If you doe meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivalls of my watch, bid them make haste.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
I thinke I heare them. Stand ho: who is there?

Friends to this ground.

And Liegemen to the Dane:


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Give you good night.

O farewell honest souldiers: who hath relieved you?

Bernardo hath my place: give you good night.
Exit Fran.

Holla Barnardo.

Say, what is Horatio there?

A peece of him.

Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.

What, ha's this thing appear'd againe to night?

I have seene nothing.

Horatio sayes 'tis but a phantasie,

And will not let beliefe take hold of him,

Touching this dreaded sight twice seene of us;

Therefore I have entreated him along,

With us to watch the minutes of this night,

That if againe this apparition come,

He may approve our eyes and speake to it.

Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare.

Sit downe a while,

And let us once againe assaile your eares

That are so fortified against our story,

What we have two nights seene.

Well, sit we downe,

And let us heare Barnardo speake of this.

Last night of all,

When yond same star that's Westward from the Pole,

Had made his course t'illumine that part of heaven

Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe,

The Bell then beating one.

Enter Ghost.
Peace, breake thee off, looke where it comes againe.

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

Thou art a Scholar, speake to it Horatio.

Most like, it horrowes me with feare and wonder.

It would be spoke to.

Speake to it Horatio.

What art thou that usurpst this time of night,

Together with that faire and warlike forme,

In which the Majesty of buried Denmarke


Prince of Denmarke.
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee speake.

It is offended.

See it stalkes away.

Stay, speake, speake, I charge thee speake.

Exit Ghost.
'Tis gone and will not answer.

How now Horatio? you tremble and looke pale:

Is not this something more than phantasie?

What thinke you of it?

Before my God I might not this beleeve,

Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine owne eyes.

Is it not like the King?

As thou art to thy selfe:

Such was the very armour he had on,

When he th' ambitious Norway combated.

So frown'd he once, when in an angry Parle

He smote the sleaded Pollax on the ice.

'Tis strange.

Thus twice before, and jumpe at this same houre,

With martiall stalke hath he gone by our watch.

In what particular thought to worke I know not,

But in the grosse and scope of mine opinion,

This bodes some strange eruption to our State.

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

Why this same strict and most observant watch

So nightly toiles the subject of the land,

And with such daily cost of brasen Cannon,

And forraine Mart for implements of warre?

Why such impresse of ship‐wrights, whose sore taske

Does not divide the Sunday from the weeke?

What might be toward, that this sweaty haste

Doth make the night joint labour with the day?

Who is't that can informe me?

That can I:

At least the whisper goes so. Our last King,

Whose image even but now appear'd to us,

Was, as you know, by Fortinbrasse of Norway,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Thereto prickt on by a most emulate pride,

Dar'd to the combate; in which our valiant Hamlet,

(For so this side of our knowne world esteem'd him)

Did slay this Fortinbrasse, who by a seal'd compact,

Well ratified by Law and Heraldry,

Did forfeit (with his life) all these his lands

Which he stood seiz'd of, to the Conquerour:

Against the which a moity competent

VVas gaged by our King, which had returne

To the inheritance of Fortinbrasse,

Had he bin vanquisht; as by the same co‐mart,

And carriage of the Articles designe,

His fell to Hamlet: now sir, young Fortinbrasse,

Of unimproved metall, hot, and full,

Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there

Sharkt up a list of lawlesse resolutes,

For food and diet to some enterprise

That hath a stomacke in't, which no other

As it doth well appeare unto our state,

But to recover of us by strong hand

And tearmes compulsatory, those foresaid lands

So by his father lost: and this I take it

Is the maine motive of our preparations,

The source of this our watch, and the chiefe head

Of this poste haste, and romeage in the land.

I thinke it be no other but even so:

VVell may it sort that this portentous figure

Comes armed through our watch so like the King

That was and is the question of these warres.

A mote it is to trouble the mindes eye.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantlesse, and the sheeted dead

Did squeake and gibber in the Roman streets,

As starres with traines of fire, and dewes of blood,

Disasters in the sunne, and the moist starre,

Upon whose influence Neptunes Empire stands,

VVas sicke almost to Doomesday with eclipse,


Prince of Denmarke.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,

As harbingers preceding still the fates

And Prologue to the Omen comming on,

Have heaven and earth together demonstrated

Unto our Climatures and Countrimen.

Enter Ghost.
But soft, behold! lo where it comes againe,

Ile crosse it though it blast me: Stay illusion,
It spreads
his armes.

If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,

Speake to me: if there be any good thing to be done_

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

Speake to me.

If thou art privie to thy Countries fate,

Which happely foreknowing may avoid,

O speake:

Or if thou hast uphoorded in thy life

Extorted treasure in the wombe of earth,

For which they say your spirits oft walke in death,
The cocke

Speake of it, stay and speake; stop it Marcellus.

Shall I strike it with my partisan?

Doe if it will not stand.

'Tis here.

'Tis here.

'Tis gone.

We doe it wrong, being so Majesticall,

To offer it the shew of violence:

For it is as the aire, invulnerable,

And our vaine blowes malicious mockery.

It was about to sp_ake when the cocke crew.

And then it started, like a guilty thing

Upon a fearefull summons: I have heard,

The cocke, that is the trumpet to the morne,

Doth with his lofty and shrill sounding throat

Awake the God of day; and at his warning,

Whether in sea or fire, in earth or aire,

Th'extravagant and erring spirit hyes

To his confine; and of the truth herein

This present object made probation.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
It faded on the crowing of the cocke.

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes,

Wherein our Saviours birth is celebrated,

This bird of dawning singeth all night long,

And then they say no spirit dares stirre abroad,

The nights are wholsome; then no Planets strike,

No Fairy takes, no witch hath power to charme;

So hallowed and so gracious is that time.

So have I heard, and doe in part beleeve it:

But looke, the morne in russet mantle clad

Walkes ore the dew of yon high Eastward hill:

Breake we our watch up, and by my advice

Let us impart what we have seene to night

Unto young Hamlet; for upon my life

This spirit dumbe to us will speake to him.

Doe you consent we shall acquaint him with it,

As needfull in our loves, fitting our duty?

Let's doo't I pray; and I this morning know

Where we shall finde him most convenient.

Flourish. Enter Claudius King of Denmarke, Gertrad the
Queene, Councell, as Polonius, and his sonne Laer­
, Hamlet, cum aliis.
Though yet of Hamlet our deere brothers death

The memory be greene, and that it us befitted

To beare our hearts in griefe, and our whole Kingdome

To be contracted in one brow of woe:

Yet so farre hath discretion fought with nature,

That we with wisest sorrow thinke on him,

Together with remembrance of our selves:

Therefore our sometime Sister, now our Queene,

Th' Imperiall jointresse to this warlike State,

Have we as 'twere with a defeated joy,

With an auspicious and a dropping eye,

With mirth in funerall, and with dirge in marriage,

Inequall scale weighing delight and dole,

Taken to wife, nor have we herein barr'd


Prince of Denmarke.
Your better wisdomes, which have freely gone

With this affaire along (for all our thankes)

Now followes, that you know young Fortinbrasse,

Holding a weake supposall of our worth,

Or thinking by our late deare brothers death

Our state to be dis‐joint, and out of frame,

Colleagued with this dreame of his advantage,

He hath not faild to pester us with message,

Importing the surrender of those lands

Lost by his father, with all bands of Law,

To our most valiant brother. So much for him.

Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting,

Thus much the businesse is, We have here writ

To Norway, Uncle of young Fortinbrasse,

Who impotent and bedrid, scarcely heares

Of this his Nephewes purpose, to suppresse

His further gate herein, in that the levies,

The lists, and full proportions are all made

Out of his subjects: and we here dispatch

You good Cornelius, and you Voltemand,

For bearers of this greeting to old Norway,

Giving to you no further personall power

To businesse with the King, more than the scope

Of these delated Articles allow.

Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.

Cor. Vo.
In that, & all things will we shew our duty.

We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.

And now Laertes, what's the newes with you?

You told us of some suit, what is't Laertes?

You cannot speake of reason to the Dane,

And lose your voice: what wouldst thou beg Laertes?

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking.

The head is not more native to the heart,

The hand more instrumentall to the mouth,

Than is the throne of Denmarke to thy Father:

What wouldst thou have Laertes?

My dread Lord,

Your leave and favour to returne to France,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
From whence though willingly I came to Denmarke,

To shew my duty in your Coronation;

Yet now I must confesse, that duty done,

My thoughts and wishes bend againe toward France,

And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.

Have you your fathers leave? what sayes Polonius?

He hath, my Lord, wrung from me my slow leave,

By laboursome petition; and at last,

Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent.

I doe beseech you give him leave to goe.

Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine,

And thy best graces; spend it at thy will.

But now my cousin Hamlet, and my sonne.

A little more than kin, and lesse than kind.

How is it that the clouds still hang on you?

Not so much my Lord, I am too much in the sonne.

Good Hamlet cast thy nighted colour off,

And let thine eye looke like a friend on Denmarke.

Doe not for ever with thy vailed lids

Seeke for thy noble father in the dust:

Thou know'st 'tis common all that lives must dye,

Passing through nature to eternity.

I Madam, it is common.

If it be,

Why seemes it so particular with thee?

Seems Madam, nay it is, I know not seems,

'Tis not alone my inkie cloke could smother,

Nor customary sutes of solemne blacke,

Nor windie suspiration of forc't breath,

No, nor the fruitfull river in the eye,

Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,

Together with all formes, moods, shapes of griefe,

That can denote me truely; these indeed seeme,

For they are actions that a man might play:

But I have that within which passes shew,

These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature Hamlet,

To give these mourning duties to your father.


Prince of Denmarke.
But you must know your father loft a father;

That father lost, lost his, and the surviver bound

In filliall obligation for some tearme

To doe obsequious sorrowes; but to persevere

In obstinate condolement, is a course

Of impious stubbornnesse, 'tis unmanly griefe_

It shewes a will most incorrect to Heaven,

A heart unfortified, or minde impatient,

An underftanding simple and unschool'd:

For what we know must be, and is as common

As any the most vulgar thing to sense,

Why should we in our peevish opposition

Take it to heart? fie, 'tis a fault to heaven,

A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,

To reason most absurd, whose common theame

Is death of fathers, and who still hath cryed

From the first coarse till he that died to day,

This must be so: we pray you throw to earth

This unprevailing woe, and thinke of us

As of a father: for let the world take note

You are the most immediate to our throne,

And with no lesse nobility of love

Than that which dearest father beares his sonne

Doe I impart toward you for your intent

In going backe to schoole to Wittenberg;

It is most retrograde to our desire,

And we beseech you bend you to remaine

Here in the cheare and comfort of our eye,

Our chiefest Courtier, cousin, and our sonne.

Let not thy mother lose her prayers Hamlet:

I pray thee stay with us, goe not to Wittenberg.

I shall in all my best obey you Madame.

Why 'tis a loving and a faire reply.

Be as our selfe in Denmarke. Madame come,

This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet

Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof,

No jocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day

But the great Cannon to the clouds shall tell,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
And the Kings rowse the heaven shall bruit againe,

Respeaking earthly thunder: Come away.
Flourish, Exeunt all
but Hamlet.

O that this too too sallied flesh would melt,

Thaw and resolve it selfe into a dew,

Or that the everlasting had not fixt

His Cannon 'gainst selfe slaughter! O God, God,

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

Seeme to me all the uses of this World?

Fie on't, ah fie, 'tis an unweeded Garden,

That growes to seed; things rank & grosse in nature

Possesse it meerly: that it should come thus,

But two moneths dead, nay not so much, not two,

So excellent a King, that was to this

Hyperion to a Satyre, so loving to my mother,

That he might not beteeme the windes of heaven

Visit her face too roughly: heaven and earth

Must I remember, why she should hang on him,

As if increase of appetite had growne

By what it fed on; and yet within a moneth,

Let me not thinke on't, frailty thy name is woman,

A little moneth: Or ere those shooes were old,

With which she followed my poore fathers body,

Like Niobe all teares, why she,

O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason

Would have mourn'd longer, married with my uncle,

My fathers brother, but no more like my father

Than I to Hercules; within a moneth,

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous teares

Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,

She married. Oh most wicked speed, to post

With such dexterity to incestuous sheets;

It is not, nor it cannot come to good.

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

Enter Horatio, Marcellus, and Barnardo.
Haile to your Lordship.

I am glad to see you well; Horatio, or I doe forget my

The same my Lord, and your poore servant ever.

Sir my good friend, Ile change that name with you;


Prince of Denmarke.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?


My good Lord.

I am very glad to see you (good even sir.)

But what in faith make you from Wittenberg?

A truant disposition, good my Lord.

I would not heare your enemy say so,

Nor shall you doe my eare that violence

To make it truster of your owne report

Against your selfe; I know you are no truant;

But what is your affaire in Elsenour?

Wee'll teach you for to drinke ere you depart.

My Lord, I came to see your fathers funerall.

I prethee doe not mocke me fellow student,

I thinke it was to my mothers wedding.

Indeed my Lord it follow'd hard upon.

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

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven

Or ever I had seene that day Horatio.

My father, me thinkes I see my father.

Where my Lord?

In my mindes eye Horatio.

I saw him once, a was a goodly King.

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

I shall not looke upon his like againe.

My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight.

Saw who?

My Lord, the King your Father.

The King my father!

Season your admiration for a while

With an attentive eare, till I may deliver

Upon the witnesse of these Gentlemen

This marvaile to you.

For Gods love let me heare.

Two nights together had these Gentlemen,

Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,

In the dead vast and middle of the night


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Been_ thus encountred: a figure like your father,

Armed at point, exactly, Cap ape,

Appeares before them, and with solemne march

Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walkt

By their opprest and feare surprised eyes

Within this truncheons length, whilst they distill'd

Almost to gelly with the act of feare,

Stand dumbe and speake not to him: this to me

In dreadfull secrecie impart they did,

And I with them the third night kept the watch,

Where, as they had delivered, both in time,

Forme of the thing, each word made true and good,

The apparition comes: I knew your father,

These hands are not more like.

But where was this?

My Lord upon the platform where we watcht.

Did you not speake to it?

My Lord, I did,

But answer it made none: yet once me thought

It lifted up its head, and did addresse

It selfe to motion, like as it would speake;

But even then the morning Cocke crew loud,

And at the sound it shrunke in haste away,

And vanisht from our sight.

'Tis very strange.

As I doe live, my honour'd Lord, 'tis true,

And we did thinke it writ downe in our duty

To let you know of it.

Indeed sirs but this troubles me,

Hold you the watch to night?

We doe my Lord.

Arm'd say you?

Arm'd my Lord.

From top to toe?

My Lord, from head to foot.

Then saw you not his face?

O yes my Lord, he wore his beaver up.

What? lookt he frowningly?


Prince of Denmarke.
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

Pale or red?

Nay very pale.

And fixt his eyes upon you?

Most constantly.

I would I had been there.

It would have much amaz'd you.

Very like: staid it long?

While one with moderate haste might tell an hundred.

Longer, longer.

Not when I saw't.

His beard was grissled, no.

It was as I have seene it in his life,

A sable silver'd.

I will watch to night,

Perchance 'twill walke againe.

I warn't it will.

If it assume my noble fathers person

Ile speake to it, though hell it selfe should gape

And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,

If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,

Let it be tenable in your silence still,

And whatsoever else shall hap to night,

Give it an understanding, but no tongue;

I will requite your loves: So fare you well,

Upon the platforme 'twixt eleven and twelve

Ile visit you.

Our duty to your honour.

Your loves, as mine to you; Farewell.

My fathers spirit in armes, all is not well,

I doubt some foule play, would the night were come:

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

Though all the earth orewhelme them to mens eyes.

Enter Laertes, and Ophelia his Sister.
My necessaries are imbarkt, farewell,

And sister, as the windes give benefit

And convay in assistant, doe not sleep,

But let me heare from you.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Doe you doubt that?

For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,

Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood,

A violet in the youth of prime nature,

Forward, not permanent; sweet, not lasting,

The perfume and suppliance of a minute:

No more.

No more but so.

Thinke it no more.

For nature cressant does not grow alone,

In thewes and bulkes, but as this Temple waxes,

The inward service of the mind and soule

Growes wide withall: perhaps he loves you now,

And now no soile nor cautell doth besmerch

The vertue of his will; but you must feare

His greatnesse wai'd, his will is not his owne.

He may not, as unvalued persons doe,

Crave for himselfe; for on his choice depends

The safety and health of this whole ftate,

And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd

Unto the voice and yeelding of that body

Whereof he is the head: then if he saies he loves you,

It fits your wisdome so far to beleeve it,

As he in his particular act and place

May give his saying deed; which is no further

Than the maine voice of Denmarke goes withall.

Then weigh what lo_se your honour may sustaine,

If with too credent eare you list his songs,

Or loose your heart, or your chaste treasure open

To his unmastred importunitie.

Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare sister,

And keep you in the reare of your affection,

Out of the shot and danger of desire:

“The chariest maid is prodigall enough,

If she unmaske her beauty to the Moone:

“Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious strokes;

“The canker galls the infant of the Spring

Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd,


Prince of Denmarke.
And in the morne and liquid dew of youth

Contagious blastments are most imminent.

Be warie then, best safety lyes in feare,

Youth to it selfe rebells though none else neere.

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,

As watchmen to my heart: But good my brother

Doe not as some ungracious Pastors doe,

Shew me the steep and thorny way of heaven,

Whiles a puft and rechlesse Libertine,

Himselfe the primrose path of dalliance treads,

And reakes not his owne reed.
Enter Polonius.

O feare me not;

I stay too long: but here my father comes.

A double blessing is a double grace,

Occasion smiles upon a second leave.

Yet here Laertes? 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

Look thou character: Give thy thoughts no tongue,

Nor any unproportion'd thought his act:

Be thou familiar, but by no meanes vulgar:

Those friends thou hast and their adoption tried,

Grapple them unto thy soule with hoops of steele,

But doe not dull thy palme with entertainment

Of each new hatcht, unfledg'd courage: beware

Of entrance to a quarrell, but being in,

Bear't that th'opposer may beware of thee:

Give every man thy eare, but few thy voice;

Take each mans censure, but reserve thy judgement:

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not exprest in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparell oft proclaimes the man,

And they in France of the best ranke and station,

Are of a most select and generous, chiefe in that:

Neither a borrower nor a lender boy,

For love oft loses both it selfe and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
This above all, to thine owne selfe be true,

And it must follow as the night to day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell, my blessing season this in thee.

Most humbly doe I take my leave my Lord.

The time invests you, goe, your servants tend.

Farewell Ophelia, and remember well

What I have said to you.

'Tis in my memory lockt,

And you your selfe shall keep the key of it.

Exit Laertes.

What is't Ophelia he hath said to you?

So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.

Marrie well bethought.

'Tis told me he hath very oft of late

Given private time to you: and you your selfe

Have of your audience beene most free and bounteous.

If it be so, as so 'tis put on me,

And that in way of caution, I must tell you

You doe not understand your selfe so cleerly

As it behoves my daughter, and your honour:

What is between you? give me up the truth.

He hath my Lord of late made many tenders

Of his affection to me.

Affection! puh, you speake like a gteene girle,

Unsifted in such perillous circumstance:

Doe you beleeve his tenders, as you call them?

I doe not know, my Lord, what I should thinke.

Marry I will teach you, think your selfe a babie,

That you have ta'n these tenders for true pay,

Which are not sterling: tender your selfe more dearly,

Or (not to cracke the winde of the poore phrase)

Wrong it thus, you'll tender me a foole.

My Lord, he hath importun'd me with love

In honourable fashion.

I, fashion you may call it, goe too, goe too.

And hath given countenance to his speech,

My Lord with almost all the holy vowes of heaven.


Prince of Denmarke.
I, springes to catch Wood‐cockes; I do know

When the blood burnes how prodigall the soule

Lends the tongue vowes, these blazes daughter

Giving more light than heat; extinct in both,

Even in their promise, as it is a making,

You must not tak't for fire: from this time

Be something scanter of your maiden presence,

Set your entreatments at a higher rate

Than a command to parley; for Lord Hamlet,

Beleeve so much in him, that he is young,

And with a larger tedder may he walke

Than may be given you: in few Ophelia,

Doe not beleeve his vowes, for they are Brokers,

Not of that dye which their investments shew,

But meere implorators of unholy suits,

Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,

The better to beguile: this is for all,

I would not, in plaine termes, from this time forth

Have you so slander any moments leisure,

As to give words or talke with the Lord Hamlet,

Looke too't I charge you, come your wayes.

I shall obey my Lord.

Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
The aire bites shrewdly, it is very cold.

It is nipping, and an eager aire.

What houre now?

I thinke it lacks of twelve.

No, it is strooke.

Indeed, I heard it not: it then drawes neere the season

Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
A flourish of Trum­
pets, and two pieces goe off.

What does this meane my Lord?

The King doth walke to night, and takes his rowse,

Keepes wassell, and the swaggering up‐spring reeles,

And as he draines his draughts of Rhenish downe,

The Kettle Drum and Trumpet thus bray out

The triumph of his pledge.

Is it a custome?

I marry is't,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
But to my minde, though I am native here

And to the manner borne, it is a custome

More honour'd in the breach than the observance:

This heavie‐headed revell East and West

Makes us traduc'd and taxed of other Nations;

They clepe us Drunkards, and with swinish phrase

Soile our addition: and indeed it takes

From our atchievements, though perform'd at height,

The pith and marrow of our attribute:

So oft it chances in particular men,

That for some vicious mole of nature in them,

As in their birth, wherein they are not guilty,

(Since nature cannot choose his origen)

By their ore‐growth of some complexion,

Oft breaking downe the pales and forts of reason;

Or by some habit that too much ore‐leavens

The forme of plausive manners, that these men

Carrying I say the stampe of one defect,

Being Natures livery, or Fortunes starre,

His vertues else be they as pure as grace,

As infinite as man may undergoe,

Shall in the generall censure take corruption

From that particular fault: the dram of ease

Doth all the noble substance of a doubt

To his owne scandall.
Enter Ghost.

Looke my Lord, it comes.

Angels and Ministers of grace defend us!

Be thou a spirit of health, or Goblin damn'd,

Bring with thee aires from heaven, or blasts from hel,

Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou com'st in such a questionable shape

That I will speake to thee; Ile call thee Hamlet,

King, Father, royall Dane: O answere me,

Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell

Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death

Have burst their cerements: why the Sepulcher,

Wherein we saw thee quietly interr'd,

Hath op't his ponderous and marble jawes,


Prince of Denmarke.
To cast thee up againe: what may this meane

That thou dead coarse againe in complete steele

Revisites thus the glimpses of the moone,

Making night hideous, and we fooles of nature

So horridly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our soules?

Say why is this? wherefore? what should we doe?

It beckens you to goe away with it,

As if it some impartment did desire

To you alone.

Looke with what courteous action

It waves you to a more removed ground,

But doe not goe with it.

No, by no meanes.

It will not speake, then I will follow it.

Doe not my Lord.

Why? what should be the feare?

I doe not set my life at a pins fee:

And for my soule, what can it doe to that,

Being a thing immortall like it selfe?

It waves me forth againe, Ile follow it.

What if it tempt you toward the flood my Lord,

Or to the dreadfull somnet of the cleefe,

That bettels ore his base into the sea,

And there assume some other horrible forme,

Which might deprive your soveraignty of reason,

And draw you into madnesse? thinke of it,

The very place puts toyes of desperation

Without more motive, into every braine,

That lookes so many fadomes to the sea,

And heares it roare beneath.

It waves me still,

Goe on, Ile follow thee.

You shall not goe my Lord.

Hold off your hands.

Be rul'd, you shall not goe.

My fate cryes out,

And makes each petty artery in this body


The Tragedy of Hamlet
As hardy as the Nemean Lions nerve:

Still am I call'd; unhand me Gentlemen,

By heaven Ile make a Ghost of him that lets me:

I say away: Goe on Ile follow thee.
Exit Ghost and Hamlet.

He waxes desperate with imagination.

Lets follow, 'tis not fit thus to obey him.

Have after: to what issue will this come?

Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke.

Heaven will direct it.

Nay let's follow him.

Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Whither wilt thou lead me? speake, Ile goe no further.

Marke me.

I will.

My houre is almost come,

When I to sulphrous and tormenting flames

Must render up my selfe.

Alas poore Ghost.

Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold,

Speake, I am bound to heare.

So art thou to revenge when thou shalt heare.


I am thy fathers spirit,

Doom'd for a certaine terme to walke the night,

And for the day confin'd to fast in fires,

Till the foule crimes, done in my dayes of nature

Are burnt and purg'd away: But that I am forbid

To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soule, freeze thy young blood,

Make thy two eyes like stars ftart from their spheres,

Thy knotted and combined lockes to part,

And each particular haire to stand an end

Like quills upon the fearefull Porpentine:

But this eternall blazon must not be

To eares of flesh and blood: list, list, O list,

If thou didst ever thy deare father love.


Prince of Denmarke.
O God!

Revenge his foule & most unnaturall murder.


Murder most foule, as in the best it is;

But this most foule, strange and unnaturall.

Hast me to know't, that I with wings as swift

As mediation, or the thoughts of love,

May sweepe to my revenge.

I finde thee apt;

And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed

That roots it selfe in ease on Lethe wharfe,

Wouldst thou not stirre in this: now Hamlet heare,

'Tis given out, that sleeping in my Orchard

A Serpent stung me: so the whole eare of Denmarke

Is by a forged processe of my death

Rankely abused: but know thou, noble Youth,

The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life

Now weares his Crowne.

O my Propheticke soule, my uncle!

I, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,

With witchcraft of his wits, with trait'rous gifts,

O wicked wits, and gifts that have the power

So to seduce! won to his shamefull lust

The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene.

O Hamlet, what a falling off was there

From me, whose love was of that dignity,

That it went hand in hand even with the vow

I made to her in marriage? and to decline

Upon a wretch, whose naturall gifts were poore

To those of mine but vertue, as it never will be mov'd

Though lewdnesse court it in a shape of heaven,

So but though to a radiant Angle linckt,

Will sort it selfe in a celestiall bed,

And prey on garbage.

But soft, me thinkes I sent the morning aire,

Briefe let me be: Sleeping within my Orchard,

My custome alwaies of the afternoone,

Upon my secure houre thy uncle stole


The Tragedy of Hamlet
With juice of cursed Hebona in a Viall,

And in the porches of my eares did poure

The leprous distilment, whose effect

Holds such an enmity with blood of man,

That swift as Quick‐silver it courses through

The naturall gates and allies of the body,

And with a sudden vigour it doth possesse

And curd, like eager droppings into milke,

The thin and wholsome blood; so did it mine,

And a most instant Tetter barkt about

Most Lazar‐like, with vile and loathsome crust

All my smooth body.

Thus was I sleeping, by a brothers hand,

Of life, of Crowne, of Queene at once dispatcht,

Cut off even in the blossomes of my sinne,

Unnuzled, disappointed, un‐anueld,

No reckoning made, but sent to my account

With all my imperfections on my head.

Oh horrible, O horrible, most horrible,

If thou hast nature in thee beare it not,

Let not the royall bed of Denmarke be

A couch for Luxury and damned Incest.

But howsomever thou pursuest this act,

Taint not thy minde, nor let thy soule contrive

Against thy mother ought, leave her to heaven,

And to those thornes that in her bosome lodge,

To pricke and sting her: fare thee well at once,

The Gloworme shewes the matine to be neere,

And 'gins to pale his uneffectuall fire:

Adieu, adieu, adieu, remember me.

O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?

And shall I couple hell? O fie! hold my heart,

And you my sinewes, grow not instant old,

But beare me swiftly up; remember thee!

I thou poore Ghost, whiles memory holds a seat

In this distracted Globe: remember thee!

Yea, from the table of my memorie

Ile wipe away all triviall fond records,


Prince of Denmarke.
All saw of bookes, all formes, all pressures past,

That youth and observation copied there,

And thy commandement all alone shall live

Within the booke and volume of my braine,

Unmixt with baser matter; yes by heaven.

O most pernicious woman!

O villaine, villaine, smiling damned villaine!

My tables, meet it is I set downe,

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villaine;

At least I am sure it may be so in Denmarke.

So uncle there you are: now to my word,

It is adieu, adieu, remember me.

I have sworne't.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

My Lord, my Lord.

Lord Hamlet.

Heavens secure him.

So be it.

Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.

Hillo, ho, ho boy, come, and come.

How is't my noble Lord?

O wonderfull!

Good my Lord tell it.

No, you will reveale it.

Not I my Lord by heaven.

Nor I my Lord.

How say you then, would heart of man once thinke it?

But you'll be secret.

I by heaven.

There's never a villaine

Dwelling in all Denmarke,

But hee's an arrant Knave.

There needs no Ghost, my Lord, come from the grave

To tell us this.

Why right, you are in the right,

And so without more circumstance at all

I hold it fit that we shake hands and part,

You as your businesse and desire shall point you,

For every man hath businesse and desire,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Such as it is, and for my owne poore part

I will goe pray.

These are but wild and whurling words my Lord.

I am sorry they offend you heartily,

Yes faith heartily.

There's no offence my Lord.

Yes by Saint Patricke but there is Horatio,

And much offence too: touching this vision here,

It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you;

For your desire to know what is betweene us

Ore‐master't as you may: and now good friends,

As you are friends, Scholars, and Souldiers

Give me one poore request.

What is't my Lord, we will.

Never make knowne what you have seene to night.

My Lord we will not.

Nay but swear't.

In faith my Lord not I.

Nor I my Lord in faith.

Upon my sword.

We have sworne my Lord already:

Indeed upon my sword, indeed.

Ghost cries under the stage.

Ha, ha, boy, saist thou so? art thou there true‐penny?

Come on, you heare this fellow in the Selleridge

Consent to sweare.

Propose the oath my Lord.

Never to speake of this that you have seene,

Sweare by my sword.


Hic & ubique, then wee'll shift our ground:

Come hither Gentlemen

And lay your hands againe upon my sword:

Sweare by my sword.

Never to speake of this that you have heard.

Sweare by his sword.

Well said old Mole, canst thou worke i'th earth so fast?

A ____

Prince of Denmarke.
A worthy Pioner, once more remove good friends.

O day and night! but this is wondrous strange.

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome:

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio

Than are dream't of in your Philosophy: but come,

Here as before; never so help you mercy,

(How strange or odde so ere I beare my selfe,

As I perchance hereafter shall thinke meet,

To put an antike disposition on,

That you at such times seeing me, never shall

With armes encombred thus, or head thus shak't,

Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull phrase,

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

Or if we list to speake, or there be and if they might,

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note)

That you know ought of me, this doe sweare,

So grace and mercy at your most need helpe you.


Rest, rest, perturbed spirit. So Gentlemen

With all my love I doe commend me to you,

And what so poore a man as Hamlet is

May doe t'expresse his love and friending to you

God willing shall not lacke: let us goe in together,

And still your fingers on your lips I pray,

The time is out of joint, O cursed spight

That ever I was borne to set it right!

Nay come, lets goe together.

Enter old Polonius with his man or two.
Give him this money, and these two notes Reynaldo.

I will my Lord.

You shall doe marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,

Before you visit him to make inquire

Of his behaviour.

My Lord I did intend it.

Marrie well said, very well said, looke you sir,

Enquire me first what Danskers are in Paris,

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,

What company, at what expence: and finding


The Tragedy of Hamlet
By this encompassment and drift of question,

That they doe know my son, come you more neerer

Then your particular demands will touch it,

Take you as't were some distant knowledge of him,

As thus, I know his father, and his friends,

And in part him: Doe you marke this Reynaldo?

I, very well my Lord.

And in part him, but you may say not well,

But if it be he I meane hee's very wilde,

Addicted so and so, and there put on him

What forgeries you please, marry none so ranke

As may dishonour him, take heed of that;

But sir, such wanton, wild, and usuall slips

As are companions noted and most knowne

To youth and liberty.

As gaming my Lord.

I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,

Quarrelling, drabbing, you may goe so farre.

My Lord, that would dishonour him.

Faith as you may season it in the charge.

You must not put another scandall on him,

That he is open to incontinency,

That's not my meaning, but breath his faults so quaintly,

That they may seeme the taints of liberty,

The flash and out‐breake of a fiery mind,

A savagenesse in unreclaimed blood

Of generall assault.

But my good Lord.

Wherefore should you doe this?

I my Lord, I would know that.

Marry sir here's my drift,

And I beleeve it is a fetch of wit.

You laying these sleight sullies on my sonne,

As 'twere a thing a little soil'd with working,

Mark you, your party in converse, he you would sound,

Having ever seene in the prenominate crimes

The youth you breath of guilty, be assur'd

He closes with you in this consequence;


Prince of Denmarke.
Good sir (or so) or friend, or Gentleman,

According to the phrase or the addition

Of man and countrey.

Very good my Lord.

And then sir does a this, a does: what was I about to say?

By the Masse I was about to say something,

Where did I leave?

At closes in the consequence.

At closes in the consequence; I marry,

He closes thus, I know the Gentleman

I saw him yesterday, or th'other day,

Or then, or then, with such or such, and, as you say,

There was a gaming there, or tooke in's rowse,

There falling out at Tennis, or perchance

I saw him enter such and such a house of sale,

Videlicet, a Brothell, or so forth. See you now,

Your bait of falshood takes this carpe of truth,

And thus doe we of wisdome and of reach,

With windlesses, and with essayes of byas,

By indirects finde directions out:

So by my former Lecture and advice

Shall you my sonne. You have me, have you not?

My Lord I have.

God buy ye, fare ye well.

Good my Lord.

Observe his inclination in your selfe.

I shall my Lord.

And let him ply his Musicke.

Well my Lord.
Exit Rey.

Enter Ophelia.
Farwell. How now Ophelia, what's the matter?

O my Lord, my Lord, I have bin so affrighted.

With what i'th name of God?

My Lord as I was sowing in my Closet,

Lord Hamlet with his doublet all unbrac'd,

No hat upon his head, his stockins foul'd,

Ungartred, and downe gyved to his ankle,

Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
And with a looke so piteous in purport,

As if he had beene loosed out of hell

To speake of horrors, he comes before me.

Mad for thy love?

My Lord I doe not know,

But truely I doe feare it.

What said he?

He took me by the wrist, and held me hard,

Then goes he to the length of all his arme,

And with his other hand thus ore his brow

He falls to such perusall of my face

As a would draw it: long staid he so,

At last, a little shaking of mine arme,

And thrice his head thus waving up and downe,

He raised a sigh so piteous and profound

As it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,

And end his being: that done, he lets me goe,

And with his head over his shoulders turn'd

Hee seem'd to finde his way without his eyes;

For out of doores he went without their helpes,

And to the last bended their light on me.

Come, goe with me, I will goe seeke the King,

This is the very extasie of love,

Whose violent property forgoes it selfe,

And leads the will to desperate undertakings,

As oft as any passions under heaven

That does afflict our natures: I am sorrie;

What? have you given him any hard words of late?

No my good Lord, but as you did command,

I did repell his letters, and deni'd

His accesse to me.

That hath made him mad:

I am sorrie that with better heed and judgement

I had not coated him; I fear'd he did but trifle,

And meant to wrack thee, but beshrew my jealousie;

By heaven it is as proper to our age

To cast beyond our selves in our opinions,

As it is common for the younger sort


Prince of Denmarke.
To lacke discretion: Come, goe we to the King,

This must be knowne, which being kept close might move

More griefe to hide, than hate to utter love.


Flourish. Enter King and Queene, Rosencraus and
Welcome deare Rosencraus and Guildensterne,

Moreover, that we much did long to see you,

The need we have to use you did provoke

Our hastie sending. Something you have heard

Of Hamlets transformation, so I call it,

Sith nor th'exterior, nor the inward man

Resembles that it was: what it should be

More than his fathers death, that thus hath put him

So much from the understanding of himselfe

I cannot dreame of: I entreat you both,

That being of so young dayes brought up with him,

And sith so neighboured to his youth and haviour,

That you vouchsafe your rest here in our Court

Some little time, so by your companies

To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather

So much as from occasion you may gleane,

Whether ought to us unknown afflicts him thus,

That open'd lyes within our remedy.

Good Gentlemen, he hath much talkt of you,

And sure I am two men there are not living

To whom he more adheres; if it will please you

To shew us so much gentry and good will,

As to expend your time with us a while

For the supply and profit of our hope,

Your visitation should receive such thankes

As fits a Kings remembrance.

Both your Majesties

Might by the Soveraigne power you have of us

Put your dread pleasures more into command

Than to intreaty.

But we both obey,

And here give up our selves in the full bent


The Tragedy of Hamlet
To lay our service freely at your feet.

Thanks Rosencraus and gentle Guildenstern.

Thanks Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencraus.

And I beseech you instantly to visit

My too much changed sonne: goe some of you

And bring these Gentlemen where Hamlet is.

Heavens make our presence and our practices

Pleasant and helpfull to him.

Exeunt Ros. and Guil.

Enter Polonius.
Th'Embassadors from Norway, my good Lord,

Are joyfully return'd.

Thou stil hast bin the Father of good newes.

Have I my Lord? I assure my good Liege

I hold my duty as I hold my soule,

Both to my God and to my gracious King:

And I doe thinke, or else this braine of mine

Hunts not the trayle of policie so sure

As it hath us'd to doe, that I have found

The very cause of Hamlets lunacie.

O speake of that, that doe I long to heare.

Give first admittance to the Embassadors,

My newes shall be the fruit to that great feaft.

Thy selfe doe grace to them, & bring them in.

He tels me, my deare Gertrud, he hath found

The head and source of all your sonnes distemper.

I doubt it is no other but the maine,

His fathers death, and our hastie marriage.

Enter Embassadors.
Well, we shall sift him: welcome my good friends;

Say Voltemand, what from our brother Norway?

Most faire returne of greetings and desires:

Upon our first he sent out to suppresse

His Nephewes levies, which to him appear'd

To be a preparation 'gainst the Pollacke,

But better lookt into, he truly found

It was against your Highnesse; whereat griev'd

That so his sicknesse, age, and impotence


Prince of Denmarke.
Was falsly borne in hand, sends out arrests

On Fortenbrasse, which he in briefe obayes.

Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine,

Makes vow before his uncle never more

To give th'assay of armes against your Majestie:

Whereon old Norway overcome with joy

Gives him threescore thousand crowns in annual fee_

And his Commission, to imploy those Souldiers

So levied as before, against the Pollacke,

With an entreaty herein further showne,

That it might please you to give quiet passe

Through your dominions for this enterprize

On such regards of safety and allowance

As herein are set downe.

It likes us well,

And at our more considered time wee'll read,

Answer, and thinke upon this businesse:

Meane time we thank you for your well took labour,

Goe to your rest, at night wee'll feast together:

Most welcome home.
Exeunt Embassadors.

This businesse is well ended,

My Liege and Madam, to expostulate

What majestie should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;

Therefore brevitie is the soule of wit,

And tediousnesse the limbes and outward flourishes_

I will be briefe: your noble sonne is mad,

Mad call I it, for to define true madnesse,

What is't but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that goe.

More matter with lesse art.

Madam I sweare I use no art at all,

That hee's mad 'tis true, 'tis true, 'tis pitty,

And pitty 'tis 'tis true, a foolish figure,

But farewell it, for I will use no art:

Mad let us grant him then, and now remaines

That we finde out the cause of this effect,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Or rather say the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause:

Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus.


I have a daughter, have while she is mine,

Who in her duty and obedience, marke,

Hath given me this; now gather and surmise.

To the Celestiall, my soules Idoll, the most beautifiedOphelia.
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.

Que en.
Came this from Hamlet to her?

Good Madam stay a while, I will be faithfull.

Doubt thou the starres are fire,

Doubt that the sunne doth move,

Doubt truth to be a lyer,

But never doubt I love.

O deareOpheliaI am ill at these numbers, I have not art to
reckon my groanes; but that I love thee best, O most best beleeve
it: Adieu. Thine evermore most deare Lady, whilest this
machine is to him,

This in obedience hath my daughter showne me,

And more about have his solicitings,

As they fell out by time, by meanes, and place,

All given to mine eare.

But how hath she receiv'd his love?

What doe you thinke of me?

As of a man faithfull and honourable.

I would faine prove so; but what might you thinke

When I had seene this hot love on the wing,

As I perceiv'd it (I must tell you that)

Before my daughter told me; what might you

Or my deare Majestie your Queen here thinke,

If I had plaid the deske, or Table‐booke,

Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumbe,

Or lookt upon this love with idle sight,

What might you thinke? no; I went round to worke,

And my young Mistresse thus I did bespeake:

Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy sphere,

This must not be: and then I precepts gave her,


Prince of Denmarke.
That she should locke her selfe from his resort,

Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.

Which done, she tooke the fruits of my advice;

And he repell'd, a short tale to make,

Fell into a sadnesse, then into a Fast,

Thence to a watch, thence into a weaknesse,

Thence to a lightnesse, and by this declension

Into the madnesse wherein now he raves,

And all we mourne for.

Doe you thinke 'tis this?

It may be very likely.

Hath there been such a time, I would faine kno w that,

That I have positively said, 'tis so,

When it prov_d otherwise?

Not that I know.

Take this from this, if this be otherwise,

If circumstances lead me, I will finde

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed

Within the Centre.

How may we try it further?

You know sometimes he walkes foure houres together

Here in the Lobby.

So he does indeed.

At such a time Ile loose my daughter to him,

Be you and I behind the Arras then,

Marke the encounter; if he love her not,

And be not from his reason falne thereon,

Let me be no assistant for a State,

But keep a Farme and Carters.

We will try it.
Enter Hamlet.

But look where sadly the poore wretch comes reading.

Away, I doe besecch you both away,
Exit King and

Ile board him presently. Oh give me leave.

How does my good Lord Hamlet?

Well, God a mercy.

Doe you know me, my Lord?

Excellent well, you are a Fishmonger.

Not I my Lord.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Then I would you were so honest a man.

Honest my Lord?

I sir, to be honest as this world goes

Is to be one man pickt out of ten thousand.

That's very true my Lord.


For if the Sunne breed maggots in a dead dogge, being a
good kissing carrion. Have you a daughter?

I have my Lord.

Let her not walke i'th Sun, conception is a blessing,

But as your daughter may conceive, friend looke to't.


How say you by that? still harping on my daughter, yet he
knew me not at first, a said I was a fish‐monger, a is far gone; and
truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very neare
this: Ile speake to him againe. What doe you read my Lord?

Words, words, words.

What is the matter my Lord?

Betweene who?

I meane the matter that you read my Lord_


Slanders sir: for the Satyricall Rogue saies here, that old
men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes
purging thicke Amber, and Plum‐tree Gum, and that they have a
plentifull lacke of wit, together with most weake hams, all which
sir though I most powerfully and potently beleeve, yet I hold it
not honestie to have it thus set downe, for your selfe sir shall grow
old, as I am, if like a crab you could goe backward.


Though this be madnesse, yet there is method in't, will
you walke out of the aire my Lord?

Into my grave.


Indeed that's out of the aire; how pregnant sometimes
his replyes are? a happines that often madnes hits on, which rea­
son and sanctitie could not so happily be delivered of. I will leave
him and my daughter. My Lord I will take my leave of you.


You cannot take from me any thing that I will not more
willingly part withall, except my life, except my life, except my

Enter Guildensterne and Rosencraus.

Fare you well my Lord.

These tedious old fooles.

You goe to seeke the Lord Hamlet, there he is.


Prince of Denmarke.
God save your sir.

My honoured Lord.

My most deare Lord.

My excellent good friends, how dost thou Guyldenstern?

Ah Rosencraus, good lads how doe you both?

As the indifferent children of the earth.

Happy in that we are not ever happy on fortunes cap,

We are not the very button.

Nor the soles of her shooe.

Neither my Lord.

Then you live about her wast, or in the middle of her fa­ (vors.

Faith her privates we.


In the secret parts of fortune, oh most true, she is a strum­
pet. What newes?

None my Lord, but the worlds growne honest.

Then is Doomes‐day neere: but your newes is not

But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsenour?

To visit you my Lord, no other occasion.


Begger that I am, I am even poore in thanks, but I thank
you, and sure deare friends my thanks are too deare a halfe‐peny:
were you not sent for? is it your owne inclining? is it a free visita­
tion? come, come, deale justly with me, come, come, nay speake.

What should we say my Lord?


Any thing, but to'th purpose, you were sent for, and there
is a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modesties have
not craft enough to colour: I know the good King and Queene
have sent for you.

To what end my Lord?


That you must teach me: but let me conjure you by the
rights of our fellowships, by the consonancy of our youth, by the
obligation of our ever preserved love, and by what more deare a
better proposer can charge you withall, bee even and direct with
me whether you were sent for or no.

What say you?

Nay then I have an eie of you, if you love me hold not off.

My Lord we were sent for.


I will tell you why, so shall my anticipation prevent your
discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no fea­


The Tragedy of Hamlet
ther: I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth,
forgone all custome of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with
my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth seemes to mee a
sterill promontorie; this most excellent Canopie the aire, looke
you, this brave ore‐hanged firmament, this majesticall roofe fret­
ted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece a worke is
man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in forme and
moving how expresse and admirable! in action how like an An­
gel! in apprehension how like a God! the beauty of the world, the
paragon of animals; & yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?
man delights not me, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
you seeme to say so.

My Lord there was no such stuffe in my thoughts.

Why did ye laugh then, when I said man delights not me?


To thinke my Lord, if you delight not in man, what Lenten
entertainment the Plaiers shall receive from you, we coated them
on the way, and hither are they comming to offer you service.


He that playes the King shall be welcome, his Majestie
shall have tribute of mee, the adventurous Knight shall use his
foyle and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis, the humorous man
shall end his part in peace, and the Lady shall say her mind freely,
or the blanke verse shall halt for't. What players are they?


Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the Tra­
gedians of the City.


How chances it they travell? their residence both in re­
putation and profit was better both wayes.


I thinke their inhibition comes by the meanes of the late


Doe they hold the same estimation they did when I was
in the City? are they so followed?

No indeed, they are not.


It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of Denmark,
and those that would make mouthes at him while my father lived,
give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred duckets a peece for his picture
in little: s'blood there is something in this more than naturall, if
Philosophy could finde it out.

A Flourish.

There are the players.


Prince of Denmarke.
Ha m.

Gentlemen you are welcome to Elsenour, your hands:
come t hen, th'appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremo­
ny, let me comply with you in this garbe, lest my extent to the
Plaiers, which I tell you must shew fairly outwards, should more
appeare like entertainment than yours; you are welcome: but
my Uncle‐father and Aunt‐mother are deceived.

In what my deare Lord?


I am but mad North North‐west, when the wind is Sou­
therly I know a hawke from a hand‐saw.

Enter Polonius.
Well be with you Gentlemen.


Harke you Guyldenstern, and you too, at each eare a hea­
rer, that great baby as you see is not yet out of his swadling clouts.


Happely he is the second time come to them, for they say
an old man is twice a child.


I will prophecie that he comes to tell me of the Players,
marke it: You say right sir, a Munday morning 'twas then indeed.

My Lord I have newes to tell you.

My Lord I have newes to tell you: when Rossius was an
Actor in Rome.

The Actors are come hither my Lord.

Buz, buz.

Upon mine honour.

Then came each Actor on his asse.


The best Actors in the world, either for Tragedy, Comedy,
History, Pastorall, Pastorall‐Comicall, Historical‐Pastorall scene
indevidable, or Poem unlimited: Seneca cannot bee too heavie,
nor Plautus too light for the law of writ and the liberty; these are
the onely men.

O Jeptha Judge of Israel what a treasure hadst thou?

What a treasure had he my Lord?


Why one faire daughter and no more, the which hee lo­
ve_ passing well.

Still on my daughter.

Am I not i'th right old Jeptha?

What followes then my Lord?


Why as by lot God wot, and then you know it came to
passe, as most like it was: the first row of the pans chanson will


The Tragedy of Hamlet
shew you more, for looke where my abridgement comes.

Enter the Players.

You are welcome masters, welcome all, I am glad to see
thee well, welcome good friends; oh old friend! why thy face is
valanc'd since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard mee in Den­
what my young Lady and Mistresse! my Lady your Ladi­
ship is neerer to heaven than when I saw you last by the altitude
of a chopine, pray God your voice, like a peece of uncurrant gold,
be not crackt within the ring: masters you are all welcome, wee'll
e'en to't like friendly Faukners, flye at any thing wee see, wee'll
have a speech strait, come give us a taste of your quality, come a
passionate speech.

What speech my good Lord?


I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was never a­
cted, or if it was, not above once, for the play I remember pleased
not the million, 'twas caviary to the generall, but it was as I recei­
ved it and others, whose judgements in such matters cried in the
top of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set
downe with as much modesty as cunning. I remember one said
there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter savoury, nor
no matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but call'd it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
much more handsome than fine; one speech in't I chiefly loved,
'twas Æneas talke to Dido, and thereabout of it especially when
he speakes of Priams slaughter, if it live in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pyrrhus like th'ircanian
Beast, 'tis not it begins with Pyrrhus. The rugged Pyrrhus, hee
whose sable armes,

Blacke as his purpose did the night resemble,

When he lay couched in th'ominous horse,

Hath now his dread and blacke complection smear'd

With Heraldry more dismall head to foot:

Now is he totall Gules, horridly trickt

With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sonnes,

Bak'd and embasted with the parching streets,

That lend a tyrannous and a damned light

To their Lords murder, rosted in wrath and fire,

And thus ore‐cised with coagulate gore,


Prince of Denmarke.
With eyes like Carbuncle, the hellish Pyrrhus

Old gransire Priam seekes; so proceed you.

Fore God my Lord well spoken, with good accent and good (discretion.

Anon he finds him

Striking too short at Greekes, his anticke sword

Rebellious to his arme, lyes where it falls,

Repugnant to command; unequall matcht,

Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide,

But with the whiffe and winde of his fell sword

Th'unnerved father falls.

Seeming to feele this blow, with flaming top

Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash

Takes prisoner Pyrrhus eare: for loe his sword,

Which was declining on the milky head

Of reverent Priam, seem'd i'th ayre to sticke,

So as a painted tyrant Pyrrhus stood,

Like a neutrall to his will and matter,

Did nothing:

But as we often see against some storme,

A silence in the heavens, the rackes stand still,

The bold wind speechlesse, and the orbe below

As hush as death, anon the dreadfull thunder

Doth rend the region: so after Pyrrhus pawse,

A rowsed vengeance sets him new aworke,

And never did the Cyclops hammers fall,

On Mars his armour, forg'd for proofe eterne,

With lesse remorse than Pyrrhus bleeding sword

Now falls on Priam.

Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! all you gods

In generall synod take away her power,

Breake all the spokes and felloes from her wheele,

And boule the round nave downe the hill of heaven,

As low as to the fiends.

This is too long.


It shall to the Barbers with your beard: prethee say on, he's
for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps; say on, come to Hecuba.

But who, ah woe had seene the mobled Queene.

The mobled Queene!


The Tragedy of Hamlet
That's good.

Run barefoot up and downe, threatning the flames,

With Bison rhume, a clout upon that head

Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,

About her lanke and all ore‐teamed loynes,

A blanket in the alarme of feare caught up.

Who this had seene, with tongue in venome steept,

'Gainst fortunes state would treason have pronounc'd:

But if the gods themselves did see her then,

When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport

In mincing with his sword her husbands limbes,

The instant burst of clamor that she made,

Unlesse things mortall move them not at all,

Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,

And passion in the gods.


Looke where he has not turned his colour, and has teares
in's eyes: prethee no more.


'Tis well, Ile have thee speake out the rest of this soone.
Good my Lord doe you see the Players well bestowed, doe you
heare, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and briefe
Chronicles of the time; after your death you were better have a
bad Epitaph, than their ill report while you live.

My Lord I will use them according to their desert.


Gods bodkin man much better, use every man after his
desert, and who shall scape whipping? use them after your owne
honour and dignity, the lesse they deserve the more merit is in
your bounty: Take them in.

Come sirs.


Follow him friends, wee'll heare a play to morrow; doest
thou heare me old friend, can you play the murder of Gonzago?

I my Lord.


Wee'll hav't to morrow night: you could for need study
a speech of some dosen lines, or sixteene lines, which I would set
downe and insert in't, could you not?

I my Lord.


Very well: follow that Lord, and looke you mocke him
not. My good friends, Ile leave you till night, you are welcome
to Elsenour.

Exeunt Pol. and Players.


Prince of Denmarke.
Good my Lord.

I so, God buy to you; now am I alone.

O what a Rogue and pesant slave am I!

Is it not monstrous that this Player here

But in a fiction, in a dreame of passion,

Could force his soule so to his owne conceit,

That from her working all the visage wand,

Teares in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,

A broken voice, and his whole function suting

With formes to his conceit, and all for nothing,

For Hecuba?

What's Hecuba to him, or he to her,

That he should weep for her? what would he doe

Had he the motive, and that for passion

That I have? he would drown the stage with teares,

And cleave the generall eare with horrid speech,

Make mad the guilty, and appeale the free,

Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed

The very faculties of eyes and eares; yet I,

A dull and muddy metled raskall, peake

Like John‐a‐dreames, unpregnant of my cause,

And can say nothing, no not for a King,

Upon whose property and most deare life

A damn'd defeat was made: am I a coward?

Who calls me villaine, breakes my pate acrosse,

Pluckes off my beard, and blowes it in my face,

Twekes me by'th nose, gives me the lye i'th throat

As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?

Hah? s'wounds I should take it, for it cannot be

But I am pigeon liver'd, and lacke gall

To make oppression bitter, or ere this

I should have fatted all the region Kites

With this slaves offall: bloudy, baudy villaine,

Remorslesse, trecherous, lecherous, kindlesse villain.

Why what an Asse am I? this is most brave,

That I the sonne of a deare father murthered,

Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,

Must like a whore unpacke my heart with words,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
And fall a cursing like a very drabbe, stallion, fie upon't, foh.

About my braines, hum, I have heard

That guilty creatures sitting at a Play

Have by the very cunning of the Scene

Beene strooke so to the soule, that presently

They have proclaim'd their malefactions:

For murther though it have no tongue will speake

With most miraculous organ. Ile have these Players

Play something like the murther of my father

Before mine uncle: Ile observe his lookes,

Ile tent him to the quicke, if a doe blench

I know my course. The spirit that I have seene

May be a divell, and the divell hath power

T'assume a pleasing shape, yea and perhaps

Out of my weaknesse and my melancholly,

As he is very potent with such spirits,

Abuses me to damne me: Ile have grounds

More relative than this, the Play's the thing

Wherein Ile catch the conscience of the King.

Enter King, Queene, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencraus, Guyl­
, Lords.
And can you by no drift of conference

Get from him why he puts on this confusion,

Grating so harshly all his daies of quiet

With turbulent and dangerous lunacie?

He does confesse he feeles himselfe distracted,

But from what cause he will by no meanes speake.

Nor doe we find him forward to be sounded,

But with a crafty madnesse keepes aloofe

When we would bring him on to some confession

Of his true estate.

Did he receive you well?

Most like a Gentleman.

But with much forcing of his disposition.

Niggard of question, but of our demands

Most free in his reply.

Did you assay him to any pastime?

Madam, it so fell out that certaine Players


Prince of Denmarke.
We ore‐raught on the way, of these we told him,

And there did seeme in him a kind of joy

To heare of it; they are here about the Court,

And as I thinke they have already order

This night to play before him.

'Tis most true,

And he beseecht me to entreat your Majesties

To heare and see the matter.

With all my heart,

And it doth much content me,

To heare him so inclin'd:

Good Gentlemen give him a further edge,

And drive his purpose into these delights.

We shall my Lord.
Exeunt Ros. & Guyl.

Sweet Gertrard leave us two,

For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,

That he as 'twere by accident may here

Affront Ophelia; her father and my selfe,

Wee'll so bestow our selves, that seeing unseene

We may of their encounter frankly judge,

And gather by him as he is behav'd,

If't be th'affliction of his love or no

That thus he suffers for.

I shall obey you:

And for my part Ophelia I doe wish

That your good beauties be the happy cause

Of Hamlets wildnesse, so shall I hope your vertues

Will bring him to his wonted way againe,

To both your honours.

Madam, I wish it may.

Ophelia walk you here: gracious so please you

We will bestow our selves; read on this Booke,

That shew of such an exercise may colour

Your lonelinesse: we are oft to blame in this,

'Tis too much prov'd, that with devotions visage,

And pious action we doe sugar o're

The divell himselfe.

O 'tis too true:


The Tragedy of Hamlet
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!

The harlots cheeke beautied with plastring art,

Is not more ugly to the thing that helpes it,

Than is my deed to my most painted word:

O heavie burden!
Enter Hamlet.

I heare him comming, withdraw my Lord.

To be, or not to be, that is the question,

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrowes of outragious fortune,

Or to take armes against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: To dye to sleepe

No more; and by a sleepe to say we end

The heart‐ake, and the thousand naturall shockes

That flesh is heire to; 'tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wisht, to dye to sleepe,

To sleep perchance to dreame, I there's the rub,

For inthat sleep of death what dreames may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortall coyle

Must give us pause, there's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life:

For who would beare the whips and scornes of time,

Th'oppressors wrong, the proud mans contumely,

The pangs of despised love, and the Lawes delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurnes

That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,

When as himselfe might his Quietus make

With a bare bodkin? who would fardels beare,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life?

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscover'd Countrey, from whose borne

No traveller returnes, puzzels the will

And makes us rather beare those ills we have,

Than flye to others that we know not of.

Thus conscience does make cowards,

And thus the native hiew of resolution

Is sicklied ore with the pale cast of thought:

And enterprises of great pitch and moment,

With this regard their currents turne awry,


Prince of Denmarke.
And lose the name of action. Soft you now,

The faire Ophelia, Nimph in thy Orizons?

Be all my sins remembred?

Good my Lord,

How does your honour for this many a day?

I humbly thanke you, well.

My Lord I have remembrances of yours,

That I have longed long to re‐deliver,

I pray you now receive them.

No, not I, I never gave you ought.

My honour'd Lord, you know right well you did,

And with them words of so sweet breath composed

As made these things more rich: their perfume lost,

Take these againe: for to the noble minde

Rich gifts waxe poore when givers prove unkind.

There my Lord.

Ha, ha, are you honest?

My Lord.

Are you faire?

What meanes your Lordship?


That if you bee honeft and faire, you should admit no
discourse to your beauty.

Could beauty my Lord have better commerce

Than with honestie.


I truly, for the power of beautie will sooner transforme
honestie fr__ what it is to a baud, than the force of honestie can
translate beauty to his likenesse: this was sometime a Paradoxe,
but now the time gives it proofe. I did love you once.

Indeed my Lord you made me beleeve so.


You should not have beleev'd mee, for vertue cannot so
evacuate our old stocke but we shall rellish of it: I loved you not.

I was the more deceived.


Get thee a Nunry, why wouldst thou be a breeder of sin­
ners? I am my selfe indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me
of such things, that it were better my mother had not born me: I
am very proud, revengefull, ambitious, with more offences at my
beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give thēthem
shape, or time to act them in: what should such fellowes as I doe


The Tragedy of Hamlet
crawling betweene earth and heaven? we are arrant Knaves, be­
leeve none of us, go thy waies to a Nunry. Where's your father?

At home my Lord.

Let the doores be shut upon him,

That he may play the foole no where but in's owne house:


O helpe him you sweet heavens.


If thou dost marry, Ile give thee this plague for thy dow­
ry, be thou as chaste as Ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape
calumny, get thee to a Nunry, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs mar­
ry, marrie a foole, for wisemen know well enough what monsters
you make of them: to a Nunry, goe, and quickly too, farewell.

Heavenly powers restore him.


I have heard of your paintings well enough: God hath gi­
ven you one face, and you make your selves another, gig and am­
ble, and you list you nickname Gods creatures, and make your
wantonnesse ignorance; go too, Ile no more on't, it hath made me
mad: I say we will have no moe marriages, those that are married
already all but one shall live, the rest shall keepe as they are: to a
Nunrie goe.


O what a noble minde is here orethrowne!

The Courtiers, Souldiers, Scholars, eie, tongue, sword,

Th'expectation and Rose of the faire state,

The glasse of fashion, and the mould of forme,

Th'observ'd of all observers, quite, quite downe,

And I of Ladies most deject and wretched,

That suckt the honey of his Musicke vowes;

Now see what noble and most soveraigne reason

Like sweet bels jangled out of time, and harsh,

That unmatcht forme and stature of blowne youth

Blasted with extasie. O woe is me

T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Enter King and Polonius.
Love! his affections doe not that way tend,

For what he spake, though it lackt forme a little,

Was not like madnes, there's something in his soule

Ore which his melancholy sits on brood,

And I doe doubt the hatch and the disclose


Prince of Denmarke.
Will be some danger; which for to prevent

I have in quicke determination

Thus set downe: he shall with speed to England,

For the demand of our neglected tribute:

Haply the Seas and Countries different,

With variable objects shall expell

This something setled matter in his heart,

Whereon his braines still beating,

Puts him thus from fashion of himselfe.

What thinke you on't?

It shall doe well:

But yet I doe beleeve the origen and commencement of it

Sprung from neglected love: how now Ophelia?

You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said,

We heard it all: my Lord doe as you please,

But if you hold it fit, after the Play

Let his Queen‐mother all alone entreat him

To shew his griefe; let her be round with him,

And Ile be plac'd (so please you) in the eare

Of all their conference: if she find him not,

To England send him, or confine him where

Your wisdome best shall think.

It shall be so,

Madnesse in great ones must not unmatcht goe.

Enter Hamlet, and three of the Players.

Speake the speech I pray you as I pronounc'd it to you,
trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our
Players do, I had as lieve the Towne‐crier spoke my lines: nor do
not saw the aire too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
for in the very torrent tempest, and, as I may say, whirle‐wind of
your passion you must acquire and beget a temperance that may
give it smoothnesse: O it offends mee to the soule to heare a ro­
bustious Perwig‐pated fellow teare a passion to totters, to very
rags, to spleet the eares of the ground‐lings, who for the most part
are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumbe shewes and noise:
I would have such a fellow whipt for ore‐doing Termagant, it out­
Herods Herod, pray you avoid it.

I warrant your honour.


The Tragedy of Hamlet

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be
your tutor; sute the action to the word, the word to the action,
with this speciall observance, that you ore‐step not the modestie
of Nature: For any thing so ore‐done is from the purpose of play­
ing, whose end both at first, and now, was and is, to hold as 'twere
the Mirrour up to nature, to shew vertue her feature, scorne her
owne image, and the very age and body of the time his forme and
pressure: now this over‐done, or come tardy of, though it makes
the unskilfull laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the
censure of which one must in your allowance ore‐weigh a whole
Theater of others. O there be Players that I have seene play, and
heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that
neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian,
Pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought
some of Natures Journy‐men had made men, and not made them
well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us.


O reforme it altogether: and let those that play your
Clownes speake no more than is set downe for them, for there be
of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantitie of
barren spectators to laugh too, though in the meane time some
necessary question of the Play be then to be considered: that's vil­
lanous, and shewes a most pitifull ambition in the Foole that u­
ses it: goe, make you ready. How now my Lord? will the King
heare this piece of worke?

Enter Polonius, Guyldensterne, and Rosencraus.
And the Queene too, and that presently.

Bid the Players make haste. Will you two help to hasten (them.

I my Lord.
Exeunt those two.

What hoe, Horatio?

Here sweet Lord, at your service.

Horatio, thou art een as just a man

As ere my conversation cop't withall.

O my deare Lord.

Nay, doe not thinke I flatter,

For what advancement may I hope from thee

That no revenue hast but thy good spirits

To feed and cloath thee? why should the poor be flattered?


Prince of Denmarke.
No, let the candied tongue licke absurd pompe,

And crooke the pregnant hinges of the knee

Where thrift may follow fawning: doest thou heare?

Since my deare soule was Mistris of her choice,

And could of men distinguish her election,

Sh'ath seal'd thee for her selfe: for thou hast bin

As one in suffering all that suffers nothing;

A man that fortunes buffets and rewards

Hast ta'n with equall thanks: and blest are those

Whose blood and judgement are so well comedled

That they are not a pipe for fortunes finger,

To sound what stop she please: give me that man

That is not passions slave, and I will weare him

In my hearts core, I, in my heart of heart,

As I doe thee. Something too much of this:

There is a play to night before the King,

One Scene of it comes neere the circumstance

Which I have told thee of my Fathers death;

I prethee when thou seest that Act on foot

Even with the very comment of thy soule

Observe my uncle: if his occulted guilt

Doe not it selfe unkennell in one speech,

It is a damned Ghost that we have seene,

And my imaginations are as foule

As Vulcans stithy: give him heedfull note,

For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,

And after we will both our judgements join_

In censure of his seeming.

Well my Lord,

If a steale ought the whilst this Play is playing

And scape detection, I will pay the theft.

Enter Trumpets and Kettle Drums, King,
Queen, Polonius, Ophelia.
They are comming to the play, I must be idle.

Get you a place.

How fares our Cousin Hamlet.

Excellent ifaith,

Of the Cameleons dish, I eat the aire,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Promise‐cram'd, you cannot feed Capons so.

I have nothing with this answer Hamlet,

These words are not mine.

No, nor mine now my Lord.

You plai'd once in the University you say.

That did I my Lord, and was accounted a good Actor.

What did you enact?

I did enact Julius Cæsar, I was kill'd i'th Capitoll,

Brutus kill'd me.

It was a brute part of him to kill so capitall a calfe there.

Be the Players ready?

I my Lord, they stay upon your patience.

Come hither my deare Hamlet, sit by me.

No good mother, here's metall more attractive.

O ho, doe you marke that?

Lady, shall I lye in your lap?

No my Lord.

Doe you thinke I meant Countrey matters?

I thinke nothing my Lord.

That's a faire thought to lye between maids legs.

What is my Lord?


You are merry my Lord.

Who I?

I my Lord.


O God! your onely Jig‐maker, what should a man doe
but be merry: for looke you how cheerfully my mother lookes,
and my father died within's two houres.

Nay, 'tis twice two moneths my Lord.


So long! nay then l_t the divell weare black, for Ile have
a sute of sables: O heavens! dye two months agoe, and not for­
gotten yet! then there's hope a great mans memory may out‐live
his life halfe a yeere; but ber Lady a must build Churches then, or
else shall a suffer not thinking on, with the Hobby‐horse, whose E­
pitaph is, for O, for O, the Hobby‐horse is forgot.

The Trumpets sound. Dumbe shew followes.
Enter a King and a Queen, the Queene embracing him, and he
her, he takes her up, and declines his head upon her necke, he lyes

Prince of Denmarke.
him downe upon a banke of flowers, she seeing him asleepe, leaves
him: anon comes in another man, takes off his Crowne, kisses it,
poures poison in the sleepers eares, and leaves him: the Queen re­
turnes, findes the King dead, makes passionate action, the poisoner
with some three or foure comes in again, seem to condole with her,
the dead body is carried away, the poisoner woes the Queene with
gifts, she seemes harsh a while, but in the end accepts love.
What meanes this my Lord?

Marry it is munching Mallico, it meanes mischiefe.

Belike this shew imports the argument of the Play.

We shall know by this fellow,
Enter Prologue.

The Players cannot keepe, they'll tell all.

Will a tell us what this shew meant?

I, or any shew that you will shew him, be not you asham'd
to shew, hee'll not shame to tell you what it meanes.

You are naught, you are naught, Ile marke the Play.

For us and for our Tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,

We begge your hearing patiently.

Is this a Prologue, or the posie of a ring?

'Tis briefe my Lord.

As womans love.

Enter King and Queene.
Full thirty times hath Phœbus Cart gone round

Neptunes salt wash, and Tellus orb'd the ground,

And thirty dozen Moones with borrowed sheene

About the world have twelve times thirty been,

Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands

Unite commutuall in most sacred bands.

So many journies may the Sun and Moone

Make us againe count ore ere love be done:

But woe is me, you are so sicke of late,

So farre from cheere, and from your former state,

That I distrust you; yet though I distrust,

Discomfort you my Lord it nothing must.

For women feare too much, even as they love,

And womans feare and love hold quantity,

Either none, in neither ought, or in extremity.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Now what my love is proofe hath made you know,

And as my love is ciz'd my feare is so:

Where love is great, the littlest doubts are feare;

Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

Faith I must leave thee love, and shortly too,

My operant powers their functions leave to doe,

And thou shalt live in this faire world behind,

Honour'd, belov'd, and haply one as kind

For husband shalt thou.

O confound the rest!

Such love must needs be treason in my breast.

In second husband let me be accurst,

None wed the second but who kill'd the first:


The instances that second marriage move

Are base respects of thrift, but none of love:

A second time I kill my husband dead

When second husband kisses me in bed.

I do beleeve you thinke what now you speak,

But what we doe determine oft we breake,

Purpose is but the slave to memory,

Of violent birth, but poore validity;

Which now the fruit unripe stickes on the tree,

But fall unshaken when they mellow be.

Most necessary 'tis that we forget

To pay our selves what to our selves is debt;

What to our selves in passion we propose,

The passion ending doth the purpose lose;

The violence of either griefe or joy

Their owne enactures with themselves destroy;

Where joy most revells griefe doth most lament:

Griefe joy, joy griefes, on slender accident.

This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange,

That even our loves should with our fortunes change:

For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,

Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.

The great ma_ downe, you marke his favourite flies,

The poore advanc'd makes friends of enemies:

And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,


Prince of Denmarke.
For who not needs shall never lacke a friend,

And who in want a hollow friend doth try,

Directly seasons him his enemy.

But orderly to end where I begun,

Our wills and fates doe so contrary run,

That our devices still are overthrowne:

Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our owne.

So thinke thou wilt no second husband wed,

But dye thy thoughts when thy first Lord is dead.

Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,

Sport and repose locke from me day and night_

To desperation turne my trust and hope,

And Anchors cheere in prison be my scope,

Each opposite that blankes the face of joy,

Meet what I would have well, and it destroy;

Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,

If she should
break it now.

If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife.

'Tis deeply sworne: sweet leave me here a while,

My spirits grow dull, and faine I would beguile

The tedious day with sleep.

Sleep rocke thy braine,

And never come mischance betweene us twaine.

Madam, how like you this play?

The Lady doth protest too much me thinkes.

O but shee'll keepe her word.

Have you heard the argument? is there no offence in't?

No, no, they doe but jest, poison in jest, no offence i'th (world.

What doe you call the play?


The Mouse‐trap; marry how? tropically. This play is the
image of a murther done in Vienna, Gonzago is the Dukes name,
his wife Baptista, you shall see anon, 'tis a knavish piece of work,
but what of that? your Majestie and we shall have free soules, it
touches us not; let the galled jade winch, our withers are un­
wrung. This is one Lucianus Nephew to the King.

Enter Lucianus.
You are as good as a Chorus my Lord.

I could interpret betweene you and your love

If I could see the puppits dallying.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
You are keene my Lord, you are keene.

It would cost you a groaning to take off mine edge.

Still better and worse.


So you mistake your husbands. Begin murtherer, leave
thy damnable faces and begin, come, the croking raven doth bel­
low for revenge.

Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,

Considerate season, else no creature seeing,

Thou mixture ranke, of midnight weeds collected,

With Hecats bane thrice blasted, thrice infected,

Thy naturall magicke, and dire property,

On wholsome life usurps immediately.


A poisons him i'th garden for his estate, his name's Gonza­
, the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian: you shall
see anon how the murtherer gets the love of Gonzagoes wife.

The King rises.

How fares my Lord?

Give ore the play.

Give me some light, away.

Lights, lights, lights.
Exeunt all but Ham. & Horatio.

Why let the strucken Deere goe weep,

The Hart ungalled play,

For some must watch whilest some must sleep,

Thus runs the world away. Would not this sir, and a forrest of fea­
thers, if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me, with provincial
Roses on my raz'd shooes, get me a fellowship in a city of plaiers?

Halfe a share.

A whole one I.

For thou doest know O Damon deare

This realme dismantled was

Of Jov_ himselfe, and now raignes here

A very very paiocke.

You might have rim'd:

O good Horatio, Ile take the Ghosts word for a thousand
pound. Didst perceive?

Very well my Lord.

Upon the talke of the poisoning.

I did very well note him.


Prince of Denmarke.
Ah ha, come some musicke, come the Recorders,

For if the King likes not the Comedy,

Why then belike he likes it not perdie.

Come, some musicke.

Enter Rosencraus and Guyldensterne.
Good my Lord vouchsafe me a word with you.

Sir a whole Historie.

The King sir.

I sir, what of him?

Is in his retirement marvellous distempered.

With drinke sir?

No my Lord, with choler.


Your wisedome should shew it selfe more richer to sig­
nifie this to the Doctor; for for mee to put him to his purgation,
would perhaps plunge him into more choler.

Good my Lord put your discourse into some frame,

And stare not so wildly upon my affaire.

I am tame sir, pronounce.

The Queene your mother in most great affliction of spi­
rit, hath sent me to you.

You are welcome.


Nay good my Lord, this courtesie is not of the right breed,
if it shall please you to make mee a wholsome answer, I will doe
your mothers commandement, if not, your pardon and my re­
turne shall be the end of the businesse.

Sir I cannot.

What my Lord?


Make you a wholsome answer, my wit's diseas'd, but sir, such
answer as I can make you shall command, or rather as you say, my
mother; therefore no more, but to the matter, my mother you say.

Then thus she saies, your behaviour hath strooke her into
amazement and admiration.

O wonderfull sonne that can so astonish a mother! but is
there no sequell at the heels of this mothers admiration? impart.

She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.

We shall obey, were she ten times our mother; have you
any further trade with us?

My Lord you once did love me.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
And doe still by these pickers and stealers.


Good my Lord what is your cause of distemper? you doe
surely barre the doore upon your owne liberty, if you deny your
griefes to your friend.

Sir I lacke advancement.

How can that be, when you have the voice of the King him­
selfe for your succession in Denmarke?

Enter the Players with Recorders.

I sir, but while the grasse growes; the proverbe is some­
thing musty: oh the Recorders, let me see one, to withdraw with
you; why doe you goe about to recover the wind of me, as if you
would drive me into a toile?

O my Lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmanerly

I do not well understand that: will you play upon this pipe?

My Lord I cannot.

I pray you.

Beleeve me I cannot.

I beseech you.

I know no touch of it my Lord.


It is as easie as lying; govern these ventages with your fin­
gers and the thumbe, give it breath with your mouth, and it will
discourse most eloquent musick: look you, these are the stops.

But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmo­
ny, I have not the skill.


Why look you now how unworthy a thing you make of
me, you would play upon me, you would seeme to know my stops,
you would plucke out the heart of my mysterie, you would sound
mee from my lowest note to my compasse, and there is much mu­
sicke, excellent voice in this little organ, yet cannot you make it
speake, s'bloud do you think I am easier to be plaid on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will, though you fret me not, you
cannot play upon me. God blesse you sir.

Enter Polonius.
My Lord the Queen would speak with you, and presently.

Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?

By'th masse and 'tis like a Camell indeed.

Me thinkes it is like a Wezell.

It is blacke like a Wezell.


Prince of Denmarke.
Or like a Whale.

Very like a Whale.

Then I will come to my mother by and by;

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

Leave me friends.

I will, say so. By and by is easily said.

'Tis now the very witching time of night,

When Church‐yards yawne, and hell it selfe breathes out

Contagion to the world: now could I drinke hot blood,

And doe such bitter businesse as the day

Would quake to looke on: soft, now to my mother,

O heart lose not thy nature! let not ever

The soule of Nero enter this firme bosome!

Let me be cruell, not unnaturall.

I will speake daggers to her, but use none,

My tongue and soule in this be hypocrites;

How in my words soever she be shent,

To give them seales never my soule consent.

Enter King, Rosencraus, and Guyldensterne.
I like him not, nor stands it safe with us

To let his madnesse range; therefore prepare you,

I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,

And he to England shall along with you,

The tearmes of our estate may not endure

Hazzard so neare us as doth hourely grow

Out of his browes.

We will our selves provide;

Most holy and religious feare it is

To keepe those many many bodies safe

That live and feed upon your Majesty.

The single and peculiar life is bound

With all the strength and armour of the mind

To keepe it selfe from noyance, but much more

That spirit, upon whose weale depends and rests

The lives of many: the cesse of Majesty

Dyes not alone, but like a gulfe doth draw

What's neare it with it: or it is a massie wheele,

Fixt on the somnet of the highest mount,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things

Are morteist and adjoin'd, which when it falls,

Each small annexment, pettie consequence

Attends the boistrous raine, never alone

Did the King sigh, but a generall grone.

Arme you I pray you to this speedy voiage,

For we will fetters put about this feare

Which now goes too free footed.

We will make haste.
Exeunt Gent.

Enter Polonius.
My Lord hee's going to his mothers closet,

Behind the Arras Ile convay my selfe

To heare the processe, Ile warnt shee'l tax him home;

And as you said, and wisely was it said,

'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,

Since nature makes them partiall, should ore‐heare

The speech of vantage; fare you well my Liege,

Ile call upon you ere you goe to bed,

And tell you what I heare.

Thankes deare my Lord.

O my offence is ranke, it smels to heaven,

It hath the primall eldest curse upon't;

A brothers murder: pray can I not,

Though inclination be as sharpe as will,

My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;

And like a man to double businesse bound,

I stand in pause where I shall first begin,

And both neglect: what if this cursed hand

Were thicker than it selfe with brothers blood?

Is there not raine enough in the sweet heavens

To wash it white as snow? whereto serves mercy,

But to confront the visage of offence?

And what's in prayer, but this twofold force,

To be forestalled ere we come to fall,

Or pardon being downe? then Ile looke up:

My fault is past: but oh! what forme of prayer

Can serve my turne? forgive me my foule murther?

That cannot be, since I am still possest


Prince of Denmarke.
Of those affects for which I did the murther,

My Crowne, mine owne ambition, and my Queene:

May one be pardoned and retaine th'offence?

In the corrupted currents of this world

Offences guided hand may shew by justice,

And oft 'tis seene the wicked prize it selfe

Buyes out the Law; but 'tis not so above,

There is no shuffling, there the action lyes

In his true nature, and we our selves compeld

Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults

To give in evidence: what then? what rests?

Try what repentance can; what can it not?

Yet what can it when one cannot repent?

O wretched state! O bosome blacke as death!

O limed soule! that struggling to be free,

Art more ingaged! helpe Angels, make assay,

Bow stubborn knees, and hearts with strings of steele

Be soft as sinnewes of the new‐borne babe,

All may be well.
Enter Hamlet.

Now might I do it, but now a is praying,

And now Ile do't, and so a goes to heaven,

And so am I reveng'd? that would be scann'd;

A villaine kills my father, and for that

I his sole sonne doe this same villaine send

To heaven:

Why this is base and silly, — not revenge:

A tooke my father grossely, full of bread,

With all his crimes broad blowne, as flush as May,

And how his audit stands who knowes save heaven?

But in our circumstance and course of thought,

'Tis heavie with him; and am I then reveng'd

To take him in the purging of his soule,

When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?


Up sword, and know thou a more horrid hent,

When he is drunke, asleep, or in his rage,

Or in th'incestuous pleasure of his bed,

At game, a swearing, or about some act


The Tragedy of Hamlet
That has no rellish of salvation in't,

Then trip him that his heele may kicke at heaven,

And that his soule may be as damn'd and blacke

As hell whereto it goes: my mother stayes,

This Physicke but prolongs thy sickly dayes.

My words flye up, my thoughts remaine below,

Words without thoughts never to heaven goe.

Enter Gertrard and Polonius.
A will come strait, looke you lay home to him,

Tell him his prankes have bin too broad to beare with,

And that your grace hath screen'd and stood betweene

Much heat and him. Ile silence me even here,

Pray you be round.
Enter Hamlet.

Ile warrant you, feare me not,

Withdraw, I heare him comming.

Now mother what's the matter?

Hamlet thou hast thy father much offended.

Mother you have my father much offended.

Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.

Goe, goe, you question with a wicked tongue.

Why how now Hamlet?

What's the matter now?

Have you forgot me?

No by the Rood not so,

You are the Queene, your husbands brothers wife,

And would it were not so, you are my mother.

Nay then Ile set those to you that can speake.

Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not budge,

You goe not till I set you up a glasse

Where you may see the most part of you.

What wilt thou doe? thou wilt not murder me?

Helpe ho.

What hoe helpe.

How now, a Rat, dead for a Ducket, dead.

O I am slaine.

O me, what hast thou done?

Nay I know not, is it the King?

O what a rash and bloody deed is this!


Prince of Denmarke.
A bloudy deed, almost as bad good mother

As kill a King, and marry with his brother.

As kill a King?

I Lady, it was my word.

Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farewell,

I tooke thee for thy better, take thy fortune,

Thou findest to be too busie is some danger.

Leave wringing of your hands, peace, sit you downe,

And let me wring your hearr, for so I shall

If it be made of penetrable stuffe,

If damned custome have not braz'd it so,

That it be proofe and bulwarke against sense.

What have I done, that thou darest wagge thy tongue

In noise so rude against me?

Such an act

That blurres the grace and blush of modesty,

Calls vertue hypocrite, takes off the Rose

From the faire forehead of an innocent love,

And sets a blister there, makes marriage vowes

As false as Dicers oathes: Oh such a deed

As from the body of contraction pluckes

The very foule, and sweet Religion makes

A rapsodie of words, heavens face does glow

Yea this solidity and compound masse

With heated visage, as against the doome,

Is thought‐sicke at the act.

Ay me, what act?

That roares so loud, and thunders in the Index:

Looke here upon this picture, and on this,

The counterfeit presentment of two brothers;

See what a grace was seated on his brow,

Hiperions curles, the front of Jove himselfe,

An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,

A station like the Herald Mercury

New lighted on a heaven‐kissing hill,

A combination and forme indeed

Where every god did seeme to set his seale,

To give the world assurance of a man.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
This was your husband: look you now what follows,

Here is your husband, like a mildew'd eare,

Blasting his wholsome brother: have you eyes?

Could you on this faire mountain leave to feed,

And batten on this moore? ha! have you eyes?

You cannot call it love, for at your age

The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,

And waits upon the judgement; and what judgment

Would step from this to this? sense sure you have,

Else could you not have motion, but sure that sense

Is apoplext, for madnesse would not erre,

Nor sense to extasie was ne'er so thrall'd,

But it reserv'd some quantity of choice

To serve in such a difference: What divell was't

That thus hath couzen'd you at hodman‐blind?

Eies without feeling, feeling without sight,

Eares without hands, or eyes, smelling sans all,

Or but a sickly part of one true sense

Could not so mope. Oh shame! where is thy blush?

Rebellious hell,

If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones

To flaming youth, let vertue be as waxe

And melt in her owne fire, proclaime no shame

When the compulsive ardure gives the charge,

Since frost it selfe as actively doth burne,

And reason pardons will.

O Hamlet speake no more,

Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soule,

And there I see such blacke and grieved spots

As will leave there their tinct.

Nay but to live

In the ranke sweat of an incestuous bed,

Stew'd in corruption, honying and making love

Over the nasty stye.

O speake to me no more,

These words like daggers enter in mine eares,

No more sweet Hamlet.

A murtherer and a villaine,

A slave

Prince of Denmarke.
A slave that is not twentieth part the kyth

Of your precedent Lord, a vice of Kings,

A Cut‐purse of the Empire and the rule,

That from a shelfe the precious diadem stole,

And put it in his pocket.
Enter Ghost.

A King of shreds and patches.

Save me and hover ore me with your wings

You heavenly guards: what would your gracious figure?

Alasse hee's mad.

Doe you not come your tardie sonne to chide_

That lap'st in time, and passion lets goe by

Th'important acting of your dread command? O say!

Doe not forget: this visitation

Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.

But looke, amazement on thy mother sits;

O step betweene her and her sighing soule!

Conceit in weakest bodies ftrongest workes.

Speake to her Hamlet.

How is it with you Lady?

Alasse how is't with you,

That you doe bend your eye on vacancie,

And with th'incorporall aire do hold discourse_

Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peepe,

And as the sleeping Souldiers in th'alarme,

Your beaded haire like life in excrements

Starts up and stands an end: O gentle sonne!

Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper

Sprinkle coole patience: whereon doe you looke?

On him, on him, look you how pale he gleres,

His forme and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones

Would make them capable; doe not look upon me,

Lest with this piteous action you convert

My fterne effects; then what I have to doe

Will want true colour, teares perchance for blood.

To whom doe you speake this?

Doe you see nothing there?

Nothing at all, yet all that is there I see.

Nor did you nothing heare?


The Tragedy of Hamlet
No nothing but our selves.

Why looke you there, looke how it steales away,

My father in his habit as he liv'd,

Looke where he goes, even now out at the portall.
Exit Ghost.

This is the very coynage of your braine,

This bodilesse creation extasie is very cunning in.

My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time,

And makes as healthfull musick: it is not madnesse

That I have uttred, bring me to the test,

And I the matter will re‐word, which madnesse

Would gambole from. Mother, for love of grace

Lay not this flattering unction to your soule,

That not your trespasse but my madnesse speakes;

It will but skin and filme the ulcerous place,

Whiles ranke corruption mining all within

Infects unseene: confesse your selfe to heaven,

Repent what's past, avoid what is to come,

And doe not spread the compost on the weeds

To make them ranker: forgive me this my vertue,

For in the fatnesse of these pursie times

Vertue it selfe of vice must pardon begge,

Yea courb and wooe for leave to doe him good.

O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twaine.

O throw away the worser part of it,

And leave the purer with the other halfe.

Goodnight, but goe not to my uncles bed,

Assume a vertue if you have it not,

That monster custome, who all sense doth eat,

Of habits divell, is Angel yet in this,

That to the use of actions faire and good

He likewise gives a frocke or Livery

That aptly is put on: refrain to night,

And that shall lend a kinde of easinesse

To the next abstinence, the next more easie;

For use almost can change the stampe of nature,

And master the Divell, or throw him out

With wondrous potency: Once more good night,

And when you are desirous to be blest


Prince of Denmarke.
Ile blessing beg of you: for this same Lord

I doe repent, but heaven hath pleas'd it so,

To punish me with this, and this with me,

That I must be their scourge and minister:

I will bestow him, and will answer well

The death I gave him; so againe good night.

I must be cruell onely to be kinde,

Thus bad begins, and worse remaines behind.

One word more good Lady.

What shall I doe?

Not this by no meanes that I bid you doe,

Let the blowt King tempt you to bed againe,

Pinch wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,

And let him for a paire of reechy kisses,

Or padling in your necke with his damn'd fingers,

Make you to ravell all this matter out,

That I essentially am not in madnesse,

But mad in craft; 'twere good you let him know,

For who that's but Queen, faire, sober, wise,

Would from a paddocke, from a Bat, a Gib,

Such deare concernings hide? who would doe so?

No, in despight of sense and secrecie

Unpeg the basket on the houses top,

Let the birds flye, and like the famous Ape,

To try conclusions in the basket creepe,

And breake your owne necke downe.

Be thou a_sur'd if words be made of breath,

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me.

I must to England, you know that.

Alacke I had forgot,

'Tis so concluded on.

There's letters seal'd, & my two school‐fellows,

Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,

They beare the mandate, they must sweep my way,

And marshall me to knavery; let it worke,

For 'tis the sport, to have the Enginer

Hoist with his owne petar, an't shall goe hard


The Tragedy of Hamlet
But I will delve one yard below their Mines,

And blow them at the Moone: O 'tis most sweet

When in one line two crafts directly meet.

This man shall set me packing,

Ile lugge the guts into the neighbour roome.

Mother good night indeed, this Counseller

Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,

Who was in's life a most foolish prating knave.

Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.

Good night mother.

Enter King and Queen, with Rosencraus
and Guyldensterne.
There's matter in these sighes, these profound heaves,

You must translate, 'tis fit we understand them:

Where is your sonne?

Bestow this place on us a little while.

Ah mine owne Lord, what have I seene to night?

What Gertrard, how does Hamlet?

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend

Which is the mightier in his lawlesse fit,

Behind the Arras hearing something stir,

Whips out his Rapier, cryes a Rat, a Rat,

And in this brainish apprehension kills

The unseene good old man.

O heavie deed!

It had been so with us had we been there,

His liberty is full of threats to all,

To you your selfe, to us, to every one.

Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?

It will be laid to us, whose providence

Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt

This mad young man: but so much was our love

We would not understand what was most fit,

But like the owner of a foule disease,

To keep it from divulging, let it feed

Even on the pith of life: where is he gone?

To draw apart the body he hath kill'd,

Ore whom his very madnesse, like some Ore


Prince of Denmarke.
Among a minerall of metall base,

Shewes it selfe pure, a weeps for what is done.

Gertrard come away,

The Sunne no sooner shall the mountaines touch

But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed

We must with all our Majestie and skill
Enter Ros. & Guyld.

Both countenance and excuse. Ho Guyldensterne,

Friends both, goe joine with you some further aide,

Hamlet in madnesse hath Polonius slaine,

And from his mothers closet hath he drag'd him;

Goe seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body

Into the Chappell; I pray you hast in this:

Come Gertrard, wee'll call up our wisest friends,

And let them know both what we meane to doe,

And what's untimely done,

Whose whisper ore the worlds Diameter,

As levell as the Cannon to his blanke

Transports his poysoned shot, may misse our name,

And hit the woundlesse aire: O come away,

My soule is full of discord and dismay.

Enter Hamlet, Rosencraus, and others.
Safely stow'd: but softly, what noise? who calls on Hamlet?

O here they come.

What have you done my Lord with the dead body?

Compounded it with dust, whereto it is kin.

Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence,

And beare it to the Chappell:

Doe not beleeve it.

Beleeve what?


That I can keepe your counsell and not mine owne; be­
sides, to bee demanded of a spunge, what replication should bee
made by the sonne of a King?

Take you me for a spunge my Lord?


I sir, that sokes up the Kings countenance, his rewards, his
authorities: but such Officers doe the King best service in the end,
he keeps them like an apple in the corner of his jaw, first mouth'd
to be last swallowed; when he needs what you have gleaned, it is
but squees_ng you, and spunge you shall be dry againe.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
I understand you not my Lord.

I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a foolish eare.

My Lord you must tell us where the body is, and goe with
us to the King.

The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
body: the King is a thing.

A thing my Lord?

Of nothing, bring me to him.

Enter King and two or three.
I have sent to seek him, and to find the body;

How dangerous is it that this man goes loose?

Yet must we not put the strong law on him,

Hee's lov'd of the distracted multitude,

Who like not in their judgement, but their eyes,

And where 'tis so, th'offenders scourge is waigh'd,

But never the offence: to beare all smooth and even,

This sudden sending him away must seeme

Deliberate pause; diseases desperate growne

By desperate appliance are reliev'd,

Or not at all.

Enter Rosencraus, and all the rest.
How now? what hath befallen?

Where the dead body is bestow'd my Lord

We cannot get from him.

But where is he?

Without my Lord, guarded to know your pleasure.

Bring him before us.

Ho, bring in the Lord.
They enter.

Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?

At supper.

At supper? where?


Not where he eats, but where he is eaten, a certain convo­
cation of politick worms are een at him: your worme is your only
Emperour for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and wee fat
our selves for maggots; your fat King and your lean beggar is but
variable service, two dishes but to one table, that's the end.

Alas, alas!

A man may fish with the worme that hath eat of a King,

Prince of Denmarke.
eat of the fish that hath fed of that worme.

What doest thou meane by this?

Nothing but to shew you how a King may goe a pro­
gresse through the guts of a beggar.

Where is Polonius?


In heaven, send thither to see, if your messenger find him
not there, seeke him i'th other place your selfe: but indeed if you
find him not within this moneth, you shall nose him as you go up
the staires into the Lobby.

Goe seeke him there.

A will stay till you come.

Hamlet this deed for thine especiall safety,

Which we doe tender, as we dearly grieve

For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence:

Therefore prepare thy selfe,

The Barke is ready, and the winde at helpe,

Th'associates tend, and every thing is bent

For England.

For England?

I Hamlet.


So is it if thou knew'st our purposes.

I see a Cherub that sees them: but come, for England:

Farewell deare mother.

Thy loving father Hamlet.

My mother, father and mother is man and wife,

Man and wife is one flesh, and so my mother.

Come, for England.

Follow him at foot,

Tempt him with speed aboard,

Delay it not, Ile have him hence to night:

Away, for every thing is seal'd and done

That else leanes on the affaire; pray you make haste:

And England, if my love thou holdst at ought,

As my great power thereof may give thee sense,

Since yet thy cicatrice lookes raw and red

After the Danish sword, and thy free awe

Paies homage to us, thou maist not coldly set


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Our Soveraigne processe, which imports at full

By letters congruing to that effect

The present death of Hamlet, doe it England,

For like the Hecticke in my blood he rages,

And thou must cure me: till I know 'tis done,

How ere my haps, my joyes will nere begin.

Enter Fortinbrasse with his Army over the Stage.
Goe Captaine, from me greet the Danish King,

Tell him that by his licence Fortinbrasse

Craves the conveyance of a promis'd march

Over his kingdome; you know the rendezvous,

If that his Majestie would ought with us

We shall expresse our duty in his eye,

And let him know so.

I will doe't my Lord.

Goe softly on.

Enter Hamlet, Rosencraus, &c.
Good sir whose powers are these?

They are of Norway sir.

How propos'd sir I pray you?

Against some part of Poland.

Who commands them sir?

The Nephew of old Norway,Fortinbrasse.

Goes it againft the maine of Poland sir,

Or for some frontier?

Truely to speake, and with no addition,

We goe to gaine a little patch of ground

That hath in it no profit but the name,

To pay five duckets, five I would not farme it,

Nor will it yeeld to Norway or the Pole

A ranker rate, should it be sold infee.

Why then the Pollack never will defend it.

Nay 'tis already garrisond.

Two thousand soules and 20000. duckets

Will not debate the question of this straw;

This is th'impostume of much wealth and peace,

That inward breakes and shewes no cause without

Why the man dyes. I humbly thanke you sir.


Prince of Denmarke.
God buy your sir.

Wil't please you goe my Lord?

Ile be with you ftraight, goe a little before.

How all occasions doe informe against me,

And spur my dull revenge? What is a man,

If his chiefe good and market of his time

Be but to sleepe and feed? a beast, no more.

Sure he that made us with such large discourse,

Looking before and after, gave us not

That capability and God‐like reason

To fust in us unus'd: now whether it be

Bestiall oblivion, or some craven scruple

Of thinking too precisely on th' event,

A thought which quarterd hath but one part wisdom,

And ever three parts coward: I doe not know

Why yet I live to say this thing's to doe,

Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and meanes

To doe't: examples grosse as earth exhort me,

Witnesse this army of such masse and charge,

Led by a delicate and tender Prince,

Whose spirit with divine ambition puft

Makes mouthes at the invisible event,

Exposing what is mortall and unsure

To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,

Even for an egge‐shell. Rightly to be great

Is not to stir without great argument,

But greatly to finde quarrell in a straw,

When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,

That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,

Excitements of my reason and my blood,

And let all sleep, while to my shame I see

The imminent death of twenty thousand men,

That for a fantasie and tricke of fame

Goe to their graves like beds, fight for a plot

Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,

Which is not tombe enough and continent

To hide the slaine? O from this time forth,

My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Enter Horatio, Gertrard, and a Gentleman.
I will not speake with her.

She is importunate,

Indeed distract, her mood will needs be pittied.

What would she have?

She speakes much of her father, sayes she heares

There's trickes i'th world, and hems, and beats her heart,

Spurnes enviously at strawes, speakes things in doubr

That carry but halfe sense, her speech is nothing,

Yet the unshaped use of it doth move

The hearers to collection, they yawne at it,

And botch the words up fit to their owne thoughts,

Which as winkes, and nods, and gestures yeeld them,

Indeed would make one thinke there might be thought,

Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.

'Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew

Dangerous conjectures in ill‐breeding minds.

Let her come in.
Enter Ophelia.

“To my sicke soule, as sins true nature is,

“Each toy seemes prologue to some great ami_se;

“So full of artlesse jealousie is guilt,

“It spills it selfe in fearing to be spilt.

Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmarke?

How now Ophelia?
She sings.

How should I your true love know from another one?

By his cockle hat and staffe, and by his sendall shoone.

Alas sweet Lady, what imports this song?

Say you, nay pray you marke.

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

At his head a grasse‐greene turfe, at his heeles a stone.

O ho.

Nay but Ophelia.

Pray you mark. White his shrowd as the mountain snow.

Enter King.
Alas, looke here my Lord.

Larded all with sweet flowers,

Which beweept to the ground did not goe,

With _ love showers.


Prince of Denmarke.
How doe you pretty Lady.


Well, good dild you, they say the Owle was a Bakers
daughter: Lord, we know what wee are, but know not what wee
may be. God be at your table.

Conceit upon her father.

Pray let's have no words of this, but when they ask you
what it meanes, say you this.

To morrow is S. Valentines day,

All in the morning betime,

And I a maid at your window

To be your Valentine.

Then up he rose, and dond his clothes, and dupt the chamber door,

Let in the maid, that out a maide, never departed more.

Pretty Ophelia.

Indeed, without an oath, Ile make an end on't.

By gis and by Saint Charity,
alacke and fie for shame,

Young men will doe't if they come to't,
by cocke they are to blame.

Quoth she, before you tumbled me you promis'd me to wed.

(He answers.) So should I a done, by yonder sun

And thou hadst not come to my bed.

How long hath she been thus?


I hope all will be well, we must be patient: but I cannot
chuse but weep to think they would lay him i'th cold ground; my
brother shall know of it, & so I thank you for your good counsell.

Come my coach, good night Ladies, good night,

Sweet Ladies good night, good night.

Follow her close, give her good watch I pray you.

O this is the poyson of deep griefe, it springs all from her fathers
death: and now behold O Gertrard, Gertrard,

When sorrowes come they come not single spies,

But in battalians: first, her father slaine,

Next, your sonne gone, and he most violent author

Of his owne just remove; the people muddied,

Thicke and unwholsome in thoughts and whispers

For good Polonius death, & we have done but greenly

In hugger mugger to interre him; poore Ophelia


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Divided from her selfe and her faire judgement,

Without which we are but pictures, or meere beasts.

Last, and as much containing as all these,

Her brother is in secret come from France,

Feeds on this wonder, keeps himselfe in clouds,

And wants not buzzers to infect his eare

With pestilent speeches of his fathers death,

Wherein necessity of matter beggerd

Will nothing sticke our person to arraigne

In eare and eare: O my deare Gertrard, this

Like to a Murdring‐Peece in many places

Gives me superfluous death.
A noise within.

Enter Messenger.
Attend, where are my Swissers? let them guard the door,

What is the matter?

Save your selfe my Lord.

The Ocean over‐peering of his list

Eates not the flats with more impetuous haste

Than young Laertes in a riotous head

Ore‐beares your Officers; the rabble call him Lord,

And as the world were now but to begin,

Antiquity forgot, custome not knowne,

The ratifiers and props of every word,

They cry chuse we Laertes to be King,

Caps, hands, and tongues applaud it to the clouds,

Laertes shall be King, Laertes King.

How cheerfully on the false traile they cry,
A noise within.

O this is counter you false Danish dogges.

Enter Laertes with others.
The doores are broke.

Where is this King? sirs stand you all without.

No let's come in.

I pray you give me leave.

We will, we will.

I thanke you, keep the doore. O thou vile King

Give me my father.

Calmely good Laertes.

That drop of blood that's calme proclaimes me bastard,


Prince of Denmarke.
Cries Cuckold to my father, brands the Harlot

Even here between the chast unsmerched brow

Of my true mother.

What is the cause Laertes

That thy rebellion lookes so Giant‐like?

Let him goe Gertrard, doe not feare our person,

There's such divinity doth hedge a King,

That treason can but peepe to what it would,

Acts little of his will: tell me Laertes

Why thou art thus incens't: let him goe Gertrard,

Speake man.

Where is my father?


But not by him.

Let him demand his fill.

How came he dead? Ile not be jugled with:

To hell allegeance, vowes to the blackest Divell,

Conscience and grace to the profoundest pit,

I dare damnation, to this point I stand,

That both the worlds I give to negligence,

Let come what comes, onely Ile be reveng'd

Most throughly for my father.

Who shall stay you?

My will, not all the worlds:

And for my meanes, Ile husband them so well

They shall goe farre with little.

Good Laertes, if you desire to know the certainty

Of your deare father, is't writ in your revenge,

That soop‐stake, you will draw both friend and foe,

Winner and loser?

None but his enemies.

Will you know them then?

To his good friends thus wide Ile ope my armes,

And like the kinde life‐rendring Pelican

Repast them with my blood.

Why now you speake

Like a good childe, and a true Gentleman.

That I am guiltlesse of your fathers death,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
And am most sensible in griefe for it,

It shall as levell to your judgement peare

As day does to your eye.
A noise within.

Enter Ophelia.
Let her come in.

How now? what noise is that?

O heat dry up my braines, teares seven times salt

Burne out the sense and vertue of mine eye:

By heaven thy madnesse shall be paid with waight

Till our scale turne the beame. O Rose of May!

Deare maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!

O heavens! is't possible a young maids wits

Should be as mortall as a poore mans life!

They bore him bare‐fac'd on the Beere,

And in his grave rain'd many a teare.

Fare you well my Dove.

Hadst thou thy wits, and didst perswade revenge

It could not move thus.

You must sing a downe, a downe,

And you call him a downe a. O how the wheele becomes it,

It is the false steward that stole his Masters 'daughter.

This nothing's more than matter.

There's Rosemary, that's for remembrance, pray you
love remember, and there's Pancies, that's for thoughts.

A document in madnes, thoughts and remembrance fitted.


There's Fennill for you, and Columbines, there's Rew for
you, and here's some for mee, wee may call it herbe of Grace a
Sundayes, you may weare your Rew with a difference; there's a
Dasie: I would give you some Violets, but they witherd all when
my father died; they say a made a good end.

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

Thoughts and afflictions, passion, hell it selfe

She turnes to favour and to prettinesse.

And will a not come againe,

And will a not come againe,

No, no, he is dead, goe to thy death bed,

He never will come againe.

His beard was as white as snow,


Prince of Denmarke.
Flaxen was his pole,

He is gone, he is gone, and we cast away moane,

God a mercy on his soule, and all Christian soules.

God buy you.

Doe you this O God?

Laertes I must commune with your griefe,

Or you deny me right; goe but a part.

Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will,

And they shall heare and judge 'twixt you and me,

If by direct or by collaterall hand

They finde us toucht, we will our kingdome give,

Our Crowne, our life, and all that we call ours

To you in satisfaction; but if not,

Be you content to lend your patience _to us,

And we shall jointly labour with your soule

To give it due content.

Let this be so.

His meanes of death, his obscure funerall,

No Trophey, sword, nor Hatchment ore his bones,

No noble right, nor formall ostentation

Cry to be heard as 'twere from earth to heaven,

That I must call't in question.

So you shall,

And where th'offence is let the great axe fall.

I pray you goe with me.

Enter Horatio and others.
What are they that would speake with me?

Sea‐faring men sir, they say they have Letters for you.

Let them come in.

I doe not know from what part of the world

I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Saylers.

God blesse you sir.

Let him blesse thee too.


A shall sir an't please him. There's a letter for you sir, it
came from the Embassadour that was bound for England, if your
name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.


Horatio, when thou shalt have over‐look't this, give these
fellowes some meanes to the King, they have Letters for him. Ere


The Tragedy of Hamlet
we were two dayes old at sea, a Pirat of very warlike appoint­
ment gave us chase. Finding our selves too slow of saile, we put on
a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them: in the in­
stant they got cleere of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner.
They have dealt with me like theeves of mercy, but they knew
what they did; I am to do a turne for them. Let the King have the
Letters I have sent, and repaire thou to me with as much speed as
thou wouldst flye death. I have words to speake in thine eare will
make thee dumbe, yet are they much too light for the bord of the
matter, these good‐fellowes will bring thee where I am, Rosen­
and Guyldensterne hold their course for England, of them I
have much to tell thee. Farewell.

So that thou knowest thine,

Come, I will make you way for these your Letters,

And doe't the speedier that you may direct me

To him from whom you brought them.

Enter King and Laertes.
Now must your conscience my acquittance seale,

And you must put me in your heart for friend,

Sith you have heard, and with a knowing eare,

That he which hath your noble father slaine

Pursued my life.

It well appeares: but tell me

Why you proceed not against these feates

So criminall and capitall in nature,

As by your safety, greatnesse, wisdome, all things else,

You mainly were stirr'd up.

O for two speciall reasons,

Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinnow'd,

But yet to me tha're strong: the Queen his mother

Lives almost by his lookes, and for my selfe,

My vertue or my plague, be it either which,

She is so conclive to my life and soule,

That as the starre moves not but in his Sphere,

I could not but by her: the other motive

Why to a publike count I might not goe,

Is the great love the generall gender beare him,


Prince of Denmarke.
Who dipping all his faults in their affection,

Worke like the Spring that turneth wood to stone,

Convert his gyves to graces, so that my arrowes

Too slightly timbered for so loved armes,

Would have reverted to my bow againe,

But not where I have aim'd them.

And so I have a noble father lost,

A sister driven into desperate tearmes,

Whose worth, if praises may goe backe again,

Stood challenger on mount of all the age

For her perfections: but my revenge will come.

Breake not your sleeps for that, you must not thinke

That we are made of stuffe so flat and dull,

That we can let our beards be shooke with danger,

And thinke it pastime: you shortly shall heare more.

I lov'd your father, and we love our selfe,

And that I hope will teach you to imagine.

Enter a Messenger with Letters.
These to your Majesty, this to the Queen.

From Hamlet? who brought them?

Sailers my Lord they say, I saw them not,

They were given me by Claudio, he received them

Of him that brought them.

Laertes you shall heare them: leave us.

High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your King­
dome: to morrow shall I beg leave to see your Kingly eyes, when
I shall (first asking you pardon) thereunto recount the occasion of
my sudden returne.

What should this meane? are all the rest come backe?

Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?

Know you the hand?

'Tis Hamlets character. Naked!

And in a post‐script here he saies alone,

Can you devise me?

I am lost in it my Lord; but let him come,

It warmes the very sicknesse in my heart,

That I live, and tell him to his teeth,

Thus didst thou.


The Tragedy of Hamlet
If it be so Laertes,

As how should it be so, how otherwise,

Will you be rul'd by me?

I my Lord, so you will not ore‐rule me to a peace.

To thine own peace: if he be now returned

As liking not his voyage, and that he meanes

No more to undertake it, I will worke him

To an exploit now ripe in my device,

Under the which he shall not chuse but fall,

And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,

But even his mother shall uncharge the practice,

And call it accident.

My Lord I will be rul'd,

The rather if you could devise it so

That I might be the organ.

It falls right:

You have bin talkt of since your travell much,

And that in Hamlets hearing, for a quality

Wherein they say you shine; your summe of parts

Did not together plucke such envie from him

As did that one, and that in my regard

Of the unworthiest siege.

What part is that my Lord?

A very riband in the cap of youth,

Yet needfull too, for youth no lesse becomes

The light and carelesse livery that it weares,

Than setled age his sables, and his weeds,

Importing health and gravenesse: two months since

Here was a Gentleman of Normandy,

I have seene my selfe, and serv'd against the French,

And they can well on horse‐backe; but this Gallant

Had witch‐craft in't, he grew unto his seat,

And to such wondrous doing brought his horse

As he had bin incorp'st and demi‐natur'd

With the brave beast; so farre he topt my thought,

That I in forgery of shapes and trickes

Come short of what he did.

A Norman was't?


Prince of Denmarke.
A Norman_

Upon my life Lamord.

The very same.

I know him well, he is the brooch indeed,

And gemme of all the Nation.

He made confession of you,

And gave you such a masterly report

For art and exercise in your defence,

And for your Rapier most especiall,

That he cry'd out, 'twould be a sight indeed

If one could match you; the Scrimers of their nation

He swore had neither motion, guard, nor eye

If you oppos'd them: sir this report of his

Did Hamlet so envenome with his envie,

That he could nothing doe, but wish and begge

Your sudden comming ore to play with you.

Now out of this.

What out of this my Lord?

Laertes, was your father deare to you?

Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,

A face without a heart?

Why aske you this?

Not that I think you did not love your father,

But that I know love is begun by time,

And that I see in passages of proofe,

Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it;

There lives within the very flame of love

A kinde of wieke or snuffe that will abate it,

And nothing is at a like goodnesse still;

For goodnesse growing to a pleurisie,

Dies in his owne too much, that we would doe,

We should doe when we would: for this Would changes,

And hath abatements and delayes as many

As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents,

And then this Should is like a spend‐thrift sigh,

That hurts by easing: but to the quicke of th'ulcer,

Hamlet comes backe, what would you undertake

To shew your selfe indeed your fathers sonne


The Tragedy of Hamlet
More than in words?

To cut his throat i'th Church.

No place indeed should murder sanctuarize,

Revenge should have no bounds: but good Laertes

Will you doe this? keep close within your chamber,

Hamlet return'd shall know you are come home,

Wee'll put on those shall praise your excellence,

And set a double varnish on the same

The Frenchman gave you, bring you in fine together,

And wager ore your heads; he being remisse,

Most generous, and free from all contriving,

Will not peruse the foiles, so that with ease,

Or with a little shuffling, you may chuse

A sword unbated, and in a pace of practice

Requite him for your father.

I will doe't;

And for the purpose Ile annoint my sword:

I bought an unction of a Mountebanke

So mortall, that but dip a knife in it,

Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare

Collected from all Simples that have vertue

Under the Moone, can save the thing from death

That is but scratcht withall; Ile touch my point

With this contagion, that if I gall him sleightly it may be death.

Let's further thinke of this,

Weigh what conveiance both of time and meanes

May fit us to our shape if this should faile,

And that our drift look through our bad performance

'Twere better not assay'd. Therefore this project

Should have a backe or second, that might hold

If this did blast in proofe: soft, let me see,

Wee'll make a solemne wager on your cunnings,

I hav't, when in your motion you are hot and dry,

As make your bouts more violent to that end,

And that he calls for drinke, Ile have prefer'd him

A Chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,

If he by chance escape your venom'd tucke,

Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what noise?


Prince of Denmarke.
Enter Queene.
One woe doth tread upon anothers heele,

So fast they follow: your sister's drown'd Laertes.

Drown'd! O where?

There is a willow growes ascaunt the brook,

That shewes his hoarie leaves in the glassie ftreame,

Therewith fantasticke garlands did she make

Of Crow‐flowers, Nettles, Dasies, and long Purples,

That liberall shepheards give a grosser name,

But our culcold maids do dead mens fingers call thēthem,

There on the pendant boughes her Coronet weeds

Clambring to hang, an envious shiver broke,

When downe her weedy tropheys and her selfe

Fell in the weeping brooke, her clothes spred wide,

And Mermaid‐like a while they bore her up,

Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds,

As one incapable of her owne distresse,

Or like a creature native and indued

Unto that element, but long it could not be

Till that her garments heavie with their drinke

Puld the poore wench from her melodious lay

To muddy death.

Alasse then is she drown'd?

Drown'd, drown'd.

Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia,

And therefore I forbid my teares; but yet

It is our tricke, nature her custome holds,

Let shame say what it will; when these are gone

The woman will be out. Adieu my Lord,

I have a speech afire that faine would blase,

But that this folly drownes it.

Let's follow Gertrard;

How much I had to doe to calme his rage!

Now feare I this will give it start againe,

Therefore let's follow.

Enter two Clownes.

Is she to be buried in Christian buriall, when she wilful­
ly seekes her owne salvation?


The Tragedy of Hamlet

I tell thee shee is, therefore make her grave straight, the
Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian buriall.


How can that be, unlesse he drown'd her selfe in her own


Why 'tis found so.


It must be so offended, it cannot be else; for here lies the
point, if I drowne my selfe wittingly it argues an act, and an act
hath three branches, it is to act, to doe, to performe, or all; shee
drown'd her selfe wittingly.


Nay but heare you goodman delver.


Give me leave, here lyes the water, good, here stands the
man, good, if the man goe to this water and drowne himselfe, it is
will he nill he; he goes, marke you that: but if the water come to
him and drowne him, he drownes not himselfe; argall hee that is
not guilty of his owne death shortens not his owne life.


But is this law?


I marry is't, Crowners quest law.


Will you ha the truth ant't, if this had not been a Gentle­
woman she should have bin buried out a Christian buriall.


Why there thou saist, and the more pitty that great folke
should have countenance in this world to drowne or hang them­
selves, more than their even Christen: Come my spade, there is no
ancient Gentlemen but Gardeners, Ditchers, and Grave‐makers,
they hold up Adams profession.


Was he a Gentleman?


A was the first that ever bore armes.

Ile put another question to thee, if thou answerest mee not to the
purpose, confesse thy selfe.


Goe to.


What is hee that builds stronger than either the Mason,
the Shipwright, or the Carpenter?


The gallowes‐maker, for that out‐lives a thousand tenants.


I like thy wit well in good faith, the gallowes does well, but
how does it well? it does well to those that do ill, now thou doest
ill to say the gallowes is built ftronger than the Church, argall the
gallowes may doe well to thee. To't againe, come.


Who builds stronger than a Mason, a Shipwright, or a


Prince of Denmarke.

I, tell me that and unyoke.


Marry now I can tell.




Masse I cannot tell.


Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull asse wil
not mend his pace with beating, & when you are askt this questiōquestion
next, say a grave‐maker, the houses he makes last till Doomesday.
Goe get thee in, and fetch me a soope of liquor.

In youth when I did love did love,

Me thought it was very sweet

To contract O the time for a my behove,

O me thought there a was nothing a meet.

Enter Hamlet and Horatio.

Has this fellow no feeling of his businesse? a sings in


Custome hath made it in him a property of easinesse.


'Tis een so, the hand of little emploiment hath the daintier (sense.

But age with his stealing steps

hath clawed me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me into the land,
as if I had never bin such.


That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once, how the
knave jowles it to the ground, as if 'twere Cains jaw‐bone, that
did the first murther: this might be the pate of a Polititian which
this asse now ore‐reaches, one that would circumvent God, might
it not?


It might my Lord.


Or of a Courtier, which could say, Good morrow my
Lord, how doest thou sweet Lord? This might be my Lord such
a one, that praised my Lord such a ones horse when a meant to
beg it, might it not?


I my Lord.


Why een so, and now my Lady worms Choples, and knockt
about the mazer with a Sextens spade; here's fine revolution and
we had the tricke to see't, did these bones cost no more the bree­
ding but to play at loggits with them? mine ake to think on't.

A pickax and a spade a spade,

for and a shrowding sheet,


The Tragedy of Hamlet
O a pit of clay for to be made

for such a guest is meet.


There's another, why may not that be the skull of a Lawier?
where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures,
and his tricks? why does he suffer this mad knave now to knocke
him about the sconce with a dirty shovell, and will not tell him of
his actions of battery? hum: this fellow might be in's time a great
buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognisances, his fines, his
double vouchers, his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine
dirt: will vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases and dou­
bles, than the length and bredth of a paire of Indentures? the ve­
ry conveiances of his land will scarcely lye in this boxe, and must
th'inheritor himselfe have no more? ha?


Not a jot more my Lord.


Is not parchment made of sheep‐skins?


I my Lord, and of calve‐skins too.


They are sheep and calves which seeke out assurance in
that. I will speake to this fellow: Whose grave's this sirrah?


Mine sir, or a pit of clay for to be made.


I thinke it's thine indeed, for thou lyest in't.


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


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


'Tis a quicke lye sir, 'twill againe from me to you.


What man doest thou digge it for?


For no man sir.


What woman then?


For none neither.


Who is to be buried in't?


One that was a woman sir, but rest her soule, shee's dead.


How absolute the knave is, we must speake by the card, or
equivocation will undo us. By the Lord Horatio this 3. yeeres I
have took note of it, the age is grown so picked, that the toe of the
pesant comes so neere the heele of the Courtier, he galls his kibe.
How long hast thou been a Grave‐maker?


Of the dayes i'th yeare I came to't that day that our last
King Hamlet overcame Fortinbrasse.


Prince of Denmarke.

How long is that since?


Cannot you tell that? every foole can tell that; it was that
very day that young Hamlet was borne, hee that is mad and sent
into England.


I marry, why was he sent into England?


Why? because a was mad, a shall recover his wits there,
or if a doe not 'tis no great matter there.




'Twill not be seen in him there, there are men as mad as he.


How came he mad?


Very ftrangely they say.


How strangely?


Faith een with losing his wits.


Upon what ground?


Why here in Denmarke: I have bin Sexton here man
and boy thirty yeeres.


How long will a man lye i'th earth ere he rot?


Faith if a be not rotten before he dye, as wee have many
pocky coarses that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you
some eight yeere, or nine yeere; a Tanner will last you nine yeere.


Why he more than another?


Why sir his hide is so tan'd with his trade, that a will keep
out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your
whorson dead body: here's a skull now hath lyen you i'th earth (23. yeares.


Whose was it?


A whorson mad fellows it was, whose do you think it was?


Nay I know not.


A pestilence on him for a mad rogue, a pour'd a flaggon of
Rhenish on my head once; this same skull sir, was sir Yorickes
skull the Kings Jester.




Een that.


Alas poor Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
jest, of most excellent fancy, he hath bore me on his backe a thou­
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is? my
gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kist I know not
how oft: where bee your jibes now, your gamboles, your songs,
your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a


The Tragedy of Hamlet
roare? not one now to mock your own grinning? quite chopfaln?

Now get you to my Ladies table, and tell her, let her paint an
inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.
Prethee Horatio tell me one thing.


What's that my Lord?


Dost thou think Alexander lookt a this fashion i'th earth?


Een so.


And smelt so? pah.


Een so my Lord.


To what base uses we may returne Horatio! Why may
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till a finde it
stopping a bung‐hole.


'Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.


No faith not a jot, but to follow him thither with modesty
enough, and likelihood to lead it. Alexander died, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we
make lome, & why of that lome whereto he was converted might
they not stop a Beere‐barrell?

Imperious Cæsar dead and turn'd to clay

Might stop a hole to keepe the wind away.

O that that earth which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall t'expell the waters flaw!

But soft, but soft a while, here comes the King,
Enter King,
Que. Laertes
and the corse.

The Queen, the Courtiers: who is this they follow,

And with such maimed rites? this doth betoken,

The coarse they follow did with desperate hand

Fordoe its owne life; 'twas of some estate:

Couch we a while and marke.

What Ceremony else?

That is Laertes, a very noble youth.

What Ceremony else?

Her obsequies have bin as far inlarg'd

As we have warranty; her death was doubtfull,

And but that great command ore‐swayes the order,

She should in ground unsanctified bin lodg'd

Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers,

Flints and pebbles should be throwne on her,

Yet here she is allow'd her virgin rites,


Prince of Denmarke.
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

Of bell and buriall.

Must there no more be done?

No more be done:

We should profane the service of the dead,

To sing a Requiem and such rest to her

As to peace‐parted soules.

Lay her i'th earth,

And from her faire and unpolluted flesh

May violets spring: I tell thee churlish Priest

A ministring Angel shall my sister be

When thou lyest howling.

What? the faire Ophelia?

Sweets to the sweet, farewell,

I hop't thou shouldst have bin my Hamlets wife,

I thought thy bride‐bed to have deckt sweet maid,

And not have strew'd thy grave.

O treble woe!

Fall ten times double on that cursed head,

Whose wicked deed thy most ingenuous sense

Deprived thee of: hold off the earth a while,

Till I have caught her once more in mine armes.

Now pile your dust upon the quicke and dead,

Till of this flat a mountaine you have made

T'oretop old Pelion, or the skyish head

Of blew Olympus.

What is he whose griefe

Beares such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow

Conjures the wandring stars, and makes them ftand

Like wonder‐wounded hearers? 'tis I,

Hamlet the Dane.

The Divell take thy soule.

Thou pray'st not well; I prethee take thy fingers from (my throat,

For though I am not spleenative and rash,

Yet have I in me something dangerous,

Which let thy wisedome feare; hold off thy hand.

Plucke them asunder.

Hamlet, Hamlet.


The Tragedy of Hamlet

Good my Lord be quiet.

Why I will fight with him upon this theam

Untill my eye‐lids will no longer wagge.

O my sonne, what theame?

I lov'd Ophelia, forty thousand brothers

Could not with all their quantity of love

Make up my sum: What wilt thou doe for her?

O he is mad Laertes.

For love of God forbeare him.

Swounds shew me what thou't doe,

Woo't weep, woo't fight, woo't fast, woo't teare thy (selfe,

Woo't drink up Esill, eat a Crocodile?

Ile doe't: doest thou come here to whine?

To out‐face me with leaping in her grave?

Be buried quicke with her, and so will I;

And if thou prate of mountaines, let them throw

Millions of acres on us, till our ground

Cindging his pate against the burning Zone,

Make Ossa like a wart; nay and thou'lt mouth

Ile rant as well as thou.

This is meere madnesse,

And thus a while the fit will worke on him;

Anon as patient as a female Doe,

When that her golden cuplets are disclos'd,

His silence will sit drooping.

Heare you sir,

What is the rea son that you use me thus?

I lov'd you well, but it is no matter,

Let Hercules himselfe doe what he may

The Cat will mew, a Dogge will have his day.
Exit Hamlet
& Horatio.

I pray thee good Horatio wait upon him.

Strengthen your patience in our laft nights speech,

Wee'll put the matter to the present push.

Good Gertrard set some watch over your sonne,

This Grave shall have a living monument,

An houre of quiet thereby shall we see,

Till then in patience our proceeding be.


Prince of Denmarke.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
So much for this sir, now shall you see the other:

You doe remember all the circumstance.

Remember it my Lord?

Sir in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep, me thought I lay

Worse than the mutines in the Bilbo's, rashly,

And prais'd be rashnesse for it; let us know

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well

When our deep plots do fall, & that should learn us,

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough hew them how we will.

That is most certaine.

Up from my Cabbin,

My sea‐gowne scarft about me, in the darke

Grop't I to find out them, had my desire,

Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew

To mine owne roome againe, making so bold

(My feares forgetting manners) to unfold

Their grand Commission, where I found, Horatio,

A royall knavery, an exact command,

Larded with many severall sorts of reasons,

Importing Denmarks health, and Englands too,

With hoe such Bugs and Goblins in my life,

That on the supervise, no leisure bated,

No not to stay the grinding of the axe,

My head should be strooke off.

Is't possible?

Here's the Commission, read it at more leisure:

But wilt thou heare now how I did proceed?

I beseech you.

Being thus be‐netted round with villaines,

Or I could make a Prologue to my braines

They had begun the Play: I sate me downe,

Devis'd a new Commission, wrote it faire:

I once did hold it, as our Statists doe,

A basenesse to write faire, and labour'd much

How to forget that learning; but sir now


The Tragedy of Hamlet
It did me yeomans service; wilt thou know

Th'effect of what I wrote?

I good my Lord.

An earnest conjuration from the King,

As England was his faithfull tributary,

As love between them like the Palme might flourish,

As peace should still her wheaten garland weare,

And stand a Comma 'tweene their amities,

And many such like, as sir of great charge,

That on the view and knowing of these contents,

Without debatement further more or lesse

He should those bearers put to sudden death,

Not shriving time allow'd.

How was this seal'd?

Why even in that was heaven ordinant:

I had my fathers signet in my purse,

Which was the modell of that Danish seale,

Folded the writ up in the forme of th'other,

Subscrib'd it, gave't thimpression, plac'd it safely,

The changling never known; now the next day

Was our sea‐fight, and what to this was sequent

Thou know'st already.

So Guyldenstern and Rosencraus go to't.

They are not neare my conscience, their defeat

Does by their owne insinuation grow;

'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes

Between the passe and fell incensed points

Of mighty opposites.

Why what a King is this!

Does it not, think you, stand me now upon?

He that hath kill'd my King, and whor'd my mother,

Popt in between th'election and my hopes,

Throwne out his angle for my proper life,

And with such cosenage, is't not perfect conscience?

Enter a Courtier.
Your Lordship is right welcome backe to Denmarke.

I humbly thanke you sir.

Doest know this Water‐flye?


Prince of Denmarke.
No my good Lord.


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, spacious in the possession of dirt.

Sweet Lord, if your Lordship were at leisure I should im­
part a thing to you from his Majesty.

I will receive it sir with all diligence of spirit; your bon­
net to his right use, 'tis for the head.

I thank your Lordship, 'tis very hot.

No beleeve me 'tis very cold, the wind is Northerly.

It is indifferent cold my Lord indeed.

But yet me thinks it is very soultry and hot, for my com­


Exceedingly my Lord, it is very soultry, as 'twere I can­
not tell how: my Lord, his Majesty bad me signifie unto you, that
a has laid a great wager on your head, sir this is the matter.

I beseech you remember.


Nay good my Lord, for my ease in good faith. Sir here is
newly come to Court Laertes, beleeve mee an absolute Gentle­
man, full of most excellent differences, of very soft society, and
great shewing: indeed, to speake feelingly of him, he is the Card
or Kalendar of Gentry, for you shall finde in him the continent of
what part a Gentleman would see.


Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
know to divide him inventorially, would dizzie th'arithmetick of
memory, and yet but raw neither in respect of his quicke saile;
but in the verity of extolment, I take him to be soule of a great ar­
ticle, and his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, as to make true
diction of him, his semblable is his mirrour, and who else would
trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.

Your Lordship speakes most infallibly of him.

The concernancy sir, why do we wrap the Gentleman in
our more rawer breath?


Is't not possible to understand in another tongue, you
will doe't sir really.

What imports the nomination of this Gentleman?


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Of Laertes?

His purse is empty already, all's golden words are spent.

Of him sir.

I know you are not ignorant.

I would you did sir; yet in faith if you did it would not
much approve me: well sir.

You are ignorant of what excellence Laertes is.

I dare not confesse that, lest I should compare with him
in excellence; but to know a man well were to know himselfe.

I meane sir for his weapon, but in the imputation laid on
him by them in his meed hee's unfellowed.

What's his weapon?

Rapier and dagger.

That's two of his weapons; but well.


The King sir hath wager'd with him sixe Barbery horses,
against the which he has impawn'd as I take it six French Rapiers
and Poniards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger, and so: three
of the carriages in faith are very deare to fancy, very responsive to
the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.

What call you the carriages?

I knew you must be edified by the margin ere you had

The carriages sir are the hangers.


The phrase would be more german to the matter if wee
could carry a cannon by our sides, I would it might be hangers till
then: but on, sixe Barbary horses against sixe French swords, their
assignes, and three liberall conceited carriages, that's the French
bet against the Danish, why is this all you call it?


The King sir, hath laid sir, that in a dozen passes betweene
your selfe and him he shall not exceed you three hits, he hath laid
on twelve for nine, and it would come to immediate triall, if your
Lordship would vouchsafe the answer.

How if I answer no?

I meane my Lord the opposition of your person in triall.


Sir I will walke here in the hall, if it please his Majestie,
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 win
for him and I can; if not, I will gaine nothing but my shame and
the odde hits.


Prince of Denmarke.
Shall I deliver you so?

To this effect sir, after what flourish your nature will.

I commend my duty to your Lordship.

Yours does well to commend it himselfe, there are no
tongues else for his turne.

This Lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.


A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it; thus has he
& many more of the same breed that I know, the drossie age dotes
on, onely got the tune of the time, and out of an habit of incoun­
ter, a kinde of misty collection, which carries them through and
through the most profane and trennowned opinions; and doe but
blow them to their triall, the bubbles are out.

Enter a Lord.

My Lord, his Majestie commended him to you by young
Ostricke, who brings back 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 follow the Kings
pleasure; if his fitnesse speaks, mine is ready, now or whensoever,
provided I be so able as now.

The King and Queen and all are comming downe.

In happy time.

The Queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment
to Laertes before you goe to play.

She well instructs me.

You will lose my Lord.


I doe not thinke so, since he went into France I have bin
in continuall practice; I shall win at the oddes: thou wouldst not
think how ill all's here about my heart, but it is no matter.

Nay good my Lord.

It is but foolery, but it is such a kind of game‐giving as
would perhaps trouble a woman.

If your mind dislike any thing obey it, I shall forestall
their repaire hither, and say you are not fit.


Not a whit, we defie Augury, there is a speciall providence
in the fall of a Sparrow: if it be, 'tis not to come, if it bee not to
come, it will be now, if it be not now, yet it will come, the readi­
nesse is all, since no man of ought he leaves knowes what is't to


The Tragedy of Hamlet
leave betimes, let be.

A table prepared, Drums, Trumpets, and Officers with cushions,
King, Queen, and all the state, foiles, daggers, and Laertes.
Come Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

Give me your pardon sir, I have done you wrong,

But pardon't as you are a Gentleman: this presence knowes,

And you must needs have heard how I am punisht

With a sore distraction; what I have done

That might your nature, honour, and exception

Roughly awake, I here proclaime was madnesse.

Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? never Hamlet;

If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away,

And when hee's not himselfe does wrong Laertes,

Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it:

Who does it then? his madnesse: if't be so,

Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged,

His madnesse is poore Hamlets enemy;

Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evill

Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts,

That I have shot my arrow ore the house,

And hurt my brother.

I am satisfied in nature,

Whose motive in this case should ftirre me most

To my revenge, but in my tearmes of honour

I stand aloofe, and will no reconcilement,

Till by some elder Masters of knowne honour

I have a voice and president of peace

To my name ungor'd: but all that time

I doe receive your offered love like love,

And will not wrong it.

I embrace it freely, and will this brothers wager
frankly play.

Give us the foiles.

Come, one for me.

Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance

Your skill shall like a starre i'th darkest night

Sticke fiery off indeed.

You mocke me sir.


Prince of Denmarke.
No by this hand.

Give them the foi ls young Osrick: cosin Ham­

You know the wager.

Very well my Lord:

Your Grace has laid the oddes a'th weaker side.

I doe not feare it, I have seen you both,

But since he is better we have therefore oddes.

This is too heavie, let me see another.

This likes me wel, these foils have all a length

I my good Lord.

Set me the stoops of wine upon the table;

If Hamlet give the first or second hit,

Or quit in answer of the third exchange,

Let all the battlements their Ordnance fire;

The King shall drink to Hamlets better breath,

And in the cup an Onyx shall he throw

Richer than that which foure successive Kings

In Denmarks Crown have worn. Give me the cups,

And let the Kettle to the Trumpet speake,

The Trumpet to the Canoneer without,

The Cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth.

Now the King drinkes to Hamlet: come begin,
the while.

And you the Judges beare a warie eye.

Come on sir.

Come my Lord.




A hit, a very palbable hit.
Drum, Trumpets, and shot,
Flourish, a Peece goes off.

Well, againe.

Stay, give me drinke, Hamlet this pearle is thine,

Here's to thy health: give him the cup.

Ile play this bout first, set it by a while.

Come, another hit, what say you?

I doe confest.

Our sonne shall win.

Hee's fat and scant of breath.

Here Hamlet, take my napkin, wipe thy browes:


The Tragedy of Hamlet
The Queen carowses to thy fortune Hamlet.

Good Madam.

Gertrard doe not drinke.

I will my Lord, I pray you pardon me.

It is the poysoned cup, it is too late.

I dare not drinke yet Madam, by and by.

Come, let me wipe thy face.

My Lord Ile hit him now.

I doe not think't.

And yet it is almost against my conscience.

Come, for the third Laertes, you doe but dally,

I pray you passe with your best violence,

I am sure you make a wanton of me.

Say you so? come on.

Nothing neither way.

Have at you now.

Part them, they are incens't.

Nay come againe.

Looke to the Queen there ho.

They bleed on both sides, how is't my Lord?

How is't Laertes?

Why as a woodcock to mine own sprindge Ostricke,

I am justly kill'd with mine owne treachery.

How does the Queene?

She swounes to see them bleed.

No, no, the drink, the drink, O my deare Hamlet,

The drinke, the drinke, I am poysoned.

O villaine! ho let the doore be lockt,

Treachery, seeke it out.

It is here Hamlet; thou art slaine,

No medicine in the world can doe thee good,

In thee there is not halfe an houres life,

The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,

Unbated and envenom'd, the foule practice

Hath turn'd it selfe on me; lo here I lye

Never to rise againe: thy mother's poyson'd,

I am no more, the King, the King's to blame.

The point envenom'd too, then venom to thy work.


Prince of Denma_ke.
Treason, treason.

O yet defend me friends, I am but hurt.

Here thou incestuous damned Dane,

Drinke off this potion: is the Onyx here?

Follow my mother.

He is justly serv'd, it is a poyson temper'd by him­

Exchange forgivenesse with me noble Hamlet,

Mine and my fathers death come not upon thee,

Nor thine on me.

Heaven make thee free of it, I follow thee:

I am dead Horatio, wretched Queen adieu.

You that looke pale and tremble at this chance,

That are but mutes or audience to this act,

Had I but time (as this fell Sergeant death

Is strict in his arrest) O I could tell you;

But let it be: Horatio I am dead,

Thou livest, report me and my cause aright

To the unsatisfied.

Never beleeve it,

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,

Here's yet some liquor left.

As th'art a man

Give me the cup, let goe, by heaven Ile hav't:

O God Horatio what a wounded name,

Things standing thus unknown, shall I leave behind me?

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart

Absent thee from felicity a while,

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in paine
A march a
farre off.

To tell my story: what warlike noise is this?

Enter Osricke.
Young Fortinbrasse with conquest come from Poland

Th'Embassadors of England gives this warlike volly.

O I dye Horatio,

The potent poyson quite ore‐growes my spirit;

I cannot live to heare the newes from England,

But I doe prophesie the election lights

On Fortinbrasse; he has my dying voice,

So tell him, with th'occurrents more and lesse


The Tragedy of Hamlet
Which have solicited: the rest in silence.

Now cracks a noble heart, good night sweet (Prince,

And flight of Angels sing thee to thy rest.

Why does the drum come hither?

Enter Fortinbrasse, with the Embassadors.
Where is this sight?

What is it you would see?

If ought of woe or wonder, cease your search?

This quarry cryes on havock: O proud death,

What feast is toward in thine infernall Cell,

That thou so many Princes at a shot

So bloudily hast strooke?

The sight is dismall,

And our affaires from England come too late,

The eares are senselesse that should gives us hearing.

To tell him his commandement is fulfill'd,

That Rosencraus and Guyldenstern are dead,

Where should we have our thanks?

Not from his mouth,

Had it th'ability of life to thanke you;

He never gave commandement for their death.

But since so jumpe upon this bloody question

You from the Pollack wars, and you from England

Are here arrived, give order that these bodies

High on a stage be placed to the view,

And let me speake to'th yet unknowing world

How these things came about; so shall you heare

Of cruell, bloody, and unnaturall acts,

Of accidentall judgements, casuall slaughters,

Of deaths put on by cunning, and for no cause,

And in this upshot, purposes mistooke,

Falne on the inventors heads: all this can I

Truely deliver.

Let us haste to heare it,

And call the noblest to the audience:

For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune,

I have some rights of memory in this kingdome,

Which now to claime my vantage doth invite me.


Prince of Denmarke.
Of that I shall have also cause to speak,

And from his mouth whose voice will draw no more:

But let this same be presently perform'd,

Even while mens minds are wild, lest more mischance

On plots and errors happen.

Let foure Captaines

Beare Hamlet like a Souldier to the stage,

For he was likely, had he been put on,

T' have prov'd most royall: and for his passage,

The Souldiers musick and the right of warre

Speake loudly for him.

Take up the bodies; such a sight as this

Becomes the field, but here shewes much amisse.

Goe bid the Souldiers shoot.