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William Shakespeare



A c t u s  P r i m u s .


Heinrich Füssli: Hamlet, Horatio,
Marcellus, and the Ghost, 1780/85

S c œ n a  P r i m a .

Enter Barnardo and Francisco two Centinels.

Who's there?

Fran. Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold
your selfe.

Bar. Long liue the King.

Fran. Barnardo?

Bar. He.

Fran. You come most carefully vpon your houre.

Bar. 'Tis now strook twelue, get thee to bed Francisco.

Fran. For this releefe much thankes: 'Tis bitter cold,
And I am sicke at heart.

Barn. Haue you had quiet Guard?

Fran. Not a Mouse stirring.

Barn. Well, goodnight. If you do meet Horatio and
Marcellus, the Riuals of my Watch, bid them make hast.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

Fran. I thinke I heare them. Stand: who's there?

Hor. Friends to this ground.

Mar. And Leige-men to the Dane.

Fran. Giue you good night.

Mar. O farwel honest Soldier, who hath relieu'd you?

Fra. Barnardo ha's my place: giue you goodnight.
Exit Fran.

Mar. Holla Barnardo.

Bar. Say, what is Horatio there?

Hor. A peece of him.

Bar. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.

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

Bar. I haue seene nothing.

Mar. Horatio saies, 'tis but our Fantasie,
And will not let beleefe take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seene of vs,
Therefore I haue intreated him along
With vs, to watch the minutes of this Night,
That if againe this Apparition come,
He may approue our eyes, and speake to it.

Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appeare.

Bar. Sit downe a-while,
And let vs once againe assaile your eares,
That are so fortified against our Story,
What we two Nights haue seene.

Hor. Well, sit we downe,
And let vs heare Barnardo speake of this.

Barn. Last night of all,
When yond same Starre that's Westward from the Pole
Had made his course t' illume that part of Heauen
Where now it burnes, Marcellus and my selfe,
The Bell then beating one.

Mar. Peace, breake thee of: Enter the Ghost.
Looke where it comes againe.

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

Mar. Thou art a Scholler; speake to it Horatio.

Barn. Lookes it not like the King? Marke it Horatio.

Hora. Most like: It harrowes me with fear & wonder

Barn. It would be spoke too.

Mar. Question it Horatio.

Hor. What art thou that vsurp'st this time of night,
Together with that Faire and Warlike forme
In which the Maiesty of buried Denmarke
Did sometimes march: By Heauen I charge thee speake.

Mar. It is offended.

Barn. See, it stalkes away.

Hor. Stay: speake; speake: I Charge thee, speake.

Exit the Ghost.

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

Barn. How now Horatio? You tremble & look pale:
Is not this something more then Fantasie?
What thinke you on't?

Hor. Before my God, I might not this beleeue
Without the sensible and true auouch
Of mine owne eyes.

Mar. Is it not like the King?

Hor. As thou art to thy selfe,
Such was the very Armour he had on,
When th' Ambitious Norwey combatted:
So frown'd he once, when in an angry parle
He smot the sledded Pollax on the Ice.
'Tis strange.

Mar. Thus twice before, and iust at this dead houre,
With Martiall stalke, hath he gone by our Watch.

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not:
But in the grosse and scope of my Opinion,
This boades some strange erruption to our State.

Mar. Good now sit downe, & tell me he that knowes
Why this same strict and most obseruant Watch,
So nightly toyles the subiect of the Land,
And why such dayly Cast of Brazon Cannon
And Forraigne Mart for Implements of warre:
Why such impresse of Ship-wrights, whose sore Taske
Do's not diuide the Sunday from the weeke,
What might be toward, that this sweaty hast
Doth make the Night ioynt-Labourer with the day:
Who is't that can informe me?

Hor. That can I,
At least the whisper goes so: Our last King,
Whose Image euen but now appear'd to vs,
Was (as you know) by Fortinbras of Norway,
(Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate Pride)
Dar'd to the Combate. In which, our Valiant Hamlet,
(For so this side of our knowne world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras: who by a Seal'd Compact,
Well ratified by Law, and Heraldrie,
Did forfeite (with his life) all those his Lands
Which he stood seiz'd on, to the Conqueror:
Against the which, a Moity competent
Was gaged by our King: which had return'd
To the Inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he bin Vanquisher, as by the same Cou'nant
And carriage of the Article designe,
His fell to Hamlet. Now sir, young Fortinbras,
Of vnimproued Mettle, hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, heere and there,
Shark'd vp a List of Landlesse Resolutes,
For Foode and Diet, to some Enterprize
That hath a stomacke in't: which is no other
(And it doth well appeare vnto our State)
But to recouer of vs by strong hand
And termes Compulsatiue, those foresaid Lands
So by his Father lost: and this (I take it)
Is the maine Motiue of our Preparations,
The Sourse of this our Watch, and the cheefe head
Of this post-hast, and Romage in the Land.
Enter Ghost againe.
But soft, behold: Loe, where it comes againe:
Ile crosse it, though it blast me. Stay Illusion:
If thou hast any sound, or vse of Voyce,
Speake to me. If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me; speak to me.
If thou art priuy to thy Countries Fate
(Which happily foreknowing may auoyd) Oh speake.
Or, if thou hast vp-hoorded in thy life
Extorted Treasure in the wombe of Earth,
(For which, they say, you Spirits oft walke in death)
Speake of it. Stay, and speake. Stop it Marcellus.

Mar. Shall I strike at it with my Partizan?

Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

Barn. 'Tis heere.

Hor. 'Tis heere.

Mar. 'Tis gone. Exit Ghost.
We do it wrong, being so Maiesticall
To offer it the shew of Violence,
For it is as the Ayre, invulnerable,
And our vaine blowes, malicious Mockery.

Barn. It was about to speake, when the Cocke crew.

Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing
Vpon a fearfull Summons. I haue heard,
The Cocke that is the Trumpet to the day,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding Throate
Awake the God of Day: and at his warning,
Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Ayre,
Th' extrauagant, and erring Spirit, hyes
To his Confine. And of the truth heerein,
This present Obiect made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke.
Some sayes, that euer 'gainst that Season comes
Wherein our Sauiours Birch is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long:
And then (they say) no Spirit can walke abroad,
The nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike,
No Faiery talkes, nor Witch hath power to Charme:
So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time.

Hor. So haue I heard, and do in part beleeue it.
But looke, the Morne in Russet mantle clad,
Walkes o're the dew of yon high Easterne Hill,
Breake we our Watch vp, and by my aduice
Let vs impart what we haue seene to night
Vnto yong Hamlet. For vpon my life,
This Spirit dumbe to vs, will speake to him:
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needfull in our Loues, fitting our Duty?

Mar. Let do't I pray, and I this morning know
Where we shall finde him most conueniently. Exeunt

S c e n a  S e c u n d a .

Enter Claudius King of Denmarke, Gertrude the Queene,
Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, and his Sister Ophelia,
Lords Attendant.

King. Though yet of Hamlet our deere Brothers death
The memory be greene: and that it vs befitted
To beare our hearts in greefe, and our whole Kingdome
To be contracted in one brow of woe:
Yet so farre hath Discretion fought with Nature,
That we with wisest sorrow thinke on him,
Together with remembrance of our selues.
Therefore our sometimes Sister, now our Queene,
Th' imperiall Ioyntresse of this warlike State,
Haue we, as 'twere, with a defeated ioy,
With one Auspicious, and one Dropping eye,
With mirth in Funerall, and with Dirge in Marriage,
In equall Scale weighing Delight and Dole
Taken to Wife; nor haue we heerein barr'd
Your better Wisedomes, which haue freely gone
With this affaire along, for all our Thankes.
Now followes, that you know young Fortinbras,
Holding a weake supposall of our worth;
Or thinking by our late deere Brothers death,
Our State to be disioynt, and out of Frame,
Colleagued with the dreame of his Aduantage;
He hath not fayl'd to pester vs with Message,
Importing the surrender of those Lands
Lost by his Father: with all Bonds of Law
To our most valiant Brother. So much for him.
Enter Voltemand and Cornelius.
Now for our selfe, and for this time of meeting
Thus much the businesse is. We haue heere writ
To Norway, Vncle of young Fortinbras,
Who Impotent and Bedrid, scarsely heares
Of this his Nephewes purpose, to suppresse
His further gate heerein. In that the Leuies,
The Lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subiect: and we heere dispatch
You good Cornelius, and you Voltemand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
Giuing to you no further personall power
To businesse with the King, more then the scope
Of these dilated Articles allow:
Farewell, and let your hast commend your duty.

Volt. In that, and all things, will we shew our duty.

King. We doubt it nothing, heartily farewell.
Exit Voltemand and Cornelius.
And now Laertes, what's the newes with you?
You told vs of some suite. What is't Laertes?
You cannot speake of Reason to the Dane,
And loose your voyce. What would'st thou beg Laertes,
That shall not be my Offer, not thy Asking?
The Head is not more Natiue to the Heart,
The Hand more instrumentall to the Mouth,
Then is the Throne of Denmarke to thy Father.
What would'st thou haue Laertes?

Laer. Dread my Lord,
Your leaue and fauour to returne to France,
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke
To shew my duty in your Coronation,
Yet now I must confesse, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend againe towards France,
And bow them to your gracious leaue and pardon.

King. Haue you your Fathers leaue?
What sayes Pollonius?

Pol. He hath my Lord:
I do beseech you giue him leaue to go.

King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will:
But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my Sonne?

Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse then kinde.

King. How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?

Ham. Not so my Lord, I am too much i'th' Sun.

Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nightly colour off,
And let thine eye looke like a Friend on Denmarke.
Do not for euer with thy veyled lids
Seeke for thy Noble Father in the dust;
Thou know'st 'tis common, all that liues must dye,
Passing through Nature, to Eternity.

Ham. I Madam, it is common.

Queen. If it be;
Why seemes it so particular with thee.

Ham. Seemes Madam? Nay, it is: I know not Seemes:
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloake (good Mother)
Nor Customary suites of solemne Blacke,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitfull Riuer in the Eye,
Nor the deiected hauiour of the Visage,
Together with all Formes, Moods, shewes of Griefe,
That can denote me truly. These indeed Seeme,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I haue that Within, which passeth show;
These, but the Trappings, and the Suites of woe.

King. 'Tis sweet and commendable
In your Nature Hamlet,
To giue these mourning duties to your Father:
But you must know, your Father lost a Father,
That Father lost, lost his, and the Suruiuer bound
In filiall Obligation, for some terme
To do obsequious Sorrow. But to perseuer
In obstinate Condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornnesse. 'Tis vnmanly greefe,
It shewes a will most incorrect to Heauen,
A Heart vnfortified, a Minde impatient,
An Vnderstanding simple, and vnschool'd:
For, what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
Why should we in our peeuish Opposition
Take it to heart? Fye, 'tis a fault to Heauen,
A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature,
To Reason most absurd, whose common Theame
Is death of Fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first Coarse, till he that dyed to day,
This must be so. We pray you throw to earth
This vnpreuayling woe, and thinke of vs
As of a Father; For let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our Throne,
And with no lesse Nobility of Loue,
Then that which deerest Father beares his Sonne,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
In going backe to Schoole in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remaine
Heere in the cheere and comfort of our eye,
Our cheefest Courtier Cosin, and our Sonne.

Qu. Let not thy Mother lose her Prayers Hamlet:
I prythee stay with vs, go not to Wittenberg.

Ham. I shall in all my best
Obey you Madam.

King. Why 'tis a louing, and a faire Reply,
Be as our selfe in Denmarke. Madam come,
This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
But the great Cannon to the Clowds shall tell,
And the Kings Rouce, the Heauens shall bruite againe,
Respeaking earthly Thunder. Come away. Exeunt.
Manet Hamlet.

Ham. Oh that this too too solid Flesh, would melt,
Thaw, and resolue it selfe into a Dew:
Or that the Euerlasting had not fixt
His Cannon 'gainst Selfe-slaughter. O God, O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
Seemes to me all the vses of this world?
Fie on't? Oh fie, fie, 'tis an vnweeded Garden
That growes to Seed: Things rank, and grosse in Nature
Possesse it meerely. That it should come to this:
But two months dead: Nay, not so much; not two,
So excellent a King, that was to this
Hiperion to a Satyre: so louing to my Mother,
That he might not beteene the windes of heauen
Visit her face too roughly. Heauen and Earth
Must I remember: why she would hang on him,
As if encrease of Appetite had growne
By what is fed on; and yet within a month?
Let me not thinke on't: Frailty, thy name is woman.
A little Month, or ere those shooes were old,
With which she followed my poore Fathers body
Like Niobe, all teares. Why she, euen she.
(O Heauen! A beast that wants discourse of Reason
Would haue mourn'd longer) married with mine Vnkle,
My Fathers Brother: but no more like my Father,
Then I to Hercules. Within a Moneth?
Ere yet the salt of most vnrighteous Teares
Had left the flushing of her gauled eyes,
She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to Incestuous sheets:
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But breake my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

Enter Horatio, Barnardo, and Marcellus.

Hor. Haile to your Lordship.

Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget my selfe.

Hor. The same my Lord,
And your poore Seruant euer.

Ham. Sir my good friend,
Ile change that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?

Mar. My good Lord.

Ham. I am very glad to see you: good euen Sir.
But what in faith make you from Wittemberge?

Hor. A truant disposition, good my Lord.

Ham. I would not haue your Enemy say so;
Nor shall you doe mine eare that violence,
To make it truster of your owne report
Against your selfe. I know you are no Truant:
But what is your affaire in Elsenour?
Wee'l teach you to drinke deepe, ere you depart.

Hor. My Lord, I came to see your Fathers Funerall.

Ham. I pray thee doe not mock me (fellow Student)
I thinke it was to see my Mothers Wedding.

Hor. Indeed my Lord, it followed hard vpon.

Ham. Thrift thrift Horatio: the Funerall Bakt- meats
Did coldly furnish forth the Marriage Tables;
Would I had met my dearest foe in heauen,
Ere I had euer seene that day Horatio.
My father, me thinkes I see my father.

Hor. Oh where my Lord?

Ham. In my minds eye (Horatio)

Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly King.

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all:
I shall not look vpon his like againe.

Hor. My Lord, I thinke I saw him yesternight.

Ham. Saw? Who?

Hor. My Lord, the King your Father.

Ham. The King my Father?

Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent eare; till I may deliuer
Vpon the witnesse of these Gentlemen,
This maruell to you.

Ham. For Heauens loue let me heare.

Hor. Two nights together, had these Gentlemen
(Marcellus and Barnardo) on their Watch
In the dead wast and middle of the night
Beene thus encountred. A figure like your Father,
Arm'd at all points exactly, Cap a Pe,
Appeares before them, and with sollemne march
Goes slow and stately: By them thrice he walkt,
By their opprest and feare-surprized eyes,
Within his Truncheons length; whilst they bestil'd
Almost to Ielly with the Act of feare,
Stand dumbe and speake not to him. This to me
In dreadfull secrecie impart they did,
And I with them the third Night kept the Watch,
Whereas they had deliuer'd both in time,
Forme of the thing; each word made true and good,
The Apparition comes. I knew your Father:
These hands are not more like.

Ham. But where was this?

Mar. My Lord vpon the platforme where we watcht.

Ham. Did you not speake to it?

Hor. My Lord, I did;
But answere made it none: yet once me thought
It lifted vp it head, and did addresse
It selfe to motion, like as it would speake:
But euen then, the Morning Cocke crew lowd;
And at the sound it shrunke in hast away,
And vanisht from our sight.

Ham. Tis very strange.

Hor. As I doe liue my honourd Lord 'tis true;
And we did thinke it writ downe in our duty
To let you know of it.

Ham. Indeed, indeed Sirs; but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to Night?

Both. We doe my Lord.

Ham. Arm'd, say you?

Both. Arm'd, my Lord.

Ham. From top to toe?

Both. My Lord, from head to foote.

Ham. Then saw you not his face?

Hor. O yes, my Lord, he wore his Beauer vp.

Ham. What, lookt he frowningly?

Hor. A countenance more in sorrow then in anger.

Ham. Pale, or red?

Hor. Nay very pale.

Ham. And fixt his eyes vpon you?

Hor. Most constantly.

Ham. I would I had beene there.

Hor. It would haue much amaz'd you.

Ham. Very like, very like: staid it long?

Hor. While one with moderate hast might tell a hundred.

All. Longer, longer.

Hor. Not when I saw't.

Ham. His Beard was grisly? no.

Hor. It was, as I haue seene it in his life,
A Sable Siluer'd.

Ham. Ile watch to Night; perchance 'twill wake againe.

Hor. I warrant you it will.

Ham. If it assume my noble Fathers person,
Ile speake to it, though Hell it selfe should gape
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you haue hitherto conceald this sight;
Let it bee treble in your silence still:
And whatsoeuer els shall hap to night,
Giue it an vnderstanding but no tongue;
I will requite your loues; so fare ye well:
Vpon the Platforme twixt eleuen and twelue,
Ile visit you.

All. Our duty to your Honour. Exeunt.

Ham. Your loue, as mine to you: farewell.
My Fathers Spirit in Armes? All is not well:
I doubt some foule play: would the Night were come;
Till then sit still my soule; foule deeds will rise,
Though all the earth orewhelm them to mens eies. Exit.

S c e n a  T e r t i a .

Enter Laertes and Ophelia.

Laer. My necessaries are imbark't; Farewell:
And Sister, as the Winds giue Benefit,
And Conuoy is assistant; doe not sleepe,
But let me heare from you.

Ophel. Doe you doubt that?

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fauours,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in Bloude;
A Violet in the youth of Primy Nature;
Froward, not permanent; sweet not lasting
The suppliance of a minute? No more.

Ophel. No more but so.

Laer. Thinke it no more:
For nature cressant does not grow alone,
In thewes and Bulke: but as his Temple waxes,
The inward seruice of the Minde and Soule
Growes wide withall. Perhaps he loues you now,
And now no soyle nor cautell doth besmerch
The vertue of his feare: but you must feare
His greatnesse weigh'd, his will is not his owne;
For hee himselfe is subiect to his Birth:
Hee may not, as vnuallued persons doe,
Carue for himselfe; for, on his choyce depends
The sanctity and health of the whole State.
And therefore must his choyce be circumscrib'd
Vnto the voyce and yeelding of that Body,
Whereof he is the Head. Then if he sayes he loues you,
It fits your wisedome so farre to beleeue it;
As he in his peculiar Sect and force
May giue his saying deed: which is no further,
Then the maine voyce of Denmarke goes withall.
Then weight what losse your Honour may sustaine,
If with too credent eare you list his Songs;
Or lose your Heart; or your chast Treasure open
To his vnmastred importunity.
Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare Sister,
And keepe within the reare of your Affection;
Out of the shot and danger of Desire.
The chariest Maid is Prodigall enough,
If she vnmaske her beauty to the Moone:
Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious stroakes,
The Canker Galls, the Infants of the Spring
Too oft before the buttons be disclos'd,
And in the Morne and liquid dew of Youth,
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then, best safety lies in feare;
Youth to it selfe rebels, though none else neere.

Ophe. I shall th' effect of this good Lesson keepe,
As watchmen to my heart: but good my Brother
Doe not as some vngracious Pastors doe,
Shew me the steepe and thorny way to Heauen;
Whilst like a puft and recklesse Libertine
Himselfe, the Primrose path of dalliance treads,
And reaks not his owne reade.

Laer. Oh, feare me not.
Enter Polonius.
I stay too long; but here my Father comes:
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles vpon a second leaue.

Polon. Yet heere Laertes? Aboord, aboord for shame,
The winde sits in the shoulder of your saile,
And you are staid for there: my blessing with you;
And these few Precepts in thy memory,
See thou Character. Giue thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any vnproportion'd thoughts his Act:
Be thou familiar; but by no meanes vulgar:
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tride,
Grapple them to thy Soule, with hoopes of Steele:
But doe not dull thy palme, with entertainment
Of each vnhatch't, vnfledg'd Comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrell: but being in
Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Giue euery man thine eare; but few thy voyce:
Take each mans censure; but reserue thy iudgement:
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy;
But not exprest in fancie; rich, not gawdie:
For the Apparell oft proclaimes the man.
And they in France of the best ranck and station,
Are of a most select and generous cheff in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For lone oft loses both it selfe and friend:
And borrowing duls the edge of Husbandry.
This aboue all; to thine owne selfe be true:
And it must follow, as the Night the Day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my Blessing season this in thee.

Laer. Most humbly doe I take my leaue, my Lord.

Polon. The time inuites you, goe, your seruants tend.

Laer. Farewell Ophelia, and remember well
What I haue said to you.

Ophe. Tis in my memory lockt,
And you your selfe shall keepe the key of it.

Laer. Farewell. Exit Laer.

Polon. What ist Ophelia he hath said to you?

Ophe. So please you, somthing touching the L[ord]. Hamlet.

Polon. Marry, well bethought:
Tis told me he hath very oft of late
Giuen priuate time to you; and you your selfe
Haue of your audience beene most free and bounteous.
If it be so, as so tis put on me;
And that in way of caution: I must tell you,
You doe not vnderstand your selfe so cleerely,
As it behoues my Daughter, and your Honour.
What is betweene you, giue me vp the truth?

Ophe. He hath my Lord of late, made many tenders
Of his affection to me.

Polon. Affection, puh. You speake like a greene Girle,
Vnsifted in such perillous Circumstance.
Doe you beleeue his tenders, as you call them?

Ophe. I do not know, my Lord, what I should thinke.

Polon. Marry Ile teach you; thinke your selfe a Baby,
That you haue tane his tenders for true pay,
Which are not starling. Tender your selfe more dearly;
Or not to crack the winde of the poore Phrase,
Roaming it thus, you'l tender me a foole.

Ophe. My Lord, he hath importun'd me with loue,
In honourable fashion.

Polon. I, fashion you may call it, go too, go too.

Ophe. And hath giuen countenance to his speech,
My Lord, with all the vowes of Heauen.

Polon. I, Springes to catch Woodcocks. I doe know
When the Bloud burnes, how Prodigall the Soule
Giues the tongue vowes: these blazes, Daughter,
Giuing more light then heate; extinct in both,
Euen in their promise, as it is a making;
You must not take for fire. For this time Daughter,
Be somewhat scanter of your Maiden presence;
Set your entreatments at a higher rate,
Then a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Beleeue so much in him, that he is young,
And with a larger tether may he walke,
Then may be giuen you. In few, Ophelia,
Doe not beleeue his vowes; for they are Broakers,
Not of the eye, which their Inuestments show:
But meere implorators of vnholy Sutes,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
I would not, in plaine tearmes, from this time forth,
Haue you so slander any moment leisure,
As to giue words or talke with the Lord Hamlet:
Looke too't, I charge you; come your wayes.

Ophe. I shall obey my Lord. Exeunt.

[ S c e n a  Q u a r t a .]

Enter Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus.

Ham. The Ayre bites shrewdly: is it very cold?

Hor. It is a nipping and an eager ayre.

Ham. What hower now?

Hor. I thinke it lacks of twelue.

Mar. No, it is strooke.

Hor. Indeed I heard it not: then it drawes neere the season,
Wherein the Spirit held his wont to walke.
What does this meane my Lord?

Ham. The King doth wake to night, and takes his rouse,
Keepes wassels and the swaggering vpspring reeles,
And as he dreines his draughts of Renish downe,
The kettle Drum and Trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his Pledge.

Horat. Is it a custome?

Ham. I marry ist;
And to my mind, though I am natiue heere,
And to the manner borne: It is a Custome
More honour'd in the breach, then the obseruance.

Enter Ghost.

Hor. Looke my Lord, it comes.

Ham. Angels and Ministers of Grace defend vs:
Be thou a Spirit of health, or Goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee ayres from Heauen, or blasts from Hell,
Be thy euents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
That I will speake to thee. Ile call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royall Dane: Oh, oh, answer me,
Let me not burst in Ignorance; but tell
Why thy Canoniz'd bones Hearsed in death,
Haue burst their cerments, why the Sepulcher
Wherein we saw thee quietly enurn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and Marble iawes,
To cast thee vp againe? What may this meane?
That thou dead Coarse againe in compleat steele,
Reuisits thus the glimpses of the Moone,
Making Night hidious? And we fooles of Nature,
So horridly to shake our disposition,
With thoughts beyond thee; reaches of our Soules,
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we doe?

Ghost beckens Hamlet.

Hor. It beckons you to goe away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.

Mar. Looke with what courteous action
It wafts you to a more remoued ground:
But doe not goe with it.

Hor. No, by no meanes.

Ham. It will not speake: then will I follow it.

Hor. Doe not my Lord.

Ham. Why, what should be the feare?
I doe not set my life at a pins fee;
And for my Soule, what can it doe to that?
Being a thing immortall as it selfe:
It waues me forth againe; Ile follow it.

Hor. What if it tempt you toward the Floud my Lord?
Or to the dreadfull Sonnet of the Cliffe,
That beetles o're his base into the Sea,
And there assumes some other horrible forme,
Which might depriue your Soueraignty of Reason,
And draw you into madnesse thinke of it?

Ham. It wafts me still: goe on, Ile follow thee.

Mar. You shall not goe my Lord.

Ham. Hold off your hand.

Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not goe.

Ham. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty Artire in this body,
As hardy as the Nemian Lions nerue:
Still am I cal'd? Vnhand me Gentlemen:
By Heau'n, Ile make a Ghost of him that lets me:
I say away, goe on, Ile follow thee.

Exeunt Ghost & Hamlet.

Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.

Mar. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.

Hor. Haue after, to what issue will this come?

Mar. Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke.

Hor. Heauen will direct it.

Mar. Nay, let's follow him.

[ S c e n a  Q u i n t a .]

Enter Ghost and Hamlet.

Ham. Where wilt thou lead me? speak; Ile go no further.

Gho. Marke me.

Ham. I will.

Gho. My hower is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting Flames
Must render vp my selfe.

Ham. Alas poore Ghost.

Gho. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall vnfold.

Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.

Gho. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.

Ham. What?

Gho. I am thy Fathers Spirit,
Doom'd for a certaine terme to walke the night;
And for the day confin'd to fast in Fiers,
Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of Nature
Are burnt and purg'd away? But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my Prison-House;
I could a Tale vnfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like Starres, start from their Spheres,
Thy knotty and combined lockes to part,
And each particular haire to stand an end,
Like Quilles vpon the fretfull Porpentine:
But this eternall blason must not be
To eares of flesh and bloud; list Hamlet, oh list,
If thou didst euer thy deare Father loue.

Ham. Oh Heauen!

Gho. Reuenge his foule and most vnnaturall Murther.

Ham. Murther?

Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is;
But this most foule, strange, and vnnaturall.

Ham. Hast, hast me to know it,
That with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of Loue,
May sweepe to my Reuenge.

Ghost. I finde thee apt,
And duller should'st thou be then the fat weede
That rots it selfe in ease, on Lethe Wharfe,
Would'st thou not stirre in this. Now Hamlet heare:
It's giuen out, that sleeping in mine Orchard,
A Serpent stung me: so the whole eare of Denmarke,
Is by a forged processe of my death
Rankly abus'd: But know thou Noble youth,
The Serpent that did sting thy Fathers life,
Now weares his Crowne.

Ham. O my Propheticke soule: mine Vncle?

Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate Beast
With witchcraft of his wits, hath Traitorous guifts.
Oh wicked Wit, and Gifts, that haue the power
So to seduce? Won to this shamefull Lust
The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene:
Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there,
From me, whose loue was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand, euen with the Vow
I made to her in Marriage; and to decline
Vpon a wretch, whose Naturall gifts were poore
To those of mine. But Vertue, as it neuer wil be moued,
Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of Heauen:
So Lust, though to a radiant Angell link'd,
Will sate it selfe in a Celestiall bed, & prey on Garbage.
But soft, me thinkes I sent the Mornings Ayre;
Briefe let me be: Sleeping within mine Orchard,
My custome alwayes in the afternoone;
Vpon my secure hower thy Vncle stole
With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl,
And in the Porches of mine eares did poure
The leaperous Distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with bloud of Man,
That swift as Quick-siluer, it courses through
The naturall Gates and Allies of the body;
And with a sodaine vigour it doth posset
And curd, like Aygre droppings into Milke,
The thin and wholsome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant Tetter bak'd about,
Most Lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth Body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a Brothers hand,
Of Life, of Crowne, and Queene at once dispatcht;
Cut off euen in the Blossomes of my Sinne,
Vnhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head;
Oh horrible Oh horrible, most horrible:
If thou hast nature in thee beare it not;
Let not the Royall Bed of Denmarke be
A Couch for Luxury and damned Incest.
But howsoeuer thou pursuest this Act,
Taint not thy mind; nor let thy Soule contriue
Against thy Mother ought; leaue her to heauen,
And to those Thornes that in her bosome lodge,
To pricke and sting her. Fare thee well at once;
The Glow-worme showes the Matine to be neere,
And gins to pale his vneffectuall Fire:
Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me. Exit.

Ham. Oh all you host of Heauen! Oh Earth; what els?
And shall I couple Hell? Oh fie: hold my heart;
And you my sinnewes, grow not instant Old;
But beare me stiffely vp: Remember thee?
I, thou poore Ghost, while memory holds a seate
In this distracted Globe: Remember thee?
Yea, from the Table of my Memory,
Ile wipe away all triuiall fond Records,
All sawes of Bookes, all formes, all presures past,
That youth and obseruation coppied there;
And thy Commandment all alone shall liue
Within the Booke and Volume of my Braine,
Vnmixt with baser matter; yes yes, by Heauen:
Oh most pernicious woman!
Oh Villaine, Villaine, smiling damned Villaine!
My Tables, my Tables; meet it is I set it downe,
That one may smile, and smile and be a Villaine;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmarke;
So Vnckle there you are: now to my word;
It is; Adue, Adue, Remember me: I haue sworn't.

Hor. & Mar. within. My Lord, my Lord.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.

Mar. Lord Hamlet.

Hor. Heauen secure him.

Mar. So be it.

Hor. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.

Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy; come bird, come.

Mar. How ist my Noble Lord?

Hor. What newes, my Lord?

Ham. Oh wonderfull!

Hor. Good my Lord tell it.

Ham. No you'l reueale it.

Hor. Not I, my Lord, by Heauen.

Mar. Nor I, my Lord.

Ham. How say you then, would heart of man once think it?
But you'l be secret?

Both. I, by Heau'n, my Lord.

Ham. There's nere a villaine dwelling in all Denmarke
But hee's an arrant knaue.

Hor. There needs no Ghost my Lord, come from the
Graue, to tell vs this.

Ham. Why right, you are i'th' right;
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part:
You, as your busines and desires shall point you:
For euery man ha's businesse and desire,
Such as it is: and for mine owne poore part,
Looke you, Ile goe pray.

Hor. These are but wild and hurling words, my Lord.

Ham. I'm sorry they offend you heartily:
Yes faith, heartily.

Hor. There's no offence my Lord.

Ham. Yes, by Saint Patricke, but there is my Lord,
And much offence too, touching this Vision heere:
It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you:
For your desire to know what is betweene vs,
O'remaster't as you may. And now good friends,
As you are Friends, Schollers and Soldiers,
Giue me one poore request.

Hor. What is't my Lord? we will.

Ham. Neuer make known what you haue seen to night.

Both. My Lord, we will not.

Ham. Nay, but swear't.

Hor. Infaith my Lord, not I.

Mar. Nor I my Lord: in faith.

Ham. Vpon my sword.

Marcell. We haue sworne my Lord already.

Ham. Indeed, vpon my sword, Indeed.

Gho. Sweare. Ghost cries vnder the Stage.

Ham. Ah ha boy, sayest thou so. Art thou there true-penny?
Come one you here this fellow in the selleredge
Consent to sweare.

Hor. Propose the Oath my Lord.

Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene.
Sweare by my sword.

Gho. Sweare.

Ham. Hic & vbique? Then wee'l shift for grownd,
Come hither Gentlemen,
And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard:
Sweare by my Sword.

Gho. Sweare.

Ham. Well said old Mole, can'st worke i'th' ground so fast?
A worthy Pioner, once more remoue good friends.

Hor. Oh day and night: but this is wondrous strange.

Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome.
There are more things in Heauen and Earth, Horatio,
Then are dream't of in our Philosophy. But come,
Here as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
How strange or odde so ere I beare my selfe;
(As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet
To put an Anticke disposition on:)
That you at such time seeing me, neuer shall
With Armes encombred thus, or thus, head shake;
Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull Phrase;
As well, we know, or we could and if we would,
Or if we list to speake; or there be and if there might,
Or such ambiguous giuing out to note,
That you know ought of me; this not to doe:
So grace and mercy at your most neede helpe you:

Ghost. Sweare.

Ham. Rest, rest perturbed Spirit: so Gentlemen,
With all my loue I doe commend me to you;
And what so poore a man as Hamlet is,
May doe t' expresse his loue and friending to you,
God willing shall not lacke: let vs goe in together,
And still your fingers on your lippes I pray,
The time is out of ioynt: Oh cursed spight,
That euer I was borne to set it right.
Nay, come let's goe together. Exeunt.
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