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Red goatskin binding signed by Frank Bedford. Embossed binder's border on front cover and back cover. Title tooled in gilt on spine reads “SHAKE
Binder's ink stamp on facsimile image 003. Text reads: “Bound by F. Bedford.”
Bookplate on facsimile image 058. Text reads: “THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY.”
The binding by Bedford cost me £1..18..6.
No.. 62 in Calendar,
String safe B.
Collated with Gap copy for peculiarities. No variations.
In the Gap copy, the line in B. 2, l. 34, is not indented. See a
duplicate leaf also at the end of this copy.
3rd edition, circa 1604.
4th ed. between 1611‐1630
Collated with copy uncut edges now at W.C.
To the Celestiall and my soules Idoll the most beautified
Ophelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase, beauti
fied is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in her
excellent white bosome, these &c.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to
reckon my groanes, but that I loue thee best, oh most beft be
leeue it! adiew. Thine euermore most deare Ladie, whilest this
machine is to him. (Hamlet.
How say you by that, st_ll harping on my daughter, yet
he knew me not at first, a said I was a Fishmonger, a is farre gone,
and truly in my youth, I suffered much extremity for loue, very
neere this. Ile speake to him againe. What doe you reade my
Slanders sir; for the Satericall Rogue saies here, that old
men haue grey beards, that _heir faces are wrinkled, their eies
purging thick Amber, and Plum‐tree Gum, and that they haue a
Indeed that's out of the aire; how pregnant sometimes
his replies are, a happines that often madnes hits on, which reason
and sanctitie could not so prosperously be deliuered of. I wil leaue
him and my daughter. My Lord, I will take my leaue of you.
You cannot take from me any thing that I will not more
willingly part withall: except my life, ex_ept my life, except my
Begger that I am, I am euer poore in thankes, but I thank
you, and sure deare friends, my thanks are too deare a halfpeny:
were you not sent fo_? is it your owne inclining? is it a free visita
tion? come, come, deale iuftly with me, come, come, nay speake.
Any thing but to'th purpose; you were sent for, and _here
is a kind of confession in your lookes, which your modesties haue
not craft enough to cullour, I know the good King and Queene
haue sent for you.
That you must teach me: but let me coniure you, by the
rights of our fellowship, by the consonancie of our youth, by the
obl_gation of our euer preserued loue; and by what more deare
a better proposer can change you withal, be euen and direct with
mee whether you were sent for or no.
I will tell you why so shall, my anticipation preuent your
discouerie & your secrecie to the King and Queen moult no fea
ther, I haue of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth,
forgon all custome of exercises, and indeede it goes soe heauily
with my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me
a sterill promontorie, this most excellent Canopie the aire, looke
you, this braue ore‐hanged firmament, this maiesticall roofe fret
ted with golden fire, why it appearth nothing to mee but a foule
and pestilent congregation of vapours. What peece of worke is
a man, how noble in reason, how infinit in faculties, in forme and
moouing, how expresse and admirable in action, how like an An
gell in apprehension, how like a God: the beautie of the world;
the parragon of Annimales, & yet to me, what is this quintessence
of dust? man delights not mee nor woman neither, though by
your smiling you seeme to say so.
To thinke my Lord if you delight not in man, what Lenton
entertainment the plaiers shall receiue from you, wee coted them
on the way, and hether are the coming to offer you seruice.
He that plaies the Ki_g shall be welcome, his Maiest_e
shall haue tribute on mee, the aduenterous Knight shall vse his
foyle and target, the louer shall not sing gra_is, the humorous man
shall end his part in pe_ce and the Ladie shall say her mind freely:
or the blanke verse shall hault for't. What players are they?
Euen those you were wont to take such delight in, the Tra
_edians of the _
It is not very strange, for my Vncle is King of Denmarke,
& those that would make mouths at him while my father liued,
giue twentie, fortie, fiftie, a hundred duckets a peece, for his Pic
ture in little: s'bloud there is something in this more then natu
rall, if Philosophy could fin d it out.
Gentlemen you are welcome to Elsonoure, your hands,
come then th'apportenance of welcome is fashion and ceremo
nie; let mee comply with you in this garb: let my extent to the
Plaiers, which I tell you must showe fair__y outwards, fhould
more appeare like entertainment then yours_ you are welcome:
but my Vncle‐father, and Aunt‐mother, are deceaued.
The best actors in the world, either for Tragedie, Comedie,
Historie, Pastorall, Pastoral‐Comicall, Historical‐Paftorall, seeme
Why as by lot God wot, and then you know it came to
passe, as most like it was; the first rowe of the pious chanson will
show you more, for looke where my abridgement comes.
You are welcome maisters, welcome all, I am glad to see
thee well, welcome good friends, oh old frie_d, why thy face is
valanc'd since I saw thee last, com'st thou to beard mee in Den
marke? what my young Ladie and Mistris, my Ladie your Ladi
ship is neerer to Heauen, then when I saw you last by the alti_ude
of a chopine, pray God your voice like a peece of vncurrant gold,
be not crackt within the ri_g: maisters you are all welcome,
weele ento't like friendly Faukners, flie at any thing we see, weele
haue a speech strait, come giue vs a taste of your qualitie, come a
I heard thee speake me a speech once, but it was neuer ac
ted, o_ if i_ was, not aboue once, for the play I remember pleasd
not the million, t'was cauiary to the general, but it was as I recei
ued it and others, whose iudgements in such matters cried in the
top of mine, an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set
downe with as much modesty as cunning. I remember one said
there were no sallets in the lines, to make the matter sauory, nor
no matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affection,
but cald it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
much, more handsome then fine: one speech in't I chiefly loued,
t'was Æneas talke to Dido, and there about of it especially when
he speakes of Priams slaughter, if it liue in your memory begin at
this line, let me see, let me see, the rugged Pyrhus like Th'ircanian
Tis well, Ile haue thee speake out the rest of this soone,
good my Lord will you see the Players well bestowed; doe you
heare, let them be well vsed, for they are the abstract and breefe
Chronicles of the time; after your death you were better haue a
bad Epitaph then their ill report while you liue.
Gods bodkin man, much better, vse euery man after his
desert, and who shall scape whipping, vse them after your owne
honour and dignitie, the lesse they deserue the more merrit is in
your boun_y. Take them in.
Weele hau'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?
Very well, follow that Lord, and looke you mocke him
not. My good friends, Ile leaue you till night, you are welcome
I truly, for the power of beautie will sooner transforme
honestie from what it is to a Baud, then the force of honesty can
translate beautie in his likenesse, this was sometime a Paradoxe,
but now the time giues it proofe, I did loue you once.
Get thee a Nunry: why would'st thou be a breeder of
sinners? I am my self indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me
of such things, that it were better my Mother had not borne mee:
I am very proud, reuengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my
beck, then I haue thoghts to put them in, imagination to giue thē
shape, or time to act them in: what should such fellowes as I do
crauling betweene Earth and Heauen? we are arrant Knaues, be
lieue none of vs. Go thy waies to a Nunry, VVher's your father?
If thou doost mary, Ile giue thee this plague for thy dow
ry, be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape
calumny, get thee to a Nunry, farwell. Or if thou wilt needs mar
ry, marrie a foole, for wisemen know well enough what monsters
you make of them: to a Nunry go, and quickly to, farwell.
I haue heard of your paintings well enough, God hath
giuen you one face, and you make your selues another, you gig &
amble, and you list you nickname Gods creatures, and make your
wantonnesse ignorance; go to, Ile no more on't, it hath made me
mad, I say we will haue no mo marriage, those that are married
already, all but one shall liue, the rest shall keepe as they are: to a
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 liue the Town‐crier spoke my lines, nor doe
not saw the aire too much with your hand thus, but vse al gently,
for in the very torrent tempest, & as I may say, whirlwind of y_ur
p_ssion you must acquire and beget a tempernce, that may giue it
smoothnesse, O it offends me to to the soule, to heare a robusti
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 obseruance, that you ore‐step not the modestie
of Nature: For any thing so ore‐done, is from the purpose of
playing, whose end both at first, and now, was and is, to hold as
twere the Mirrour vp to Nature, to shew vertue her feature; scorn
her own Image, and t_e very age and bodie of the time his forme
and pressure: Now this ouer‐done, or come tardie off though it
makes the vnskilfull laugh, cannot but make the iudicious grieue,
the censure of which one must in your allowance ore‐weigh a
whole Theater of others. O there be Players that I haue seen play,
and heard others praisd, and that highly, not to speake it profane
ly, that neither hauing th' accent of Christians, nor the gate of
Christian, Pagan, nor man, haue so strutted & bellowed, that I haue
thought some of Natures Iournymen had made men, and not
made them well, they imitated humanitie so abominably.
O reforme it altogether, and let those that play your
Clownes speake no more then is set downe for them, for there be
of them that will themselues laugh, to set on some quantitie of
barraine Spectators to laugh to, though in the meane time, some
necessarie question of the play be then to be considered: that's vil
lanous, and shewes a most pittifull ambition in the Foole that v
ses it: go make you readie. How now my Lord, will the King
heare this piece of worke?
O God! your onely Iigge‐maker, what should a man do
but be merrie, for looke you how cherefully my mother lookes,
and my father died within's two houres.
So long, nay then let the Deuill weare black, for Ile haue
a Sute of Sables; O heauens, die two moneths ago, and not for
gotten yet, then there's hope a great mans memorie may out‐liue
his life halfe a yeare, but ber Ladie a must build Churches then, or
else shall a suffer not thinking on, with the Hobby‐horse, whose
Epitaph is, for O, for O, the Hobby‐horse is forgot.
The Mousetrap, mary 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 knauish piece of work,
but what of that? your Maiesty and we shall haue free soules, it
touches vs not, let the gauled Iade winch, our withers are vn
wrung. This is one Lucianus, Nephew to the King.
So you mistake your husbands. Begin murtherer, leaue
thy damnable faces and begin, come, the croking Rauen doth
bellow for reuenge.
A poisons him i'th Garden for his estate, his names Gonza
go, the story is extant and written in very choice Italian, you shall
see anon how the murtherer gets the loue of Gonzagoes wife.
Thus runs the world away. Would not this sir & a forrest of fea
thers, if the rest of my fortuns turne Turk with me, with prouincial
Roses, on my raz'd shooes, get me a fellowship in a city of Player?
Your wisedome should shew it selfe more richer to sig
nifie this to the Doctor, for, for me to put him to his purgation,
would perhaps plunge him into more choller.
Nay good my Lord, this curtesie is not of the right breed,
if it shall please you to make me a wholsome answer, I will do
your mothers commandement, if not, your pardon and my re
turne, shall be the end of businesse.
Make you a wholsome answer, my wits diseasd, but sir, such
answer as I can make, you shal command, or rather as you say, my
mother, therefore no more, but to the matter, my mother you say.
Then thus she saies, your behauiour hath strooke her into
amazement and admiration.
Good my Lord, what is your cause of distemper, you do
surely bar the doore vpon your owne liberty, if you deny your
griefes to your friend.
I sir, but wile the grasse grows, the prouerb is somthing
musty, oh the Recorders, let me see one, to withdraw with you,
why do you go about to recouer the wind of me, as if you would
driue me into a toyle?
It is as eafie as lying; gouern these ventages with your fin
gers, & the thumb giue it breath with your mouth, and it wil dis
course most eloquent musique, look you, these are the stops.
Why look you now how vnworthy a thing you make of
me, you would play vpon me, you would seem to know my stops,
you would pluck out the heart of my mysterie, you would sound
me from my lowest note to my compasse, and there is much mu
sique, excellent voice in this little organ, yet cannot you make it
speak, s'blood do you think I am easier to be plaid on then a pipe,
call me what Instrument you will, though you fret me not, you
cannot play vpon me. God blesse you sir.
That I can keep your counsaile and not mine owne, be
sides to be demanded of a spunge, what replication should be
made by the sonne of a King.
I sir, that sokes vp the Kings countenance, his rewards, his
authorities, but such Officers do the King best seruice in the end,
he keepsthem like an apple in the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd
to be last swallowed, when he needs what you haue gleand, it is
but sqeesing you, and spunge you shall be dry againe.
Not where he eates, but where he is eaten, a certain conuo
cation of politick worms are een at him: your worme is your only
Emperour for dyet, we fat all creatures else to fat vs, and we fat
our selues for maggots, your fat King & your leane Beggar is but
variable seruice, two dishes but to one table, that's the end.
In heauen, send thether to see, if your messenger find him
not there, seeke him i'th other place your selfe, but if indeed you
find him not within this moneth, you shall nose him as you go vp
the staires into the Lobby.
VVell good dild you, they say the Owle was a Bakers
daughter, Lord we know what we are, but know not what wee
may be; God be at your table.
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 counsel.
There's Fennill for you, and Colembines, there's Rew for
you, and heere'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 giue you some Violets, but they witherd all when
my Father died, they say a made a good end.
A shall sir and please him, there's a Letter for you sir, it
came from the Embassador that was bound for England, if your
name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Horatio, when thou shalt haue ouer‐look't this, giue these
fellowes some meanes to the King, they haue Letters for him: Ere
we were two daies old at Sea, a Pirat of very warlike appoint
ment gaue vs chase, finding our selues too slow of saile, we put on
a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boorded them, on the in
stant they got cleere of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner,
they haue dealt with me like theeues of mercy, but they knew
what they did: I am to doe a turne for them, let the King haue the
Letters I haue sent, and repaire thou to me with as much speed
as thou wouldst flie death. I haue words to speake in thine eare
So that thou knowest thine Hamlet.
High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your King
dome, to morrow shall I beg leaue to see your Kingly eies, when
I shall, first asking you pardon, thereunto recount the occasion of
my sudden returne.
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 do, to performe, or all; she
drown'd her selfe wittingly.
Giue me leaue, here lies the water, good, here stands the
Why there thou saist, and the more pitty that great folke
should haue countenance in this world to drowne or hang them
selues, more then their euen Christen: Come my spade, there is no
ancient gentlemen but Gardners, Ditchers, and Graue‐makers,
they hold vp Adams profession.
I like thy wit well in good faith, the gallowes dooes well,
but how dooes it well? It dooes wel to those that do ill, now thou
dooft ill to say the gallowes is built stronger then the Church, ar
gall, the gallowes may doe well to thee. Too't againe, come.
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dul asse wil
not mend his pace with beating, & when your are askt this questiō
next, say a graue‐maker, the houses he makes lasts tel Doomsday.
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once, how the
knaue iowles it to the ground, as if t'were Cains iaw‐bone, that
did the first murder: this might be the pate of a pollititian, which
this Asse now ore‐reaches; one that would circumuent God,
might it not?
Or of a Courtier, which could say good morrow my
Lord: how dost 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?
Why een so, and now my Lady worms Choples, and knockt
about the mazer with a Sextens spade; heer's fine reuolution 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 thinke on't.
There's another, why may not that be the skul of a Lawyer?
where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures,
and his tricks? why dooes he suffer this mad knaue now to knock
him about the sconce with a dirty shouell, 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 recoueries, to haue his fine pate full of fine
durt: will vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases and
doubles, then the length and breadth of a payre of Indentures?
The very conueyances of his Lands will scarcely lye in this box,
and must th'inheritor himselfe haue no more? ha.
How absolute the knaue is, we must speak by the card, or
equiuocatiō wil vndoo vs. By the Lord Horatio, this three yeres I
haue 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 kybe.
How long hast thou been a Graue‐maker?
Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that, it was that
very day that young Hamlet was borne: he that is mad and sent
Faith if a be not rotten before a dye, as we haue many
pocky corses, that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you
some eight yeere, or nine yeere. A Tanner will last you nine yeare.
Why sir, his hide is so tand with his trade, that a will keep
out water a great while; and your water is a sore decayer of your
whorson dead body, heer's a scull now hath lyen you i'th earth (twenty three yeares.
Alas poore Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
iest, of most excellent fancy, he hath bore me on his back a thou
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is: my
gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I haue kist I know not
how oft: where be your gibes now? your gamboles, your songs,
your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a
roare, not one now to mock your own grinning, quite chopfalne.
Now get you to my Ladies table, and tell her, let her paint an
inch thick, to this fauour she must come, make her laught at that.
Prethee Horatio tell me one thing.
To what b_“a“ clearly in other copyHoratio? Why may
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a find it
stopping a bunghole?
No faith, not a iot, but to follow him thether 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 conuerted, might
Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to know
him, He hath much land and fertill: let a beast be Lord of beasts,
and his Crib shall stand at the Kings messe, tis a chough, but as I
say, spacious in the possession of durt.
Nay good my Lord for my ease in good faith, sir here is
newly come to Court Laertes, beleeue mee an absolute Gentle
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I
know to diuide him inuentorially, would dizzie th'arithmetick
of memorie, and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick saile,
but in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soule of great ar
ticle, and his infusion of such dearth and rarenesse, as to make true
dixion of him, his semblable is his mirrour, and who els would
trace him, his vmbrage, nothing more.
The King sir hath wagerd with him six Barbary horses
against the which he has impaund as I take it six French Rapiers
and Poinards, with their assignes, as girdle, hanger and so. Three
of the carriages in faith, are very deare to fancie, very responfiue
to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
The phrase would be more German to the matter if we
could carrie a Canon by our sides, I would it might bee hangers
till then, but on, six Barbary horses against six French Swords their
assignes, and three liberall conceited carri_ges, 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 twelue for nine, and it would eome to immediate triall, if your
Lordship would vouchsafe the answere.
Sir I will walke heere in the hall, If it please his Maiesty,
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.
A did so sir with his dugge before a suckt it, thus has he
and 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
incounter, a kind of mistie collect_on, which carries them through
and through the most profane and trennowned opinons, and doe
but blow them to their triall, the bubbles are out.
My Lord, his Maiestie commended him to you by yong
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?
Not a whit we defie Augurie, there is speci___ prouidence
in the fall of a Sparrow, if it bee, tis not to come, if it bee not to
come, it will be now, if it be not now, yet it will ___e, the readi
nesse is all, since no man of ought he leaues, know_s what ist to
leaue betimes, let be.
J. O. H. P.
The text is quite perfect, but there are a
very few infinitessimal defects in sigs. and head