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No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes,
For in that dreame of death, when wee awake,
And borne before an euerlasting Iudge,
From whence no passenger euer retur❜nd,
The vndiscouered country, at whose sight,
The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd.

But for this, the ioyfull hope of this,

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

Scorned by the right rich, the rich curssed of the poore?
The widow being oppressed, the orphan wrong'd,

The taste of hunger, or a tirants raigne,

And thousand more calamities besides,

To grunt and sweate vnder this weary life,
When that he may his full Quietus make,
With a bare bodkin, who would this indure,
But for a hope of something after death?

Which pusles the braine, and doth confound the sence,
Which makes us rather beare those euilles we haue,
Than flie to others that we know not of.

I that, O this conscience makes cowardes of vs all,
Lady in thy orizons, be all my sinnes remembered."

This reads almost like intentional burlesque, so completely, yet absurdly, are all the thoughts of the genuine soliloquy represented in it. Like the shadow of a fair and stately building on the surface of a troubled river, it distorts outline, destroys symmetry, confuses parts, contracts some passages, expands others, robs color of its charm and light of its brilliancy, and presents but a dim, grotesque, and shapeless image of the beautiful original; while yet, with that original before us, we can see that it is a reflection of the whole structure, and not merely of its foundation, its framework, or its important parts. How ludicrously the well-known sentences, "To sleep, perchance to dream," and that, several lines below, about the dread of something after death," are lumped together, and crushed into shapelessness in the lines,

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"No, to sleep, to dream, aye marry there it goes
For in that dream of death, when we awake,
And borne before an everlasting Judge,

From which no passenger ever return'd,

The undiscovered country," &c. !

That this soliloquy, as it stands in the quarto of 1603, is merely a mutilated version of that which is found in the quarto of 1604 is as clear to my apprehension as that the latter was written by William Shakespeare.

Another proof that the quarto of 1603 is but an accidentally imperfect representation of the completed play is found in the fragment which it gives of the Scene (Act IV. Sc. 4) in which Fortinbras enters at the head of the Norwegian forces. This consists only of the speech of Fortinbras, which appears in the following shape:

"Captaine, from vs goe greete

The king of Denmarke

Tell him that Fortenbrasse, nephew to old Norway,
Craves a free passe and conduct ouer his land,

According to the Articles agreed on :

You know our Randevous, goe march away."

This has the same distorted likeness to the genuine speech that the soliloquies just cited have to their prototypes in the true text. But to look farther - with this speech the Scene ends: we have, "exeunt all," and immediately, "enter King and Queenc." Now, will any one believe that Shakespeare brought Fortinbras at the head of an army upon the stage merely to speak these half dozen lines of commonplace? Plainly the only object was to give Hamlet the opportunity for that great introspective soliloquy in which, with a psychological insight profounder than that which is exhibited in any other passage of the tragedy, the poet makes the Prince confess in whisper to himself the subtle modes and hidden causes of his vacillation. Considering the motive of the play, the introduction of Fortinbras and his army without the subsequent dialogue and soliloquy is a moral impossibility which overrides all other arguments. Yet this one is not unsupported. For the speech of Fortinbras in the first version itself furnishes evidence that it was written out for the press by a person who had heard the dialogue which it introduces. The latter part of the line

"Tell him that Fortinbras, nephew to old Norway" has no counterpart in the genuine speech; but we detect in it an unmistakable reminiscence of the following passage of the subsequent dialogue which is found in the edition of 1604 :


Who commands them, sir?

Cap. The Nephew to old Norway, Fortenbrasse."

It is to be noticed, too, that the absence of this dialogue and soliloquy from the quarto of 1603 is no proof whatever that they were not written when the copy for that edition was prepared; and this for the all-sufficient reason that they are also wanting in the folio itself, which was printed twenty years afterwards. It seems almost certain that these passages were omitted in the representation, and struck out of the stage copy from which the folio was printed, owing to the great length of the play, and a lack of popular interest consequent upon their speculative character. And it is also safe to conclude that the same considerations led the procurer of the copy for the surreptitious edition to withhold even a garbled version of them, if, indeed, they were not already omitted in the performance at the time when he did his work.

And this brings us to another branch of the evidence in the case. There are many important passages of the completed play of which there is no vestige in the quarto of 1603; which would seem to favor the conclusion that that edition represents but an early sketch of Shakespeare's work, especially as some of them are reflective in character, and all indicate maturity of power. Of these I will mention the lines about the ominous appearances in Rome "ere the mightiest Julius fell," Act I. Sc. 1; all that part of Hamlet's censure of Danish drunkenness beginning, "This heavy-headed revel," Act I. Sc. 4; the reflection upon "that monster custom," Act III. Sc. 4; the soliloquy just above alluded to, Act IV. Sc. 4; the euphuistic passage between Osric and Hamlet beginning, "Sir, here is newly come to court, Laertes," Act V. Sc. 2; and the Prince's brief colloquy with a Lord in the same Scene. But the absence of these passages from the first quarto is deprived of all bearing upon the question of the state of the play which that edition professed to represent by the fact that they are likewise lacking in the folio. On the other hand, there are passages in the folio which are not found in the second quarto, enlarged though it was "to almost as much againe" as the play had been before," according to the true and perfect copy;" and of these passages there are traces at least in the quarto of 1603. Such is

the passage about the company of child actors, -"How comes it? Do they grow rusty?" and seven speeches afterwards, Act II. Sc. 2,- which, although entirely lacking in the second quarto, is thus represented in the first:

"Ham. How comes it that they trauell? Do they grow restie ? Gil. No my Lord, their reputation holds as it was wont. Ham. How then?

Gil. Y faith my Lord, noueltie carries it away

For the principall publike audience that

Came to them are turned to priuate playes

And to the humour of children."

There are other vestiges in the quarto of 1603 of passages which do not appear in that of 1604, but which are found in the folio; and, although they are of minor importance, they go to show none the less that the surreptitious text of 1603 and the authentic text of twenty years later had a common origin.

In some parts of the first quarto the arrangement of the Scenes is not the same as in that of the subsequent editions, which might seem to favor the supposition that the play was recast after its first production. But the order of the earliest edition in these cases is mere disorder, resulting from the inability of the person who superintended the preparation of the copy for the press to arrange even the materials at hand in their proper sequence. As evidence of this, it is only necessary to state that the soliloquy "To be, or not to be" (Act III.

"Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty?

Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question, and are most tyranically clapped for 't; these are now the fashion; and so berattle the common stages, (so they call them,) that many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose-quills, and dare scarce come thither.

Ham. What, are they children? who maintains them? how are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality, no longer than they can sing? will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players, (as it most like, if their means are no better,) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession?

Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre them on to controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question. Ham. Is it possible?

Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

Ham. Do the boys carry it away?

Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too."

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Sc. 1) is introduced in the quarto of 1603 immediately after the proposal by Polonius (Act II. Sc. 2) that Ophelia shall lure Hamlet into an exhibition of his madness. It is immediately preceded by the command of her father

"And here Ofelia, read you on this booke,

And walke aloofe, the King shall be vnseene;


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and, as in the true and perfect copy, it closes with the entreaty – "Lady in thy orizons be all my sins remembred; and yet, according to the imperfect, as well as the perfect text, Ophelia is not upon the stage! The circumstance that in two Scenes Hamlet enters just as the same personages (the King, the Queen, and Ophelia's father) leave the stage, misled the purloiner of the text for the first edition into the supposition that the old courtier's suggestion in the earlier Scene was immediately followed.

But the text of the first quarto presents two features of difference from that of any subsequent edition which cannot be attributed to accident or haste. These are the names of Ophelia's father and of his servant, (who in that edition are called Corambis and Montano,) and the existence of a Scene which (in form, though not in substance) has no counterpart in the authentic text. The Scene in question is a brief one between Horatio and the Queen. It succeeds that of Ophelia's insanity; and in it Horatio informs Hamlet's mother of the manner in which her son escaped the plot laid by the King to have him put to death in England. It is worth our while to quote this Scene entire.

"Hor. Madame, your sonne is safe arriv'de in Denmarke, This letter I euen now receiv'd of him,

Whereas he writes how he escap't the danger,
And subtle treason that the king had plotted,
Being crossed by the contention of the windes,
He found the Packet sent to the king of England,
Wherein he saw himselfe betray'd to death,

As at his next conuersion with your grace,

He will relate the circumstance at full.

Queene. Then I percieue there's treason in his lookes That seem'd to sugar o'er his villainie :

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