Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)


Enter Queen and Corambis.
2375Corambis Madam, I hear young Hamlet coming. I'll shrowd myself behind the arras. Exit Corambis.
2379.1Queen Do so, my lord.
Hamlet [Offstage] Mother, mother! [Enter Hamlet.] Oh, are you here? 2385How is't with you, mother?
Queen How is't with you?
2497.1Hamlet I'll tell you, but first we'll make all safe.
Queen Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Hamlet Mother, you have my father much offended.
2390Queen How now boy?
Hamlet How now, mother! Come here, sit down, for you
shall hear me speak.
Queen What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
Help, ho!
Corambis [Behind the arras] Help for the Queen!
Hamlet Ay, a rat! Dead, for a ducat! [He stabs through the arras. Polonius falls, and is discovered, slaineHHH.]
Rash intruding fool, farewell.
I took thee for thy better.
Queen Hamlet, what hast thou done?
Hamlet Not so much harm, good mother,
2410As to kill a king and marry with his brother.
Queen How! Kill a king!
Hamlet Ay, a king. Nay sit you down, and, ere you part,
If you be made of penetrable stuff,
I'll make your eyes look down into your heart
And see how horrid there and black it shows.
2466.1Queen Hamlet, what mean'st thou by these killing words?
Hamlet Why this I mean. [Showing her two likenesses] See here, behold this picture.
2437.1It is the portraiture of your deceasèd husband.
See here a face to outface Mars himself,
An eye at which his foes did tremble at,
2440A front wherein all virtues are set down
2440.1For to adorn a king and guild his crown,
Whose heart went hand in hand even with that vow
He made to you in marriage; and he is dead.
Murd'red, damnably murd'red. This was your husband.
Look you now, here is your husband,
2447.1With a face like Vulcan.
A look fit for a murder and a rape,
A dull, dead, hanging look, and a hell-bred eye,
To affright children and amaze the world.
2450And this same have you left to change with this.
2455What devil thus hath cozened you at hob-man blind?
Ah! Have you eyes, and can you look on him
2449.1That slew my father and your dear husband,
To live in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?
Queen O Hamlet, speak no more!
2464.1Hamlet To leave him that bare a monarch's mind
For a king of clouts, of very shreds?
Queen Sweet Hamlet, cease!
Hamlet Nay, but still to persist and dwell in sin,
To sweat under the yoke of infamy,
2469.1To make increase of shame, to seal damnation--
Queen Hamlet, no more.
Hamlet Why, appetite with you is in the wane;
2453.1Your blood runs backward now from whence it came.
Who'll chide hot blood within a virgin's heart
When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast?
Queen Hamlet, thou cleaves my heart in twain.
Hamlet Oh, throw away the worser part of it, and keep the
better. Enter the Ghost in his nightgown.
Save me, save me, you gracious
Powers above, and hover over me
With your celestial wings!--
Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That I thus long have let revenge slip by?
Oh, do not glare with looks so pitiful,
Lest that my heart of stone yield to compassion,
2510And every part that should assist revenge
Forgo their proper powers and fall to pity!
2490Ghost Hamlet, I once again appear to thee
To put thee in remembrance of my death.
2491.1Do not neglect, nor long time put it off.
But I perceive by thy distracted looks
Thy mother's fearful, and she stands amazed.
Speak to her, Hamlet, for her sex is weak.
Comfort thy mother, Hamlet, think on me.
Hamlet How is't with you, lady?
Queen Nay, how is't with you
That thus you bend your eyes on vacancy,
And hold discourse with nothing but with air?
2515Hamlet Why, do you nothing hear?
Queen Not I.
Hamlet Nor do you nothing see?
Queen No, neither.
Hamlet No? Why, see the King my father, my father, in the habit
As he lived. Look you how pale he looks!
See how he steals away out of the portal! Look, there he goes!
Exit Ghost.
2520Queen Alas, it is the weakness of thy brain,
2520.1Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy heart's grief.
But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven
I never knew of this most horrid murder.
But Hamlet, this is only fantasy,
2521.1And, for my love forget these idle fits.
Hamlet Idle No, mother, my pulse doth beat like yours.
It is not madness that possesseth Hamlet.
O mother, if ever you did my dearefather love,
Forbear the adulterous bed tonight,
2545And win yourself by little as you may.
2545.1In time it may be you will loathe him quite.
And, mother, but assist me in revenge,
And in his death your infamy shall die.
Queen Hamlet, I vow, by that Majesty
2573.1That knows our thoughts and looks into our hearts,
I will conceal, consent, and do my best,
2574.1What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise.
Hamlet It is enough. Mother, good night.--
Come, sir, I'll provide for you a grave,
Who was in life a foolish, prating knave.
2585
Exit Hamlet with the dead body.
[Scene break deleted]
Enter the King and Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone.]
King Now Gertred, what says our son? How do you
find him?
Queen Alas ,my lord, as raging as the sea.
2593.1Whenas he came, I first bespake him fair,
But then he throws and tosses me about,
As one forgetting that I was his mother.
2392.1At last I called for help, and, as I cried, Corambis
Called. Which Hamlet no sooner heard but whips me
Out his rapier, and cries, "A rat, a rat1" and in his rage
The good old man he kills.
2600King Why, this his madness will undo our state.
Lords, go to him, inquire the body out.
2624.1Gilderstone We will, my lord. Exeunt Lords.
King Gertred, your son shall presently to England.
His shipping is already furnishèd,
2617.1And we have sent by Rossencraft and Gilderstone
Our letters to our dear brother of England
For Hamlet's welfare and his happiness.
Haply the air and climate of the country
1828.1May please him better than his native home.
See where he comes.
[Scene break deleted]
Enter Hamlet and the Lords [Rossencraft, Gilderstonen, and perhaps another].
Gilderstone My lord, we can by no means know of him where the body is.
King Now, son Hamlet, where is this dead body?
Hamlet At supper, not where he is eating, but 2685where he is eaten; a certain company of politic worms are even now at him. Father, your fat king and your lean beggar are but variable services: two dishes to one mess. Look you, a man may fish with that worm that hath eaten of a king, and a beggar eat that fish which that worm hath caught.
King What of this?
Hamlet Nothing, father, but to tell you, how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
King But son Hamlet, where is this body?
2695Hamlet In heav'n. If you chance to miss him there,
Father, you had best look in the other parts below
For him, and if you cannot find him there
You may chance to nose him as you go up the lobby.
King [To a Lord] Make haste and find him out. [Exit a Lord.]
2699.1Hamlet Nay, do you hear? Do not make too much haste.
2700I'll warrant you he'll stay till you come.
King Well, son Hamlet, we, in care of you, but specially
In tender preservation of your health,
2701.1The which we prize even as our proper self,
It is our mind you forthwith go for England.
2705The wind sits fair. You shall aboard tonight.
Lord Rossencraft and Gilderstone shall go along with you.
Hamlet Oh, with all my heart. Farewell. mother.
King Your loving father, Hamlet.
2715Hamlet My mother, I say. You married my mother,
My mother is your wife; man and wife is one flesh;
And so, my mother, farewell. For England, ho!
Exeunt all but the King [and Queen].
2717.1King Gertred, leave me,
And take your leave of Hamlet. [Exit Queen.]
To England is he gone, ne'er to return.
Our letters are unto the King of England,
That, on the sight of them, on his allegiance,
2727.1He presently, without demanding why,
2730That Hamlet lose his head, for he must die.
2730.1There's more in him than shallow eyes can see. He once being dead, why then our state is free.
Exit.