Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)


Enter King and Laertes.
King Hamlet from England! is it possible?
What chance is this? They are gone, and he come home!
3059.1Laertes Oh, he is welcome, by my soul he is!
3065At it my jocund heart doth leap for joy,
That I shall live to tell him: thus he dies.
King Laertes, content yourself/ Be ruled by me,
3068.1And you shall have no let for your revenge.
2885Laertes My will, not all the world.
King Nay, but Laertes, mark the plot I have laid:
3100I have heard him often, with a greedy wish,
Upon some praise that he hath heard of you
Touching your weapon, wish with all his heart
He might be once tasked for to try your cunning.
Laertes And how for this?
King Marry, Laertes, thus: I'll lay a wager,
3124.1Shall be on Hamlet's side, and you shall give the odds,
The which will draw him with a more desire
To try the maistry, that in twelve venies
You gain not three of him. Now, this being granted,
.5When you are hot in midst of all your play,
Among the foils shall a keen rapier lie,
Steeped in a mixture of deadly poison
That, if it draws but the least dram of blood
In any part of him, he cannot live.
3138.1This being done will free you from suspicion,
And not the dearest friend that Hamlet loved
Will ever have Laertes in suspect.
3130Laertes My lord, I like it well.
3130.1But say Lord Hamlet should refuse this match?
King I'll warrant you, we'll put on you
Such a report of singularity
Will bring him on, although against his will.
3123.1And, lest that all should miss,
3150I'll have a potion that shall ready stand,
In all his heat when that he calls for drink,
3148.1Shall be his period and our happiness.
Laertes 'Tis excellent. Oh, would the time were come! Here comes the Queen. Enter the Queen.
King How now, Gertred, why look you heavily?
3153.1Queen O my lord, the young Ophelia,
3160Having made a garland of sundry sorts of flowers,
Sitting upon a willow by a brook,
3165The envious sprig broke. Into the brook she fell,
And for a while her clothes, spread wide abroad,
Bore the young lady up; and there she sat smiling,
Even mermaid-like, 'twixt heaven and earth,
Chanting old sundry tunes, uncapable,
3170As it were, of her distress. But long it could not be
Till that her clothes, being heavy with their drink,
Dragged the sweet wretch to death.
Laertes So, she is drowned.
Too much of water hast thou, Ophelia;
Therefore I will not drown thee in my tears.
3179.1Revenge it is must yield this heart relief, For woe begets woe, and grief hangs on grief.
Exeunt.