Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)


Enter King, Queen, Hamlet, Laertes, Corambis, and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
King Lords, we here have writ to Fortenbrasse,
Nephew to old Norway, who, impudent
And bed-rid, scarcely hears of this his
nephew's purpose; and we here dispatch
Young good Cornelia, and you, Voltemar,
For bearers of these greetings to old
Norway, giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King
Than those related articles do show.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
Gentlemen In this and all things will we show our duty.
220King We doubt nothing. Heartily farewell. [Exeunt Cornelia and Voltemar.]
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You said you had a suit. What is't, Laertes?
Laertes My gracious lord, your favorable license,
231.1Now that the funeral rites are all performed,
I may have leave to go again to France;
232.1For though the favor of your grace might stay me,
Yet something is there whispers in my heart
Which makes my mind and spirits bend all for France.
King Have you your father's leave, Laertes?
240Laertes He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced grant,
And I beseech you grant your highness' leave.
241.1King With all our heart, Laertes, fare thee well.
Laertes I in all love and duty take my leave. Exit.
King And now princely son Hamlet,
What means these sad and melancholy moods?
For your intent going to Wittenberg,
We hold it most unmeet and unconvenient,
296.1Being the joy and half heart of your mother.
Therefore let me entreat you stay in court,
All Denmark's hope, our cousin, and dearest son.
Hamlet My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear,
No, nor the tears that still stand in my eyes,
Nor the distracted havior in the visage,
Nor all together mixed with outward semblance,
263.1Is equal to the sorrow of my heart.
Him have I lost I must of force forgo;
These but the ornaments and suits of woe.
King This shows a loving care in you, son Hamlet,
But you must think your father lost a father,
That father dead, lost his, and so shall be until the
272.1General ending. Therefore cease laments.
It is a fault 'gainst heaven, fault 'gainst the dead,
A fault 'gainst nature, and in reason's
Common course most certain,
None lives on earth but he is born to die.
300Queen Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
Stay here with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Hamlet I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King Spoke like a kind and a most loving son;
And there's no health the King shall drink today
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell
310The rouse the King shall drink unto Prince Hamlet.
Exeunt all but Hamlet.
Hamlet Oh, that this too much grieved and sallied flesh
Would melt to nothing, or that the universal
313.1Globe of heaven would turn all to a chaos!
O God, within two months; no not two: married
330Mine uncle! Oh, let me not think of it,
My father's brother, but no more like
My father than I to Hercules.
Within two months, ere yet the salt of most
Unrighteous tears had left their flushing
In her gallèd eyes, she married. O God, a beast
Devoid of reason would not have made
Such speed! Frailty, thy name is Woman.
Why, she would hang on him as if increase
Of appetite had grown by what it looked on.
340Oh, wicked, wicked speed, to make such
Dexterity to incestuous sheets,
Ere yet the shoes were old,
The which she followed my dead father's corse
Like Niobe, all tears: married. Well, it is not,
Nor it cannot come to good;
But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus [and Barnardo].
345Horatio Health to your lordship!
Hamlet I am very glad to see you, (Horatio) or I much
forget myself.
Horatio The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
350Hamlet O my good friend, I change that name with you.
But what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
[To Marcellus.]Marcellus.
Marcellus My good lord.
355Hamlet I am very glad to see you. Good even, sirs.
[To Horatio]But what is your affair in Elsinor?
We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
Horatio A truant disposition, my good lord.
Hamlet Nor shall you make me truster
360Of your own report against yourself.
Sir, I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinor?
Horatio My good lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
365Hamlet Oh, I prithee do not mock me, fellow student,
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Horatio Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
Hamlet Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
370Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Ere ever I had seen that day, Horatio.
O my father, my father! Methinks I see my father.
Horatio Where, my lord?
Hamlet Why, in my mind's eye Horatio.
375Horatio I saw him once, he was a gallant king.
Hamlet He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
Horatio My lord, I think I saw him yesternight,
Hamlet Saw, who?
380Horatio My lord, the King your father.
Hamlet Ha, ha, the King my father, kee you?
Horatio Ceasen your admiration for a while
With an attentive ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
385This wonder to you.
Hamlet For God's love, let me hear it.
Horatio Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,
In the dead vast and middle of the night.
390Been thus encountered by a figure like your father,
Armed to point, exactly cap-à-pie,
Appears before them thrice, he walks
Before their weak and fear-oppressèd eyes
395Within his truncheon's length,
While they, distilled almost to jelly
With the act of fear, stands dumb
And speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did.
And I with them the third night kept the watch,
400Where as they had delivered form of the thing.
Each part made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father,
These hands are not more like.
Hamlet 'Tis very strange.
415Horatio As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true,
And we did think it right done
In our duty to let you know it.
Hamlet Where was this?
405Marcellus My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
Hamlet Did you not speak to it?
Horatio My lord, we did, but answer made it none.
Yet once methought it was about to speak,
And lifted up his head to motion,
410Like as he would speak, but even then
The morning cock crew loud, and in all haste
It shrunk in haste away, and vanished
Our sight.
Hamlet Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you the watch to night?
420All We do, my lord.
Hamlet Armed, say ye?
All Armed, my good lord.
Hamlet From top to toe?
All My good lord, from head to foot.
425Hamlet Why then saw you not his face?
Horatio Oh, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up.
Hamlet How looked he, frowningly?
Horatio A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
Hamlet Pale, or red?
430Horatio Nay, very pale.
Hamlet And fixed his eyes upon you?
Horatio Most constantly.
Hamlet I would I had been there.
Horatio It would ha' much amazed you.
435Hamlet Yea, very like, very like. Stayed it long?
Horatio While one with moderate pace
Might tell a hundred.
Marcellus Oh, longer, longer.
Hamlet His beard was grizzled, no?
440Horatio It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver.
Hamlet I will watch to night. Perchance 'twill walk again.
Horatio I warrant it will.
Hamlet If it assume my noble father's person,
445I'll speak to it, if hell itself should gape
And bid me hold my peace. Gentlemen,
If you have hither concealed this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still,
And whatsoever else shall chance tonight,
450Give it an understanding but no tongue.
I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
Upon the platform 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.
All Our duties to your honor. Excunt [all but Hamlet].
455Hamlet Oh, your loves, your loves, as mine to you.
Farewell.--My father's spirit in arms!
Well, all's not well. I doubt some foul play.
Would the night were come!
Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise, Though all the world o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
Exit.