Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)



154
The Tragedie of Hamlet.

You told vs of some suite. What is't Laertes?
You cannot speake of Reason to the Dane,
225And loose your voyce. What would'st thou beg Laertes,
That shall not be my Offer, not thy Asking?
The Head is not more Natiue to the Heart,
The Hand more Instrumentall to the Mouth,
Then is the Throne of Denmarke to thy Father.
230What would'st thou haue Laertes?
Laer. Dread my Lord,
Your leaue and fauour to returne to France,
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmarke
To shew my duty in your Coronation,
235Yet now I must confesse, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend againe towards France,
And bow them to your gracious leaue and pardon.
King. Haue you your Fathers leaue?
What sayes Pollonius?
240Pol. He hath my Lord:
I do beseech you giue him leaue to go.
King. Take thy faire houre Laertes, time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will:
But now my Cosin Hamlet, and my Sonne?
245Ham. A little more then kin, and lesse then kinde.
King. How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?
Ham. Not so my Lord, I am too much i'th' Sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nightly colour off,
And let thine eye looke like a Friend on Denmarke.
250Do not for euer with thy veyled lids
Seeke for thy Noble Father in the dust;
Thou know'st 'tis common, all that liues must dye,
Passing through Nature, to Eternity.
Ham. I Madam, it is common.
255Queen. If it be;
Why seemes it so particular with thee.
Ham. Seemes Madam? Nay, it is: I know not Seemes:
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloake (good Mother)
Nor Customary suites of solemne Blacke,
260Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitfull Riuer in the Eye,
Nor the deiected hauiour of the Visage,
Together with all Formes, Moods, shewes of Griefe,
That can denote me truly. These indeed Seeme,
265For they are actions that a man might play:
But I haue that Within, which passeth show;
These, but the Trappings, and the Suites of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable
In your Nature Hamlet,
270To giue these mourning duties to your Father:
But you must know, your Father lost a Father,
That Father lost, lost his, and the Suruiuer bound
In filiall Obligation, for some terme
To do obsequious Sorrow. But to perseuer
275In obstinate Condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornnesse. 'Tis vnmanly greefe,
It shewes a will most incorrect to Heauen,
A Heart vnfortified, a Minde impatient,
An Vnderstanding simple, and vnschool'd:
280For, what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sence,
Why should we in our peeuish Opposition
Take it to heart? Fye, 'tis a fault to Heauen,
A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature,
285To Reason most absurd, whose common Theame
Is death of Fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first Coarse, till he that dyed to day,
This must be so. We pray you throw to earth
This vnpreuayling woe, and thinke of vs
290As of a Father; For let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our Throne,
And with no lesse Nobility of Loue,
Then that which deerest Father beares his Sonne,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
295In going backe to Schoole in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remaine
Heere in the cheere and comfort of our eye,
Our cheefest Courtier Cosin, and our Sonne.
300Qu. Let not thy Mother lose her Prayers Hamlet:
I prythee stay with vs, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I shall in all my best
Obey you Madam.
King. Why 'tis a louing, and a faire Reply,
305Be as our selfe in Denmarke. Madam come,
This gentle and vnforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No iocond health that Denmarke drinkes to day,
But the great Cannon to the Clowds shall tell,
310And the Kings Rouce, the Heauens shall bruite againe,
Respeaking earthly Thunder. Come away.
Exeunt
Manet Hamlet.
Ham. Oh that this too too solid Flesh, would melt,
Thaw, and resolue it selfe into a Dew:
315Or that the Euerlasting had not fixt
His Cannon 'gainst Selfe-slaughter. O God, O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable
Seemes to me all the vses of this world?
Fie on't? Oh fie, fie, 'tis an vnweeded Garden
320That growes to Seed: Things rank, and grosse in Nature
Possesse it meerely. That it should come to this:
But two months dead: Nay, not so much; not two,
So excellent a King, that was to this
Hiperion to a Satyre: so louing to my Mother,
325That he might not beteene the windes of heauen
Visit her face too roughly. Heauen and Earth
Must I remember: why she would hang on him,
As if encrease of Appetite had growne
By what it fed on; and yet within a month?
330Let me not thinke on't: Frailty, thy name is woman.
A little Month, or ere those shooes were old,
With which she followed my poore Fathers body
Like Niobe, all teares. Why she, euen she.
(O Heauen! A beast that wants discourse of Reason
335Would haue mourn'd longer) married with mine Vnkle,
My Fathers Brother: but no more like my Father,
Then I to Hercules. Within a Moneth?
Ere yet the salt of most vnrighteous Teares
Had left the flushing of her gauled eyes,
340She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to Incestuous sheets:
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But breake my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

Enter Horatio, Barnard, and Marcellus.

345Hor. Haile to your Lordship.
Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget my selfe.
Hor. The same my Lord,
And your poore Seruant euer.
350Ham. Sir my good friend,
Ile change that name with you:
And what make you from Wittenberg Horatio?
Mar-