Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

    269
    The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Ham. Sir, a whole Hi story.
    2170 Guild. The King, sir.
    Ham. I sir, what of him?
    Guild. Is in his retyrement, maruellous di stemper'd.
    Ham. With drinke Sir?
    Guild. No my Lord, rather with choller.
    2175 Ham. Your wisedome should shew it selfe more ri-
    cher, to signifie this to his Doctor: for for me to put him
    to his Purgation, would perhaps plundge him into farre
    more Choller.
    Guild. Good my Lord put your discourse into some
    2180frame, and start not so wildely from my affayre.
    Ham. I am tame Sir, pronounce.
    Guild. The Queene your Mother, in mo st great affli-
    ction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
    Ham. You are welcome.
    2185 Guild. Nay, good my Lord, this courte sie is not of
    the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whol-
    some answer, I will doe your Mothers command'ment:
    if not, your pardon, and my returne shall bee the end of
    my Bu sine s s e.
    2190 Ham. Sir, I cannot.
    Guild. What, my Lord?
    Ham. Make you a wholsome answere: my wits dis -
    eas'd. But sir, such answers as I can make, you shal com-
    mand: or rather you say, my Mother: therfore no more
    2195but to the matter. My Mother you say.
    Ro sin. Then thus she sayes: your behauior hath stroke
    her into amazement, and admiration.
    Ham. Oh wonderfull Sonne, that can so a stoni sh a
    Mother. But is there no sequell at the heeles of this Mo-
    2200thers admiration?
    Ro sin. She de sires to speake with you in her Clo s s et,
    ere you go to bed.
    Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our Mother.
    Haue you any further Trade with vs?
    2205 Ro sin. My Lord, you once did loue me.
    Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
    Ro sin. Good my Lord, what is your cause of di stem-
    per? You do freely barre the doore of your owne Liber-
    tie, if you deny your greefes to your Friend.
    2210 Ham. Sir I lacke Aduancement.
    Ro sin. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of
    the King himselfe, for your Succe s sion in Denmarke?
    Ham. I, but while the gra s s e growes, the Prouerbe is
    something mu sty.
    2215 Enter one with a Recorder.
    O the Recorder. Let me see, to withdraw with you, why
    do you go about to recouer the winde of mee, as if you
    would driue me into a toyle?
    Guild. O my Lord, if my Dutie be too bold, my loue
    2220is too vnmannerly.
    Ham. I do not well vnder stand that. Will you play
    vpon this Pipe?
    Guild. My Lord, I cannot.
    Ham. I pray you.
    2225 Guild. Beleeue me, I cannot.
    Ham. I do beseech you.
    Guild. I know no touch of it, my Lord.
    Ham. 'Tis as ea sie as lying: gouerne these Ventiges
    with your finger and thumbe, giue it breath with your
    2230mouth, and it will discourse mo st excellent Mu sicke.
    Looke you, these are the stoppes.
    Guild. But these cannot I command to any vtterance
    of hermony, I haue not the skill.
    Ham. Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing
    2235you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would
    seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart
    of my My sterie; you would sound mee from my lowe st
    Note, to the top of my Compa s s e: and there is much Mu-
    sicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot
    2240you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am ea sier to bee
    plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what In strument you will,
    though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God
    ble s s e you Sir.
    Enter Polonius.

    2245 Polon. My Lord; the Queene would speak with you,
    and presently.
    Ham. Do you see that Clowd? that's almo st in shape
    like a Camell.
    Polon. By'th'Mi s s e, and it's like a Camell indeed.
    2250 Ham. Me thinkes it is like a Weazell.
    Polon. It is back'd like a Weazell.
    Ham. Or like a Whale?
    Polon. Verie like a Whale.
    Ham. Then will I come to my Mother, by and by:
    2255They foole me to the top of my bent.
    I will come by and by.
    Polon. I will say so. Exit.
    Ham. By and by, is ea sily said. Leaue me Friends:
    'Tis now the verie witching time of night,
    2260When Churchyards yawne, and Hell it selfe breaths out
    Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
    And do such bitter bu sine s s e as the day
    Would quake to looke on. Soft now, to my Mother:
    Oh Heart, loose not thy Nature; let not euer
    2265The Soule of Nero, enter this firme bosome:
    Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
    I will speake Daggers to her, but vse none:
    My Tongue and Soule in this be Hypocrites.
    How in my words someuer she be shent,
    2270To giue them Seales, neuer my Soule consent.

    Enter King, Ro sincrance, and Guilden sterne.
    King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,
    To let his madne s s e range. Therefore prepare you,
    I your Commi s sion will forthwith dispatch,
    2275And he to England shall along with you:
    The termes of our e state, may not endure
    Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely grow
    Out of his Lunacies.
    Guild. We will our selues prouide:
    2280Mo st holie and Religious feare it is
    To keepe those many many bodies safe
    That liue and feede vpon your Maie stie.
    Ro sin. The single
    And peculiar life is bound
    2285With all the strength and Armour of the minde,
    To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,
    That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and re sts
    The liues of many, the cease of Maie stie
    Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth draw
    2290What's neere it, with it. It is a ma s sie wheele
    Fixt on the Somnet of the highe st Mount,
    To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand le s s er things
    Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,
    Each small annexment, pettie consequence
    2295Attends the boy strous Ruine. Neuer alone
    Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone.
    King. Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;
    For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,

    Which
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