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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)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    3605 Osr. Exceedingly, my Lord, it is very soultry, as 'twere
    I cannot tell how: but my Lord, his Maie sty bad me sig-
    nifie to you, that he ha's laid a great wager on your head:
    Sir, this is the matter.
    Ham. I beseech you remember.
    3610 Osr. Nay, in good faith, for mine ease in good faith:
    Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at
    his weapon.
    Ham. What's his weapon?
    Osr. Rapier and dagger.
    3615 Ham. That's two of his weapons; but well.
    Osr. The sir King ha's wag'd with him six Barbary Hor-
    ses, again st the which he impon'd as I take it, sixe French
    Rapiers and Poniards, with their a s signes, as Girdle,
    Hangers or so: three of the Carriages infaith are very
    3620deare to fancy, very respon siue to the hilts, mo st delicate
    carriages, and of very liberall conceit.
    Ham. What call you the Carriages?
    Osr. The Carriages Sir, are the hangers.
    Ham. The phrase would bee more Germaine to the
    3625matter: If we could carry Cannon by our sides; I would
    it might be Hangers till then; but on sixe Barbary Hor-
    ses again st sixe French Swords: their A s signes, and three
    liberall conceited Carriages, that's the French but a-
    gain st the Dani sh; why is this impon'd as you call it?
    3630 Osr. The King Sir, hath laid that in a dozen pa s s es be-
    tweene you and him, hee shall not exceed you three hits;
    He hath one twelue for mine, and that would come to
    imediate tryall, if your Lord ship would vouchsafe the
    3635 Ham. How if I answere no?
    Osr. I meane my Lord, the oppo sition of your person
    in tryall.
    Ham. Sir, I will walke heere in the Hall; if it please
    his Maie stie, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let
    3640the Foyles bee brought, the Gentleman willing, and the
    King hold his purpose; I will win for him if I can: if
    not, Ile gaine nothing but my shame, and the odde hits.
    Osr. Shall I redeliuer you ee'n so?
    Ham. To this effect Sir, after what flouri sh your na-
    3645ture will.
    Osr. I commend my duty to your Lord ship.
    Ham. Yours, yours; hee does well to commend it
    himselfe, there are no tongues else for's tongue.
    Hor. This Lapwing runs away with the shell on his
    Ham. He did Complie with his Dugge before hee
    suck't it: thus had he and mine more of the same Beauy
    that I know the dro s sie age dotes on; only got the tune of
    the time, and outward habite of encounter, a kinde of
    3655ye sty collection, which carries them through & through
    the mo st fond and winnowed opinions; and doe but blow
    them to their tryalls: the Bubbles are out.
    Hor. You will lose this wager, my Lord.
    Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France,
    3660I haue beene in continuall practice; I shall winne at the
    oddes: but thou woulde st not thinke how all heere a-
    bout my heart: but it is no matter.
    Hor. Nay, good my Lord.
    Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kinde of
    3665gain-giuing as would perhaps trouble a woman.
    Hor. If your minde di slike any thing, obey. I will fore-
    stall their repaire hither, and say you are not fit.
    Ham. Not a whit, we defie Augury; there's a speciall
    Prouidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not
    3670to come: if it bee not to come, it will bee now: if it
    be not now; yet it will come; the readine s s e is all, since no
    man ha's ought of what he leaues. What is't to leaue be-

    Enter King, Queene, Laertes and Lords, with other Atten -
    3675 dants with Foyles, and Gauntlets, a Table and
    Flagons of Wine on it.

    Kin. Come Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
    Ham. Giue me your pardon Sir, I'ue done you wrong,
    But pardon't as you are a Gentleman.
    3680This presence knowes,
    And you mu st needs haue heard how I am puni sht
    With sore di straction? What I haue done
    That might your nature honour, and exception
    Roughly awake, I heere proclaime was madne s s e:
    3685Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Neuer Hamlet.
    If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away:
    And when he's not himselfe, do's wrong Laertes,
    Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it:
    Who does it then? His Madne s s e? If't be so,
    3690 Hamlet is of the Faction that is wrong'd,
    His madne s s e is poore Hamlets Enemy.
    Sir, in this Audience,
    Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill,
    Free me so farre in your mo st generous thoughts,
    3695That I haue shot mine Arrow o're the house,
    And hurt my Mother.
    Laer. I am satis fied in Nature,
    Whose motiue in this case should stirre me mo st
    To my Reuenge. But in my termes of Honor
    3700I stand aloofe, and will no reconcilement,
    Till by some elder Ma sters of knowne Honor,
    I haue a voyce, and pre sident of peace
    To keepe my name vngorg'd. But till that time,
    I do receiue your offer'd loue like loue,
    3705And wil not wrong it.
    Ham. I do embrace it freely,
    And will this Brothers wager frankely play.
    Giue vs the Foyles: Come on.
    Laer. Come one for me.
    3710 Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance,
    Your Skill shall like a Starre i'th'darke st night,
    Sticke fiery off indeede.
    Laer. You mocke me Sir.
    Ham. No by this hand.
    3715 King. Giue them the Foyles yong Osricke,
    Cousen Hamlet, you know the wager.
    Ham. Verie well my Lord,
    Your Grace hath laide the oddes a'th'weaker side.
    King. I do not feare it,
    3720I haue seene you both:
    But since he is better'd, we haue therefore oddes.
    Laer. This is too heauy,
    Let me see another.
    Ham. This likes me well,
    3725These Foyles haue all a length. Prepare to play.
    Osricke. I my good Lord.
    King. Set me the Stopes of wine vpon that Table:
    If Hamlet giue the fir st, or second hit,
    Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
    3730Let all the Battlements their Ordinance fire,
    The King shal drinke to Hamlets better breath,
    And in the Cup an vnion shal he throw
    Richer then that, which foure succe s siue Kings
    In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne.