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)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    But soft, me thinkes I sent the Mornings Ayre;
    Briefe let me be: Sleeping within mine Orchard,
    745My custome alwayes in the afternoone;
    Vpon my secure hower thy Vncle stole
    With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl,
    And in the Porches of mine eares did poure
    The leaperous Distilment; whose effect
    750Holds such an enmity with bloud of Man,
    That swift as Quick-siluer, it courses through
    The naturall Gates and Allies of the Body;
    And with a sodaine vigour it doth posset
    And curd, like Aygre droppings into Milke,
    755The thin and wholsome blood: so did it mine;
    And a most instant Tetter bak'd about,
    Most Lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
    All my smooth Body.
    Thus was I, sleeping, by a Brothers hand,
    760Of Life, of Crowne, and Queene at once dispatcht;
    Cut off euen in the Blossomes of my Sinne,
    Vnhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld,
    No reckoning made, but sent to my account
    With all my imperfections on my head;
    765Oh horrible, Oh horrible, most horrible:
    If thou hast nature in thee beare it not;
    Let not the Royall Bed of Denmarke be
    A Couch for Luxury and damned Incest.
    But howsoeuer thou pursuest this Act,
    770Taint not thy mind; nor let thy Soule contriue
    Against thy Mother ought; leaue her to heauen,
    And to those Thornes that in her bosome lodge,
    To pricke and sting her. Fare thee well at once;
    The Glow-worme showes the Matine to be neere,
    775And gins to pale his vneffectuall Fire:
    Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me.
    Ham. Oh all you host of Heauen! Oh Earth; what els?
    And shall I couple Hell? Oh fie: hold my heart;
    And you my sinnewes, grow not instant Old;
    780But beare me stiffely vp: Remember thee?
    I, thou poore Ghost, while memory holds a seate
    In this distracted Globe: Remember thee?
    Yea, from the Table of my Memory,
    Ile wipe away all triuiall fond Records,
    785All sawes of Bookes, all formes, all presures past,
    That youth and obseruation coppied there;
    And thy Commandment all alone shall liue
    Within the Booke and Volume of my Braine,
    Vnmixt with baser matter; yes, yes, by Heauen:
    790Oh most pernicious woman!
    Oh Villaine, Villaine, smiling damned Villaine!
    My Tables, my Tables; meet it is I set it downe,
    That one may smile, and smile and be a Villaine;
    At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmarke;
    795So Vnckle there you are: now to my word;
    It is; Adue, Adue, Remember me: I haue sworn't.
    Hor. & Mar. within. My Lord, my Lord.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    Mar. Lord Hamlet.
    800Hor. Heauen secure him.
    Mar. So be it.
    Hor. Illo, ho, ho, my Lord.
    Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy; come bird, come.
    Mar. How ist't my Noble Lord?
    805Hor. What newes, my Lord?
    Ham. Oh wonderfull!
    Hor. Good my Lord tell it.
    Ham. No you'l reueale it.
    Hor. Not I, my Lord, by Heauen.
    810Mar. Nor I, my Lord.
    Ham. How say you then, would heart of man once
    But you'l be secret?
    Both. I, by Heau'n, my Lord.
    Ham. There's nere a villaine dwelling in all Denmarke
    815But hee's an arrant knaue.
    Hor. There needs no Ghost my Lord, come from the
    Graue, to tell vs this.
    Ham. Why right, you are i'th' right;
    And so, without more circumstance at all,
    820I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part:
    You, as your busines and desires shall point you:
    For euery man ha's businesse and desire,
    Such as it is: and for mine owne poore part,
    Looke you, Ile goe pray.
    825Hor. These are but wild and hurling words, my Lord.
    Ham. I'm sorry they offend you heartily:
    Yes faith, heartily.
    Hor. There's no offence my Lord.
    Ham. Yes, by Saint Patricke, but there is my Lord,
    830And much offence too, touching this Vision heere:
    It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you:
    For your desire to know what is betweene vs,
    O'remaster't as you may. And now good friends,
    As you are Friends, Schollers and Soldiers,
    835Giue me one poore request.
    Hor. What is't my Lord? we will.
    Ham. Neuer make known what you haue seen to night.
    Both. My Lord, we will not.
    Ham. Nay, but swear't.
    840Hor. Infaith my Lord, not I.
    Mar. Nor I my Lord: in faith.
    Ham. Vpon my sword.
    Marcell. We haue sworne my Lord already.
    Ham. Indeed, vpon my sword, Indeed.
    845Gho. Sweare.
    Ghost cries vnder the Stage.
    Ham. Ah ha boy, sayest thou so. Art thou there true-
    penny? Come one you here this fellow in the selleredge
    Consent to sweare.
    Hor. Propose the Oath my Lord.
    850Ham. Neuer to speake of this that you haue seene.
    Sweare by my sword.
    Gho. Sweare.
    Ham. Hic & vbique? Then wee'l shift for grownd,
    Come hither Gentlemen,
    855And lay your hands againe vpon my sword,
    Neuer to speake of this that you haue heard:
    Sweare by my Sword.
    Gho. Sweare.
    Ham. Well said old Mole, can'st worke i'th' ground so
    860A worthy Pioner, once more remoue good friends.
    Hor. Oh day and night: but this is wondrous strange.
    Ham. And therefore as a stranger giue it welcome.
    There are more things in Heauen and Earth, Horatio,
    Then are dream't of in our Philosophy. But come,
    865Here as before, neuer so helpe you mercy,
    How strange or odde so ere I beare my selfe;
    (As I perchance heereafter shall thinke meet
    To put an Anticke disposition on:)
    That you at such time seeing me, neuer shall
    870With Armes encombred thus, or thus, head shake;
    Or by pronouncing of some doubtfull Phrase;
    As well, we know, or we could and if we would,
    Or if we list to speake; or there be and if there might,
    Or such ambiguous giuing out to note,