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)

    Actus Secundus.
    Enter Polonius, and Reynoldo.
    890 Polon. Giue him his money, and these notes Reynoldo.
    Reynol. I will my Lord.
    Polon. You shall doe maruels wisely: good Reynoldo,
    Before you vi site him you make inquiry
    Of his behauiour.
    895 Reynol. My Lord, I did intend it.
    Polon. Marry, well said;
    Very well said. Looke you Sir,
    Enquire me fir st what Danskers are in Paris;
    And how, and who; what meanes; and where they keepe:
    900What company, at what expence: and finding
    By this encompa s s ement and drift of que stion,
    That they doe know my sonne: Come you more neerer
    Then your particular demands will touch it,
    Take you as 'twere some di stant knowledge of him,
    905And thus I know his father and his friends,
    And in part him. Doe you marke this Reynoldo?
    Reynol. I, very well my Lord.
    Polon. And in part him, but you may say not well;
    But if't be hee I meane, hees very wilde;
    910Addicted so and so; and there put on him
    What forgeries you please: marry, none so ranke,
    As may di shonour him; take heed of that:
    But Sir, such wanton, wild, and vsuall slips,
    As are Companions noted and mo st knowne
    915To youth and liberty.
    Reynol. As gaming my Lord.
    Polon. I, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
    Quarelling, drabbiug. You may goe so farre.
    Reynol. My Lord that would di shonour him.
    920 Polon. Faith no, as you may season it in the charge;
    You mu st not put another scandall on him,
    That hee is open to Incontinencie;
    That's not my meaning: but breath his faults so quaintly,
    That they may seeme the taints of liberty;
    925The fla sh and out-breake of a fiery minde,
    A sauagenes in vnreclaim'd bloud of generall a s s ault.
    Reynol. But my good Lord.
    Polon. Wherefore should you doe this?
    Reynol. I my Lord, I would know that.
    930 Polon. Marry Sir, heere's my drift,
    And I belieue it is a fetch of warrant:
    You laying these slight sulleyes on my Sonne,
    As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'th' working:
    Marke you your party in conuerse; him you would (sound,
    935Hauing euer seene. In the prenominate crimes,
    The youth you breath of guilty, be a s s ur'd
    He closes with you in this consequence:
    Good sir, or so, or friend, or Gentleman.
    According to the Phrase and the Addition,
    940Of man and Country.
    Reynol. Very good my Lord.
    Polon. And then Sir does he this?
    He does: what was I about to say?
    I was about to say somthing: where did I leaue?
    945 Reynol. At closes in the consequence:
    At friend, or so, and Gentleman.
    Polon. At closes in the consequence, I marry,
    He closes with you thus. I know the Gentleman,
    I saw him ye sterday, or tother day;
    950Or then or then, with such and such; and as you say,
    There was he gaming, there o'retooke in's Rouse,
    There falling out at Tennis; or perchance,
    I saw him enter such a house of saile;
    Videlicet, a Brothell, or so forth. See you now;
    955Your bait of fal shood, takes this Cape of truth;
    And thus doe we of wisedome and of reach
    With windle s s es, and with a s s aies of Bias,
    By indirections finde directions out:
    So by my former Lecture and aduice
    960Shall you my Sonne; you haue me, haue you not?
    Reynol. My Lord I haue.
    Polon. God buy you; fare you well.
    Reynol. Good my Lord.
    Polon. Obserue his inclination in your selfe.
    965 Reynol. I shall my Lord.
    Polon. And let him plye his Mu sicke.
    Reynol. Well, my Lord. Exit.
    Enter Ophelia.
    Polon. Farewell:
    970How now Ophelia, what's the matter?
    Ophe. Alas my Lord, I haue beene so affrighted.
    Polon. With what, in the name of Heauen?
    Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my Chamber,
    Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd,
    975No hat vpon his head, his stockings foul'd,
    Vngartred, and downe giued to his Anckle,
    Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
    And with a looke so pitious in purport,
    As if he had been loosed out of hell,
    980To speake of horrors: he comes before me.
    Polon. Mad for thy Loue?
    Ophe. My Lord, I doe not know: but truly I do feare it.
    Polon. What said he?
    Ophe. He tooke me by the wri st, and held me hard;
    985Then goes he to the length of all his arme;
    And with his other hand thus o're his brow,
    He fals to such perusall of my face,
    As he would draw it. Long staid he so,
    At la st, a little shaking of mine Arme:
    990And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe;
    He rais'd a sigh, so pittious and profound,
    That it did seeme to shatter all his bulke,
    And end his being. That done, he lets me goe,
    And with his head ouer his shoulders turn'd,
    995He seem'd to finde his way without his eyes,
    For out adores he went without their helpe;
    And to the la st, bended their light on me.
    Polon. Goe with me, I will goe seeke the King,
    This is the very exta sie of Loue,
    1000Whose violent property foredoes it selfe,
    And leads the will to desperate Vndertakings,
    As oft as any pa s sion vnder Heauen,
    That does afflict our Natures. I am sorrie,
    What haue you giuen him any hard words of late?
    1005 Ophe. No my good Lord: but as you did command,
    I did repell his Letters, and deny'de
    His acce s s e to me.
    Pol. That hath made him mad.
    I am sorrie that with better speed and iudgement
    1010I had not quoted him. I feare he did but trifle,
    And meant to wracke thee: but be shrew my iealou sie:
    It seemes it is as proper to our Age,
    To ca st beyond our selues in our Opinions,
    As it is common for the yonger sort
    1015To lacke discretion. Come, go we to the King,
    This mu st be knowne, wc being kept close might moue
    More greefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue. Exeunt.