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)

    Enter Queene and Polonius.
    2375 Pol. He will come straight:
    Looke you lay home to him,
    Tell him his prankes haue been too broad to beare with,
    And that your Grace hath scree'nd, and stoode betweene
    Much heate, and him. Ile silence me e'ene heere:
    2380Pray you be round with him.
    Ham. within. Mother, mother, mother.
    Qu. Ile warrant you, feare me not.
    Withdraw, I heare him comming.
    Enter Hamlet.
    2385 Ham. Now Mother, what's the matter?
    Qu. Hamlet, thou ha st thy Father much offended.
    Ham. Mother, you haue my Father much offended.
    Qu. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.
    Ham. Go, go, you que stion with an idle tongue.
    2390 Qu. Why how now Hamlet?
    Ham. Whats the matter now?
    Qu. Haue you forgot me?
    Ham. No by the Rood, not so:
    You are the Queene, your Husbands Brothers wife,
    2395But would you were not so. You are my Mother.
    Qu. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake.
    Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not
    You go not till I set you vp a gla s s e,
    2400Where you may see the inmo st part of you?
    Qu. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me?
    Helpe, helpe, hoa.
    Pol. What hoa, helpe, helpe, helpe.
    Ham. How now, a Rat? dead for a Ducate, dead.
    2405 Pol. Oh I am slaine. Killes Polonius.
    Qu. Oh me, what ha st thou done?
    Ham. Nay I know not, is it the King?
    Qu. Oh what a ra sh, and bloody deed is this?
    Ham. A bloody deed, almo st as bad good Mother,
    2410As kill a King, and marrie with his Brother.
    Qu. As kill a King?
    Ham. I Lady, 'twas my word.
    Thou wretched, ra sh, intruding foole farewell,
    I tooke thee for thy Betters, take thy Fortune,
    2415Thou find' st to be too bu sie, is some danger.
    Leaue wringing of your hands, peace, sit you downe,
    And let me wring your heart, for so I shall
    If it be made of penetrable stuffe;
    If damned Cu stome haue not braz'd it so,
    2420That it is proofe and bulwarke again st Sense.
    Qu. What haue I done, that thou dar' st wag thy tong,
    In noise so rude again st me?
    Ham. Such an Act
    That blurres the grace and blu sh of Mode stie,
    2425Cals Vertue Hypocrite, takes off the Rose
    From the faire forehead of an innocent loue,
    And makes a bli ster there. Makes marriage vowes
    As false as Dicers Oathes. Oh such a deed,
    As from the body of Contraction pluckes
    2430The very soule, and sweete Religion makes
    A rap sidie of words. Heauens face doth glow,
    Yea this solidity and compound ma s s e,
    With tri stfull visage as again st the doome,
    Is thought- sicke at the act.
    2435 Qu. Aye me; what act, that roares so lowd, & thun-
    ders in the Index.
    Ham. Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
    The counterfet presentment of two Brothers:
    See what a grace was seated on his Brow,
    2440 Hyperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
    An eye like Mars, to threaten or command
    A Station, like the Herald Mercurie
    New lighted on a heauen-ki s sing hill:
    A Combination, and a forme indeed,
    2445Where euery God did seeme to set his Seale,
    To giue the world a s s urance of a man.
    This was your Husband. Looke you now what followes.
    Heere is your Husband, like a Mildew'd eare
    Bla sting his wholsom breath. Haue you eyes?
    2450Could you on this faire Mountaine leaue to feed,
    And batten on this Moore? Ha? Haue you eyes?
    You cannot call it Loue: For at your age,
    The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble,
    And waites vpon the Iudgement: and what Iudgement
    2455Would step from this, to this? What diuell was't,
    That thus hath cousend you at hoodman-blinde?
    O Shame! where is thy Blu sh? Rebellious Hell,
    If thou can st mutine in a Matrons bones,
    To flaming youth, let Vertue be as waxe,
    2460And melt in her owne fire. Proclaime no shame,
    When the compul siue Ardure giues the charge,
    Since Fro st it selfe, as actiuely doth burne,
    As Reason panders Will.
    Qu. O Hamlet, speake no more.
    2465Thou turn' st mine eyes into my very soule,
    And there I see such blacke and grained spots,
    As will not leaue their Tinct.
    Ham. Nay, but to liue
    In the ranke sweat of an enseamed bed,
    2470Stew'd in Corruption; honying and making loue
    Ouer the na sty Stye.
    Qu. Oh speake to me, no more,
    These words like Daggers enter in mine eares.
    No more sweet Hamlet.
    2475 Ham. A Murderer, and a Villaine:
    A Slaue, that is not twentieth patt the tythe
    Of your precedent Lord. A vice of Kings,
    A Cutpurse of the Empire and the Rule.
    That from a shelfe, the precious Diadem stole,
    2480And put it in his Pocket.
    Qu. No more.
    Enter Gho st .
    Ham. A King of shreds and patches.
    Saue me; and houer o're me with your wings
    2485You heauenly Guards. What would you gracious figure?
    Qu. Alas he's mad.
    Ham. Do you not come your tardy Sonne to chide,
    That laps't in Time and Pa s sion, lets go by
    Th'important acting of your dread command? Oh say.
    2490 Gho st . Do not forget: this Vi sitation
    Is but to whet thy almo st blunted purpose.
    But looke, Amazement on thy Mother sits;
    O step betweene her, and her fighting Soule,
    Conceit in weake st bodies, stronge st workes.
    2495Speake to her Hamlet.
    Ham. How is it with you Lady?
    Qu. Alas, how is't with you?
    That you bend your eye on vacancie,
    And with their corporall ayre do hold discourse.
    2500Forth at your eyes, your spirits wildely peepe,
    And as the sleeping Soldiours in th'Alarme,
    Your bedded haire, like life in excrements,
    Start vp, and stand an end. Oh gentle Sonne,
    Vpon the heate and flame of thy di stemper
    2505Sprinkle coole patience. Whereon do you looke?
    Ham. On him, on him: look you how pale he glares,
    His forme and cause conioyn'd, preaching to stones,
    Would make them capeable. Do not looke vpon me,
    Lea st with this pitteous action you conuert
    2510My sterne effects: then what I haue to do,
    Will want true colour; teares perchance for blood.
    Qu. To who do you speake this?
    Ham. Do you see nothing there?
    Qu. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.
    2515 Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?
    Qu. No, nothing but our selues.
    Ham. Why look you there: looke how it steals away:
    My Father in his habite, as he liued,
    Looke where he goes euen now out at the Portall. Exit.
    2520 Qu. This is the very coynage of your Braine,
    This bodile s s e Creation exta sie is very cunning in.
    Ham. Exta sie?
    My Pulse as yours doth temperately keepe time,
    And makes as healthfull Mu sicke. It is not madne s s e
    2525That I haue vttered; bring me to the Te st
    And I the matter will re-word: which madne s s e
    Would gamboll from. Mother, for loue of Grace,
    Lay not a flattering Vnction to your soule,
    That not your trespa s s e, but my madne s s e speakes:
    2530It will but skin and filme the Vlcerous place,
    Whil' st ranke Corruption mining all within,
    Infects vnseene. Confe s s e your selfe to Heauen,
    Repent what's pa st, auoyd what is to come,
    And do not spred the Compo st or the Weedes,
    2535To make them ranke. Forgiue me this my Vertue,
    For in the fatne s s e of this pur sie times,
    Vertue it selfe, of Vice mu st pardon begge,
    Yea courb, and woe, for leaue to do him good.
    Qu. Oh Hamlet,
    2540Thou ha st cleft my heart in twaine.
    Ham. O throw away the worser part of it,
    And liue the purer with the other halfe.
    Good night, but go not to mine Vnkles bed,
    A s s ume a Vertue, if you haue it not, refraine to night,
    2545And that shall lend a kinde of ea sine s s e
    To the next ab stinence. Once more goodnight,
    And when you are de sirous to be ble st,
    Ile ble s sing begge of you. For this same Lord,
    I do repent: but heauen hath pleas'd it so,
    2550To puni sh me with this, and this with me,
    That I mu st be their Scourge and Mini ster.
    I will be stow him, and will answer well
    The death I gaue him: so againe, good night.
    I mu st be cruell, onely to be kinde;
    2555Thus bad begins, and worse remaines behinde.
    Qu. What shall I do?
    Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you do:
    Let the blunt King tempt you againe to bed,
    Pinch Wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
    2560And let him for a paire of reechie ki s s es,
    Or padling in your necke with his damn'd Fingers,
    Make you to rauell all this matter out,
    That I e s s entially am not in madne s s e,
    But made in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
    2565For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
    Would from a Paddocke, from a Bat, a Gibbe,
    Such deere concernings hide, Who would do so,
    No in despight of Sense and Secrecie,
    Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top:
    2570Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape
    To try Conclu sions in the Basket, creepe
    And breake your owne necke downe.
    Qu. Be thou a s s ur'd, if words be made of breath,
    And breath of life: I haue no life to breath
    2575What thou ha st saide to me.
    Ham. I mu st to England, you know that?
    Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on.
    Ham. This man shall set me packing:
    Ile lugge the Guts into the Neighbor roome,
    2580Mother goodnight. Indeede this Counsellor
    Is now mo st still, mo st secret, and mo st graue,
    Who was in life, a fooli sh prating Knaue.
    Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
    Good night Mother.
    2585 Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius.