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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)

    Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
    3500 Ham. So much for this Sir; now let me see the other,
    You doe remember all the Circum stance.
    Hor. Remember it my Lord?
    Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kinde of fighting,
    That would not let me sleepe; me thought I lay
    3505Worse then the mutines in the Bilboes, ra shly,
    (And praise be ra shne s s e for it) let vs know,
    Our indiscretion sometimes serues vs well,
    When our deare plots do paule, and that should teach vs,
    There's a Diuinity that shapes our ends,
    3510Rough-hew them how we will.
    Hor. That is mo st certaine.
    Ham. Vp from my Cabin
    My sea-gowne scarft about me in the darke,
    Grop'd I to finde out them; had my de sire,
    3515Finger'd their Packet, and in fine, withdrew
    To mine owne roome againe, making so bold,
    (My feares forgetting manners) to vnseale
    Their grand Commi s sion, where I found Horatio,
    Oh royall knauery: An exact command,
    3520Larded with many seuerall sorts of reason;
    Importing Denmarks health, and Englands too,
    With hoo, such Bugges and Goblins in my life,
    That on the superuize no leasure bated,
    No not to stay the grinding of the Axe,
    3525My head shoud be struck off.
    Hor. I st po s sible?
    Ham. Here's the Commi s sion, read it at more leysure:
    But wilt thou heare me how I did proceed?
    Hor. I beseech you.
    3530 Ham. Being thus benetted round with Villaines,
    Ere I could make a Prologue to my braines,
    They had begun the Play. I sate me downe,
    Deuis'd a new Commi s sion, wrote it faire,
    I once did hold it as our Stati sts doe,
    3535A basene s s e to write faire; and laboured much
    How to forget that learning: but Sir now,
    It did me Yeomans seruice: wilt thou know
    The effects of what I wrote?
    Hor. I, good my Lord.
    3540 Ham. An earne st Coniuration from the King,
    As England was his faithfull Tributary,
    As loue betweene them, as the Palme should flouri sh,
    As Peace should still her wheaten Garland weare,
    And stand a Comma 'tweene their amities,
    3545And many such like A s sis of great charge,
    That on the view and know of these Contents,
    Without debatement further, more or le s s e,
    He should the bearers put to sodaine death,
    Not shriuing time allowed.
    3550 Hor. How was this seal'd?
    Ham. Why, euen in that was Heauen ordinate;
    I had my fathers Signet in my Purse,
    Which was the Modell of that Dani sh Seale:
    Folded the Writ vp in forme of the other,
    3555Subscrib'd it, gau't th' impre s sion, plac't it safely,
    The changeling neuer knowne: Now, the next day
    Was our Sea Fight, and what to this was sement,
    Thou know' st already.
    Hor. So Guilden sterne and Ro sincrance, go too't.
    3560 Ham. Why man, they did make loue to this imployment
    They are not neere my Conscience; their debate
    Doth by their owne in sinuation grow:
    'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes
    Betweene the pa s s e, and fell incensed points
    3565Of mighty oppo sites.
    Hor. Why, what a King is this?
    Ham. Does it not, think st thee, stand me now vpon
    He that bath kil'd my King, and whor'd my Mother,
    Popt in betweene th'election and my hopes,
    3570Throwne out his Angle for my proper life,
    And with such coozenage; is't not perfect conscience,
    To quit him with this arme? And is't not to be damn'd
    To let this Canker of our nature come
    In further euill.
    3575 Hor. It mu st be shortly knowne to him from England
    What is the i s s ue of the bu sine s s e there.
    Ham. It will be short,
    The interim's mine, and a mans life's no more
    Then to say one: but I am very sorry good Horatio,
    3580That to Laertes I forgot my selfe;
    For by the image of my Cause, I see
    The Portraiture of his; Ile count his fauours:
    But sure the brauery of his griefe did put me
    Into a Towring pa s sion.
    3585 Hor. Peace, who comes heere?
    Enter young Osricke.
    Osr. Your Lord ship is right welcome back to Den- (marke.
    Ham. I humbly thank you Sir, do st know this waterflie?
    Hor. No my good Lord.
    3590 Ham. Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to
    know him: he hath much Land, and fertile; let a Bea st
    be Lord of Bea sts, and his Crib shall stand at the Kings
    Me s s e; 'tis a Chowgh; but as I saw spacious in the pos -
    se s sion of dirt.
    3595 Osr. Sweet Lord, if your friend ship were at leysure,
    I should impart a thing to you from his Maie sty.
    Ham. I will receiue it with all diligence of spirit; put
    your Bonet to his right vse, 'tis for the head.
    Osr. I thanke your Lord ship, 'tis very hot.
    3600 Ham. No, beleeue mee 'tis very cold, the winde is
    Northerly.
    Osr. It is indifferent cold my Lord indeed.
    Ham. Mee thinkes it is very soultry, and hot for my
    Complexion.
    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
    Answere.
    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
    3650head.
    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-
    times?
    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.
    3735Giue me the Cups,
    And let the Kettle to the Trumpets speake,
    The Trumpet to the Cannoneer without,
    The Cannons to the Heauens, the Heauen to Earth,
    Now the King drinkes to Hamlet. Come, begin,
    3740And you the Iudges beare a wary eye.
    Ham. Come on sir.
    Laer. Come on sir. They play.
    Ham. One.
    Laer. No.
    3745 Ham. Iudgement.
    Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
    Laer. Well: againe.
    King. Stay, giue me drinke.
    Hamlet, this Pearle is thine,
    3750Here's to thy health. Giue him the cup,
    Trumpets sound, and shot goes off .
    Ham. Ile play this bout fir st, set by a-while.
    Come: Another hit; what say you?
    Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confe s s e.
    3755 King. Our Sonne shall win.
    Qu. He's fat, and scant of breath.
    Heere's a Napkin, rub thy browes,
    The Queene Carowses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
    Ham. Good Madam.
    3760 King. Gertrude, do not drinke.
    Qu. I will my Lord;
    I pray you pardon me.
    King. It is the poyson'd Cup, it is too late.
    Ham. I dare not drinke yet Madam,
    3765By and by.
    Qu. Come, let me wipe thy face.
    Laer. My Lord, Ile hit him now.
    King. I do not thinke't.
    Laer. And yet 'tis almo st 'gain st my conscience.
    3770 Ham. Come for the third.
    Laertes, you but dally,
    I pray you pa s s e with your be st violence,
    I am affear'd you make a wanton of me.
    Laer. Say you so? Come on. Play.
    3775 Osr. Nothing neither way.
    Laer. Haue at you now.
    In scuffling they change Rapiers.
    King. Part them, they are incens'd.
    Ham. Nay come, againe.
    3780 Osr. Looke to the Queene there hoa.
    Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't my Lord?
    Osr. How is't Laertes?
    Laer. Why as a Woodcocke
    To mine Sprindge, Osricke,
    3785I am iu stly kill'd with mine owne Treacherie.
    Ham. How does the Queene?
    King. She sounds to see them bleede.
    Qu. No, no, the drinke, the drinke.
    Oh my deere Hamlet, the drinke, the drinke,
    3790I am poyson'd.
    Ham. Oh Villany! How? Let the doore be lock'd.
    Treacherie, seeke it out.
    Laer. It is heere Hamlet.
    Hamlet, thou art slaine,
    3795No Medicine in the world can do thee good.
    In thee, there is not halfe an houre of life;
    The Treacherous In strument is in thy hand,
    Vnbated and envenom'd: the foule practise
    Hath turn'd it selfe on me. Loe, heere I lye,
    3800Neuer to rise againe: Thy Mothers poyson'd:
    I can no more, the King, the King's too blame.
    Ham. The point envenom'd too,
    Then venome to thy worke.
    Hurts the King.
    3805 All. Treason, Treason.
    King. O yet defend me Friends, I am but hurt.
    Ham. Heere thou ince stuous, murdrous,
    Damned Dane,
    Drinke off this Potion: Is thy Vnion heere?
    3810Follow my Mother. King Dyes.
    Laer. He is iu stly seru'd.
    It is a poyson temp'red by himselfe:
    Exchange forgiuene s s e with me, Noble Hamlet;
    Mine and my Fathers death come not vpon thee,
    3815Nor thine on me. Dyes.
    Ham. Heauen make thee free of it, I follow thee.
    I am dead Horatio, wretched Queene adiew,
    You that looke pale, and tremble at this chance,
    That are but Mutes or audience to this acte:
    3820Had I but time (as this fell Sergeant death
    Is strick'd in his Arre st) oh I could tell you.
    But let it be: Horatio, I am dead,
    Thou liu' st, report me and my causes right
    To the vnsatis fied.
    3825 Hor. Neuer beleeue it.
    I am more an Antike Roman then a Dane:
    Heere's yet some Liquor left.
    Ham. As th'art a man, giue me the Cup.
    Let go, by Heauen Ile haue't.
    3830Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
    (Things standing thus vnknowne) shall liue behind me.
    If thou did' st euer hold me in thy heart,
    Absent thee from felicitie awhile,
    And in this har sh world draw thy breath in paine,
    3835To tell my Storie.
    March afarre off, and shout within.
    What warlike noyse is this?
    Enter Osricke.
    Osr. Yong Fortinbras, with conque st come frõ Poland
    3840To th' Amba s s adors of England giues rhis warlike volly.
    Ham. O I dye Horatio:
    The potent poyson quite ore-crowes my spirit,
    I cannot liue to heare the Newes from England,
    But I do prophe sie th'election lights
    3845On Fortinbras, he ha's my dying voyce,
    So tell him with the occurrents more and le s s e,
    Which haue solicited. The re st is silence. O, o, o, o. Dyes
    Hora. Now cracke a Noble heart:
    Goodnight sweet Prince,
    3850And flights of Angels sing thee to thy re st,
    Why do's the Drumme come hither?
    Enter Fortinbras and Engli sh Amba s s ador, with Drumme,
    Colours, and Attendants.
    Fortin. Where is this sight?
    3855 Hor. What is it ye would see;
    If ought of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
    For. His quarry cries on hauocke. Oh proud death,
    What fea st is toward in thine eternall Cell.
    That thou so many Princes, at a shoote,
    3860So bloodily ha st strooke.
    Amb. The sight is dismall,
    And our affaires from England come too late,
    The eares are sensele s s e that should giue vs hearing,
    To tell him his command'ment is fulfill'd,
    3865That Ro sincrance and Guilden sterne are dead:
    Where should we haue our thankes?
    Hor. Not from his mouth,
    Had it th'abilitie of life to thanke you:
    He neuer gaue command'ment for their death.
    3870But since so iumpe vpon this bloodie que stion,
    You from the Polake warres, and you from England
    Are heere arriued. Giue order that these bodies
    High on a stage be placed to the view,
    And let me speake to th'yet vnknowing world,
    3875How these things came about. So shall you heare
    Of carnall, bloudie, and vnnaturall acts,
    Of accidentall iudgements, casuall slaughters
    Of death's put on by cunning, and forc'd cause,
    And in this vp shot, purposes mi stooke,
    3880Falne on the Inuentors heads. All this can I
    Truly deliuer.
    For. Let vs ha st to heare it,
    And call the Noble st to the Audience.
    For me, with sorrow, I embrace my Fortune,
    3885I haue some Rites of memory in this Kingdome,
    Which are ro claime, my vantage doth
    Inuite me,
    Hor. Of that I shall haue alwayes cause to speake,
    And from his mouth
    3890Whose voyce will draw on more:
    But let this same be presently perform'd,
    Euen whiles mens mindes are wilde,
    Le st more mischance
    On plots, and errors happen.
    3895 For. Let foure Captaines
    Beare Hamlet like a Soldier to the Stage,
    For he was likely, had he beene put on
    To haue prou'd mo st royally:
    And for his pa s s age,
    3900The Souldiours Mu sicke, and the rites of Warre
    Speake lowdly for him.
    Take vp the body; Such a sight as this
    Becomes the Field, but heere shewes much amis.
    Go, bid the Souldiers shoote.
    3905 Exeunt Marching: after the which, a Peale of
    Ordenance are shot off .
    FINIS.