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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • 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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)

    [Scene 11]
    Enter Queen and Corambis.
    2375 Corambis
    Madam, I hear young Hamlet coming.
    I'll shroud myself behind the arras.
    Exit Cor[ambis].
    2379.1 Queen
    Do so, my lord.
    Hamlet
    [Offstage] Mother, mother!
    [Enter Hamlet]
    Oh, are you here?
    2385 How is't with you, mother?
    Queen
    How is't with you?
    2497.1 Hamlet
    I'll tell you, but first we'll make all safe.
    Queen
    Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
    Hamlet
    Mother, you have my father much offended.
    2390 Queen
    How now, boy?
    2390 Hamlet
    How now, mother! Come here, sit down, for you shall hear me speak.
    Queen
    What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
    Help, ho!
    Corambis
    [Behind the arras] Help for the Queen!
    Hamlet
    Ay, a rat! Dead, for a ducat!
    [He stabs through the arras. Polonius falls, and is discovered, slain.]
    Rash intruding fool, farewell.
    I took thee for thy better.
    Queen
    Hamlet, what hast thou done?
    Hamlet
    Not so much harm, good mother,
    2410 As to kill a king and marry with his brother.
    Queen
    How! Kill a king!
    Hamlet
    Ay, a king. Nay, sit you down, and, ere you part,
    If you be made of penetrable stuff,
    I'll make your eyes look down into your heart
    And see how horrid there and black it shows.
    2466.1 Queen
    Hamlet, what mean'st thou by these killing words?
    Hamlet
    Why, this I mean.
    [Showing her two likenesses]
    See here, behold this picture.
    2437.1 It is the portraiture of your deceasèd husband.
    See here a face to outface Mars himself,
    An eye at which his foes did tremble at,
    2440 A front wherein all virtues are set down
    2440.1 For to adorn a king and guild his crown,
    Whose heart went hand in hand even with that vow
    He made to you in marriage; and he is dead.
    Murd'red, damnably murd'red. This was your husband.
    Look you now, here is your husband,
    2447.1 With a face like Vulcan.
    A look fit for a murder and a rape,
    A dull, dead, hanging look, and a hell-bred eye,
    To affright children and amaze the world.
    2450 And this same have you left to change with this.
    2455 What devil thus hath cozened you at hob-man blind?
    Ah! Have you eyes, and can you look on him
    2449.1 That slew my father and your dear husband,
    To live in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?
    Queen
    Oh, Hamlet, speak no more!
    2464.1 Hamlet
    To leave him that bare a monarch's mind
    For a king of clouts, of very shreds?
    Queen
    Sweet Hamlet, cease!
    Hamlet
    Nay, but still to persist and dwell in sin,
    To sweat under the yoke of infamy,
    2469.1 To make increase of shame, to seal damnation--
    Queen
    Hamlet, no more.
    Hamlet
    Why, appetite with you is in the wane;
    2453.1 Your blood runs backward now from whence it came.
    Who'll chide hot blood within a virgin's heart
    When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast?
    Queen
    Hamlet, thou cleaves my heart in twain.
    Hamlet
    Oh, throw away the worser part of it,
    And keep the>better.
    Enter the Ghost in his nightgown.
    Save me, save me, you gracious
    Powers above, and hover over me
    With your celestial wings!--
    Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
    That I thus long have let revenge slip by?
    Oh, do not glare with looks so pitiful,
    Lest that my heart of stone yield to compassion,
    2510 And every part that should assist revenge
    Forgo their proper powers and fall to pity!
    2490 Ghost
    Hamlet, I once again appear to thee
    To put thee in remembrance of my death.
    2491.1 Do not neglect, nor long time put it off.
    But I perceive by thy distracted looks
    Thy mother's fearful, and she stands amazed.
    Speak to her, Hamlet, for her sex is weak.
    Comfort thy mother, Hamlet, think on me.
    Hamlet
    How is't with you, lady?
    Queen
    Nay, how is't with you
    That thus you bend your eyes on vacancy,
    And hold discourse with nothing but with air?
    2515 Hamlet
    Why, do you nothing hear?
    Queen
    Not I.
    Hamlet
    Nor do you nothing see?
    Queen
    No, neither.
    Hamlet
    No? Why, see the King my father, my father, in the habit
    As he lived. Look you how pale he looks!
    See how he steals away out of the portal!
    Look, there he goes!
    Exit Ghost.
    2520 Queen
    Alas, it is the weakness of thy brain,
    2520.1 Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy heart's grief.
    But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven
    I never knew of this most horrid murder.
    But Hamlet, this is only fantasy,
    2521.1 And, for my love forget these idle fits.
    Hamlet
    Idle? No, mother, my pulse doth beat like yours.
    It is not madness that possesseth Hamlet.
    O mother, if ever you did my dear father love,
    Forbear the adulterous bed tonight,
    2545 And win yourself by little as you may.
    2545.1 In time it may be you will loathe him quite.
    And, mother, but assist me in revenge,
    And in his death your infamy shall die.
    Queen
    Hamlet, I vow, by that Majesty
    2573.1 That knows our thoughts and looks into our hearts,
    I will conceal, consent, and do my best,
    2574.1 What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise.
    Hamlet
    It is enough. Mother, good night.--
    Come, sir, I'll provide for you a grave,
    Who was in life a foolish, prating knave.
    2585 Exit Hamlet with the dead body.
    Enter the King and Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone].
    King
    Now Gertred, what says our son? How do you find him?
    Queen
    Alas, my lord, as raging as the sea.
    2593.1 Whenas he came, I first bespake him fair,
    But then he throws and tosses me about,
    As one forgetting that I was his mother.
    2392.1 At last I called for help, and, as I cried, Corambis
    Called. Which Hamlet no sooner heard but whips me
    Out his rapier, and cries, "A rat, a rat!" and in his rage
    The good old man he kills.
    2600 King
    Why, this his madness will undo our state.
    Lords, go to him, inquire the body out.
    2624.1 Gilderstone
    We will, my lord.
    Exeunt Lords.
    King
    Gertred, your son shall presently to England.
    His shipping is already furnishèd,
    2617.1 And we have sent by Rossencraft and Gilderstone
    Our letters to our dear brother of England
    For Hamlet's welfare and his happiness.
    Haply the air and climate of the country
    1828.1 May please him better than his native home.
    See where he comes.
    Enter Hamlet and the Lords [Rossencraft, Gilderstone, and perhaps another].
    Gilderstone
    My lord, we can by no means
    2675 Know of him where the body is.
    King
    Now, son Hamlet, where is this dead body?
    Hamlet
    At supper, not where he is eating, but
    2685 Where he is eaten; a certain company of politic worms are even now at him.
    Father, your fat king and your lean beggar
    Are but variable services: two dishes to one mess.
    Look you, a man may fish with that worm
    That hath eaten of a king,
    And a beggar eat that fish
    Which that worm hath caught.
    King
    What of this?
    Hamlet
    Nothing, father, but to tell you, how a king
    May go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
    King
    But son Hamlet, where is this body?
    2695 Hamlet
    In heav'n. If you chance to miss him there,
    Father, you had best look in the other parts below
    For him, and if you cannot find him there
    You may chance to nose him as you go up the lobby.
    King
    [To a Lord] Make haste and find him out.
    [Exit a Lord.]
    2699.1 Hamlet
    [To the Lord, as he exits] Nay, do you hear? Do not make too much haste.
    2700 I'll warrant you he'll stay till you come.
    King
    Well, son Hamlet, we, in care of you, but specially
    In tender preservation of your health,
    2701.1 The which we price even as our proper self,
    It is our mind you forthwith go for England.
    2705 The wind sits fair. You shall aboard tonight.
    Lord Rossencraft and Gilderstone shall go along with you.
    Hamlet
    Oh, with all my heart. Farewell, mother.
    King
    Your loving father, Hamlet.
    2715 Hamlet
    My mother, I say. You married my mother,
    My mother is your wife; man and wife is one flesh;
    And so, my mother, farewell. For England, ho!
    Exeunt all but the King [and Queen].
    2717.1 King
    Gertred, leave me,
    And take your leave of Hamlet.
    [Exit Queen.]
    To England is he gone, ne'er to return.
    Our letters are unto the King of England,
    That, on the sight of them, on his allegiance,
    2727.1 He presently, without demanding why,
    2730 That Hamlet lose his head, for he must die.
    2730.1 There's more in him than shallow eyes can see.
    He once being dead, why then our state is free.
    Exit.