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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    175 [Scene 2]
    Enter King, Queen, Hamlet, Laertes, Corambis, and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
    King
    Lords, we here have writ to Fortenbrasse,
    Nephew to old Norway, who, impudent
    And bed-rid, scarcely hears of this his
    Nephew's purpose; and we here dispatch
    Young good Cornelia, and you, Voltemar,
    For bearers of these greetings to old
    Norway, giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the King
    Than those related articles do show.
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
    Gentlemen
    In this and all things will we show our duty.
    220 King
    We doubt nothing. Heartily farewell.
    [Exeunt Cornelia and Voltemar.]
    And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
    You said you had a suit. What is't, Laertes?
    Laertes
    My gracious lord, your favorable license,
    231.1 Now that the funeral rites are all performed,
    I may have leave to go again to France;
    232.1 For though the favor of your grace might stay me,
    Yet something is there whispers in my heart
    Which makes my mind and spirits bend all for France.
    King
    Have you your father's leave, Laertes?
    240 Corambis
    He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced grant,
    And I beseech you grant your highness'leave.
    241.1 King
    With all our heart, Laertes, fare thee well.
    Laertes
    I in all love and duty take my leave.
    Exit.
    King
    And now, princely son Hamlet,
    What means these sad and melancholy moods?
    For your intent going to Wittenberg,
    We hold it most unmeet and unconvenient,
    296.1 Being the joy and half heart of your mother.
    Therefore let me entreat you stay in court,
    All Denmark's hope, our cousin and dearest son.
    Hamlet
    My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear,
    No, nor the tears that still stand in my eyes,
    Nor the distracted havior in the visage,
    Nor all together mixed with outward semblance,
    263.1 Is equal to the sorrow of my heart.
    Him have I lost I must of force forgo;
    These but the ornaments and suits of woe.
    King
    This shows a loving care in you, son Hamlet,
    But you must think your father lost a father,
    That father dead, lost his, and so shall be until the
    272.1 General ending. Therefore cease laments.
    It is a fault 'gainst heaven, fault 'gainst the dead,
    A fault 'gainst nature, and in reason's
    Common course most certain,
    None lives on earth but he is born to die.
    300 Queen
    Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
    Stay here with us, go not to Wittenberg.
    Hamlet
    I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
    King
    Spoke like a kind and a most loving son;
    And there's no health the King shall drink today
    But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell
    310 The rouse the King shall drink unto Prince Hamlet.
    Exeunt all but Hamlet.
    Hamlet
    Oh, that this too much grieved and sallied flesh
    Would melt to nothing, or that the universal
    313.1 Globe of heaven would turn all to a chaos!
    O God, within two months; no not two: married
    330 Mine uncle! Oh, let me not think of it,
    My father's brother, but no more like
    My father than I to Hercules.
    Within two months, ere yet the salt of most
    Unrighteous tears had left their flushing
    In her gallèd eyes, she married. O God, a beast
    Devoid of reason would not have made
    330 Such speed! Frailty, thy name is Woman.
    Why, she would hang on him as if increase
    Of appetite had grown by what it looked on.
    340 Oh, wicked, wicked speed, to make such
    Dexterity to incestuous sheets,
    Ere yet the shoes were old,
    The which she followed my dead father's corse
    Like Niobe, all tears: married. Well, it is not,
    Nor it cannot come to good;
    But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus [and Barnardo].
    345 Horatio
    Health to your lordship!
    Hamlet
    I am very glad to see you, Horatio, or I much
    Forget myself.
    Horatio
    The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
    350 Hamlet
    O my good friend, I change that name with you.
    But what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
    [To Marcellus.] Marcellus.
    Marcellus
    My good lord.
    355 Hamlet
    I am very glad to see you. Good even, sirs.
    [To Horatio] But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
    Horatio
    A truant disposition, my good lord.
    Hamlet
    Nor shall you make me truster
    360 Of your own report against yourself.
    Sir, I know you are no truant.
    But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    Horatio
    My good lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
    365 Hamlet
    Oh, I prithee do not mock me, fellow student,
    I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
    Horatio
    Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
    Hamlet
    Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
    370 Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
    Ere ever I had seen that day, Horatio.
    O my father, my father! Methinks I see my father.
    Horatio
    Where, my lord?
    Hamlet
    Why, in my mind's eye, Horatio.
    375 Horatio
    I saw him once, he was a gallant king.
    Hamlet
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
    Horatio
    My lord, I think I saw him yesternight,
    Hamlet
    Saw, who?
    380 Horatio
    My lord, the King your father.
    Hamlet
    Ha, ha, the King my father, kee you?
    Horatio
    Ceasen your admiration for a while
    With an attentive ear, till I may deliver,
    Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
    385 This wonder to you.
    Hamlet
    For God's love, let me hear it.
    Horatio
    Two nights together had these gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,
    In the dead vast and middle of the night.
    390 Been thus encountered by a figure like your father,
    Armed to point, exactly cap-à-pie,
    Appears before them thrice, he walks
    Before their weak and fear-oppressèd eyes
    395 Within his truncheon's length,
    395 While they, distilled almost to jelly
    With the act of fear, stands dumb
    And speak not to him. This to me
    In dreadful secrecy impart they did.
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400 Where as they had delivered form of the thing.
    Each part made true and good,
    The apparition comes. I knew your father,
    These hands are not more like.
    Hamlet
    'Tis very strange.
    415 Horatio
    As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true,
    And we did think it right done
    In our duty to let you know it.
    Hamlet
    Where was this?
    405 Marcellus
    My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
    Hamlet
    Did you not speak to it?
    Horatio
    My lord, we did, but answer made it none.
    Yet once methought it was about to speak,
    And lifted up his head to motion,
    410 Like as he would speak, but even then
    The morning cock crew loud, and in all haste
    It shrunk in haste away, and vanished
    Our sight.
    Hamlet
    Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
    Hold you the watch tonight?
    420 All
    We do, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Armed, say ye?
    All
    Armed, my good lord.
    Hamlet
    From top to toe?
    All
    My good lord, from head to foot.
    425 Hamlet
    Why then saw you not his face?
    Horatio
    Oh, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up.
    Hamlet
    How looked he, frowningly?
    Horatio
    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
    Hamlet
    Pale, or red?
    430 Horatio
    Nay, very pale.
    Hamlet
    And fixed his eyes upon you?
    Horatio
    Most constantly.
    Hamlet
    I would I had been there.
    Horatio
    It would 'a' much amazed you.
    435 Hamlet
    Yea, very like, very like. Stayed it long?
    Horatio
    While one with moderate pace
    Might tell a hundred.
    Marcellus
    Oh, longer, longer.
    Hamlet
    His beard was grizzled, no?
    440 Horatio
    It was as I have seen it in his life,
    A sable silver.
    Hamlet
    I will watch tonight. Perchance 'twill walk again.
    Horatio
    I warrant it will.
    Hamlet
    If it assume my noble father's person,
    445 I'll speak to it, if hell itself should gape
    And bid me hold my peace. Gentlemen,
    If you have hither concealed this sight,
    Let it be tenable in your silence still,
    And whatsoever else shall chance tonight,
    450 Give it an understanding but no tongue.
    I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
    Upon the platform 'twixt eleven and twelve
    I'll visit you.
    All
    Our duties to your honor.
    Exeunt [all but Hamlet].
    455 Hamlet
    Oh, your loves, your loves, as mine to you.
    455 Farewell.--My father's spirit in arms!
    Well, all's not well. I doubt some foul play.
    Would the night were come!
    Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
    Though all the world o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.
    Exit.