Internet Shakespeare Editions

Toolbox




Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 9]
    Enter Hamlet and the Players.
    Hamlet
    Pronounce me this speech trippingly o'the tongue as I taught thee.
    1850 Marry, an you mouth it, as a many of your players do,
    I'd rather hear a town bull bellow
    Than such a fellow speak my lines.
    Nor do not saw the air thus with your hands,
    But give everything his action with temperance.
    Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig fellow
    To tear a passion in totters, into very rags,
    To split the ears of the ignorant, who for the
    Most part are capable of nothing but dumb shows and noises.
    1860 I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant.
    It out-Herods Herod.
    Players
    My lord, we have indifferently reformed that 1885 among us.
    Hamlet
    The better, the better. Mend it altogether.
    There be fellows that I have seen play,
    And heard others commend them, and that highly too,
    That, having neither the gait of Christian, pagan,
    1880 Nor Turk, have so strutted and bellowed
    1880 That you would ha' thought some of Nature's journeymen
    Had made men, and not made them well,
    They imitated humanity so abhominable.
    Take heed, avoid it.
    Players
    I warrant you, my lord.
    Hamlet
    And do you hear? Let not your Clown speak
    More than is set down. There be of them, I can tell you,
    That will laugh themselves, to set on some
    Quantity of barren spectators to laugh with them,
    1890 Albeit there is some necessary point in the play
    Then to be observed. Oh, 'tis vile, and shows
    A pitiful ambition in the fool that useth it.
    1892.1 And then you have some again that keeps one suit
    Of jests, as a man is known by one suit of
    Apparel, and gentlemen quotes his jests down
    In their tables before they come to the play, as thus:
    1892.5 "Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge?" and "You owe me
    A quarter's wages," and "My coat wants a cullison,"
    And "Your beer is sour," and blabbering with his lips
    And thus keeping in his cinquepace of jests
    When, God knows, the warm Clown cannot make a jest
    1892.10 Unless by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare.
    Masters, tell him of it.
    1900 Players
    We will, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Well, go make you ready.
    Exeunt Players.
    [Horatio!]
    [Enter Horatio.]
    Horatio
    Here, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Horatio, thou art even as just a man
    1905 As e'er my conversation coped withal.
    Horatio
    Oh, my lord!
    Hamlet
    Nay, why should I flatter thee?
    1910 Why should the poor be flattered?
    What gain should I receive by flattering thee,
    That nothing hath but thy good mind?
    Let flattery sit on those time-pleasing tongues
    To gloze with them that loves to hear their praise,
    1912.1 And not with such as thou, Horatio.
    There is a play tonight, wherein one scene they have
    Comes very near the murder of my father.
    When thou shalt see that act afoot,
    Mark thou the King; do but observe his looks,
    For I mine eyes will rivet to his face.
    And if he do not bleach and change at that,
    It is a damnèd ghost that we have seen.
    Horatio, have a care; observe him well.
    Horatio
    My lord, mine eyes shall still be on his face,
    1940 And not the smallest alteration
    That shall appear in him but I shall note it.
    Hamlet
    Hark, they come.
    Enter King, Queen, Corambis, [Ofelia,] and other Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone].
    King
    How now, son Hamlet, how fare you? Shall we have a play?
    Hamlet
    I'faith, the chameleon's dish, not capon-crammed-- 1950 feed o'the air.
    Ay, father! [To Corambis] My lord, you played in the university.
    1955 Corambis
    That I did, my lord, and I was counted a good actor.
    Hamlet
    What did you enact there?
    Corambis
    My lord, I did act Julius Caesar. I was killed in the Capitol. Brutus killed me.
    1960 Hamlet
    It was a brute part of him
    1960 To kill so capital a calf.
    Come, be these players ready?
    Queen
    Hamlet, come sit down by me.
    Hamlet
    No, by my faith, mother, here's a mettle more attractive.
    [To Ofelia.] Lady, will you give me leave, and so forth,
    To lay my head in your lap?
    Ofelia
    No, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Upon your lap. What, do you think I meant contrary matters?
    1990 Enter, in a dumb-show, the King and the Queen. He sits down in an arbor. She leaves him. Then enters Lucianus with poison in a vial, and pours it in his ears, and goes away. Then the Queen cometh and finds him dead, and goes away with the other.
    [Exeunt Players.]
    Ofelia
    What means this, my lord?
    Enter the Prologue.
    Hamlet
    This is miching Mallico. That means mischief.
    Ofelia
    What doth this mean, my lord?
    Hamlet
    You shall hear anon. This fellow will tell you all.
    2010 Ofelia
    Will he tell us what this show means?
    Hamlet
    Ay, or any show you'll show him.
    Be not afeard to show, he'll not be afeard to tell.
    Oh, these players cannot keep counsel. They'll tell all.
    Prologue
    For us, and for our tragedy,
    Here stooping to your clemency,
    We beg your hearing patiently.
    [Exit.]
    2020 Hamlet
    Is't a prologue, or a poesie for a ring?
    Ofelia
    'Tis short, my lord.
    Hamlet
    As women's love.
    Enter the Duke and Duchess.
    Duke
    Full forty years are past--their date is gone--
    Since happy time joined both our hearts as one.
    2028.1 And now the blood that filled my youthful veins
    Runs weakly in their pipes, and all the strains
    Of music, which whilom pleased mine ear,
    Is now a burden that age cannot bear.
    2028.5 And therefore sweet Nature must pay his due.
    2040 To heaven must I, and leave the earth with you.
    2040.1 Duchess
    Oh, say not so, lest that you kill my heart!
    When death takes you, let life from me depart!
    Duke
    Content thyself. When ended is my date,
    Thou mayst perchance have a more noble mate,
    2043.1 More wise, more youthful, and one--
    2045 Duchess
    Oh, speak no more, for then I am accurst!
    None weds the second but she kills the first.
    A second time I kill my lord that's dead
    When second husband kisses me in bed.
    Hamlet
    Oh, wormwood, wormwood!
    Duke
    I do believe you, sweet, what now you speak,
    2055 But what we do determine oft we break,
    2080 For our demises still are overthrown;
    Our thought are ours, their end's none of our own.
    So think you will no second husband wed,
    But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.
    Duchess
    Both here and there pursue me lasting strife,
    If, once a widow, ever I be wife!
    2090 Hamlet
    If she should break now!
    Duke
    'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile.
    My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
    The tedious time with sleep.
    2095 Duchess
    Sleep rock thy brain,
    And never come mischance between us twain!
    Exit Lady.
    Hamlet
    Madam, how do you like this play?
    Queen
    The lady protests too much.
    Hamlet
    Oh, but she'll keep her word.
    2100 King
    Have you heard the argument? Is there no offense in it?
    Hamlet
    No offense in the world. Poison in jest, poison in jest.
    King
    What do you call the name of the play?
    2105 Hamlet
    Mousetrap. Marry, how? Trapically. This play is
    The image of a murder done in Guiana. Albertus
    Was the duke's name, his wife Baptista.
    Father, it is a knavish piece o'work, but what
    O' that? It toucheth not us, you and I that have free
    2110 Souls. Let the galled jade wince. This is one
    [Enter Lucianus.]
    Lucianus, nephew to the King.
    Ofelia
    Y'are as good as a chorus, my lord.
    Hamlet
    I could interpret the love you bear, if I saw the 2115 poopies dallying.
    1975 Ofelia
    Y'are very pleasant, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Who, I? Your only jig-maker. Why, what should a man do but be merry? For look how cheerfully my 1980 mother looks; my father died within these two hours.
    Ofelia
    Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Two months? Nay, then, let the devil wear black,
    For I'll have a suit of sables. Jesus, two months dead,
    1985 And not forgotten yet? Nay, then, there's some
    Likelihood a gentleman's death may outlive memory.
    But, by my faith, he must build churches, then,
    Or else he must follow the old epitithe:
    "With ho, with ho, the hobby-horse is forgot."
    Ofelia
    Your jests are keen, my lord.
    Hamlet
    It would cost you a groaning to take them off.
    Ofelia
    Still better and worse.
    2120 Hamlet
    So you must take your husband, begin. Murdered!
    Begin. A pox, leave thy damnable faces and begin.
    Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
    Murderer
    Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,
    Confederate season, else no creature seeing,
    Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
    With Hecate's bane thrice blasted, thrice infected,
    Thy natural magic and dire property
    2130 One wholesome life usurps immediately.
    [He pours the poison in the sleeper's ears.]
    Exit.
    Hamlet
    He poisons him for his estate.
    2140 King
    Lights! I will to bed.
    Corambis
    The King rises. Lights, ho!
    Exeunt King and Lords.
    Hamlet
    What, frighted with false fires?
    Then let the stricken deer go weep,
    The heart ungallèd play,
    2145 For some must laugh, while some must weep;
    Thus runs the world away.
    2146.1 Horatio
    The King is moved, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Ay, Horatio, I'll take the Ghost's word
    for more than all the coin in Denmark.
    Enter Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
    Rossencraft
    Now, my lord, how is't with you?
    2165 Hamlet
    An if the King like not the tragedy,
    Why, then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
    2166.1 Rossencraft
    We are very glad to see your grace so pleasant.
    My good lord, let us again entreat
    To know of you the ground and cause of your distemperature.
    Gilderstone
    My lord, your mother craves to speak with you.
    Hamlet
    We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.
    2203.1 Rossencraft
    But, my good lord, shall I entreat thus much?
    Hamlet
    [Offering Rossencraft a recorder] I pray, will you play upon this pipe?
    Rossencraft
    Alas, my lord, I cannot.
    Hamlet
    [To Gilderstone] Pray, will you?
    2225 Gilderstone
    I have no skill, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Why look, it is a thing of nothing.
    'Tis but stopping of these holes,
    And with a little breath from your lips
    2230 it will give most delicate music.
    Gilderstone
    But this cannot we do, my lord.
    Hamlet
    Pray now, pray, heartily, I beseech you.
    Rossencraft
    My lord, we cannot.
    Hamlet
    Why, how unworthy a thing would you make of me!
    2235 You would seem to know my stops, you would play upon me,
    You would search the very inward part of my heart
    And dive into the secret of my soul.
    2240 Zounds, do you think I am easier to be played
    On than a pipe? Call me what instrument
    You will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot
    Play upon me. Besides, to be demanded by a sponge--
    Rossencraft
    How, a sponge, my lord?
    2645 Hamlet
    Ay, sir, a sponge, that soaks up the King's
    2645 Countenance, favors, and rewards, that makes
    His liberality your storehouse. But such as you
    Do the King, in the end, best service;
    For he doth keep you as an ape doth nuts,
    In the corner of his jaw: first mouths you,
    Then swallows you. So, when he hath need
    Of you, 'tis but squeezing of you,
    2650 And, sponge, you shall be dry again, you shall.
    2650.1 Rossencraft
    Well, my lord, we'll take our leave.
    Hamlet
    Farewell, farewell. God bless you.
    2242.1 Exit Rossencraft and Gilderstone.
    Enter Corambis
    2245 Corambis
    My lord, the Queen would speak with you.
    Hamlet
    Do you see yonder cloud in the shape of a camel?
    Corambis
    'Tis like a camel, indeed.
    2250 Hamlet
    Now me thinks it's like a weasel.
    Corambis
    'Tis backed like a weasel.
    Hamlet
    Or like a whale.
    Corambis
    Very like a whale.
    Exit Corambis.
    Hamlet
    Why then, tell my mother I'll come by and by.
    2254.1 Good night, Horatio.
    Horatio
    Good night unto your lordship.
    Exit Horatio.
    Hamlet
    My mother! She hath sent to speak with me.
    O God, let ne'er the heart of Nero enter
    2265 This soft bosom.
    Let me be cruel, not unnatural.
    I will speak daggers. Those sharp words being spent,
    2270 To do her wrong my soul shall ne'er consent.
    Exit.