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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

    Enter Gertrard and Polonius.
    2375 Pol. A will come strait, looke you lay home to him,
    Tell him his prancks haue beene too braod to beare with,
    And that your grace hath screend and stood betweene
    Much heate and him, Ile silence me euen heere,
    2380 Pray you be round.
    Enter Hamlet.
    Ger. Ile wait you, feare me not,
    With-drawe, I heare him comming.
    2385 Ham. Now mother, what's the matter?
    Ger. Hamlet, thou ha st thy father much offended.
    Ham. Mother, you haue my father much offended.
    Ger. Come, come, you answere with an idle tongue.
    Ham. Goe, goe, you que stion with a wicked tongue.
    2390 Ger. Why how now Hamlet?
    Ham. What's the matter now?
    Ger. Haue you forgot me?
    Ham. No by the rood not so,
    You are the Queene, your husbands brothers wife,
    2395 And would it were not so, you are my mother.
    Ger. Nay, then Ile set those to you that can speake.
    Ham. Come, come, and sit you downe, you shall not boudge,
    You goe not till I set you vp a gla s s e
    2400 Where you may see the mo st part of you.
    Ger. What wilt thou doe, thou wilt not murther me,
    Helpe how.
    Pol. What how helpe.
    Ham. How now, a Rat, dead for a Duckat, dead.
    2405 Pol. O I am slaine.
    Ger. O me, what ha st thou done?
    Ham, Nay I knowe not, is it the King?
    Ger. O what a ra sh and bloody deede is this.
    Ham. A bloody deede, almo st as bad, good mother
    2410 As kill a King, and marry with his brother.
    Ger. As kill a King.
    Ham. I Lady, it was my word.
    Thou wretched, ra sh, intruding foole farwell,
    I tooke thee for thy better, take thy fortune,
    2415 Thou find' st to be too bu sie is some danger,
    Leaue wringing of your hands, peace sit you downe,
    And let me wring your hart, for so I shall
    If it be made of penitrable stuffe,
    If damned cu stome haue not brasd it so,
    2420 That it be proofe and bulwark again st sence.
    Ger. What haue I done, that thou dar' st wagge thy tongue
    In noise so rude again st me?
    Ham. Such an act
    That blurres the grace and blu sh of mode sty,
    2425 Cals vertue hippocrit, takes of the Rose
    From the faire forhead of an innocent loue,
    And sets a bli ster there, makes marriage vowes
    As false as dicers oathes, ô such a deede,
    As from the body of contraction plucks
    2430 The very soule, and sweet religion makes
    A rapsedy of words; heauens face dooes glowe
    Ore this solidity and compound ma s s e
    With heated visage, as again st the doome
    Is thought sick at the act
    2435 Quee. Ay me, what act?
    2435 Ham. That roares so low'd, and thunders in the Index,
    Looke heere vpon this Picture, and on this,
    The counterfeit presentment of two brothers,
    See what a grace was seated on this browe,
    2440 Hiperions curles, the front of Ioue himselfe,
    An eye like Mars, to threaten and command,
    A station like the herald Mercury,
    New lighted on a heaue, a ki s sing hill,
    A combination, and a forme indeede,
    2445 Where 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 mildewed eare,
    Bla sting his wholsome brother, haue you eyes,
    2450 Could you on this faire mountaine leaue to feede,
    And batten on this Moore; ha, haue you eyes?
    You cannot call it loue, for at your age
    The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble,
    And waits vppon the iudgement, and what iudgement
    2455 Would step from this to this, sence sure youe haue
    2455.1 Els could you not haue motion, but sure that sence
    Is appoplext, for madne s s e would not erre
    Nor sence to extacie was nere so thral'd
    But it reseru'd some quantity of choise
    2455.5 To serue in such a difference, what deuill wa st
    That thus hath cosund you at hodman blind;
    2456.1 Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
    Eares without hands, or eyes, smelling sance all,
    Or but a sickly part of one true sence
    Could not so mope: ô shame where is thy blu sh?
    Rebellious hell,
    If thou can st mutine in a Matrons bones,
    To flaming youth let vertue be as wax
    2460 And 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,
    And reason pardons will.
    Ger. O Hamlet speake no more,
    2465 Thou turn st my very eyes into my soule,
    And there I see such blacke and greeued spots
    As will leaue there their tin'ct.
    Ham. Nay but to liue
    In the ranck sweat of an inseemed bed
    2470 Stewed in corruption, honying, and making loue
    Ouer the na sty stie.
    Ger. O speake to me no more,
    These words like daggers enter in my eares,
    No more sweete Hamlet.
    2475 Ham. A murtherer and a villaine,
    A slaue that is not twentith part the kyth
    Of your precedent Lord, a vice of Kings,
    A cut-purse of the Empire and the rule,
    That from a shelfe the precious Diadem stole
    2480 And put it in his pocket.
    Ger. No more.
    Enter Gho st .
    Ham. A King of shreds and patches,
    Saue me and houer ore me with your wings
    2485 You heauenly gards: what would your gracious figure?
    Ger. Alas hee's mad.
    Ham. Doe you not come your tardy sonne to chide,
    That lap' st in time and pa s sion lets goe by
    Th'important acting of your dread command, ô say.
    2490 Gho st . Doe 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,
    2495 Speake to her Hamlet.
    Ham. How is it with you Lady?
    Ger. Alas how i' st with you?
    That you doe bend your eye on vacancie,
    And with th'incorporall ayre doe hold discourse,
    2500 Foorth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
    And as the sleeping souldiers in th'alarme,
    Your bedded haire like life in excrements
    Start vp and stand an end, ô gentle sonne
    Vpon the heat and flame of thy di stemper
    2505 Sprinckle coole patience, whereon doe you looke?
    Ham. On him, on him, looke you how pale he glares,
    His forme and cause conioynd, preaching to stones
    Would make them capable, doe not looke vpon me,
    Lea st with this pittious action you conuert
    2510 My stearne effects, then what I haue to doe
    Will want true cullour, teares perchance for blood.
    Ger. To whom doe you speake this?
    Ham. Doe you see nothing there?
    Ger. Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.
    2515 Ham. Nor did you nothing heare?
    Ger. No nothing but our selues.
    Ham. Why looke you there, looke how it steales away,
    My father in his habit as he liued,
    Looke where he goes, euen now out at the portall. Exit Gho st .
    2520 Ger. This is the very coynage of your braine,
    This bodile s s e creation extacie is very cunning in.
    Ham. My pulse as yours doth temperatly keepe time,
    And makes as healthfull mu sicke, it is not madne s s e
    2525 That I haue vttred, bring me to the te st,
    And the matter will reword, which madne s s e
    Would gambole from, mother for loue of grace,
    Lay not that flattering vnction to your soule
    That not your trespa s s e but my madne s s e speakes,
    2530 It will but skin and filme the vlcerous place
    Whiles ranck 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 doe not spread the compo st on the weedes
    2535 To make them rancker, forgiue me this my vertue,
    For in the fatne s s e of these pur sie times
    Vertue it selfe of vice mu st pardon beg,
    Yea curbe and wooe for leaue to doe him good.
    Ger. O Hamlet thou ha st cleft my hart in twaine.
    Ham. O throwe away the worser part of it,
    And leaue the purer with the other halfe,
    Good night, but goe not to my Vncles bed,
    A s s une a vertue if you haue it not,
    2544.1 That mon ster cu stome, who all sence doth eate
    Of habits deuill, is angell yet in this
    That to the vse of actions faire and good,
    He likewise giues a frock or Liuery
    2544.5 That aptly is put on to refraine night,
    2545 And that shall lend a kind of ea sines
    To the next ab stinence, the next more ea sie:
    2546.1 For vse almo st can change the stamp of nature,
    And either the deuill, or throwe him out
    With wonderous potency: once more good night,
    And when you are de sirous to be ble st,
    Ile ble s sing beg of you, for this same Lord
    I doe repent; but heauen hath pleasd it so
    2550 To puni sh me with this, and this with me,
    That I mu st be their scourge and mini ster,
    I will be stowe him and will answere well
    The death I gaue him; so againe good night
    I mu st be cruell only to be kinde,
    2555 This bad beginnes, and worse remaines behind.
    2555.1 One word more good Lady.
    Ger. What shall I doe?
    Ham. Not this by no meanes that I bid you doe,
    Let the blowt King temp't you againe to bed,
    Pinch wanton on your cheeke, call you his Mouse,
    2560 And let him for a paire of reechie ki s s es,
    Or padling in your necke with his damn'd fingers.
    Make you to rouell all this matter out
    That I e s s entially am not in madne s s e,
    But mad in craft, t'were good you let him knowe,
    2565 For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
    Would from a paddack, from a bat, a gib,
    Such deare concernings hide, who would doe so,
    No, in dispight of sence and secrecy,
    Vnpeg the basket on the houses top,
    2570 Let the birds fly, and like the famous Ape,
    To try conclu sions in the basket creepe,
    And breake your owne necke downe.
    Ger. Be thou a s s ur'd, if words be made of breath
    And breath of life, I haue no life to breath
    2575 What thou ha st sayd to me.
    Ham. I mu st to England, you knowe that.
    Ger. Alack I had forgot.
    Tis so concluded on.
    2577.1 Ham. Ther's letters seald, and my two Schoolefellowes,
    Whom I will tru st as I will Adders fang'd,
    They beare the mandat, they mu st sweep my way
    And mar shall me to knauery: let it worke,
    2577.5 For tis the sport to haue the enginer
    Hoi st with his owne petar, an't shall goe hard
    But I will delue one yard belowe their mines,
    And blowe them at the Moone: ô tis mo st sweete
    When in one line two crafts directly meete,
    This man shall set me packing,
    Ile lugge the guts into the neighbour roome;
    2580 Mother good night indeed, this Counsayler
    Is now mo st still, mo st secret, and mo st graue,
    Who was in life a mo st fooli sh prating knaue.
    Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
    Good night mother. Exit.