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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    2375Pol. 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,
    2380Pray you be round.
    Enter Hamlet.
    Ger. Ile wait you, feare me not,
    With-drawe, I heare him comming.
    2385Ham. Now mother, what's the matter?
    Ger. Hamlet, thou hast 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 question with a wicked tongue.
    2390Ger. 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,
    2395And 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 glasse
    2400Where you may see the most 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.
    2405Pol. O I am slaine.
    Ger. O me, what hast thou done?
    Ham, Nay I knowe not, is it the King?
    Ger. O what a rash and bloody deede is this.
    Ham. A bloody deede, almost as bad, good mother
    2410As kill a King, and marry with his brother.
    Ger. As kill a King.
    Ham. I Lady, it was my word.
    Thou wretched, rash, intruding foole farwell,
    I tooke thee for thy better, take thy fortune,
    2415Thou find'st to be too busie 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 custome haue not brasd it so,
    2420That it be proofe and bulwark against sence.
    Ger. What haue I done, that thou dar'st wagge thy tongue
    In noise so rude against me?
    Ham. Such an act
    That blurres the grace and blush of modesty,
    2425Cals vertue hippocrit, takes of the Rose
    From the faire forhead of an innocent loue,
    And sets a blister there, makes marriage vowes
    As false as dicers oathes, ô such a deede,
    As from the body of contraction plucks
    2430The very soule, and sweet religion makes
    A rapsedy of words; heauens face dooes glowe
    Ore this solidity and compound masse
    With heated visage, as against the doome
    Is thought sick at the act
    2435Quee. Ay me, what act?
    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,
    2440Hiperions 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 kissing hill,
    A combination, and a forme indeede,
    2445Where euery God did seeme to set his seale
    To giue the world assurance of a man,
    This was your husband, looke you now what followes,
    Heere is your husband like a mildewed eare,
    Blasting his wholsome brother, haue you eyes,
    2450Could 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
    2455Would step from this to this, sence sure youe haue
    2455.1Els could you not haue motion, but sure that sence
    Is appoplext, for madnesse would not erre
    Nor sence to extacie was nere so thral'd
    But it reseru'd some quantity of choise
    2455.5To serue in such a difference, what deuill wast
    That thus hath cosund you at hodman blind;
    2456.1Eyes 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 blush?
    Rebellious hell,
    If thou canst mutine in a Matrons bones,
    To flaming youth let vertue be as wax
    2460And melt in her owne fire, proclaime no shame
    When the compulsiue ardure giues the charge,
    Since frost it selfe as actiuely doth burne,
    And reason pardons will.
    Ger. O Hamlet speake no more,
    2465Thou turnst 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
    2470Stewed in corruption, honying, and making loue
    Ouer the nasty stie.
    Ger. O speake to me no more,
    These words like daggers enter in my eares,
    No more sweete Hamlet.
    2475Ham. 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
    2480And put it in his pocket.
    Ger. No more.
    Enter Ghost.
    Ham. A King of shreds and patches,
    Saue me and houer ore me with your wings
    2485You 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 passion lets goe by
    Th'important acting of your dread command, ô say.
    2490Ghost. Doe not forget, this visitation
    Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose,
    But looke, amazement on thy mother sits,
    O step betweene her, and her fighting soule,
    Conceit in weakest bodies strongest workes,
    2495Speake 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,
    2500Foorth 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 distemper
    2505Sprinckle 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,
    Least with this pittious action you conuert
    2510My 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.
    2515Ham. 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 Ghost.
    2520Ger. This is the very coynage of your braine,
    This bodilesse creation extacie is very cunning in.
    Ham. My pulse as yours doth temperatly keepe time,
    And makes as healthfull musicke, it is not madnesse
    2525That I haue vttred, bring me to the test,
    And the matter will reword, which madnesse
    Would gambole from, mother for loue of grace,
    Lay not that flattering vnction to your soule
    That not your trespasse but my madnesse speakes,
    2530It will but skin and filme the vlcerous place
    Whiles ranck corruption mining all within
    Infects vnseene, confesse your selfe to heauen,
    Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
    And doe not spread the compost on the weedes
    2535To make them rancker, forgiue me this my vertue,
    For in the fatnesse of these pursie times
    Vertue it selfe of vice must pardon beg,
    Yea curbe and wooe for leaue to doe him good.
    Ger. O Hamlet thou hast 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,
    Assune a vertue if you haue it not,
    2544.1That monster custome, 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
    2544.5That aptly is put on to refraine night,
    2545And that shall lend a kind of easines
    To the next abstinence, the next more easie:
    2546.1For vse almost 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 desirous to be blest,
    Ile blessing beg of you, for this same Lord
    I doe repent; but heauen hath pleasd it so
    2550To punish me with this, and this with me,
    That I must be their scourge and minister,
    I will bestowe him and will answere well
    The death I gaue him; so againe good night
    I must be cruell only to be kinde,
    2555This bad beginnes, and worse remaines behind.
    2555.1One 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,
    2560And let him for a paire of reechie kisses,
    Or padling in your necke with his damn'd fingers.
    Make you to rouell all this matter out
    That I essentially am not in madnesse,
    But mad in craft, t'were good you let him knowe,
    2565For 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,
    2570Let the birds fly, and like the famous Ape,
    To try conclusions in the basket creepe,
    And breake your owne necke downe.
    Ger. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath
    And breath of life, I haue no life to breath
    2575What thou hast sayd to me.
    Ham. I must to England, you knowe that.
    Ger. Alack I had forgot.
    Tis so concluded on.
    2577.1Ham. Ther's letters seald, and my two Schoolefellowes,
    Whom I will trust as I will Adders fang'd,
    They beare the mandat, they must sweep my way
    And marshall me to knauery: let it worke,
    2577.5For tis the sport to haue the enginer
    Hoist 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 most sweete
    When in one line two crafts directly meete,
    This man shall set me packing,
    Ile lugge the guts into the neighbour roome;
    2580Mother good night indeed, this Counsayler
    Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
    Who was in life a most foolish prating knaue.
    Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
    Good night mother. Exit.