Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

266 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
Fellowes as I do, crawling betweene Heauen and Earth.
We are arrant Knaues all, beleeue none of vs. Goe thy
1785wayes to a Nunnery. Where's your Father?
Ophe. At home, my Lord.
Ham. Let the doores be shut vpon him, that he may
play the Foole no way, but in's owne house. Farewell.
Ophe. O helpe him, you sweet Heauens.
1790Ham. If thou doest Marry, Ile giue thee this Plague
for thy Dowrie. Be thou as chast as Ice, as pure as Snow,
thou shalt not escape Calumny. Get thee to a Nunnery.
Go, Farewell. Or if thou wilt needs Marry, marry a fool:
for Wise men know well enough, what monsters you
1795make of them. To a Nunnery go, and quickly too. Far-
Ophe. O heauenly Powers, restore him.
Ham. I haue heard of your pratlings too wel enough.
God has giuen you one pace, and you make your selfe an-
1800other: you gidge, you amble, and you lispe, and nickname
Gods creatures, and make your Wantonnesse, your Ig-
norance. Go too, Ile no more on't, it hath made me mad.
I say, we will haue no more Marriages. Those that are
married already, all but one shall liue, the rest shall keep
1805as they are. To a Nunnery, go. Exit Hamlet.
Ophe. O what a Noble minde is heere o're-throwne?
The Courtiers, Soldiers, Schollers: Eye, tongue, sword,
Th'expectansie and Rose of the faire State,
The glasse of Fashion, and the mould of Forme,
1810Th'obseru'd of all Obseruers, quite, quite downe.
Haue I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
That suck'd the Honie of his Musicke Vowes:
Now see that Noble, and most Soueraigne Reason,
Like sweet Bels iangled out of tune, and harsh,
1815That vnmatch'd Forme and Feature of blowne youth,
Blasted with extasie. Oh woe is me,
T'haue seene what I haue seene: see what I see.

Enter King, and Polonius.
King. Loue? His affections do not that way tend,
1820Nor what he spake, though it lack'd Forme a little,
Was not like Madnesse. There's something in his soule?
O're which his Melancholly sits on brood,
And I do doubt the hatch, and the disclose
Will be some danger, which to preuent
1825I haue in quicke determination
Thus set it downe. He shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected Tribute:
Haply the Seas and Countries different
With variable Obiects, shall expell
1830This something setled matter in his heart:
Whereon his Braines still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himselfe. What thinke you on't?
Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I beleeue
The Origin and Commencement of this greefe
1835Sprung from neglected loue. How now Ophelia?
You neede not tell vs, what Lord Hamlet saide,
We heard it all. My Lord, do as you please,
But if you hold it fit after the Play,
Let his Queene Mother all alone intreat him
1840To shew his Greefes: let her be round with him,
And Ile be plac'd so, please you in the eare
Of all their Conference. If she finde him not,
To England send him: Or confine him where
Your wisedome best shall thinke.
1845King. It shall be so:
Madnesse in great Ones, must not vnwatch'd go.

Enter Hamlet, and two or three of the Players.

Ham. Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc'd
1850it to you trippingly on the Tongue: But if you mouth it,
as many of your Players do, I had as liue the Town-Cryer
had spoke my Lines: Nor do not saw the Ayre too much
your hand thus, but vse all gently; for in the verie Tor-
rent, Tempest, and (as I may say) the Whirle-winde of
1855Passion, you must acquire and beget a Temperance that
may giue it Smoothnesse. O it offends mee to the Soule,
to see a robustious Pery-wig-pated Fellow, teare a Passi-
on to tatters, to verie ragges, to split the eares of the
Groundlings: who (for the most part) are capeable of
1860nothing, but inexplicable dumbe shewes, & noise: I could
haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it
out- Herod's Herod. Pray you auoid it.
Player. I warrant your Honor.
Ham. Be not too tame neyther: but let your owne
1865Discretion be your Tutor. Sute the Action to the Word,
the Word to the Action, with this speciall obseruance:
That you ore-stop not the modestie of Nature; for any
thing so ouer-done, is frõ the purpose of Playing, whose
end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as 'twer
1870the Mirrour vp to Nature; to shew Vertue her owne
Feature, Scorne her owne Image, and the verie Age and
Bodie of the Time, his forme and pressure. Now, this
ouer-done, or come tardie off, though it make the vnskil-
full laugh, cannot but make the Iudicious greeue; The
1875censure of the which One, must in your allowance o're-
way a whole Theater of Others. Oh, there bee Players
that I haue seene Play, and heard others praise, and that
highly (not to speake it prophanely) that neyther hauing
the accent of Christians, nor the gate of Christian, Pagan,
1880or Norman, haue so strutted and bellowed, that I haue
thought some of Natures Iouerney-men had made men,
and not made them well, they imitated Humanity so ab-
Play. I hope we haue reform'd that indifferently with
1885vs, Sir.
Ham. O reforme it altogether. And let those that
play your Clownes, speake no more then is set downe for
them. For there be of them, that will themselues laugh,
to set on some quantitie of barren Spectators to laugh
1890too, though in the meane time, some necessary Question
of the Play be then to be considered: that's Villanous, &
shewes a most pittifull Ambition in the Foole that vses
it. Go make you readie. Exit Players.

Enter Polonius, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.

1895How now my Lord,
Will the King heare this peece of Worke?
Pol. And the Queene too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the Players make hast. Exit Polonius.
Will you two helpe to hasten them?
1900Both. We will my Lord. Exeunt.
Enter Horatio.
Ham. What hoa, Horatio?
Hora. Heere sweet Lord, at your Seruice.
Ham. Horatio, thou art eene as iust a man
1905As ere my Conuersation coap'd withall.
Hora. O my deere Lord.
Ham. Nay, do not thinke I flatter:
For what aduancement may I hope from thee,
That no Reuennew hast, but thy good spirits