Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

The Tragedie of Hamlet. 269
Ham. Sir, a whole History.
2170Guild. The King, sir.
Ham. I sir, what of him?
Guild. Is in his retyrement, maruellous distemper'd.
Ham. With drinke Sir?
Guild. No my Lord, rather with choller.
2175Ham. Your wisedome should shew it selfe more ri-
cher, to signifie this to his Doctor: for for me to put him
to his Purgation, would perhaps plundge him into farre
more Choller.
Guild. Good my Lord put your discourse into some
2180frame, and start not so wildely from my affayre.
Ham. I am tame Sir, pronounce.
Guild. The Queene your Mother, in most great affli-
ction of spirit, hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
2185Guild. Nay, good my Lord, this courtesie is not of
the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whol-
some answer, I will doe your Mothers command'ment:
if not, your pardon, and my returne shall bee the end of
my Businesse.
2190Ham. Sir, I cannot.
Guild. What, my Lord?
Ham. Make you a wholsome answere: my wits dis-
eas'd. But sir, such answers as I can make, you shal com-
mand: or rather you say, my Mother: therfore no more
2195but to the matter. My Mother you say.
Rosin. Then thus she sayes: your behauior hath stroke
her into amazement, and admiration.
Ham. Oh wonderfull Sonne, that can so astonish a
Mother. But is there no sequell at the heeles of this Mo-
2200thers admiration?
Rosin. She desires to speake with you in her Closset,
ere you go to bed.
Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our Mother.
Haue you any further Trade with vs?
2205Rosin. My Lord, you once did loue me.
Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.
Rosin. Good my Lord, what is your cause of distem-
per? You do freely barre the doore of your owne Liber-
tie, if you deny your greefes to your Friend.
2210Ham. Sir I lacke Aduancement.
Rosin. How can that be, when you haue the voyce of
the King himselfe, for your Succession in Denmarke?
Ham. I, but while the grasse growes, the Prouerbe is
something musty.
2215 Enter one with a Recorder.
O the Recorder. Let me see, to withdraw with you, why
do you go about to recouer the winde of mee, as if you
would driue me into a toyle?
Guild. O my Lord, if my Dutie be too bold, my loue
2220is too vnmannerly.
Ham. I do not well vnderstand that. Will you play
vpon this Pipe?
Guild. My Lord, I cannot.
Ham. I pray you.
2225Guild. Beleeue me, I cannot.
Ham. I do beseech you.
Guild. I know no touch of it, my Lord.
Ham. 'Tis as easie as lying: gouerne these Ventiges
with your finger and thumbe, giue it breath with your
2230mouth, and it will discourse most excellent Musicke.
Looke you, these are the stoppes.
Guild. But these cannot I command to any vtterance
of hermony, I haue not the skill.
Ham. Why looke you now, how vnworthy a thing
2235you make of me: you would play vpon mee; you would
seeme to know my stops: you would pluck out the heart
of my Mysterie; you would sound mee from my lowest
Note, to the top of my Compasse: and there is much Mu-
sicke, excellent Voice, in this little Organe, yet cannot
2240you make it. Why do you thinke, that I am easier to bee
plaid on, then a Pipe? Call me what Instrument you will,
though you can fret me, you cannot play vpon me. God
blesse you Sir.
Enter Polonius.

2245Polon. My Lord; the Queene would speak with you,
and presently.
Ham. Do you see that Clowd? that's almost in shape
like a Camell.
Polon. By'th'Misse, and it's like a Camell indeed.
2250Ham. Me thinkes it is like a Weazell.
Polon. It is back'd like a Weazell.
Ham. Or like a Whale?
Polon. Verie like a Whale.
Ham. Then will I come to my Mother, by and by:
2255They foole me to the top of my bent.
I will come by and by.
Polon. I will say so. Exit.
Ham. By and by, is easily said. Leaue me Friends:
'Tis now the verie witching time of night,
2260When Churchyards yawne, and Hell it selfe breaths out
Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter businesse as the day
Would quake to looke on. Soft now, to my Mother:
Oh Heart, loose not thy Nature; let not euer
2265The Soule of Nero, enter this firme bosome:
Let me be cruell, not vnnaturall,
I will speake Daggers to her, but vse none:
My Tongue and Soule in this be Hypocrites.
How in my words someuer she be shent,
2270To giue them Seales, neuer my Soule consent.

Enter King, Rosincrance, and Guildensterne.
King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with vs,
To let his madnesse range. Therefore prepare you,
I your Commission will forthwith dispatch,
2275And he to England shall along with you:
The termes of our estate, may not endure
Hazard so dangerous as doth hourely grow
Out of his Lunacies.
Guild. We will our selues prouide:
2280Most holie and Religious feare it is
To keepe those many many bodies safe
That liue and feede vpon your Maiestie.
Rosin. The single
And peculiar life is bound
2285With all the strength and Armour of the minde,
To keepe it selfe from noyance: but much more,
That Spirit, vpon whose spirit depends and rests
The liues of many, the cease of Maiestie
Dies not alone; but like a Gulfe doth draw
2290What's neere it, with it. It is a massie wheele
Fixt on the Somnet of the highest Mount,
To whose huge Spoakes, ten thousand lesser things
Are mortiz'd and adioyn'd: which when it falles,
Each small annexment, pettie consequence
2295Attends the boystrous Ruine. Neuer alone
Did the King sighe, but with a generall grone.
King. Arme you, I pray you to this speedie Voyage;
For we will Fetters put vpon this feare,
pp Which