Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • 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
    Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

    272 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Or padling in your necke with his damn'd Fingers,
    Make you to rauell all this matter out,
    That I essentially am not in madnesse,
    But made in craft. 'Twere good you let him know,
    2565For who that's but a Queene, faire, sober, wise,
    Would from a Paddocke, from a Bat, a Gibbe,
    Such deere concernings hide, Who would do so,
    No in despight of Sense and Secrecie,
    Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top:
    2570Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape
    To try Conclusions in the Basket, creepe
    And breake your owne necke downe.
    Qu. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath,
    And breath of life: I haue no life to breath
    2575What thou hast saide to me.
    Ham. I must to England, you know that?
    Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on.
    Ham. This man shall set me packing:
    Ile lugge the Guts into the Neighbor roome,
    2580Mother goodnight. Indeede this Counsellor
    Is now most still, most secret, and most graue,
    Who was in life, a foolish prating Knaue.
    Come sir, to draw toward an end with you.
    Good night Mother.
    2585Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius.
    Enter King.
    King. There's matters in these sighes.
    These profound heaues
    You must translate; Tis fit we vnderstand them.
    2590Where is your Sonne?
    Qu. Ah my good Lord, what haue I seene to night?
    King. What Gertrude? How do's Hamlet?
    Qu. Mad as the Seas, and winde, when both contend
    Which is the Mightier, in his lawlesse fit
    2595Behinde the Arras, hearing something stirre,
    He whips his Rapier out, and cries a Rat, a Rat,
    And in his brainish apprehension killes
    The vnseene good old man.
    King. On heauy deed:
    2600It had bin so with vs had we beene there:
    His Liberty is full of threats to all,
    To you your selfe, to vs, to euery one.
    Alas, how shall this bloody deede be answered?
    It will be laide to vs, whose prouidence
    2605Should haue kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt,
    This mad yong man. But so much was our loue,
    We would not vnderstand what was most fit,
    But like the Owner of a foule disease,
    To keepe it from divulging, let's it feede
    2610Euen on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
    Qu. To draw apart the body he hath kild,
    O're whom his very madnesse like some Oare
    Among a Minerall of Mettels base
    Shewes it selfe pure. He weepes for what is done.
    2615King. Oh Gertrude, come away:
    The Sun no sooner shall the Mountaines touch,
    But we will ship him hence, and this vilde deed,
    We must with all our Maiesty and Skill
    Both countenance, and excuse. Enter Ros. & Guild.
    2620Ho Guildenstern:
    Friends both go ioyne you with some further ayde:
    Hamlet in madnesse hath Polonius slaine,
    And from his Mother Clossets hath he drag'd him.
    Go seeke him out, speake faire, and bring the body
    2625Into the Chappell. I pray you hast in this. Exit Gent.
    Come Gertrude, wee'l call vp our wisest friends,
    To let them know both what we meane to do,
    And what's vntimely done. Oh come away,
    My soule is full of discord and dismay. Exeunt.
    2630 Enter Hamlet.
    Ham. Safely stowed.
    Gentlemen within. Hamlet, Lord Hamlet.
    Ham. What noise? Who cals on Hamlet?
    Oh heere they come. Enter Ros. and Guildensterne.
    2635Ro. What haue you done my Lord with the dead body?
    Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis Kinne.
    Rosin. Tell vs where 'tis, that we may take it thence,
    And beare it to the Chappell.
    Ham. Do not beleeue it.
    2640Rosin. Beleeue what?
    Ham. That I can keepe your counsell, and not mine
    owne. Besides, to be demanded of a Spundge, what re-
    plication should be made by the Sonne of a King.
    Rosin. Take you me for a Spundge, my Lord?
    2645Ham. I sir, that sokes vp the Kings Countenance, his
    Rewards, his Authorities (but such Officers do the King
    best seruice in the end. He keepes them like an Ape in
    the corner of his iaw, first mouth'd to be last swallowed,
    when he needes what you haue glean'd, it is but squee-
    2650zing you, and Spundge you shall be dry againe.
    Rosin. I vnderstand you not my Lord.
    Ham. I am glad of it: a knauish speech sleepes in a
    foolish eare.
    Rosin. My Lord, you must tell vs where the body is,
    2655and go with vs to the King.
    Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not
    with the body. The King, is a thing---
    Guild. A thing my Lord?
    Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him, hide Fox, and all
    2660after. Exeunt
    Enter King.
    King. I haue sent to seeke him, and to find the bodie:
    How dangerous is it that this man goes loose:
    Yet must not we put the strong Law on him:
    2665Hee's loued of the distracted multitude,
    Who like not in their iudgement, but their eyes:
    And where 'tis so, th'Offenders scourge is weigh'd
    But neerer the offence: to beare all smooth, and euen,
    This sodaine sending him away, must seeme
    2670Deliberate pause, diseases desperate growne,
    By desperate appliance are releeued,
    Or not at all. Enter Rosincrane.
    How now? What hath befalne?
    Rosin. Where the dead body is bestow'd my Lord,
    2675We cannot get from him.
    King. But where is he?
    Rosin. Without my Lord, guarded to know your
    King. Bring him before vs.
    2680Rosin. Hoa, Guildensterne? Bring in my Lord.

    Enter Hamlet and Guildensterne.
    King. Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
    Ham. At Supper.
    King. At Supper? Where?
    2685Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten, a cer-
    taine conuocation of wormes are e'ne at him. Your worm
    is your onely Emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else
    to fat vs, and we fat our selfe for Magots. Your fat King,
    and your leane Begger is but variable seruice to dishes,
    2690but to one Table that's the end.
    King. What dost thou meane by this?