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)

    276 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Had witchcraft in't; he grew into his Seat,
    And to such wondrous doing brought his Horse,
    As had he beene encorps't and demy-Natur'd
    3085With the braue Beast, so farre he past my thought,
    That I in forgery of shapes and trickes,
    Come short of what he did.
    Laer. A Norman was't?
    Kin. A Norman.
    3090Laer. Vpon my life Lamound.
    Kin. The very same.
    Laer. I know him well, he is the Brooch indeed,
    And Iemme of all our Nation.
    Kin. Hee mad confession of you,
    3095And gaue you such a Masterly report,
    For Art and exercise in your defence;
    And for your Rapier most especially,
    That he cryed out, t'would be a sight indeed,
    If one could match you Sir. This report of his
    3100Did Hamlet so envenom with his Enuy,
    That he could nothing doe but wish and begge,
    Your sodaine comming ore to play with him;
    Now out of this.
    Laer. Why out of this, my Lord?
    3105Kin. Laertes was your Father deare to you?
    Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
    A face without a heart?
    Laer. Why aske you this?
    Kin. Not that I thinke you did not loue your Father,
    3110But that I know Loue is begun by Time:
    And that I see in passages of proofe,
    Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it:
    Hamlet comes backe: what would you vndertake,
    To show your selfe your Fathers sonne indeed,
    3115More then in words?
    Laer. To cut his throat i'th' Church.
    Kin. No place indeed should murder Sancturize;
    Reuenge should haue no bounds: but good Laertes
    Will you doe this, keepe close within your Chamber,
    3120Hamlet return'd, shall know you are come home:
    Wee'l put on those shall praise your excellence,
    And set a double varnish on the fame
    The Frenchman gaue you, bring you in fine together,
    And wager on your heads, he being remisse,
    3125Most generous, and free from all contriuing,
    Will not peruse the Foiles? So that with ease,
    Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
    A Sword vnbaited, and in a passe of practice,
    Requit him for your Father.
    3130Laer. I will doo't,
    And for that purpose Ile annoint my Sword:
    I bought an Vnction of a Mountebanke
    So mortall, I but dipt a knife in it,
    Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare,
    3135Collected from all Simples that haue Vertue
    Vnder the Moone, can saue the thing from death,
    That is but scratcht withall: Ile touch my point,
    With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly,
    It may be death.
    3140Kin. Let's further thinke of this,
    Weigh what conuenience both of time and meanes
    May fit vs to our shape, if this should faile;
    And that our drift looke through our bad performance,
    'Twere better not assaid; therefore this Proiect
    3145Should haue a backe or second, that might hold,
    If this should blast in proofe: Soft, let me see
    Wee'l make a solemne wager on your commings,
    I ha't: when in your motion you are hot and dry,
    As make your bowts more violent to the end,
    3150And that he cals for drinke; Ile haue prepar'd him
    A Challice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
    If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
    Our purpose may hold there; how sweet Queene.

    Enter Queene.
    3155Queen. One woe doth tread vpon anothers heele,
    So fast they'l follow: your Sister's drown'd Laertes.
    Laer. Drown'd! O where?
    Queen. There is a Willow growes aslant a Brooke,
    That shewes his hore leaues in the glassie streame:
    3160There with fantasticke Garlands did she come,
    Of Crow-flowers, Nettles, Daysies, and long Purples,
    That liberall Shepheards giue a grosser name;
    But our cold Maids doe Dead Mens Fingers call them:
    There on the pendant boughes, her Coronet weeds
    3165Clambring to hang; an enuious sliuer broke,
    When downe the weedy Trophies, and her selfe,
    Fell in the weeping Brooke, her cloathes spred wide,
    And Mermaid-like, a while they bore her vp,
    Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes,
    3170As one incapable of her owne distresse,
    Or like a creature Natiue, and indued
    Vnto that Element: but long it could not be,
    Till that her garments, heauy with her drinke,
    Pul'd the poore wretch from her melodious buy,
    3175To muddy death.
    Laer. Alas then, is she drown'd?
    Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
    Laer. Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia,
    And therefore I forbid my teares: but yet
    3180It is our tricke, Nature her custome holds,
    Let shame say what it will; when these are gone
    The woman will be out: Adue my Lord,
    I haue a speech of fire, that faine would blaze,
    But that this folly doubts it. Exit.
    3185Kin. Let's follow, Gertrude:
    How much I had to doe to calme his rage?
    Now feare I this will giue it start againe;
    Therefore let's follow. Exeunt.

    Enter two Clownes.
    3190Clown. Is she to bee buried in Christian buriall, that
    wilfully seekes her owne saluation?
    Other. I tell thee she is, and therefore make her Graue
    straight, the Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Chri-
    stian buriall.
    3195Clo. How can that be, vnlesse she drowned her selfe in
    her owne defence?
    Other. Why 'tis found so.
    Clo. It must be Se offendendo, it cannot bee else: for
    heere lies the point; If I drowne my selfe wittingly, it ar-
    3200gues an Act: and an Act hath three branches. It is an
    Act to doe and to performe; argall she drown'd her selfe
    Other. Nay but heare you Goodman Deluer.
    Clown. Giue me leaue; heere lies the water; good:
    3205heere stands the man; good: If the man goe to this wa-
    ter and drowne himsele; it is will he nill he, he goes;
    marke you that? But if the water come to him & drowne
    him; hee drownes not himselfe. Argall, hee that is not
    guilty of his owne death, shortens not his owne life.
    3210Other. But is this law?
    Clo. I marry is't, Crowners Quest Law.