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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)

    278 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Ham. Why?
    Clo. 'Twill not be seene in him, there the men are as
    3345mad as he.
    Ham. How came he mad?
    Clo. Very strangely they say.
    Ham. How strangely?
    Clo. Faith e'ene with loosing his wits.
    3350Ham. Vpon what ground?
    Clo. Why heere in Denmarke: I haue bin sixeteene
    heere, man and Boy thirty yeares.
    Ham. How long will a man lie 'ith' earth ere he rot?
    Clo. Ifaith, if he be not rotten before he die (as we haue
    3355many pocky Coarses now adaies, that will scarce hold
    the laying in) he will last you some eight yeare, or nine
    yeare. A Tanner will last you nine yeare.
    Ham. Why he, more then another?
    Clo. Why sir, his hide is so tan'd with his Trade, that
    3360he will keepe out water a great while. And your water,
    is a sore Decayer of your horson dead body. Heres a Scull
    now: this Scul, has laine in the earth three & twenty years.
    Ham. Whose was it?
    Clo. A whoreson mad Fellowes it was;
    3365Whose doe you thinke it was?
    Ham. Nay, I know not.
    Clo. A pestlence on him for a mad Rogue, a pou'rd a
    Flaggon of Renish on my head once. This same Scull
    Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull, the Kings Iester.
    3370Ham. This?
    Clo. E'ene that.
    Ham. Let me see. Alas poore Yorick, I knew him Ho-
    ratio, a fellow of infinite Iest; of most excellent fancy, he
    hath borne me on his backe a thousand times: And how
    3375abhorred my Imagination is, my gorge rises at it. Heere
    hung those lipps, that I haue kist I know not how oft.
    VVhere be your Iibes now? Your Gambals? Your
    Songs? Your flashes of Merriment that were wont to
    set the Table on a Rore? No one now to mock your own
    3380Ieering? Quite chopfalne? Now get you to my Ladies
    Chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this
    fauour she must come. Make her laugh at that: pry-
    thee Horatio tell me one thing.
    Hor. What's that my Lord?
    3385Ham. Dost thou thinke Alexander lookt o'this fa-
    shion i'th' earth?
    Hor. E'ene so.
    Ham. And smelt so? Puh.
    Hor. E'ene so, my Lord.
    3390Ham. To what base vses we may returne Horatio.
    Why may not Imagination trace the Noble dust of A-
    lexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole.
    Hor. 'Twere to consider: to curiously to consider so.
    Ham. No faith, not a iot. But to follow him thether
    3395with modestie enough, & likeliehood to lead it; as thus.
    Alexander died: Alexander was buried: Alexander re-
    turneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make
    Lome, and why of that Lome (whereto he was conuer-
    ted) might they not stopp a Beere-barrell?
    3400Imperiall Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keepe the winde away.
    Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
    Should patch a Wall, t'expell the winters flaw.
    But soft, but soft, aside; heere comes the King.

    3405 Enter King, Queene, Laertes, and a Coffin,
    with Lords attendant.
    The Queene, the Courtiers. Who is that they follow,
    And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken,
    The Coarse they follow, did with disperate hand,
    3410Fore do it owne life; 'twas some Estate.
    Couch we a while, and mark.
    Laer. What Cerimony else?
    Ham. That is Laertes, a very Noble youth: Marke.
    Laer. What Cerimony else?
    3415Priest. Her Obsequies haue bin as farre inlarg'd.
    As we haue warrantis, her death was doubtfull,
    And but that great Command, o're-swaies the order,
    She should in ground vnsanctified haue lodg'd,
    Till the last Trumpet. For charitable praier,
    3420Shardes, Flints, and Peebles, should be throwne on her:
    Yet heere she is allowed her Virgin Rites,
    Her Maiden strewments, and the bringing home
    Of Bell and Buriall.
    Laer. Must there no more be done?
    3425Priest. No more be done:
    We should prophane the seruice of the dead,
    To sing sage Requiem, and such rest to her
    As to peace-parted Soules.
    Laer. Lay her i'th' earth,
    3430And from her faire and vnpolluted flesh,
    May Violets spring. I tell thee (churlish Priest)
    A Ministring Angell shall my Sister be,
    When thou liest howling?
    Ham. What, the faire Ophelia?
    3435Queene. Sweets, to the sweet farewell.
    I hop'd thou should'st haue bin my Hamlets wife:
    I thought thy Bride-bed to haue deckt (sweet Maid)
    And not t'haue strew'd thy Graue.
    Laer. Oh terrible woer,
    3440Fall ten times trebble, on that cursed head
    Whose wicked deed, thy most Ingenious sence
    Depriu'd thee of. Hold off the earth a while,
    Till I haue caught her once more in mine armes:
    Leaps in the graue.
    3445Now pile your dust, vpon the quicke, and dead,
    Till of this flat a Mountaine you haue made,
    To o're top old Pelion, or the skyish head
    Of blew Olympus.
    Ham. What is he, whose griefes
    3450Beares such an Emphasis? whose phrase of Sorrow
    Coniure the wandring Starres, and makes them stand
    Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
    Hamlet the Dane.
    Laer. The deuill take thy soule.
    3455Ham. Thou prai'st not well,
    I prythee take thy fingers from my throat;
    Sir though I am not Spleenatiue, and rash,
    Yet haue I something in me dangerous,
    Which let thy wisenesse feare. Away thy hand.
    3460King. Pluck them asunder.
    Qu. Hamlet, Hamlet.
    Gen. Good my Lord be quiet.
    Ham. Why I will fight with him vppon this Theme.
    Vntill my eielids will no longer wag.
    3465Qu. Oh my Sonne, what Theame?
    Ham. I lou'd Ophelia; fortie thousand Brothers
    Could not (with all there quantitie of Loue)
    Make vp my summe. What wilt thou do for her?
    King. Oh he is mad Laertes,
    3470Qu. For loue of God forbeare him.
    Ham. Come show me what thou'lt doe.
    Woo't weepe? Woo't fight? Woo't teare thy selfe?
    Woo't drinke vp Esile, eate a Crocodile?