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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • 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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)

    [Scene 11]
    Enter Queen and Corambis.
    Madam, I hear young Hamlet coming.
    I'll shroud myself behind the arras.
    Exit Cor[ambis].
    Do so, my lord.
    [Offstage] Mother, mother!
    [Enter Hamlet]
    Oh, are you here?
    2385How is't with you, mother?
    How is't with you?
    I'll tell you, but first we'll make all safe.
    Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
    Mother, you have my father much offended.
    How now, boy?
    How now, mother! Come here, sit down, for you shall hear me speak.
    What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me?
    Help, ho!
    [Behind the arras] Help for the Queen!
    Ay, a rat! Dead, for a ducat!
    [He stabs through the arras. Corambis falls, and is discovered, slain.]
    Rash intruding fool, farewell.
    I took thee for thy better.
    Hamlet, what hast thou done?
    Not so much harm, good mother,
    2410As to kill a king and marry with his brother.
    How! Kill a king!
    Ay, a king. Nay, sit you down, and, ere you part,
    If you be made of penetrable stuff,
    I'll make your eyes look down into your heart
    And see how horrid there and black it shows.
    Hamlet, what mean'st thou by these killing words?
    Why, this I mean.
    [Showing her two likenesses]
    See here, behold this picture.
    2437.1It is the portraiture of your deceasèd husband.
    See here a face to outface Mars himself,
    An eye at which his foes did tremble at,
    2440A front wherein all virtues are set down
    2440.1For to adorn a king and guild his crown,
    Whose heart went hand in hand even with that vow
    He made to you in marriage; and he is dead.
    Murd'red, damnably murd'red. This was your husband.
    Look you now, here is your husband,
    2447.1With a face like Vulcan.
    A look fit for a murder and a rape,
    A dull, dead, hanging look, and a hell-bred eye,
    To affright children and amaze the world.
    2450And this same have you left to change with this.
    2455What devil thus hath cozened you at hob-man blind?
    Ah! Have you eyes, and can you look on him
    2449.1That slew my father and your dear husband,
    To live in the incestuous pleasure of his bed?
    Oh, Hamlet, speak no more!
    To leave him that bare a monarch's mind
    For a king of clouts, of very shreds?
    Sweet Hamlet, cease!
    Nay, but still to persist and dwell in sin,
    To sweat under the yoke of infamy,
    2469.1To make increase of shame, to seal damnation--
    Hamlet, no more.
    Why, appetite with you is in the wane;
    2453.1Your blood runs backward now from whence it came.
    Who'll chide hot blood within a virgin's heart
    When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast?
    Hamlet, thou cleaves my heart in twain.
    Oh, throw away the worser part of it,
    And keep the>better.
    Enter the Ghost in his nightgown.
    Save me, save me, you gracious
    Powers above, and hover over me
    With your celestial wings!--
    Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
    That I thus long have let revenge slip by?
    Oh, do not glare with looks so pitiful,
    Lest that my heart of stone yield to compassion,
    2510And every part that should assist revenge
    Forgo their proper powers and fall to pity!
    Hamlet, I once again appear to thee
    To put thee in remembrance of my death.
    2491.1Do not neglect, nor long time put it off.
    But I perceive by thy distracted looks
    Thy mother's fearful, and she stands amazed.
    Speak to her, Hamlet, for her sex is weak.
    Comfort thy mother, Hamlet, think on me.
    How is't with you, lady?
    Nay, how is't with you
    That thus you bend your eyes on vacancy,
    And hold discourse with nothing but with air?
    Why, do you nothing hear?
    Not I.
    Nor do you nothing see?
    No, neither.
    No? Why, see the King my father, my father, in the habit
    As he lived. Look you how pale he looks!
    See how he steals away out of the portal!
    Look, there he goes!
    Exit Ghost.
    Alas, it is the weakness of thy brain,
    2520.1Which makes thy tongue to blazon thy heart's grief.
    But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven
    I never knew of this most horrid murder.
    But Hamlet, this is only fantasy,
    2521.1And, for my love forget these idle fits.
    Idle? No, mother, my pulse doth beat like yours.
    It is not madness that possesseth Hamlet.
    O mother, if ever you did my dear father love,
    Forbear the adulterous bed tonight,
    2545And win yourself by little as you may.
    2545.1In time it may be you will loathe him quite.
    And, mother, but assist me in revenge,
    And in his death your infamy shall die.
    Hamlet, I vow, by that Majesty
    2573.1That knows our thoughts and looks into our hearts,
    I will conceal, consent, and do my best,
    2574.1What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise.
    It is enough. Mother, good night.--
    Come, sir, I'll provide for you a grave,
    Who was in life a foolish, prating knave.
    2585Exit Hamlet with the dead body.
    Enter the King and Lords [Rossencraft and Gilderstone].
    Now Gertred, what says our son? How do you find him?
    Alas, my lord, as raging as the sea.
    2593.1Whenas he came, I first bespake him fair,
    But then he throws and tosses me about,
    As one forgetting that I was his mother.
    2392.1At last I called for help, and, as I cried, Corambis
    Called. Which Hamlet no sooner heard but whips me
    Out his rapier, and cries, "A rat, a rat!" and in his rage
    The good old man he kills.
    Why, this his madness will undo our state.
    Lords, go to him, inquire the body out.
    We will, my lord.
    Exeunt Lords.
    Gertred, your son shall presently to England.
    His shipping is already furnishèd,
    2617.1And we have sent by Rossencraft and Gilderstone
    Our letters to our dear brother of England
    For Hamlet's welfare and his happiness.
    Haply the air and climate of the country
    1828.1May please him better than his native home.
    See where he comes.
    Enter Hamlet and the Lords [Rossencraft, Gilderstone, and perhaps another].
    My lord, we can by no means
    2675Know of him where the body is.
    Now, son Hamlet, where is this dead body?
    At supper, not where he is eating, but
    2685Where he is eaten; a certain company of politic worms are even now at him.
    Father, your fat king and your lean beggar
    Are but variable services: two dishes to one mess.
    Look you, a man may fish with that worm
    That hath eaten of a king,
    And a beggar eat that fish
    Which that worm hath caught.
    What of this?
    Nothing, father, but to tell you, how a king
    May go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
    But son Hamlet, where is this body?
    In heav'n. If you chance to miss him there,
    Father, you had best look in the other parts below
    For him, and if you cannot find him there
    You may chance to nose him as you go up the lobby.
    [To a Lord] Make haste and find him out.
    [Exit a Lord.]
    [To the Lord, as he exits] Nay, do you hear? Do not make too much haste.
    2700I'll warrant you he'll stay till you come.
    Well, son Hamlet, we, in care of you, but specially
    In tender preservation of your health,
    2701.1The which we price even as our proper self,
    It is our mind you forthwith go for England.
    2705The wind sits fair. You shall aboard tonight.
    Lord Rossencraft and Gilderstone shall go along with you.
    Oh, with all my heart. Farewell, mother.
    Your loving father, Hamlet.
    My mother, I say. You married my mother,
    My mother is your wife; man and wife is one flesh;
    And so, my mother, farewell. For England, ho!
    Exeunt all but the King [and Queen].
    Gertred, leave me,
    And take your leave of Hamlet.
    [Exit Queen.]
    To England is he gone, ne'er to return.
    Our letters are unto the King of England,
    That, on the sight of them, on his allegiance,
    2727.1He presently, without demanding why,
    2730That Hamlet lose his head, for he must die.
    2730.1There's more in him than shallow eyes can see.
    He once being dead, why then our state is free.