Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    175[Scene 2]
    Enter King, Queen, Hamlet, Laertes, Corambis, and the two Ambassadors, with Attendants.
    Lords, we here have writ to Fortenbrasse,
    Nephew to old Norway, who, impudent
    And bed-rid, scarcely hears of this his
    Nephew's purpose; and we here dispatch
    Young good Cornelia, and you, Voltemar,
    For bearers of these greetings to old
    Norway, giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the King
    Than those related articles do show.
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
    In this and all things will we show our duty.
    We doubt nothing. Heartily farewell.
    [Exeunt Cornelia and Voltemar.]
    And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
    You said you had a suit. What is't, Laertes?
    My gracious lord, your favorable license,
    231.1Now that the funeral rites are all performed,
    I may have leave to go again to France;
    232.1For though the favor of your grace might stay me,
    Yet something is there whispers in my heart
    Which makes my mind and spirits bend all for France.
    Have you your father's leave, Laertes?
    He hath, my lord, wrung from me a forced grant,
    And I beseech you grant your highness'leave.
    With all our heart, Laertes, fare thee well.
    I in all love and duty take my leave.
    And now, princely son Hamlet,
    What means these sad and melancholy moods?
    For your intent going to Wittenberg,
    We hold it most unmeet and unconvenient,
    296.1Being the joy and half heart of your mother.
    Therefore let me entreat you stay in court,
    All Denmark's hope, our cousin and dearest son.
    My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear,
    No, nor the tears that still stand in my eyes,
    Nor the distracted havior in the visage,
    Nor all together mixed with outward semblance,
    263.1Is equal to the sorrow of my heart.
    Him have I lost I must of force forgo;
    These but the ornaments and suits of woe.
    This shows a loving care in you, son Hamlet,
    But you must think your father lost a father,
    That father dead, lost his, and so shall be until the
    272.1General ending. Therefore cease laments.
    It is a fault 'gainst heaven, fault 'gainst the dead,
    A fault 'gainst nature, and in reason's
    Common course most certain,
    None lives on earth but he is born to die.
    Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet.
    Stay here with us, go not to Wittenberg.
    I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
    Spoke like a kind and a most loving son;
    And there's no health the King shall drink today
    But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell
    310The rouse the King shall drink unto Prince Hamlet.
    Exeunt all but Hamlet.
    Oh, that this too much grieved and sallied flesh
    Would melt to nothing, or that the universal
    313.1Globe of heaven would turn all to a chaos!
    O God, within two months; no not two: married
    330Mine uncle! Oh, let me not think of it,
    My father's brother, but no more like
    My father than I to Hercules.
    Within two months, ere yet the salt of most
    Unrighteous tears had left their flushing
    In her gallèd eyes, she married. O God, a beast
    Devoid of reason would not have made
    Such speed! Frailty, thy name is Woman.
    Why, she would hang on him as if increase
    Of appetite had grown by what it looked on.
    340Oh, wicked, wicked speed, to make such
    Dexterity to incestuous sheets,
    Ere yet the shoes were old,
    The which she followed my dead father's corse
    Like Niobe, all tears: married. Well, it is not,
    Nor it cannot come to good;
    But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus [and Barnardo].
    Health to your lordship!
    I am very glad to see you, Horatio, or I much
    Forget myself.
    The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
    O my good friend, I change that name with you.
    But what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
    [To Marcellus.] Marcellus.
    My good lord.
    I am very glad to see you. Good even, sirs.
    [To Horatio] But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.
    A truant disposition, my good lord.
    Nor shall you make me truster
    360Of your own report against yourself.
    Sir, I know you are no truant.
    But what is your affair in Elsinor?
    My good lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
    Oh, I prithee do not mock me, fellow student,
    I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
    Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
    Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
    370Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
    Ere ever I had seen that day, Horatio.
    O my father, my father! Methinks I see my father.
    Where, my lord?
    Why, in my mind's eye, Horatio.
    I saw him once, he was a gallant king.
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
    My lord, I think I saw him yesternight,
    Saw, who?
    My lord, the King your father.
    Ha, ha, the King my father, kee you?
    Ceasen your admiration for a while
    With an attentive ear, till I may deliver,
    Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
    385This wonder to you.
    For God's love, let me hear it.
    Two nights together had these gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,
    In the dead vast and middle of the night.
    390Been thus encountered by a figure like your father,
    Armed to point, exactly cap-à-pie,
    Appears before them thrice, he walks
    Before their weak and fear-oppressèd eyes
    395Within his truncheon's length,
    While they, distilled almost to jelly
    With the act of fear, stands dumb
    And speak not to him. This to me
    In dreadful secrecy impart they did.
    And I with them the third night kept the watch,
    400Where as they had delivered form of the thing.
    Each part made true and good,
    The apparition comes. I knew your father,
    These hands are not more like.
    'Tis very strange.
    As I do live, my honored lord, 'tis true,
    And we did think it right done
    In our duty to let you know it.
    Where was this?
    My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
    Did you not speak to it?
    My lord, we did, but answer made it none.
    Yet once methought it was about to speak,
    And lifted up his head to motion,
    410Like as he would speak, but even then
    The morning cock crew loud, and in all haste
    It shrunk in haste away, and vanished
    Our sight.
    Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
    Hold you the watch tonight?
    We do, my lord.
    Armed, say ye?
    Armed, my good lord.
    From top to toe?
    My good lord, from head to foot.
    Why then saw you not his face?
    Oh, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up.
    How looked he, frowningly?
    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
    Pale, or red?
    Nay, very pale.
    And fixed his eyes upon you?
    Most constantly.
    I would I had been there.
    It would 'a' much amazed you.
    Yea, very like, very like. Stayed it long?
    While one with moderate pace
    Might tell a hundred.
    Oh, longer, longer.
    His beard was grizzled, no?
    It was as I have seen it in his life,
    A sable silver.
    I will watch tonight. Perchance 'twill walk again.
    I warrant it will.
    If it assume my noble father's person,
    445I'll speak to it, if hell itself should gape
    And bid me hold my peace. Gentlemen,
    If you have hither concealed this sight,
    Let it be tenable in your silence still,
    And whatsoever else shall chance tonight,
    450Give it an understanding but no tongue.
    I will requite your loves. So fare you well.
    Upon the platform 'twixt eleven and twelve
    I'll visit you.
    Our duties to your honor.
    Exeunt [all but Hamlet].
    Oh, your loves, your loves, as mine to you.
    Farewell.--My father's spirit in arms!
    Well, all's not well. I doubt some foul play.
    Would the night were come!
    Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
    Though all the world o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.