Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)

[Scene 6]
Enter Corambis and Montano.
Montano, here, these letters to my son,
And this same money with my blessing to him,
And bid him ply his learning, good Montano.
I will, my lord.
You shall do very well, Montano, to say thus:
905"I knew the gentleman," or "know his father,"
To inquire the manner of his life,
898.1As thus; being amongst his acquaintance,
You may say, you saw him at such a time, mark you me,
At game, or drinking, swearing, or drabbing,
You may go so far.
My lord, that will impeach his reputation.
I'faith, not a whit, no, not a whit.
Now happily he closeth with you in the consequence,
As you may bridle it, not disparage him a jot.
What was I about to say?
He closeth with him in the consequence.
Ay, you say right, he closeth with him thus,
This will he say--let me see what he will say--
Marry, this: "I saw him yesterday," or "t'other day,"
950Or "then," or "at such time," "a-dicing,"
Or "at tennis," ay, or "drinking drunk," or "ent'ring
Of a house of lightness," viz. brothel.
Thus, sir, do we that know the world, being men of reach,
By indirections find directions forth,
And so shall you my son. You ha' me, ha' you not?
I have, my lord.
Well, fare you well. Commend me to him.
I will, my lord.
And bid him ply his music.
My lord, I will.
Enter Ofelia.
Farewell.--How now, Ofelia, what's the news with you?
O my dear father, such a change in nature,
971.1So great an alteration in a prince,
So pitiful to him, fearful to me,
978.1A maiden's eye ne'er lookèd on!
Why, what's the matter, my Ofelia?
Oh, young Prince Hamlet, the only flower of Denmark,
974.1He is bereft of all the wealth he had!
The jewel that adorned his feature most
Is filched and stol'n away: his wit's bereft him.
He found me walking in the gallery all alone.
There comes he to me, with a distracted look,
His garters lagging down, his shoes untied,
And fixed his eyes so steadfast on my face
987.1As if they had vowed this is their latest object.
Small while he stood, but grips me by the wrist,
984.1And there he holds my pulse till, with a sigh,
He doth unclasp his hold and parts away
993.1Silent as is the mid time of the night.
And as he went, his eye was still on me,
For thus his head over his shoulder looked.
995He seemed to find the way without his eyes,
For out of doors he went without their help,
996.1And so did leave me.
Mad for thy love.
What, have you given him any cross words of late?
I did repel his letters, deny his gifts,
1005As you did charge me.
Why, that hath made him mad.
By heav'n, 'tis as proper for our age to cast
Beyond ourselves as 'tis for the younger sort
To leave their wantonness. Well, I am sorry
That I was so rash. But what remedy?
1015Let's to the King. This madness may prove,
Though wild awhile, yet more true to thy love.