Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Prince of Denmarke.
Each small annexment petty consequence
2295Attends the boystrous raine, neuer alone
Did the King sigh, but a generall grone.
King. Arme you I pray you to this speedy viage,
For we will fetters put about this feare
Which now goes too free-footed.
2300Ros. We will hast vs.
Exeunt Gent.

Enter Polonius.
Pol. My Lord, hee's going to his mothers closet,
Behind the Arras I'le conuay my selfe
To heare the processe, I'le warrant shee'letax him home,
2305And as you sayd, and wisely was it sayd,
Tis meete that some more audience then a mother,
Since nature makes them parciall, should ore-heare
The speech of vantage; farre you well my Leige,
I'le call vpon you ere you goe to bed.
2310And tell you what I knowe.
Exit.
King. Thankes deere my Lord.
O my offence is ranck, it smels to heauen,
It hath the primall eldest curse vppont,
A brothers murther, pray can I not,
2315Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong entent,
And like a man to double bussines bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first beginne,
And both neglect, what if this cursed hand
2320Were thicker then it selfe with brothers blood,
Is there not raine enough in the sweete Heauens
To wash it white as snowe, whereto serues mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer but this two fold force,
2325To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon being downe, then I'le looke vp.
My fault is past, but oh what forme of prayer
Can serue my turne, forgiue me my foule murther,
That cannot be since I am still possest
2330Of those effects for which I did the murther;
My Crowne, mine owne ambition, and my Queene;
I.
May