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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    2270.1 [Scene 10]
    Enter the King.
    King
    Oh, that this wet that falls upon my face
    Would wash the crime clear from my conscience!
    When I look up to heaven, I see my trespass;
    2326.1 The earth doth still cry out upon my fact.
    Pay me the murder of a brother and a king,
    2314.1 And the adulterous fault I have committed:
    Oh, these are sins that are unpardonable!
    2329.1 Why, say thy sins were blacker than is jet,
    Yet may contrition make them as white as snow.
    Ay, but still to persever in a sin,
    2329.1 It is an act 'gainst the universal power.
    Most wretched man, stoop, bend thee to thy prayer,
    2345 Ask grace of heaven to keep thee from despair.
    He kneels.
    Enters Hamlet.
    2350 Hamlet
    [Drawing his sword.] Ay so. Come forth and work thy last.
    And thus he dies; and so am I revenged.
    No, not so. He took my father sleeping, his sins brim full.
    And how his soul stood to the state of heaven,
    Who knows, save the immortal powers?
    2360 And shall I kill him now,
    When he is purging of his soul,
    2355 Making his way for heaven? This is a benefit,
    2355 And not revenge. No, get thee up again.
    [He sheathes his sword.]
    When he's at game, swearing, taking his carouse, drinking drunk,
    2365 Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed,
    Or at some act that hath no relish
    Of salvation in't, then trip him,
    That his heels may kick at heaven
    And fall as low as hell. My mother stays.
    This physic but prolongs thy weary days.
    Exit Hamlet.
    King
    My words fly up, my sins remain below.
    2372.1 No King on earth is safe, if God's his foe.
    Exit King.