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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet
    His greatnes wayd, his will is not his owne,
    He may not as vnualewed persons doe,
    Carue for himselfe, for on his choise depends
    The safty and health of this whole state,
    485 And therefore mu st his choise be circumscribd
    Vnto the voyce and yeelding of that body
    Whereof he is the head, then if he saies he loues you,
    It fits your wisdome so farre to belieue it
    As he in his particuler act and place
    490 May giue his saying deede, which is no further
    Then the maine voyce of Denmarke goes withall.
    Then way what lo s s e your honor may su staine
    If with too credent eare you li st his songs
    Or loose your hart, or your cha st treasure open
    495 To his vnma stred importunity.
    Feare it Ophelia, feare it my deare si ster,
    And keepe you in the reare of your affection
    Out of the shot and danger of de sire,
    "The charie st maide is prodigall inough
    500 If she vnmaske her butie to the Moone
    "Vertue it selfe scapes not calumnious strokes
    "The canker gaules the infants of the spring
    Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd,
    And in the morne and liquid dewe of youth
    505 Contagious bla stments are mo st iminent,
    Be wary then, be st safety lies in feare,
    Youth to it selfe rebels, though non els neare.
    Ophe. I shall the effect of this good le s s on keepe
    As watchman to my hart, but good my brother
    510 Doe not as some vngracious pa stors doe,
    Showe me the stepe and thorny way to heauen
    Whiles a puft, and reckles libertine
    Himselfe the primrose path of dalience treads.
    And reakes not his owne reed. Enter Polonius.
    515 Laer. O feare me not,
    I stay too long, but heere my father comes
    A double ble s sing, is a double grace,
    Occa sion smiles vpon a second leaue.
    520 Pol. Yet heere Laertes? a bord, a bord for shame,
    The