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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Prince of Denmarke.
    Gho st . I that ince stuous, that adulterate bea st,
    730 With witchcraft of his wits, with trayterous gifts,
    O wicked wit, and giftes that haue the power
    So to seduce; wonne to his shamefull lu st
    The will of my mo st seeming vertuous Queene;
    O Hamlet, what falling off was there
    735 From me whose loue was of that dignitie
    That it went hand in hand, euen with the vowe
    I made to her in marriage, and to decline
    Vppon a wretch whose naturall gifts were poore,
    To those of mine; but vertue as it neuer will be mooued,
    740 Though lewdne s s e court it in a shape of heauen
    So but though to a radiant Angle linckt,
    Will sort it selfe in a cele stiall bed
    And pray on garbage.
    But soft, me thinkes I sent the morning ayre,
    Briefe let me be; sleeping within my Orchard,
    745 My cu stome alwayes of the afternoone,
    Vpon my secure houre, thy Vncle stole
    With iuyce of cursed Hebona in a viall,
    And in the porches of my eares did poure
    The leaprous di stilment, whose effect
    750 Holds such an enmitie with blood of man,
    That swift as quick siluer it courses through
    The naturall gates and allies of the body,
    And with a sodaine vigour it doth po s s e s s e
    And curde like eager droppings into milke,
    755 The thin and wholsome blood; so did it mine,
    And a mo st in stant tetter barckt about
    Mo st Lazerlike with vile and lothsome cru st
    All my smooth body.
    Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand,
    760 Of life, of Crowne, of Queene at once dispatcht,
    Cut off euen in the blo s s omes of my sinne,
    Vnhuzled, disappointed, vnanueld,
    No reckning made, but sent to my account
    Withall my imperfections on my head,
    765 O horrible, ô horrible, mo st horrible.
    If thou ha st nature in thee beare it not,