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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    My Liege and Maddam, to expo stulate
    What maie stie should be, what dutie is,
    1115 Why day is day, night, night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to wa st night, day, and time,
    Therefore breuitie is the soule of wit,
    And tediousnes the lymmes and outward flori shes,
    I will be briefe, your noble sonne is mad:
    1120 Mad call I it, for to define true madnes,
    What i st but to be nothing els but mad,
    But let that goe.
    Quee. More matter with le s s e art.
    Pol. Maddam, I sweare I vse no art at all,
    1125 That hee's mad tis true, tis true, tis pitty,
    And pitty tis tis true, a fooli sh figure,
    But farewell it, for I will vse no art.
    Mad let vs graunt him then, and now remaines
    That we find out the cause of this effect,
    1130 Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
    For this effect defectiue comes by cause:
    Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus
    I haue a daughter, haue while she is mine,
    Who in her dutie and obedience, marke,
    1135 Hath giuen me this, now gather and surmise,
    To the Cele stiall and my soules Idoll, the mo st beau -
    tified Ophelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase,
    beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in
    1140 her excellent white bosome, these &c.
    Quee. Came this from Hamlet to her?
    Pol. Good Maddam stay awhile, I will be faithfull,
    Doubt thou the starres are fire, Letter.
    1145 Doubt that the Sunne doth moue,
    Doubt truth to be a lyer,
    But neuer doubt I loue.
    O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to recken
    my grones, but that I loue thee be st, ô mo st be st belieue it, adew.
    Thine euermore mo st deere Lady, whil st this machine is to him. (Hamlet.
    Pol. This in obedience hath my daughter showne me,
    And more about hath his solicitings