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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    No trauiler returnes, puzzels the will,
    1735And makes vs rather beare those ills we haue,
    Then flie to others that we know not of.
    Thus conscience dooes make cowards,
    And thus the natiue hiew of resolution
    Is sickled ore with the pale cast of thought,
    1740And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
    With this regard theyr currents turne awry,
    And loose the name of action. Soft you now,
    The faire Ophelia, Nimph in thy orizons
    Be all my sinnes remembred.
    1745Oph. Good my Lord,
    How dooes your honour for this many a day?
    Ham. I humbly thanke you well.
    Oph. My Lord, I haue remembrances of yours
    That I haue longed long to redeliuer,
    1750I pray you now receiue them.
    Ham. No, not I, I neuer gaue you ought.
    Oph. My honor'd Lord, you know right well you did,
    And with them words of so sweet breath composd
    As made these things more rich, their perfume lost,
    1755Take these againe, for to the noble mind
    Rich gifts wax poore when giuers prooue vnkind,
    There my Lord.
    Ham. Ha, ha, are you honest.
    Oph. My Lord.
    1760Ham. Are you faire?
    Oph. What meanes your Lordship?
    Ham. That if you be honest & faire, you should admit
    no discourse to your beautie.
    Oph. Could beauty my Lord haue better comerse
    1765Then with honestie?
    Ham. I truly, for the power of beautie will sooner transforme ho-
    nestie from what it is to a bawde, then the force of honestie can trans-
    late beautie into his likenes, this was sometime a paradox, but now the
    time giues it proofe, I did loue you once.
    Oph. Indeed my Lord you made me belieue so.
    Ham. You should not haue beleeu'd me, for vertue cannot so
    euocutat our old stock, but we shall relish of it, I loued you not.