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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Each small annexment petty consequence
    2295Attends the boystrous raine, neuer alone
    Did the King sigh, but a generall grone.
    King. Arme you I pray you to this speedy viage,
    For we will fetters put about this feare
    Which now goes too free-footed.
    2300Ros. We will hast vs. Exeunt Gent.

    Enter Polonius.
    Pol. My Lord, hee's going to his mothers closet,
    Behind the Arras I'le conuay my selfe
    To heare the processe, I'le warrant shee'letax him home,
    2305And as you sayd, and wisely was it sayd,
    Tis meete that some more audience then a mother,
    Since nature makes them parciall, should ore-heare
    The speech of vantage; farre you well my Leige,
    I'le call vpon you ere you goe to bed.
    2310And tell you what I knowe. Exit.
    King. Thankes deere my Lord.
    O my offence is ranck, it smels to heauen,
    It hath the primall eldest curse vppont,
    A brothers murther, pray can I not,
    2315Though inclination be as sharp as will,
    My stronger guilt defeats my strong entent,
    And like a man to double bussines bound,
    I stand in pause where I shall first beginne,
    And both neglect, what if this cursed hand
    2320Were thicker then it selfe with brothers blood,
    Is there not raine enough in the sweete Heauens
    To wash it white as snowe, whereto serues mercy
    But to confront the visage of offence?
    And what's in prayer but this two fold force,
    2325To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
    Or pardon being downe, then I'le looke vp.
    My fault is past, but oh what forme of prayer
    Can serue my turne, forgiue me my foule murther,
    That cannot be since I am still possest
    2330Of those effects for which I did the murther;
    My Crowne, mine owne ambition, and my Queene;