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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    May one be pardond and retaine th'offence?
    In the corrupted currents of this world,
    Offences guilded hand may showe by iu stice,
    2335 And oft tis seene the wicked prize it selfe
    Buyes out the lawe, but tis not so aboue,
    There is no shufling, there the action lies
    In his true nature, and we our selues compeld
    Euen to the teeth and forhead of our faults
    2340 To giue in euidence, what then, what re sts,
    Try what repentance can, what can it not,
    Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
    O wretched state, ô bosome blacke as death,
    O limed soule, that struggling to be free,
    2345 Art more ingaged; helpe Angels make a s s ay,
    Bowe stubborne knees, and hart with strings of steale,
    Be soft as sinnewes of the new borne babe,
    All may be well.

    Enter Hamlet.
    2350 Ham. Now might I doe it, but now a is a praying,
    And now Ile doo't, and so a goes to heauen,
    And so am I reuendge, that would be scand
    A villaine kills my father, and for that,
    I his sole sonne, doe this same villaine send
    2355 To heauen.
    2355 Why, this is base and silly, not reuendge,
    A tooke my father gro sly full of bread,
    Withall his crimes braod blowne, as flu sh as May,
    And how his audit stands who knowes saue heauen,
    But in our circum stance and course of thought,
    2360 Tis heauy with him: and am I then reuendged
    To take him in the purging of his soule,
    When he is fit and seasond for his pa s s age?
    Vp sword, and knowe thou a more horrid hent,
    When he is drunke, a sleepe, or in his rage,
    2365 Or in th'ince stious pleasure of his bed,
    At game a swearing, or about some act
    That has no reli sh of saluation in't,