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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    May one be pardond and retaine th'offence?
    In the corrupted currents of this world,
    Offences guilded hand may showe by iustice,
    2335And 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
    2340To giue in euidence, what then, what rests,
    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,
    2345Art more ingaged; helpe Angels make assay,
    Bowe stubborne knees, and hart with strings of steale,
    Be soft as sinnewes of the new borne babe,
    All may be well.

    Enter Hamlet.
    2350Ham. 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
    2355To heauen.
    Why, this is base and silly, not reuendge,
    A tooke my father grosly full of bread,
    Withall his crimes braod blowne, as flush as May,
    And how his audit stands who knowes saue heauen,
    But in our circumstance and course of thought,
    2360Tis 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 passage?
    Vp sword, and knowe thou a more horrid hent,
    When he is drunke, a sleepe, or in his rage,
    2365Or in th'incestious pleasure of his bed,
    At game a swearing, or about some act
    That has no relish of saluation in't,