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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Ham. Why looke you there, looke how it steales away,
    My father in his habit as he liued,
    Looke where he goes, euen now out at the portall. Exit Ghost.
    2520Ger. This is the very coynage of your braine,
    This bodilesse creation extacie is very cunning in.
    Ham. My pulse as yours doth temperatly keepe time,
    And makes as healthfull musicke, it is not madnesse
    2525That I haue vttred, bring me to the test,
    And the matter will reword, which madnesse
    Would gambole from, mother for loue of grace,
    Lay not that flattering vnction to your soule
    That not your trespasse but my madnesse speakes,
    2530It will but skin and filme the vlcerous place
    Whiles ranck corruption mining all within
    Infects vnseene, confesse your selfe to heauen,
    Repent what's past, auoyd what is to come,
    And doe not spread the compost on the weedes
    2535To make them rancker, forgiue me this my vertue,
    For in the fatnesse of these pursie times
    Vertue it selfe of vice must pardon beg,
    Yea curbe and wooe for leaue to doe him good.
    Ger. O Hamlet thou hast cleft my hart in twaine.
    Ham. O throwe away the worser part of it,
    And leaue the purer with the other halfe,
    Good night, but goe not to my Vncles bed,
    Assune a vertue if you haue it not,
    2544.1That monster custome, who all sence doth eate
    Of habits deuill, is angell yet in this
    That to the vse of actions faire and good,
    He likewise giues a frock or Liuery
    2544.5That aptly is put on to refraine night,
    2545And that shall lend a kind of easines
    To the next abstinence, the next more easie:
    2546.1For vse almost can change the stamp of nature,
    And either the deuill, or throwe him out
    With wonderous potency: once more good night,
    And when you are desirous to be blest,
    Ile blessing beg of you, for this same Lord
    I doe repent; but heauen hath pleasd it so