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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    they much too light for the bord of the matter, these good fellowes
    will bring thee where I am, Rosencraus and Guyldensterne hold theyr
    course for England, of them I haue much to tell thee, farewell.
    So that thou knowest thine Hamlet.

    Hor. Come I will you way for these your letters,
    And doo't the speedier that you may direct me
    3005To him from whom you brought them.

    Enter King and Laertes.
    King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seale,
    And you must put me in your hart for friend,
    Sith you haue heard and with a knowing eare,
    3010That he which hath your noble father slaine
    Pursued my life.
    Laer. It well appeares: but tell mee
    Why you proceede not against these feates
    So criminall and so capitall in nature,
    3015As by your safetie, greatnes, wisdome, all things els
    You mainely were stirr'd vp.
    King. O for two speciall reasons
    Which may to you perhaps seeme much vnsinnow'd,
    But yet to mee tha'r strong, the Queene his mother
    3020Liues almost by his lookes, and for my selfe,
    My vertue or my plague, be it eyther which,
    She is so concliue to my life and soule,
    That as the starre mooues not but in his sphere
    I could not but by her, the other motiue,
    3025Why to a publique count I might not goe,
    Is the great loue the generall gender beare him,
    Who dipping all his faults in theyr affection,
    Worke like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
    Conuert his Giues to graces, so that my arrowes
    3030Too slightly tymberd for so loued Arm'd,
    Would haue reuerted to my bowe againe,
    But not where I haue aym'd them.
    Laer. And so haue I a noble father lost,
    A sister driuen into desprat termes,
    3035Whose worth, if prayses may goe backe againe