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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter King, and Queen, with Rosencrantz 2586.1and Guildenstern.
    There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves.
    You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
    2590Where is your son?
    [To Rosencrantz and Guildenstern] Bestow this place on us a little while.
    [Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
    Ah, mine own lord, what have I seen tonight!
    What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
    Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
    Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
    2595Behind the arras hearing something stir,
    Whips out his rapier, cries, "A rat, a rat!"
    And in this brainish apprehension kills
    The unseen good old man.
    Oh, heavy deed!
    2600It had been so with us had we been there.
    His liberty is full of threats to all--
    To you yourself, to us, to everyone.
    Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?
    It will be laid to us, whose providence
    2605Should have kept short, restrained, and out of haunt
    This mad young man. But so much was our love,
    We would not understand what was most fit,
    But like the owner of a foul disease,
    To keep it from divulging, let it feed
    2610Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?
    To draw apart the body he hath killed,
    O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
    Among a mineral of metals base,
    Shows itself pure: 'a weeps for what is done.
    Oh, Gertrude, come away!
    The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch
    But we will ship him hence, and this vile deed
    We must with all our majesty and skill
    Both countenance and excuse.--Ho, Guildenstern!
    Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
    Friends both, go join you with some further aid.
    Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
    And from his mother's closet hath he dragged him.
    Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body
    2625Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.
    [Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
    Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends
    And let them know both what we mean to do
    And what's untimely done. [ ]
    2628.1Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
    As level as the cannon to his blank,
    Transports his poisoned shot, may miss our name
    And hit the woundless air. Oh, come away!
    My soul is full of discord and dismay.