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Sleeping within mine orchard,

my custom always in the afternoon,

upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,

with juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,

and in the porches of mine ears did pour

the leperous distilment, whose effect

holds such an enmity with blood of man

that swift as quicksilver it courses through

the natural gates and alleys of the body,

and with a sudden vigour it doth posset

and curd, like eager droppings into milk,

the thin and wholesome blood.


(Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, 5, vv.59-69)