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.
Yet his ear easily receives the poisoned "tongue" of his wife and the witches, their poisoned words, just as Hamlet's father, the old King of Denmark, was murdered by the poison ("a leprous distilment
," 1.5.63) poured into the "porches" of his ear by his evil, deceptive brother.
Claudius precipitates the play's all-encompassing crisis when he pours his "leprous distilment
" into the sacred body of King Hamlet, rendering that body "most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust" (1.5.64, 72).
Sleeping within my orchard, My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, With juice of cursed hebona in a vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour The leprous 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 vigor it doth [posset] And curd, like eager droppings into milk, The thin and wholesome blood.
He reports how Claudius "in the porches of my ears did pour/Theleperous distilment
, whose effect/Holds such an enmity with the blood of man/ That swift as quicksilver it courses through/The natural gates and alleys of the body/
In terms of divine government, the basic principle is providence or God himself, while the means for execution or "execution of the design" is God's distilment
of goodness, order, or knowledge to his creation and, in some cases, the ability for aspects of his creation (e.g., human beings) to distill knowledge unto others.
Significantly, the ghost itself, in language echoing Hamlet's own, repeatedly references corrupt and corrupting bodies--the "garbage" (1.5.42) of Claudius's body preyed upon by Gertrude's lust, the "leprous distilment
" (64) of the poison that renders the living body of the King "lazar-like," barked about "with vile and loathsome crust" (72).