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I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape,'
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto concealed this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still ;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue :
I will requite your loves. So, fare you well :
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,

I'll visit you.

All. Our duty to your honor.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell.

My father's spirit in arms! all is not well ;
I doubt some foul play : 'would, the night were come !
Till then, sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men's eyes.




AMLET. The air bites shrewdly ; it is very cold.

Horatio. It is a nipping and an eager air.

Ham. What hour now?

I think, it lacks of twelve.
Mar. No, it is struck.

Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; then it draws near the season, Wherein the spirit held his wont’ to walk.

[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within. What does this mean, my lord ?

Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse,'
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
The kěttle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.

Is it a custom ?
Ham. Ay, marry, is't;
Gape, (gåp).

• Rouse, (rouz), a carousal ; a fes, Wont, (wŭnt), custom ; habit. tival; a drinking frolic.



But to my mind,—though I am native here,
And to the manner born,-it is a custom
More honored in the breach, than the observance.

Enter GHOST.
Hor. Look, my lord, it comes !

Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned, Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked, or charitable, Thou com’st in such a questionable shape, That I will speak to thee ; I'll call thee Hamlet, King, father, royal Dane : 0, answer me : Let me not burst in ingorance! but tell, Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, Have burst their cēre'ments! why the sepulcher Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urned, Hath õped his ponderous and marble jaws, To cast thee up again! What may


That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature,
So horribly to shake our disposition,
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls ?
Say why is this? wherefore? what should we do?

Hor. It beckons you to go ăway with it,
As if it some impartment did desire

Mar. Look, with what courteous' action
It waves you to a more removed ground;
But do not go with it.

No, by no means.
Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Hor. Do not, my lord.

Why, what should be the fear ?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee ;
And, for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again ;—I'll follow it.

i Corteous, (kêrt' e ůs), of court-like or elegant and condescending manners; well-bred ; complaisant.

Hor. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
That beetles o'er his base into the sea ?
And there assume some other horrible form,
And draw you into mădnèss ?

It waves me still :-
Go on, I'll follow thee.

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.

Hold off your hands. .
Hor. Be ruled, you shall not go.

My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nē'mean lion's nerve. [Ghost beckons.
Still am I called ;--unhand me, gentlemen :

[Breaking from them. By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me :I say, ăway!-Go on, I'll follow thee.

[Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET, followed


Re-enter Ghost and HAMLET. Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak, I'll go no further. Ghost. Mark me. Ham.

I will.

My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.

Alas, poor ghost !
Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.

Speak, I am bound to hear.
Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
Ham. What?

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit;
Doomed for a certain term to walk the night,
And, for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word

Lěts, retards ; hinders.

Would hărrow up thy soul ; freeze thy young blood;
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres ;
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine :
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood :-List,-list,-0 list!-
If thou didst ever thy dear father love,

Ham. O heaven!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Ham. Murder?

Ghost. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural,

Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.

I find thee apt;
And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe' wharf,
Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear :
'Tis given out, that sleeping in mine orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

Ham. O, my prophetic soul! my uncle !

With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,
He won to his shameful love
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen :
O, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity,
That it went hand and hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage ; and to decline

1 Lē' the, a river of Africa, water- cause the name signifies oblivion, ing the city of Berenice, which, be was feigned to cause forgetfulness cause it runs many miles under of all that was past to those who ground, was fabled by the poets to drank of its waters ; oblivion; forbe one of the rivers of hell, and be- getfulness.

Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!-
But, soft! methinks, I scent the morning air ;
Brief let me be Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursèd hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distillment; whose effect
Holds such an emnity 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 : so did it mine ;
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatched :
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.

Ham. O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!

Ghost. If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught : leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To goad and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire :
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me.

Ham. Hold, hold, my heart :
And you my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up!-Remember thee !
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yeā, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe ăway all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live


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