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That beetles o'er his base into the sea ? (88)
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? think of it:
[The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.(90)]
It wafts me still :Go on, I'll follow thee.
MAR. You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Hor. Be rul’d, you shall not go.
My fate cries out, And makes each petty artery in this body As hardy as the Némean lion's nerve.
[Ghost beckons, Still am I call'd ;-unhand me, gentlemen ;
[Breaking from them. By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets *
me:I say, away :-Go on, I'll follow thee.
[Ereunt Ghost and HAMLET. Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination. MAR. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him. Hor. Have after:-To what issue will this
come? MAR. Something is rotten in the state of Den
mark. Hor. Heaven will direct it. MAR.
Nay, let's follow him.
lets] Obstructs. • Have after] Take, or betake yourself, after! follow!
Heaven will direct it] “ The state of Denmark,” to health and soundness.
A more remote Part of the Platform.
Re-enter Ghost and HAMLET.
HAM. Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak, I'll
GHOST. Mark me.
My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself. HAM.
Alas, poor ghost ! Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold. HAM.
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; Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night; And, for the day, confin’d to fast in fire, (2) Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature, Are burnt and purg'd away. (93) But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison-house, I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul;" freeze thy young
blood; Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,"
• harrow up thy soul] Agitate and convulse. See I. 1. Horat. hair to stand on end] A common image of that day. “ Standing as frighted with erected haire.”
Drayton's Moses his Birth, B. II. 4to. 1633.
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood: (95) — List, list, O 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 meditation, or the thoughts of love, (96)
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, (97)
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 abus’d: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.
#Am. O, my prophetick soul! my uncle ! GHOST. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, (O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power So to seduce !) won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen:
0, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity,
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
orchard] Garden. See Jul. Cæs. II. Orchard the scene. forged process] Report of proceedings.
Upon a wretch," whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!
But virtue, as it never will be mov'd,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven;
Șo lust, though to a radiant angel link’d,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage."
But, soft! methinks, I scent the morning air ;
Brief let me be :-Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon (100) 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 : so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatch'd :d
Cut off even in the blossoms of
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unaneld ; (101)
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head :
O, horrible! o, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxuryo and damned incest.
• Decline upon a wretch] With degradation stoop to. See Tr. & Cr. IV. 5, Nestor.
* eager droppings into milk] Acid. See “ eager air,” Sc. 4.
luxury] Lasciviousness. See Tr. & Cr. V. 2. Thersit.
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 prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire: (102)
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me. [Exit.
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What
And shall I couple hell ?-0 fye!*— Hold, hold,
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?
Yea, from the tablet of my memory (103)
I'll wipe away 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
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter : yes, by heaven.
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain !
My tables,-meet it is, I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ;
At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark :
[Writing. So, uncle, there you are,
Now to my word; (104) • Adew, It is, Adieu, adieu ! * remember me. Atos. adue, I have sworn't. 1623, 32.
Hor. [Within] My lord, my lord,-
Mar. [Within] Lord Hamlet,
And shall I couple hell?-O fye] Mend thy thought! stain not thy mind with an association so unfit and unworthy.
saws of books) Maxims, sayings. See song at end of L.LL. pressures past,] Impressions heretofore made.