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It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you;
For your desire to know what is between us,
O'er-master it as you may. And now, good friends,
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,

Give me one poor request.


We will.

What is't, my lord?

Ham. Never make known what you have seen to

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Ham. Upon my sword.


We have sworn, my lord, already.

Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, true-penny?

Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage,Consent to swear.


Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Hic & ubique? then we'll shift our ground:

Come hither, gentlemen,

And lay your hands again upon my sword:

Swear by my sword,

Never to speak of this that you have heard.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear by his sword.

Ham. Well said, old mole! can'st work i'the earth so fast?

A worthy pioneer!-Once more remove, good friends.

Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous


Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

But come;

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy !
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet
To put an antick disposition on,-

That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,

As, Well, well, we know;-or, We could, an if we would;-or, If we list to speak;-or, There be, an if they might;

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note

That you know aught of me:-This do you swear,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you!
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,

9 Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!] The skill displayed in Shakspeare's management of his Ghost, is too considerable to be overlooked. He has rivetted our attention to it by a succession of forcible circumstances:-by the previous report of the terrified centinels, by the solemnity of the hour at which the phantom walks,

by its martial stride and discriminating armour, visible only per incertam lunam, by the glimpses of the moon,-by its long taciturnity,-by its preparation to speak, when interrupted by the morning cock,-by its mysterious reserve throughout its first scene with Hamlet,-by his resolute departure with it, and the subsequent anxiety of his attendants,-by its conducting him to a solitary angle of the platform,-by its voice from beneath the earth,-and by its unexpected burst on us in the closet.

Hamlet's late interview with the spectre, must in particular be regarded as a stroke of dramatick, artifice. The phantom might have told his story in the presence of the Officers and Horatio, and yet have rendered itself as inaudible to them, as afterwards to the Queen. But suspense was our poet's object; and never was it more effectually created, than in the present instance. Six times

With all my love I do commend me to you:
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is

May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

The time is out of joint;-O cursed spite!
That ever I was born to set it right!

Nay, come, let's

go together.



SCENE I. A Room in Polonius's House.


Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo.

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Rey


Before you visit him, to make inquiry

Of his behaviour.


My lord, I did intend it.

has the royal semblance appeared, but till now has been withheld from speaking. For this event we have waited with impatient curiosity, unaccompanied by lassitude, or remitted attention.

The Ghost in this tragedy, is allowed to be the genuine product of Shakspeare's strong imagination. When he afterwards avails himself of traditional phantoms, as in Julius Caesar, and King Richard III. they are but inefficacious pageants; nay, the apparition of Banquo is a mute exhibitor. Perhaps our poet despaired to equal the vigour of his early conceptions on the subject of preternatural beings, and therefore allotted them no further eminence in his dramas; or was unwilling to diminish the power of his principal shade, by an injudicious repetition of congenial images. STEEVENS.

Pol. Marry, well said: very well said. Look you, sir,

Inquire me first what Danskers' are in Paris;

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,

What company, at what expence; and finding,
By this encompassment and drift of question,
That they do know my son, come you more nearer
Than your particular demands will touch it:

Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
As thus, I know his father, and his friends,

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And, in part, him ;-Do you mark this, Reynaldo? Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.

Pol. And, in part, him ;—but, you may say, not


But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
Addicted so and so;-and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
As may dishonour him; take heed of that;
But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips,
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.


As gaming, my lord.
Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quar-


Drabbing:-You may go so far

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.

Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the


You must not put another scandal on him,2
That he is open to incontinency;


That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly,

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Danskers-] Danske is the ancient name of Denmark. another scandal-] i. e. a very different and more scandalous failing, namely habitual incontinency.

That's not my meaning:] That is not what I mean when I permit you to accuse him of drabbing.

That they may seem the taints of liberty:
The flash and out-break of a fiery mind;
A savageness* in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault."

But, my good lord,

Pol. Wherefore should you do this?



I would know that.


Ay, my lord,

Marry, sir, here's my drift;

And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'the working,
Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breathe of, guilty, be assur'd,
He closes with you in this consequence;
Good sir, or so; or friend, or gentleman,—
According to the phrase, or the addition,
Of man, and country.


Very good, my lord.

Pol. And then, sir, does he this,-He doesWhat was I about to say?-By the mass, I was about to say some something:-Where did I leave? Rey. At, closes in the consequence.

Pol. At, closes in the consequence,—Ay, marry; He closes with you thus:-I know the gentleman; I saw him yesterday, or t'other day,

Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,

There was he gaming; there o'ertook in his rouse; There falling out at tennis; or, perchance,

I saw him enter such a house of sale,


A savageness-] Savageness, for wildness.

Of general assault.] i. e. such as youth in general is liable to.
prenominate crimes,] i. e. crimes already named.


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