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The kettle-drum and crumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Is it a custom ?
Ham. Ay, marry, is’t :
But to my mind,—though I am native here,
And to the manner born,-it is a custom
More honor'd in the breach, than the observance.
Hor. Look, my lord, it comes !
Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from bol
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 ignorance! but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements! why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn’d,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again! What may this mean,
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 away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
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 ?
me forth again ;-I'll follow it.
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 madness?
It waves me still :-
Gu on, I'l. follow thee.
Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Hor. Be ruld, you shall not go.
My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean 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.
[Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET. SCENE V.-A more remote Part of the Platform.
Re-enter Ghost and HAMLET. Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me ? speak, I'll go no further. Ghost. Mark me. Ham.
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 ;
Doomd for a certain term to walk the night,
And, for the day confin’d to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purg'd away. 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 spheres ;
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine : En 1
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood :—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 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
Rankly abus’d: 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 in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
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 mine orchard,
My custom always of 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 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 dispatch’d:
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 1.etin 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?
Yea, from the table of my memory
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.
I have sworn't.
Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,—
Mar. [Within.] Lord Hamlet,-
Heaven secure him!
So be it. Mar. [Within.] Illo, ho, ho, my,
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come.
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Mar. How is't, my noble lord ?
Ham. O, wonderful !
Good my lord, tell it.
You will reveal it.
Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Nor I, my lord.
Ham. How say you then; would heart of man once think it ?--
But you'll be secret,-
Ay, by heaven, my lord.
Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Denmark,
But he's an arrant knave.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave,
To tell us this.
Ham. Why, right; you are in the right:
And so, without more circumstance at all,
I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part:
You, as your business, and desire, shall point you ;-
For every man hath business, and desire,
Such as it is,—and for my own poor part,
Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes, 'Faith, heartily.
There's no offence,
Ham. Yes, by St. Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
And much offence too. Touching this vision here,-
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.
What is't, my lord ?
Ham. Never make known what you have seen to-night.
Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
Hor. Propose the oath, my lord.
Ham. Never to speak of this that you
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.
Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
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 antic 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, and if we would ;-OM,
If we list to speak ;-or, There he, an if they might ;-
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
know aught of me:- This do you swear,
and mercy at your most need help you ! Ghost
. [Beneath.] Swear.
Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,
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.