Hamlet* by William Shakespeare § 1.5

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ACT I
SCENE V. Another part of the platform.
[Enter GHOST and HAMLET]
925 HAMLET.
Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.
GHOST.
Mark me.
HAMLET.
930 I will.
GHOST.
My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
935 HAMLET.
Alas, poor ghost!
GHOST.
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
940 HAMLET.
Speak; I am bound to hear.
GHOST.
So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
HAMLET.
945 What?
GHOST.
I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
950 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
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
955 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 porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
960 To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love--
HAMLET.
O God!
GHOST.
965 Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
HAMLET.
Murder!
GHOST.
Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
970 But this most foul, strange and unnatural.
HAMLET.
Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
975 GHOST.
I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
980 'Tis given out that, sleeping in my 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
985 Now wears his crown.
HAMLET.
O my prophetic soul! My uncle!
GHOST.
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
990 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:
O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
995 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!
1000 But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.
1005 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 cursed hebenon in a vial,
1010 And in the porches of my 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,
1015 And with a sudden vigour 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,
1020 All my smooth body.
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,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,
1025 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
1030 A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursuest 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,
1035 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:
Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.
[Exit]
1040 HAMLET.
O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
1045 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,
1050 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!
1055 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'm sure it may be so in Denmark:
[Writing]
1060 So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
I have sworn 't.
MARCELLUS.
HORATIO.
1065 [Within] My lord, my lord,--
MARCELLUS.
[Within] Lord Hamlet,--
HORATIO.
[Within] Heaven secure him!
1070 HAMLET.
So be it!
HORATIO.
[Within] Hillo, ho, ho, my lord!
HAMLET.
1075 Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.
[Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS]
MARCELLUS.
How is't, my noble lord?
HORATIO.
1080 What news, my lord?
HAMLET.
O, wonderful!
HORATIO.
Good my lord, tell it.
1085 HAMLET.
No; you'll reveal it.
HORATIO.
Not I, my lord, by heaven.
MARCELLUS.
1090 Nor I, my lord.
HAMLET.
How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
But you'll be secret?
HORATIO.
1095 MARCELLUS.
Ay, by heaven, my lord.
HAMLET.
There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.
1100 HORATIO.
There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
To tell us this.
HAMLET.
Why, right; you are i' the right;
1105 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 has business and desire,
Such as it is; and for mine own poor part,
1110 Look you, I'll go pray.
HORATIO.
These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
HAMLET.
I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
1115 Yes, 'faith heartily.
HORATIO.
There's no offence, my lord.
HAMLET.
Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
1120 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'ermaster 't as you may. And now, good friends,
As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,
1125 Give me one poor request.
HORATIO.
What is't, my lord? we will.
HAMLET.
Never make known what you have seen to-night.
1130 HORATIO.
MARCELLUS.
My lord, we will not.
HAMLET.
Nay, but swear't.
1135 HORATIO.
In faith,
My lord, not I.
MARCELLUS.
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
1140 HAMLET.
Upon my sword.
MARCELLUS.
We have sworn, my lord, already.
HAMLET.
1145 Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
GHOST.
[Beneath] Swear.
HAMLET.
Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there,
1150 truepenny?
Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage--
Consent to swear.
HORATIO.
Propose the oath, my lord.
1155 HAMLET.
Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Swear by my sword.
GHOST.
[Beneath] Swear.
1160 HAMLET.
Hic et ubique? then we'll shift our ground.
Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Never to speak of this that you have heard,
1165 Swear by my sword.
GHOST.
[Beneath] Swear.
HAMLET.
Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
1170 A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
HORATIO.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
HAMLET.
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
1175 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
1180 To put an antic disposition on,
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,'
1185 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 not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.
GHOST.
1190 [Beneath] Swear.
HAMLET.
Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
[They swear]
So, gentlemen,
1195 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.
1200 The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.
[Exeunt]

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