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SCENE W.

A remote Part of the Platform.

Enter GHost and HAMLET.

Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak, I'll go no further. Ghost. Mark me. Ham. I will. Ghost. 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 shait 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 fires, Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature, Are burn’d 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 fearful porcupine: 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.

Ghost. I find thee apt.-
Now, Hamlet, hear: -
"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 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?

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, Won to his shameful lust 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 my orchard, My custom always in the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, With juice of cursed hebenon in a phial, 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 allies of the body; And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset And curd \

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 despatch'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;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
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.—
Adieu, adieu, adieu ! remember me.
[The Ghost vanishes.
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 forms, all pressures past;
And thy commandment, all alone, shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by Heaven.
Hor. [Within..] My lord, my lord,
Mar. [Within..] Lord Hamlet,_
Hor. [Within..] Heaven secure him!
Ham. So be it.
Hor. [Within..] Hillo, ho, ho, my lord
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.

Enter HoRATIO and MARCELLUs. Mar. How is't, my noble lord?

Hor. What news, my lord? Ham. O, wonderful! Hor. Good my lord, tell it. Ham. No ; You will reveal it. Hor. Not I, my lord, by Heaven. Mar. Nor I, my lord. Ham. How say you then; would heart of man once think it? But you'll be secret,_ Hor. 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, I will go pray. / Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my lord. Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily. Hor. There's no offence, my lord. Ham. Yes, by Saint 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'ermaster it as you may. And now, good friends, As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers, Give me one poor request. Hor. What is't, my lord We will.

Ham. Never make known what you have seen tonight. Hor. & Mar. My lord, we will not. Ham. Nay, but swear it. Hor. Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword. Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear. Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange! Ham. And therefore, as a stranger, give it welCOrne. 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, an if we would;—or, If we list to speak;-or, There be, an if they might;Or such ambiguous giving out,) denote 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, 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, Heaven willing, shall not lack. Let us go in toge ther: And still your fingers on your lips, I pray. The time is out of joint—O cursed spight, That ever I was born to set it right! [Ereunt.

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