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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 cearments? why the sepulchre, 660
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 horridly 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.
Hor. No, by no means,
Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Hor. Do not, my lord.
Ham. Why, what should be the fear ?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee ;
680 And, for my soul, what can it do to that, Being a thing immortal as itself? It waves me forth again ;-I'll follow it. Hor. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
That beetles o'er his base into the sea ?
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].
Ham. It waves me still :-
Go on, I'll follow thee.
Mar. You shall not go, my lord.
Ham. Hold off your hands.
Hor. Be rul'd, you shall not go.
Ham. My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
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. 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 Denmark. Hor. Heaven will direct it. Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
A more remote Part of the Platform. Re-enter Ghost,
and HAMLET. Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me ? speak, I'll go no further.
711 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 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 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 729 Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young blood ; Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres ; Thy knutty and combined locks to part, And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood :-List, list, O list la
If thou did'st ever thy dear father love,-
Ham. O heaven!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural mur.
740 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 ;
And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. 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
Rankly abus'd: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent, that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.
Han. O, my prophetick soul ! my
uncle ? Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traiterous gifts (O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power So to seduce !), won to his shameful lust 760 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
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;
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd, 770
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 uncke 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 quick-silver, 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, 789
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd :
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,