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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,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.(99)
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 (100) 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 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,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatch'd :d
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel’d; (101)
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
A couch for luxurye and damned incest.
• Decline upon a wretch] With degradation stoop to. See Tr. & Cr. IV. 5, Nestor.
secure] Unguarded. • eager droppings into milk] Acid. See “ eager air,” Se. 4. · • despatchd] Despoiled. • luxury] Lasciviousness. See Tr. & Cr. V. 2. Thersit.
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: (102)
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me. FExit.
HAM. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What
And shall I couple hell ?-0 fye!" —Hold, hold,
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 tablet of my memory (103)
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.
O most pernicious woman!
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 am sure, it may be so in Denmark:
[Writing. So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word ; (104) Adew, It is, Adieu, adieu ! * remember me. 4tos. adue, 1623, 32." I have sworn't.
HOR. [Within] My lord, my lord,
Mar. [Within] Lord Hamlet,-
* And shall I couple hell? - fye) Mend thy thought! stain nột thy mind with an association so unfit and unworthy,
saws of books] Maxims, sayings. See song at end of L. L. L. pressures past,] Impressions heretofore made.
Hor. [Within] Heaven secure him!
So be it!
Mar. [Within] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
HAM. Hillo, ho, ho, boy !(105) come, bird,
Enter Horatio and MARCELLUS.
MAR. How is't, my noble lord ?
What news, my 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,
HOR. MAR. Ay,* by heaven, my lord. * 1. 0.C:
HAM. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all
· 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 un
:; 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, · Look you, I will go pray.
Hor. These are but wild and whirling words,
Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes,
Hor. There's no offence, my lord.
Ham. Yes, by Saint Patrick, (107) but there is,
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
Hor. MAR. My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
My lord, not I.
MAR. Nor I, my lord, in faith.
HAM. Upon my sword.
MAR. 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 ? (108) Seller. Come on,—you hear this fellow in the cellarage,*edge, 1623. Consent to swear. ige. 4tos. HOR.
Propose the oath, my lord.
• wild and whirling words] Random, thrown out with no specific aim.
• O'er-master it] Get she better of it.
Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Swear by my sword. (109)
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.
Ham. Hic & ubique ? then we'll shift our
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
strange! Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it wel
come. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come; Here, as before, (110) 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, we know ;-or, We could, an if we would ;-or, If we list to speak ;-or, There be, an if there might ;Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
• O day and night] This may mean, O! the course of sublunary things ! but is more probably only a petty oath.
give it welcome] Receive it courteously and compliantly. e arms encumber'd thus] Close pressed upon each other, folded.