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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;"
It is, Adieu, adieu! remember me.
I have sworn't.

Hor. [within.] My lord, my lord, —
Mar. [within.] Lord Hamlet,
Hor. [within.]

Heaven secure him!

So be it! Mar. [within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord ! Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come.”



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. 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 To tell us this.

[grave, Ham. Why, right; you are in the right; And so, without more circumstance at all,

+ My tables,] Table-books in the time of our author appear to have been used by all ranks of people. In the church they were filled with short notes of the sermon, and at the theatre with the sparkling sentences of the play.-MALONE.

Now to my word;] Hamlet alludes to the watch-word given every day in military service, which at this time he says is, Adieu, adieu ! remember me. Steevens.

I-cone, bird, come.] This is the call which falconers use to their hawk in the air, when they would have him come down to them.-HANMER.

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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, my lord.

Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes,
’Faith, heartily.

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'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 ?
We will.

Ham. Never make known what you have seen to-night.
Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.

Nay, but swear't.

In faith,
My lord, not I.

Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Ham. Upon my sword.

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,

Come on,-you hear this fellow in the cellarage,—
The ghat to swear.
Propose the oath,


lord. ageanton Never to speak of this that you have seen, zle of g'arxir by my

sword. Ghost. [beneath.] Swear. Ham. Hic et ubique ? then we'll shift our ground:» Upon my sword.] It was common to swear upon the cross which the old swords always had upon the hilt.-Johnson.


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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

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 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 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, well, we know ;-or, We could, and if we would ;

cor, 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 do you swear, So grace and mercy at your most need help you!

Ghost. [beneath.] Swear.
Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,


2 And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.) i. e. Seem not to know it-to be unacquainted with it.- M. Mason.

a Rest, rest, perturbed spirit !] The skill displayed in Shakspeare's management of his ghost, is too considerable to be overlooked. He has rivetted our attention to it by a succession of forcible circumstances :-by the previous report of the terrified centinels, by the solemnity of the hour at which ar; tom walks,--by its martial stride and discriminating armour, visible the glimpses of the moon,- by its long taciturnity,-by its preparation i when interrupted by the morning cock,-by its mysterious reserve thr its first scene with Hamlet, -by his resolute departure with it, and the are by quent anxiety of his attendants,—by its conducting him to a solitary aloft no the platform,-by its voice from beneath the earth,--and by its unexaricted burst on us in the closet.

Hamlet's late interview with the spectre, must in particular be regarded as a stroke of dramatick artifice. The phantom might have told his story in the presence of the officers and Horatio, and yet have rendered itself as inaudible to them, as afterwards to the queen. But suspense was our poet's object ; and

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;-0 cursed spite !
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.



SCENE I.-- A Room in Polonius' House.


Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo. Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit him, to make inquiry Of his behaviour. Rey.

My lord, I did intend it. Pol. Marry, well said : very well said. Look you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris ; And how, and who, what means, and where they keep, What company, at what expence; and finding, By this encompassment and drift of question, That they do know my son, come you more nearer Than your particular demands will touch it :

never was it more effectually created, than in the present instance. Six times has the royal semblance appeared, but till now has been withheld from speaking. For this event we have waited with impatient curiosity, unaccompanied by lassitude, or remitted attention.

The ghost in this tragedy, is allowed to be the genuine product of Shakspeare's strong imagination. When he afterwards avails himself of traditional phantoms, as in Julius Cæsar and King Richard III., they are but inefficacious pageants ; nay, the apparition of Banquo is a mute exhibitor. Perhaps our poet despaired to equal the vigour of his early conceptions on the subject of preternatural beings, and therefore allotted them no further eminence in his dramas; or was unwilling to diminish the power of his principal shade, by an injudicious repetition of cong images.-STEEVENS.

Ereunt.] Gildon asserts, but without stating his authority, that this scene was written by Shakspeare in the churchyard bordering his house at Stratford.—REED's Shakspeare, vol. v. p. 4.

Danskers-] Danske is the ancient name of Denmark.-STEEVENS.

Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
As thus, I know his father, and his friends,
And, in part, him ;-Do you mark this, Reynaldo?

Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.

Pol. And, in part, him;—but, you may say, not well:
But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild ;
Addicted so and so ;—and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
As may dishonour him; take heed of that;
But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.

As gaming, my lord.
Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Drabbing :-You may go so far.

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.

Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.
You must not put another scandal on him,
That he is open to incontinency;
That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly,
That they may seem the taints of liberty:
The flash and out-break of a fiery mind;
A savageness' in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.

But, my good lord, —
Pol. Wherefore should you do this?

Ay, my lord,
I would know that.

Marry, sir, here's my drift;
And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant:
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'the working,

Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,


another scandal-] i. e. A very different and more scandalous failing, namely, habitual incontinency.—Malone.

e That's not my meaning :) That is not what I mean when I permit you to accuse him of drabbing.-M. Mason.

savageness—] i. e. Wildness. & Of general assault.j i. e. Such as youth in general is liable to.-War



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