Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

London Pub. Ang.2.1804. bv E. Cirinolon S. Paul's Church Yari.

Ham.

Hold off your hands. Hor. Be ruld, you shall not go. Ham.

My fate cries out, And makes each petty artery in this body As hardy as the Némean lion's nerve.

[Ghost beckons. 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 Den

mark. Hor. Heaven will direct it. Mar.

Nay, let's follow him.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

A more remote Part of the Platform.

Re-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 !

7

that lets me:] To let among our old authors signifies to prevent, to hinder. It is still a word current in the law, and to be found in almost all leases.

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
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,
Like quills upon the fretful 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;
And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,

8

* And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed

That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,] Shakspeare, apparently through ignorance, makes Roman Catholicks of these Pagan Danes ; and here gives a description of purgatory; but yet mixes it with the Pagan fable of Lethe's wharf.

Would'st thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
Tis given out, that sleeping in mine 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 prophetick soul! my uncle!

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, 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: 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,
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 uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect

'— mine orchard,] Orchard for garden.

' With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,] The word bere used was more probably designed by a metathesis, either of the poet or transcriber, for henebon, that is, henbane; of which the most common kind (hyoscyamus niger) is certainly narcotick, and perhaps, if taken in a considerable quantity, might prove poisonous.

« PreviousContinue »