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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 :-
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd ;3
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 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. [Exit.
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What




at once despatch'd :] Despatch'd, for bereft. 3 Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd;] Unhousel'd is without having received the sacrament. Disappointed, as Dr. Johnson observes, “ is the same as unappointed, and may be properly explained unprepared. A man well furnished with things necessary for an enterprise, was said to be well appointed." Unanel'd is without extreme unction.

pale his uneffectual fire:) Fire that is no longer seen when the light of morning approaches.

And shall I couple hell 2-0 fye!-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 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:

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.*


this distracted globe.] i. e. in this head confused with thought.

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.

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.

come, bird, come.] This is the call which falconers use to

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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,


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 Den

mark, But he's an arrant knave.

Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from

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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,
Look you, I will go pray;
Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my

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,-

their hawk in the air, when they would have him come down to them.

It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you;

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. Hor.

What is't, my lord? We will. Ham. Never make known what you have seen to

night. Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not. Ham.

Nay, but swear't. Hor.

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, true-penny? Come on,—you hear this fellow in the cellarage,– Consent to swear. Hor.

Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, , Swear by my sword.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Hic & ubique? then we'll shift our ground:-
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


Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous

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, an if we
would ;—or, 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,

9 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 the phantom walks, —by its martial stride and discriminating armour, visible only per incertam lunam, by the glimpses of the moon,—by its long taciturnity,—by its preparation to speak, when interrupted by the morning cock, -by its mysterious reserve throughout its first scene with Hamlet,-by his resolute departure with it, and the subsequent anxiety of his attendants,—by its conducting him to a solitary angle of the platform,-by its voice from beneath the earth, and by its unexpected 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 never was it more effectually created, than in the present instance. Six times

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