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Soil our addition'; and, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform’d at

The pith and marrow of our attribute,
So, oft it chances in particular men,
That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,)
By their o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason ;
Or by some habit, that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners; that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect;
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,)
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault : the dram of ill
Doth all the noble substance often dout,
To his own scandal.

Look, my lord, it comes !

Enter Ghost. Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend

us !Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from

hell, Be thy intents wicked, or charitable, Thou com'st in such a questionable shape, 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 teil, Why thy canonized bones, hearsèd in death, Have burst their cerements! why the sepulchre, Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,

Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again! What may


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?

(Ghost beckons HAMLET. 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 wafts you to a more removed ground : But do not go with it. Hor.

No, by no means. Ham. It will not speak; then will I 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 ; 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 lord, 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 wafts me still.-Go on, I'll follow


me :

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.

Hold off your hand.
Hor. Be ruled, you shall not go.

My fate cries out, And makes each petty artery in this body As hardy as the Nemean 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 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 Mar.

Nay, let's follow him.


SCENE V.-A more remote part of the Platform.

Enter Ghost and HAMLET. Ham. Where 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 !

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, confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature, Are burnt and purged 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, And each particular hair to stand an end, Like quills upon the fretful porpentine ; But this eternal blazon must not be To ears of flesh and blood.-List, Hamlet, 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.


I find thee apt ; And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf, Wouldst 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 Den

mark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father's life, Now wears his crown.

Ham. O my prophetic soul ! mine uncle ! Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate

beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, (0 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 moved, 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! mèthinks, I scent the morning's air; Brief let me be.-Sleeping within mine orchard, My custom always in 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

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