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More honour’d in the breach, than the observance.
[This heavy-headed revel, east and west
Makes us traduc’d and tax’d of other nations:
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
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 eale
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt,
To his own scandal.]

Enter Ghost.

|Hor. Look, my lord it comes.

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


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: O, answer me :
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell,

Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,
Hath op’d his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again? What may this 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 2 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 waves 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 2 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 fadoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.]

Ham. It waves me still: — Go on, I’ll follow thee.

Mar. You shall not go, my lord.

Ham. Hold off your hands.
Hor. , Be rul’d : you shall not go.
Ham. My fate cries out,

And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as th’. 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 me: —
I say, away ! — Go on, I'll follow thee.
[Eveunt Ghost and HAMLET.
Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination.
Mar. Let's follow ; ’tis not fit thus to obey
Hor. Have after. — To what issue will this come *
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Den-
Hor. Heaven will direct it.
Mar. Nay, let's follow him.
. [Eveunt.

A more remote Part of the Platform.

Enter Ghost and HAMLET.

Ham. Where wilt thou lead me 2 speak, I'll go no farther.

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 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


Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine :
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. — List, Hamlet, list ! —
If thou didst ever thy dear father love, –

Ham. O God! Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murther.

Ham. Murther? .

Ghost. Murther most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know ’t, 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 roots itself in ease on Lethe 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 prophetic soul! Mine 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. C, 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 1 methinks, I scent the morning 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 phial, And in the porches of mine ears did pour The leperous distilment; whose effect

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