Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, based on Quarto 1)

[Scene 5]
Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Hamlet I'll go no farther. Whither wilt thou lead me?
Ghost Mark me.
Hamlet I will.
Ghost I am thy father's spirit, doomed for a time
695To walk the night, and all the day
Confined in flaming fire,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are purged and burnt away.
Hamlet Alas, poor ghost!
Ghost Nay, pity me not, but to my unfolding
Lend thy lis'tning ear. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
700I would 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 combinèd locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
705Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
But this same blazon must not be, to ears of flesh and blood.
Hamlet, if ever thou didst thy dear father love--
Hamlet O God!
710Ghost Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Hamlet Murder!
Ghost Yea, murder in the highest degree,
As in the least 'tis bad,
But mine most foul, beastly, and unnatural.
Hamlet Haste me to know it, that with wings as swift as
meditation, or the thought of it, may sweep to my revenge.
Ghost Oh, I find thee apt, and duller shouldst thou be
Than the fat weed which roots itself in ease
720On Lethe wharf. Brief let me be.
'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is with a forgèd process of my death rankly abused.
725But know, thou noble youth: he that did sting
Thy father's heart now wears his crown.
Hamlet Oh, my prophetic soul, my uncle! My uncle!
Ghost Yea, he, that incestuous wretch, won to his will with gifts--
Oh, wicked will and gifts that have the power
So to seduce!--my most seeming virtuous Queen.
But virtue, as it never will be moved,
740Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel linked,
Would sate itself from a celestial bed
And prey on garbage. But soft, methinks
I scent the mornings air. Brief let me be.
Sleeping within my orchard, my custom always
745In the afternoon, upon my secure hour
Thy uncle came, with juice of hebona
In a vial, and through the porches of my ears
Did pour the lep'rous distillment, whose effect
750Hold such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it posteth through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And turns the thin and wholesome blood
Like eager droppings into milk,
And all my smooth body, barked and tettered over.
Thus was I sleeping by a brother's hand
760Of crown, of queen, of life, of dignity
760At once deprived, no reckoning made of,
But sent unto my grave,
With all my accompts and sins upon my head.
765Oh, horrible, most horrible!
765.1Hamlet O God!
Ghost If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
But howsoever, let not thy heart
770Conspire against thy mother aught;
Leave her to heaven,
And to the burden that her conscience bears.
I must be gone. The glow-worm shows the martin
To be near, and 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
Hamlet, adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.
Hamlet O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell? Remember thee?
Yes, thou poor ghost. From the tables
Of my memory I'll wipe away all saws of books,
All trivial fond conceits
That ever youth or else observance noted,
And thy remembrance all alone shall sit.
Yes, yes, by heaven, a damned pernicious villain,
Murderous, bawdy, smiling, damnèd 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.
795So uncle, there you are, there you are.
795Now to the words: it is "Adieu, adieu! Remember me."
So 'tis enough. I have sworn.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Horatio My lord, my lord!
Marcellus Lord Hamlet!
Horatio Ill, lo, lo, ho, ho!
Marcellus Ill, lo, lo, so, ho, so, come boy, come!
800Horatio Heavens secure him!
Marcellus How is't, my noble lord?
805Horatio What news, my lord?
Hamlet Oh, wonderful, wonderful.
Horatio Good my lord, tell it.
Hamlet No not I, you'll reveal it.
Horatio Not I, my lord, by heaven.
810Marcellus Nor I, my lord.
Hamlet How say you then? Would heart of man
Once think it? But you'll be secret.
Both Ay, by heaven, my lord.
Hamlet There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
815But he's an arrant knave.
Horatio There need no ghost come from the grave to tell
you this.
Hamlet Right, you are in the right, and therefore
I hold it meet without more circumstance at all,
820We shake hands and part; you as your business
And desires shall lead you--for look you,
Every man hath business and desires, such
As it is--and for my own poor part, I'll go pray.
825Horatio These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
Hamlet I am sorry they offend you; heartily, yes, faith, heartily.
Horatio There's no offense, my lord.
Hamlet Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
830And much offense too. Touching this vision,
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.
For your desires to know what is between us,
O'ermaster it as you may.
And now, kind friends, as you are friends,
Scholars and gentlemen,
835Grant me one poor request.
Both What is't, my lord?
Hamlet Never make known what you have seen tonight
Both My lord, we will not.
Hamlet Nay, but swear.
840Horatio In faith, my lord, not I.
Marcellus Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Hamlet Nay, upon my sword, indeed upon my sword.
845Ghost Swear.
The Ghost under the stage.
Hamlet Ha, ha, come you here, this fellow in the cellerage,
Here consent to swear.
Horatio Propose the oath, my lord.
850Hamlet Never to speak what you have seen tonight,
Swear by my sword.
Ghost Swear.
Hamlet Hic et ubique? Nay then, we'll shift our ground.
Come hither, gentlemen, and lay your hands
855Again upon this sword, never to speak
Of that which you have seen, swear by my sword.
Ghost Swear.
Hamlet Well said, old mole. Canst work in the earth?
So fast, a worthy pioneer. Once more remove.
Horatio Day and night, but this is wondrous strange.
Hamlet And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in the heaven and earth, Horatio,
Then are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But come here, as before, you never shall--
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on--
That you at such times seeing me never shall
870With arms encumb'red thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing some undoubtful phrase,
As "Well, well, we know," or "We could an if we would,"
Or "There be, an if they might," or such ambiguous
Giving out, to note that you know aught of me:
875This not to do, so grace and mercy
At your most need help you, swear.
Ghost Swear.
Hamlet Rest, rest, perturbed spirit. So, gentlemen,
880In all my love I do commend me to you,
And what so poor a man as Hamlet may
To pleasure you, God willing shall not want.
Nay, come, let's go together.
But still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
885The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.