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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 1)

    680 [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
    695 To 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,
    700 I 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
    705 Like 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!
    710 Ghost
    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
    720 On 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.
    725 But 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,
    740 Though 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
    745 In 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
    750 Hold 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
    760 Of crown, of queen, of life, of dignity
    760 At once deprived, no reckoning made of,
    But sent unto my grave,
    With all my accompts and sins upon my head.
    765 Oh, horrible, most horrible!
    765.1 Hamlet
    O God!
    Ghost
    If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not.
    But howsoever, let not thy heart
    770 Conspire 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.
    Exit
    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.
    795 So uncle, there you are, there you are.
    795 Now 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!
    800 Horatio
    Heavens secure him!
    Marcellus
    How is't, my noble lord?
    805 Horatio
    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.
    810 Marcellus
    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
    815 But 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,
    820 We 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.
    825 Horatio
    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,
    830 And 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,
    835 Grant 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.
    840 Horatio
    In faith, my lord, not I.
    Marcellus
    Nor I, my lord, in faith.
    Hamlet
    Nay, upon my sword, indeed upon my sword.
    845 Ghost
    Swear.
    845 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.
    850 Hamlet
    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
    855 Again 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
    870 With 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:
    875 This not to do, so grace and mercy
    At your most need help you, swear.
    Ghost
    Swear.
    Hamlet
    Rest, rest, perturbed spirit. So, gentlemen,
    880 In 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.
    885 The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right!
    Nay, come, let's go together.
    Exeunt.