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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    I'll go no farther. Whither wilt thou lead me?
    Mark me.
    I will.
    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.
    Alas, poor 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--
    O God!
    Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
    Yea, murder in the highest degree,
    As in the least 'tis bad,
    But mine most foul, beastly, and unnatural.
    Haste me to know it, that with wings as swift as
    meditation, or the thought of it, may sweep to my revenge.
    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.
    Oh, my prophetic soul, my uncle! My uncle!
    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
    At once deprived, no reckoning made of,
    But sent unto my grave,
    With all my accompts and sins upon my head.
    765Oh, horrible, most horrible!
    O God!
    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.
    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.
    Now to the words: it is "Adieu, adieu! Remember me."
    So 'tis enough. I have sworn.
    Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
    My lord, my lord!
    Lord Hamlet!
    Ill, lo, lo, ho, ho!
    Ill, lo, lo, so, ho, so, come boy, come!
    Heavens secure him!
    How is't, my noble lord?
    What news, my lord?
    Oh, wonderful, wonderful.
    Good my lord, tell it.
    No not I, you'll reveal it.
    Not I, my lord, by heaven.
    Nor I, my lord.
    How say you then? Would heart of man
    Once think it? But you'll be secret.
    Ay, by heaven, my lord.
    There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
    815But he's an arrant knave.
    There need no ghost come from the grave to tell you this.
    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.
    These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
    I am sorry they offend you; heartily, yes, faith, heartily.
    There's no offense, my lord.
    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.
    What is't, my lord?
    Never make known what you have seen tonight
    My lord, we will not.
    Nay, but swear.
    In faith, my lord, not I.
    Nor I, my lord, in faith.
    Nay, upon my sword, indeed upon my sword.
    The Ghost under the stage.
    Ha, ha, come you here, this fellow in the cellerage,
    Here consent to swear.
    Propose the oath, my lord.
    Never to speak what you have seen tonight,
    Swear by my sword.
    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.
    Well said, old mole. Canst work in the earth?
    So fast, a worthy pioneer. Once more remove.
    Day and night, but this is wondrous strange.
    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.
    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.