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And curd, like eager1 droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine,
And a most instant tetter barked about,

Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatched;
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled ; 5
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head.
O horrible! O horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to Heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glowworm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire;

Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me.



[Exit. Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What


And shall I couple hell?-O fie!-Hold, hold, my heart;

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up!-Remember thee?
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee?
Yea, from the tables of my memory

1 In Sc. iv. we have eager air for sharp, biting air. Baret), sower, sharp; acidus, aigre."

"Eger (says

2 Quarto 1603, deprived. To despatch and to rid were synonymous. 3 Unhouseled is without having received the sacrament.

4 Disappointed is the same as unappointed, and may be explained


5 Unaneled is without extreme unction.

6 Uneffectual, i. e. shining without heat. The use of to pale, as a verb, is rather unusual, but not peculiar to Shakspeare.

7 i. e. in this head confused with thought.

I'll wipe away all trivial, fond records,

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by Heaven!
O most pernicious woman!

O villain, villain, smiling, damned 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.

[Writing. So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word; 1 It is, Adieu, adieu! remember me.

I have sworn't.

Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,-
Mar. [Within.] Lord Hamlet,

Hor. [Within.]


Heaven secure him!

Mar. [Within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

So be it!

Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.2


Mar. How is't, my noble lord?


What news, my lord?

Ham. O wonderful!


Good my lord, tell it.



Nor I, my lord.

You will reveal it.

Hor. Not I, my lord, by Heaven.


1 The quarto 1603 has-" Now to the words." By "Now to my word,” Hamlet means now to my motto, my word of remembrance. Steevens asserted that the allusion is to the military watchword. A word, mot, or motto, was any short sentence, such as is inscribed on a token, or under a device or coat of arms. It was a common phrase. See Ben Jonson's Works, by Mr. Gifford, vol. ii. p. 102.

2 This is the call which falconers use to their hawk in the air when they would have him come down to them.



Ham. How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?

But you'll be secret,

Hor. Mar.

Ay, by Heaven, my lord.

Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Den


But he's an arrant knave.

Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the


To tell us this.


Why, right; you are in the right;

And so, without more circumstance at all,

I hold it fit, that we shake hands, and part;

You, as your business, and desire, shall point you;— For every man hath business, and desire,

Such as it is, and, for my own poor part,

Look you, I will go pray.

Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.

Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes, 'Faith, heartily.


There's no offence, my lord.

Ham. Yes, by saint Patrick,' but there is, Horatio,
And much offence too. Touching this vision here,
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you.

For your desire to know what is between us,
O'ermaster it as you may. And now, good friends,
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,

Give me one poor request.


We will.

What is't, my lord?

Ham. Never make known what you have seen to-night.

Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.


Nay, but swear't.

1 Warburton has ingeniously defended Shakspeare for making the Danish prince swear by St. Patrick, by observing, that the whole northern world had their learning from Ireland. It is, however, more probable that the Poet seized the first popular imprecation that came to his mind, without regarding whether it suited the country or character of the person to whom he gave it.


In faith,

My lord, not I.


Nor I, my lord, in faith.

Ham. Upon my sword.


We have sworn, my lord, already.

Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, true-penny

Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage,

Consent to swear.


Propose the oath, my lord.

Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword.1

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Hic et ubique! then we'll shift our ground.— Come hither, gentlemen,

And lay your hands again upon my sword.

Swear by my sword,

Never to speak of this that you have heard.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear by his sword.

Ham. Well said, old mole! Canst work i' the earth so fast?

A worthy pioneer!-Once more remove, good friends. Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous


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Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

But come;

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy!
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,
With arms encumbered thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,

1 The custom of swearing by the sword, or rather by the cross at the upper end of it, is very ancient. The name of Jesus was not unfrequently inscribed on the handle.

an if

As, Well, well, we know;—or, We could, an if we would;-or, If we list to speak ;—or, There be, they might ;


Or such ambiguous giving out, to note

you know aught of me.-This not to do, swear;
So grace and mercy at your most need help you!
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen, With all my love I do commend me to you;

And what so poor a man as Hamlet is

May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.

The time is out of joint ;-O cursed spite!
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.




SCENE I. A Room in Polonius's House.


Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo.

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit him, to make inquiry

Of his behavior.


My lord, I did intend it.

Look you,

Pol. Marry, well said; very well said.


Inquire me first what Danskers 2 are in Paris;

1 The quarto 1604 reads, "this do swear." The sense is sufficiently obvious without explanation.

2 i. e. Danes. Warner, in his Albion's England, calls Denmark Danske.

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