Gho. My hower is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting Flames Must render vp my selfe

Ham. Alas poore Ghost

Gho. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall vnfold

Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare

Gho. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare

Ham. What? Gho. I am thy Fathers Spirit, Doom'd for a certaine terme to walke the night; And for the day confin'd to fast in Fiers, Till the foule crimes done in my dayes 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 vnfold, whose lightest word Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes like Starres, start from their Spheres, Thy knotty and combined lockes to part, And each particular haire to stand an end, Like Quilles vpon the fretfull Porpentine: But this eternall blason must not be To eares of flesh and bloud; list Hamlet, oh list, If thou didst euer thy deare Father loue

Ham. Oh Heauen! Gho. Reuenge his foule and most vnnaturall Murther

Ham. Murther? Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is; But this most foule, strange, and vnnaturall

Ham. Hast, hast me to know it, That with wings as swift As meditation, or the thoughts of Loue, May sweepe to my Reuenge

Ghost. I finde thee apt, And duller should'st thou be then the fat weede That rots it selfe in ease, on Lethe Wharfe, Would'st thou not stirre in this. Now Hamlet heare: It's giuen out, that sleeping in mine Orchard, A Serpent stung me: so the whole eare of Denmarke, Is by a forged processe of my death Rankly abus'd: But know thou Noble youth, The Serpent that did sting thy Fathers life, Now weares his Crowne

Ham. O my Propheticke soule: mine Vncle? Ghost. I that incestuous, that adulterate Beast With witchcraft of his wits, hath Traitorous guifts. Oh wicked Wit, and Gifts, that haue the power So to seduce? Won to this shamefull Lust The will of my most seeming vertuous Queene: Oh Hamlet, what a falling off was there, From me, whose loue was of that dignity, That it went hand in hand, euen with the Vow I made to her in Marriage; and to decline Vpon a wretch, whose Naturall gifts were poore To those of mine. But Vertue, as it neuer wil be moued, Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of Heauen: So Lust, though to a radiant Angell link'd, Will sate it selfe in a Celestiall bed, & prey on Garbage. But soft, me thinkes I sent the Mornings Ayre; Briefe let me be: Sleeping within mine Orchard, My custome alwayes in the afternoone; Vpon my secure hower thy Vncle stole With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl, And in the Porches of mine eares did poure The leaperous Distilment; whose effect Holds such an enmity with bloud of Man, That swift as Quick-siluer, it courses through The naturall Gates and Allies of the body; And with a sodaine vigour it doth posset And curd, like Aygre droppings into Milke, The thin and wholsome blood: so did it mine; And a most instant Tetter bak'd about, Most Lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, All my smooth Body. Thus was I, sleeping, by a Brothers hand, Of Life, of Crowne, and Queene at once dispatcht; Cut off euen in the Blossomes of my Sinne, Vnhouzzled, disappointed, vnnaneld, No reckoning made, but sent to my account With all my imperfections on my head; Oh horrible Oh horrible, most horrible: If thou hast nature in thee beare it not; Let not the Royall Bed of Denmarke be A Couch for Luxury and damned Incest. But howsoeuer thou pursuest this Act, Taint not thy mind; nor let thy Soule contriue Against thy Mother ought; leaue her to heauen, And to those Thornes that in her bosome lodge, To pricke and sting her. Fare thee well at once; The Glow-worme showes the Matine to be neere, And gins to pale his vneffectuall Fire: Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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