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Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both,
Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
You must not take for fire. From this time
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence;
Set your entreatments 1 at a higher rate
Than a command to parley.

For Lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, that he is young,

And with a larger tether may he walk

Than may be given you: in few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,?
Not of that dye which their investments 3 show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,

The better to beguile. This is for all:

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
Have you so slander 5 any moment's leisure
As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you: come your ways.
Ophelia. I shall obey, my lord.

SCENE IV. The Platform.


Hamlet. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
Horatio. It is a nipping and an eager air.

Hamlet. What hour now?


Marcellus. No, it is struck.


I think it lacks of twelve.

Horatio. Indeed? I heard it not: it then draws near the season Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within.

What does this mean, my lord?

1 Invitations you receive.
3 Dress, or outward appearance.

2 Negotiators.

4 Solicitors.

5 Misuse.

Hamlet. The King doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse, Keeps wassail,1 and the swaggering upspring 2 reels;

And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish3 down,

The kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out

The triumph of his pledge.


Hamlet. Ay, marry, is't;

Is it a custom ?

But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, is a custom


More honor'd in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel east and west

Makes us traduc'd and tax'd of other nations:
They clepe 5 us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition;6 and indeed it takes


From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.7
So, oft it chances in particular men,

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That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth, wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,9
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit that too much o'erleavens
The form of plausive 10 manners, that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,11—
Their virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,

1 Revelry.

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Upspring" was a wild and boisterous German dance.
5 Call.


3 Rhine wine.

4 Censured.

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8 "Vicious mole of nature," i.e., some natural taint.

9 Temperament or humor; as melancholy, sanguine, etc.

10 Pleasing.

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11 "Nature's livery,” etc., i.e., a natural or accidental blemish.

Shall in the general censure 1 take corruption

From that particular fault: the dram of base evil
Doth all the noble substance often dout 2

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Hamlet. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,

Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,

Thou com'st in such a questionable 3 shape
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me !
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell
Why thy canon'iz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulcher,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,

Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in com'plete steel
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?

[Ghost beckons Hamlet..

Horatio.. It beckons you to go away with it,

As if it some impartment did desire

To you alone.

1 Judgment.

3 Inviting question.

2 Do out; smother; extinguish.

4 Waxed cloths wrapped around the corpse, or with which the coffin was

lined. miles of the church


Look, with what courteous action

It waves you to a more removed 1 ground:

But do not go with it.

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Hamlet. It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Horatio. Do not, my lord.


Why, what should be the fear?

I do not set my life at a pin's fee;2

And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?

It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.

Horatio. What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,

Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff

That beetles o'er3 his base into the sea,

And there assume some other horrible form,

denots 25 Madness

Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? think of it:
The very place puts toys of desperation,5
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.

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4 " Deprive your sovereignty of reason," i.e., take from you the control. ling power of your reason. said aple de bad taked with his mathe 5 ་ Toys of desperation," i.e., desperate fancies.

6 "Nemean lion," i.e., the fierce beast of Nemea, which, we are told.

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Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.

By Heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets 1 me!
I say, away !-Go on: I'll follow thee.


[Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet.

Horatio. He waxes desperate with imagination.
Marcellus. Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Horatio. Have after.2 To what issue will this come?
Marcellus. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,
Horatio. Heaven will direct it.


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Nay, let's follow him. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. Another Part of the Platform.


Hamlet. Where wilt thou lead me? speak: I'll go no farther.
Ghost. Mark me.



I will.

My hour is almost come,

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames

Must render up myself.

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Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold.


Speak; I am bound to hear.

Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.

Hamlet. What?

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit,

Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,

And for the day confin'd to fast in fires,

Hercules (see Note 3, p. 32) attacked with a club, and finally choked to death.

1 Hinders.

2" Have after," i.e., we'll follow him.

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