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Had left the flushing in her galléd eyes,
She married :-O most wicked speed !
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.

Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus, friends of Hamlet, enter. The conversation falls by chance, after other matters, upon the late king, Hamlet's father.

Hamlet says:

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?
Ham. My lord, the king your father.
Ham.

The king my father!
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
Ham.

For God's love, let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered. A figure like your father,
Armed at point, exactly, cap-à-pe,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walked,
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length: whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
And I with them, the third night kept the watch:

Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes : I knew your father ;
These hands are not more like.
Ham.

But where was this?
Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
Ham. Did you not speak to it?
Hor.

My lord, I did;
But answer made it none : yet once, methought,
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
And vanished from our sight.
Ham.

'Tis very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honoured lord, 't is true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
To let you know of it.

Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Hold you

the watch to-night? All.

We do, my lord.
Ham. Armed, say you ?
All.

Armed, my lord.
Ham.

From top to toe?
All. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham.

Then saw you not
His face?

Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
Ham. What, looked he frowningly?
Hor.

A countenance more
In sorrow than in anger.
Ham.

Pale, or red?

Hor. Nay, very pale.
Ham.

And fixed his eyes upon you ?
Hor. Most constantly.
Ham.

I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amazed you.
Ham.

Very like,
Very like: Stayed it long ?

Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Mar. and Ber. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I saw it.
Ham.

His beard was grizzled ? no?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
Ham.

I will watch to-night ;
Perchance, 't will walk again.
Hor.

I warrant, it will.
Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape,
And bid me hold my peace.

[Exeunt Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardu
My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
I doubt some foul play: 'would, the night were come !
Till then sit still, my soul: Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's cyes. [Exeunt

Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus, according to agree ment, watch at the appointed hour: while contersing on various subjects, the ghost enters.

Ham. Angels and ministers of grace, defend us !-
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou com’st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speak to thee; I'll call thee, Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane : 0, answer me:
Let me not burst in ignorance! but tell,
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements ! why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urned,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again; What

may

this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete 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?

The ghost beckons Hamlet to a place apart frons his companions, when the following conversation

ensues:

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit;
Doomed for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could 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.
l'hy knotted and combinéd locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine ;
But this eternal blazon must not be

To ears of flesh and blood :- List, list, O list !
If thou didst ever thy dear father love,-

Ham. O heaven!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
Ham. Murder ?

Ghost. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost.

I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
'T is given out, that, sleeping in mine orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forgéd process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crown.

Ham. O, my prophetic soul! my uncle?

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast
But, soft! methinks, I scent the morning air;
Brief let me be :- Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my sécure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through
The natura gates and alleys of the body;

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