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Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes :
SATIRE ON UNGRACIOUS PASTORS.
ADVICE TO A SON GOING TO TRAVEL.
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
* Careless. + Regards not his own lessons.
HAMLET, ON THE APPEARANCE OF HIS FATHER'S GHOST.
What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,
That beetles * o'er his base into the sea ?
Re-enter Ghost and Hamlet.
go Ghost. Mark me.
[no further. Ham.
I will. Ghost.
My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself. Ham.
Alas, poor ghost! Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold. Ham.
Speak, I am bound to bear. Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. Ham. 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, Till the foul crimes, done in my days 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 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 combined locks to part, Like quills upon the fretful porcupine: But this eternal blazont 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. [swift
Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with wings as As meditation, or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. Ghost.
I find thee apt; And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed That rots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf, Would'st thou not stir in this ? Now, Hamlet, hear: 'Tis given out, that sleeping in mine orchard*, A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abus'd: 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, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, (0, wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power So to seduce !) won to his shameful lust The will of my most seeming virtuous queen: 0, Hamlet, what a falling off was there! From me, whose love was of that dignity, That it went hand in hand even with the vow I made to her in marriage; and to decline Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor To those of mine! But virtue, as it never will be mov'd, Though lewdness court it in the shape of heaven; So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd, Will sate t itself in a celestial bed, And prey on garbage. But, soft! methinks, I scent the morning air ; Brief let me be: Sleeping within mine orchard, My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon* in a vial,
Erit. Ham. O, all you host of heaven!0, earth! What else? And shall I couple hell?
_0 fie!-Hold, hold, my And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, [heart; But bear me stiffly up!- Remember thee? Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat In this distracted globett. Remember thee? * Henbane.
† Scab, scurf. # Leprous. $ Bereft. || Without having received the sacrament.
Unappointed, "unprepared. ** Without extreme unction.