Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5

           Enter GHOST and HAMLET.  Full Summary

      HAMLET
  1   Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.

      GHOST
  2   Mark me.

      HAMLET
  2                         I will.

      GHOST
  2                                         My hour is almost come,
  3   When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
  4   Must render up myself.

      HAMLET
  4                                        Alas, poor Ghost!

      GHOST
  5   Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
  6   To what I shall unfold.

      HAMLET
  6                                        Speak; I am bound to hear.

      GHOST
  7   So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.

      HAMLET
  8   What?

      GHOST
  9   I am thy father's spirit,
 10   Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
 11   And for the day confined to fast in fires,
 12   Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
 13   Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
 14   To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
 15   I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
 16   Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
 17   Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
 18   Thy knotted and combined locks to part
 19   And each particular hair to stand on end,
 20   Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
 21   But this eternal blazon must not be
 22   To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
 23   If thou didst ever thy dear father love—

      HAMLET
 24   O God!

      GHOST
 25   Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

      HAMLET
 26   Murder!

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

      HAMLET
 29   Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
 30   As meditation or the thoughts of love,
 31   May sweep to my revenge.

      GHOST
 31                                        I find thee apt;
 32   And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
 33   That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
 34   Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
 35   'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
 36   A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
 37   Is by a forged process of my death
 38   Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
 39   The serpent that did sting thy father's life
 40   Now wears his crown.

      HAMLET
 40                                     O my prophetic soul!
 41   My uncle?

      GHOST
 42   Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
 43   With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—
 44   O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
 45   So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust
 46   The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
 47   O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
 48   From me, whose love was of that dignity
 49   That it went hand in hand even with the vow
 50   I made to her in marriage, and to decline
 51   Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
 52   To those of mine!
 53   But virtue, as it never will be moved,
 54   Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
 55   So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
 56   Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
 57   And prey on garbage.
 58   But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
 59   Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
 60   My custom always of the afternoon,
 61   Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
 62   With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
 63   And in the porches of my ears did pour
 64   The leperous distillment; whose effect
 65   Holds such an enmity with blood of man
 66   That swift as quicksilver it courses through
 67   The natural gates and alleys of the body,
 68   And with a sudden vigor doth posset
 69   And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
 70   The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
 71   And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
 72   Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
 73   All my smooth body.
 74   Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
 75   Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd:
 76   Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
 77   Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,
 78   No reckoning made, but sent to my account
 79   With all my imperfections on my head:
 80   O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
 81   If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
 82   Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
 83   A couch for luxury and damned incest.
 84   But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
 85   Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
 86   Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
 87   And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
 88   To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
 89   The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
 90   And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
 91   Adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.

           [Exit Ghost.]   Full Summary

      HAMLET
 92   O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
 93   And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
 94   And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
 95   But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
 96   Ay, thou poor Ghost, while memory holds a seat
 97   In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
 98   Yea, from the table of my memory
 99   I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
100   All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
101   That youth and observation copied there;
102   And thy commandment all alone shall live
103   Within the book and volume of my brain,
104   Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
105   O most pernicious woman!
106   O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
107   My tables—meet it is I set it down,
108   That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
109   At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:

           [Writing.]  Full Summary

110   So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
111   It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
112   I have sworn't.

      HORATIO [Within.]
113   My lord, my lord—

      MARCELLUS [Within.]
113                       Lord Hamlet—

           Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.

      HORATIO
113                                          Heavens secure him!

      HAMLET
114   So be it!

      MARCELLUS
115   Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

      HAMLET
116   Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.

      MARCELLUS
117   How is't, my noble lord?

      HORATIO
117                                         What news, my lord?

      HAMLET
118   O, wonderful!

      HORATIO
118                             Good my lord, tell it.

      HAMLET
119   No; you'll reveal it.

      HORATIO
120   Not I, my lord, by heaven.

      MARCELLUS
120                                          Nor I, my lord.

      HAMLET
121   How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
122   But you'll be secret?

      HORATIO and MARCELLUS
122                                    Ay, by heaven, my lord.

      HAMLET
123   There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
124   But he's an arrant knave.

      HORATIO
125   There needs no Ghost, my lord, come from the grave
126   To tell us this.

      HAMLET
126                                 Why, right; you are i' the right;
127   And so, without more circumstance at all,
128   I hold it fit that we shake hands and part:
129   You, as your business and desire shall point you;
130   For every man has business and desire,
131   Such as it is; and for mine own poor part,
132   Look you, I'll go pray.

      HORATIO
133   These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.

      HAMLET
134   I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
135   Yes, 'faith heartily.

      HORATIO
135                                   There's no offence, my lord.

      HAMLET
136   Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
137   And much offence too. Touching this vision here,
138   It is an honest Ghost, that let me tell you:
139   For your desire to know what is between us,
140   O'ermaster 't as you may. And now, good friends,
141   As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,
142   Give me one poor request.

      HORATIO
143   What is't, my lord? we will.

      HAMLET
144   Never make known what you have seen tonight.

      HORATIO and MARCELLUS
145   My lord, we will not.

      HAMLET
145                                      Nay, but swear't.

      HORATIO
145                                                                 In faith,
146   My lord, not I.

      MARCELLUS
146                                Nor I, my lord, in faith.

      HAMLET
147   Upon my sword.

      MARCELLUS
147                               We have sworn, my lord, already.

      HAMLET
148   Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

           Ghost cries under the stage.  Full Summary

      GHOST
149   Swear.

      HAMLET
150   Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, truepenny?
151   Come on—you hear this fellow in the cellarage—
152   Consent to swear.

      HORATIO
152                                  Propose the oath, my lord.

      HAMLET
153   Never to speak of this that you have seen,
154   Swear by my sword.

      GHOST [Beneath.]
155   Swear.

      HAMLET
156   Hic et ubique? Then we'll shift our ground.
157   Come hither, gentlemen,
158   And lay your hands again upon my sword:
159   Swear by my sword
160   Never to speak of this that you have heard,

      GHOST [Beneath.]
161   Swear by his sword.

      HAMLET
162   Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
163   A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.

      HORATIO
164   O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

      HAMLET
165   And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
166   There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
167   Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
168   But come—
169   Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
170   How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
171   As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
172   To put an antic disposition on,
173   That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
174   With arms encumber'd thus, or this headshake,
175   Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
176   As "Well, well, we know," or "We could, an if we would,"
177   Or "If we list to speak," or "There be, an if they might,"
178   Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
179   That you know aught of me—this not to do,
180   So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.

      GHOST [Beneath.]
181   Swear.

           [They swear.]

      HAMLET
182   Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,
183   With all my love I do commend me to you:
184   And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
185   May do, to express his love and friending to you,
186   God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
187   And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
188   The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
189   That ever I was born to set it right!
190   Nay, come, let's go together.

           Exeunt.