Hamlet and the Ghost (cut)
Act I, scene v (l. 1- 112)

Hamlet, the Ghost

Scene V Another part of the platform.

[Enter GHOST and HAMLET]
        Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further. 

        Mark me. 

        I will. 

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

        Alas, poor ghost!
        Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing 
        To what I shall unfold. 

        Speak; I am bound to hear.
        So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. 

        I am thy father's spirit, 
        Doom'd 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, 
        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-- 

        O God! 

        Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. 


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

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

        I find thee apt; Now, Hamlet, hear: 
        'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, 
        A serpent stung me; but know, thou noble youth, 
        The serpent that did sting thy father's life 
        Now wears his crown. 

        O my prophetic soul! My uncle! 

        Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, 
        With witchcraft of his wit won to his shameful lust 
        The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen: 
        O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there! 
        But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air; 
        Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard, 
        My custom always of the afternoon, 
        Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, 
        With juice of cursed hebona in a vial, 
        And in the porches of my ears did pour 
        The leperous distilment; 
        Swift as quicksilver it courses through 
        The natural gates and alleys of the body, 
        And with a sudden vigour doth posset 
        And curd, like eager droppings into milk, 
        The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine; 
        And a most instant tetter bark'd about, 
        Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, 
        All my smooth body. 
        Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand 
        Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd: 
        Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, 
        No reckoning made, but sent to my account 
        With all my imperfections on my head: 
        O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
        Let not the royal bed of Denmark be 
        A couch for luxury and damned incest. 
        But, howsoever thou pursuest this act, 
        Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive 
        Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven 
        And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, 
        To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once! 
        The glow-worm shows the matin to be near, 
        And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire: 
        Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.

        O all you host of heaven! Hold, hold, my heart; 
        Remember thee! 
        Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat 
        In this distracted globe. 
        O most pernicious woman! 
        O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
        That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain; 
        So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word; 
        It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.' 
        I have sworn 't.