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Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes :
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good, my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff’d and reckless * libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own readt.


Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull thy palm | with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in,
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censures, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous|l, chiefs in that,
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry **.
This, above all,—To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

* Careless. + Regards not his own lessons.
# Palm of the band. Ś Opinion.

|| Noble.

** Economy


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What, if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff,

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That beetles * o'er his base into the sea ?
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? think of it:
'The very place puts toyst of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.
SCENE. A more remote Part of the Platform.

Re-enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? speak, I'll

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!

* Hangs.

+ Whims.

# Display

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,

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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 natural gates and alleys of the body;
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood : so it did mine ;
And a most instant tettert bark'd about,
Most lazar f-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 despatch'd §:
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'dll, disappointed |, unanel'd **;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
0, horrible! 0, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not ;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st 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 bis uneffectual fire:
Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me.

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.

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