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And lay your hands again upon my
Never to speak of this that you have heard,
Swear by my sword.

Ghost. [Beneath] Swear.


Ham. Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth

so fast?

strange that

A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good the gharts is


Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous


Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth,


Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But come;

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on,


That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if
we would,'

Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they

Or such ambiguous giving out, to note

167. "your philosophy"; so read all the quartos; the folio, “our philosophy." The passage has had so long a lease of familiarity, as it stands in the text, that it seems best not to change it. Besides, your gives a nice characteristic shade of meaning that is lost in our. Of course it is not Horatio's philosophy, but your philosophy, that Hamlet is speaking of.-H. N. H.

schying awar or maybe peopl are imagining things

That you know aught of me: this not to do,

So grace and mercy at your most need help

you, Swear.

Ghost. [Beneath] Swear.


Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! [They swear.]
So, gentlemen,

With all my love I do commend me to you:
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is

May do, to express his love and friending to


God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in to-

And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let's go together.



187. “Let us go in together"; "This part of the scene after Hamlet's interview with the Ghost has been charged with an improbable eccentricity. But the truth is, that after the mind has been stretched beyond its usual pitch and tone, it must either sink into exhaustion and inanity, or seek relief by change. It is thus well known, that persons conversant in deeds of cruelty contrive to escape from conscience by connecting something of the ludicrous with them, and by inventing grotesque terms and a certain technical phraseology to disguise the horror of their practices. Indeed, paradoxical as it may appear, the terrible by a law of the human mind always touches on the verge of the ludicrous. Both arise from the perception of something out of the common order of things, something, in fact, out of its place; and if from this we can abstract the danger, the uncommonness alone will remain, and the sense of the ridiculous be excited. The close alliance of these opposites-they are not contraries-appears from the circumstance, that laughter is equally the expression of extreme anguish and horror as of joy: as there are tears of sorrow and tears of joy, so there is a laugh of terror and a laugh of merriment. These complex causes will naturally have produced in Hamlet the disposition to escape from his own feelings of the overwhelming and supernatural by a wild transition to the ludicrous, a sort of cunning bravado, bordering on the flights of delirium” (Coleridge).-H. N. H.

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A room in Polonius's house.

Enter Polonius and Reynaldo.

Pol. Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

Rey. I will, my lord.

Pol. You shall do marvelous wisely, good Reynaldo,

Before you visit him, to make inquire

Of his behavior.


My lord, I did intend it.

Pol. Marry, well said, very well said. Look you,


Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris,
And how, and who, what means, and where they

What company, at what expense, and finding
By this encompassment and drift of question 10
That they do know my son, come you more


Than your particular demands will touch it:

The stage direction in Qq.:-Enter old Polonius, with his man or two; Ff., Polonius and Reynaldo; in Q. 1, Reynaldo is called Montano, hence perhaps the reading of later Qq.—I. G.

4. "to make inquire”; so Qq.; Ff. read, “you make inquiry.”—I. G.

Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him,

As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,

And in part him:' do you mark this, Reynaldo? Rey. Aye, very well, my lord.

Pol. 'And in part him; but' you may say, 'not well: But if 't be he I mean, he 's very wild,

Addicted so and so;' and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so

As may dishonor him; take heed of that;
But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.



As gaming, my lord. Pol. Aye, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarreling,

Drabbing: you may go so far.

Rey. My lord, that would dishonor him.

Pol. Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge. You must not put another scandal on him, That he is open to incontinency;


That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults

so quaintly

That they may seem the taints of liberty,
The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,

Of general assault.

27. “fencing, swearing, quarreling”; “the cunning of fencers is now applied to quarrelling; they thinke themselves no men, if, for stirring of a straw, they prove not their valure uppon some bodies fleshe." (Gosson's Schole of Abuse, 1579).—H. N. H.

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But, my good lord,—

Pol. Wherefore should you do this?



I would know that.

Aye, my lord,

Marry, sir, here's my drift,
And I believe it is a fetch of warrant:

You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, 40
Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
He closes with you in this consequence;
'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
According to the phrase or the addition
Of man and country.

Very good, my lord.
Pol. And then, sir, does he this he does-what
was I about to say? By the mass, I was 50
about to say something: where did I leave?
Rey. At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend
or so,' and 'gentleman.'

Pol. At 'closes in the consequence,' aye, marry;

He closes with you thus: 'I know the gentleman;
I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,

Or then, or then, with such, or such, and, as you

There was a' gaming, there o'ertook in 's rouse,
There falling out at tennis:' or perchance,

'I saw him enter such a house of sale,'

Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.

See you now;


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