Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V.
Elsinore. The Castle. Another part of the fortifications.
Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak! I’ll go no further.
Ghost. Mark me.
Ham. I will.
Ghost. My hour is almost come,
When I to sulph’rous 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 hear.
Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
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,
And each particular hair to stand an end
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
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-
Ham. O God!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murther.
Ghost. Murther most foul, as in the best it is;
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.
Ham. Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost. I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear.
‘Tis given out that, sleeping in my 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.
Hamlet, I, v
LADY MACBETH. My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer. The feast is sold
That is not often vouch’d, while ’tis amaking,
‘Tis given with welcome. To feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.
MACBETH. Sweet remembrancer!
Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!
LENNOX. May’t please your Highness sit.
MACBETH. Here had we now our country’s honor roof’d,
Were the graced person of our Banquo present,
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!
ROSS. His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please’t your Highness
To grace us with your royal company?
MACBETH. The table’s full.
LENNOX. Here is a place reserved, sir.
LENNOX. Here, my good lord. What is’t that moves your Highness?
MACBETH. Which of you have done this?
LORDS. What, my good lord?
MACBETH. Thou canst not say I did it; never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
ROSS. Gentlemen, rise; his Highness is well.
LADY MACBETH. Sit, worthy friends; my lord is often thus,
And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat.
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well. If much you note him,
You shall offend him and extend his passion.
Feed, and regard him not-Are you a man?
MACBETH. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.
LADY MACBETH. O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear;
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman’s story at a winter’s fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,
You look but on a stool.
MACBETH. Prithee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites. Exit Ghost.
LADY MACBETH. What, quite unmann’d in folly?
MACBETH. If I stand here, I saw him.
LADY MACBETH. Fie, for shame!
MACBETH. Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ the olden time,
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murthers have been perform’d
Too terrible for the ear. The time has been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again,
With twenty mortal murthers on their crowns,
And push us from our stools. This is more strange
Than such a murther is.
Macbeth ACT III Scene iv