Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > 1523. William Shakespeare
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
 
NUMBER:1523
AUTHOR:William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
QUOTATION:Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I ’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, 1 and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
ATTRIBUTION:Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.  [text]
WORKS:William Shakespeare Collection.
 
Note 1.
And makes night hideous.—Alexander Pope: The Dunciad, book iii. line 166. [back]
 

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