GHOST (continued)
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 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! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!


In the life of a medieval monastery, the day was divided by the various prayers and observances. The entire system of marking the day with prayers appropriate to different times was known as the Breviary. A Book of Hours would contain all of the appropriate prayers through the day. The sequence was Matins (very late in the night or when the cock crowed), Lauds (at Dawn), various prayers at the third, sixth and ninth hours, then more prayers at the middle of the day, to be followed by Vespers in the evening and Compline before retiring to bed. This arrangement of daily prayers is attributed to Saint Benedict.

I would dearly love to have some kind of fascinating reason for Shakespeare being interested in the operations of the sinews in the human body, stemming from an event or medical discovery that happened in or around 1598 or 1599. If you know of one, I'd be thrilled to hear about it!