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A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Ber. Long live the king!
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold
Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour. Ber. 'T is new-struck twelve: get thee to bed, Francisco. Fran. For this relief much thanks. "T is bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Ber. Well, good night.
Fran. I think I hear them.
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Fran. Give you good night.
Who hath reliev'd you?
you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste. |
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Stand, ho! Who is there!
And liegemen to the Dane.
O! farewell, honest soldier: Bernardo has my place.
Give you good night.
What! is Horatio there?
A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says, 't is but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us:
Therefore, I have entreated him along
With us, to watch the minutes of this night;
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it. |
Hor. Tush, tush! 't will not appear.
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this,' od!
Ber. Last night of all,
When yond same star, that 's westward from the pole,
Had made his course t' illume that part of heavent
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,
The bell then beating one,
Mar. Peace! break thee off: look, where it comes again! |
Of mine own eyes.
Mar. Fact A
Ber. In the same figure, like the king that 's dead.
Mur. Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Hor. Most like: it harrows me with fear, and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Question it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form,
See! it stalks away, w
Hor. Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
Mar. It is offended.
Is it not like the king?
5 Mar. 'T is gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio! you tremble, and look pale. Is not this something more than fantasy? What think you on 't?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe," Without the sensible and true ayouch
Hor. As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armour he had on,
When he th' ambitious Norway combated:
So frown'd the once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
"T is strange.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. |
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not;
But in the gross and s
scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now, sit down; and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land?
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war?
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week?!
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint labourer with the day?
Who is 't, that can inform me? |
That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit with his life all those his lands,
Which he stood seiz'd of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same cov'nant,
And carriage of the article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, Sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprize
That hath a stomach in 't: which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsative, those 'foresaid lands
So by his father lost. And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this post-baste and romage in the land.
Ber. I think, it be no other, but e'en so:
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was, and ie, the question of these wars.
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye,
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse:
And even the like precurse of fierce events
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen coming on
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.
But, soft! behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me:"
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
Speak to me:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which happily foreknowing may avoid,
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
Mar. 'T is gone.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death, [Cock crows.
Speak of it: - stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus. I
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
"T is here!
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine; and of the truth herein
This present object made probation. |
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is that time.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yond high eastern hill.
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
Mar. Let's do 't, I pray; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently.
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
The Same. A Room of State.
Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants.