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Act I. SCENE I. 


Elsinore. The guard-platform of the Castle.

FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO.

 MARCELLUS.

Holla, Bernardo!

 BERNARDO.

Say-
What, is Horatio there ?

 HORATIO.

A piece of him.

 BERNARDO.

Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, good Marcellus.

 MARCELLUS.

What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

 BERNARDO.

I have seen nothing.

 MARCELLUS.

Horatio says 'tis 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.

 HORATIO.

Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

 BERNARDO.

Sit down awhile,
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.

 HORATIO.

Well, sit we down,ÔWithout the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.

 MARCELLUS.

Is it not like the King?

 HORATIO.

As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armour he had on
When he th' ambitious Norway combated.
So frown'd he once when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
'Tis strange.

 MARCELLUS.

Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

 HORATIO.

In what particular thought to work I know not;
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

 MARCELLUS.

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?

 HORATIO.

That can I; 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 compulsatory, 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-haste and romage in the land.

 BERNARDO.

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 is the question of these wars.

 HORATIO.

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 doomsday 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 climature and countrymen.

Enter Ghost again.

 

But soft! behold! Lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me.- Stay illusion!

Spreads his arms.

 

If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me.ÔHor. Do, if it will not stand.

 BERNARDO.

'Tis here!

 HORATIO.

'Tis here!

 MARCELLUS.

'Tis gone!

Exit Ghost.

 

We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.

 BERNARDO.

It was about to speak, when the cock crew.

 HORATIO.

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.

 MARCELLUS.

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever, 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare 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 the time.

 HORATIO.

So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward 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?
Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently

 MARCELLUS.

Let's do't, I pray;and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most convenient. Exeunt

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