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Enter Bernardo and Francisco, two Centinels.
Fran. Nay, answer me: Stand and unfold
Ber. Long live the King.
Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.
Ber. 'Tis now struck Twelve, get thee to Bed, Francisco.
Fran, For this relief, much thanks : 'tis bitter cold,
And I am fick at Heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet Guard?
Fran. Not a Mouse stirring.
Ber. Well, good Night. If you do meet Horatio and
Marcellus, the Rivals of my Watch, bid them make haste.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Fran. I think I hear them. Stand; who's there?
Hor. Friends to this Ground.
Mar. And Liege-men to the Dane.
Fran. Give you good Night.
Mar. O, farewel
, honest Soldier, who hath reliev'd you? Fran. Bernardo has my place : give you good Night.
Mar. Holla, Bernardo.
Ber. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hor. A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio, welcome, good Marcellus.
Mar. What, has this thing appear'd again to Night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our Phantasie,
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded fight, twice seen of us,
Therefore I have intreated 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, 'twill not appear,
Ber. Sit down a while,
And let us once again afail your Ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two Nights have seen.
Hor. Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this,
Ber. Last Night of all,
When yon fame Star, that's Westward from the Pole,
Had made his course e’illume that part of Heav'n
Where now it burns, Marcellus and my self,
The Bell then beating one
Mar. Peace, break thee off;
Enter the Ghost.
Look where it comes again.
Ber. In the same figure like the King that's dead.
Mar. Thou art a Scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like the King? Mark it, Horatio. .
Hor. Most like: Įt harrows me with fear and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Question it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou that usurp'st this time of Night,
Together with that fair and warlike form,
In which, the Majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes marché by Heav'n, I charge thee, speak.
Mar. It is offended.
Ber. See! it stalks away.
Hor. Stay; speak; speak : I charge thee, speak.
[Exit Gbojt. Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble and look pale:
Is not this fomething more than Phantasie?
What think you on't?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own Eyes.
Mar. Is it not like the King?
Hor. As thou art to thy self,
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 fledded Pole-axe on the Ice,
Mar. Thus twice before, and just at this fame 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 scope of my opinion, This boads some strange eruption to our State.
Mar. Good now lit 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 fore Task
Does not divide the Sunday from the Week.
What might be toward, that this sweaty hafte
Doth make the Night joint-labourer with the day :
Who is't that can inform me ?
Har, That can J,
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 seald Compact,
' ratified by Law, and Heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his Life, all those his Lands
Which he stood seiz'd on, 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 Landless Resolutes,
For Food and Dyet; to some enterprize
That hath a Stomach in't: which is no other,
And 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 loft: 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.
Ber. I think it be no other, but even 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.
Hor. A Mote it is to trouble the Mind's Eye.
In the most high and flourishing State of Rome,
A little e'er the mightiest Julius fell,
The Graves stood Tenantless, and the sheeted Dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman Streets,
Stars Mon with Trains of Fire, Dews of Blood fell,
Disasters veil'd the Sun, and the moist Star,
Upon whose Influence Neptune's Empire stands,
Was fick almost to Doom's-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 Heav'n and Earth together demonstrated
Unto our Climatures and Country-men..
Enter Ghost again.
But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, Illusion!
[Spreading his Arms.
If thou hast any found, 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 fore-knowing may avoid, Oh speak!
Or, if thou hast uphoorded in thy Life
Extorted Treasure in the womb of Earth, [Cock Crows.
For which, they say, you Spirits oft walk in Death,
Speak of it. Stay, and speak-Stop it, Marcellus
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my Partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here-
Hor. 'Tis here
Mar. 'Tis gone.
We do it wrong, being so Majestical,
To offer it the Thew 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 day,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-founding throat
Awake the God of Day: and at his warning,
Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Air,
Th' extravagant and erring Spirit hyes
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 (calon comes
Wherein our Saviour's Birth is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning fingeth all Night long :
And then, they say, no Spirit dares walk abroad,
The Nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike,
No Fairy takes, no Witch bath power to charm;
So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time,
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.