Act 1, scene i
You come most carefully upon your hour.
Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Welcome Horatio. Welcome good Marcellus.
What, has thing appeared again tonight?
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.
Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
Sit down awhile, And let us once again assail your ears, That are so fortified against our story, What we have two nights seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.
Last night of all,
When yond same star
That’s westward from the pole
Had made his course t’illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one –
In the same figure like the King that’s dead.
It harrows me with fear and wonder.What art thou that usurpest this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march?
By heaven I charge thee, Speak.
‘Tis gone and will not answer.
Is not this something more than fantasy?Before God, I might not this believe without the sensible and true avouch of mine own eyes.
Such was the very armor he had on when he the ambitious Norway combated.
So frowned he once when, in an angry parle, he smote the sledded poleaxe on the ice.
Thus twice before and jump at this dead hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
In what particular thought to work, I know not.
But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
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 laborer with the day?Our last king, Whose image even but now appeared to us, Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride, Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet – For so this side of our know world esteemed him – Did slay this Fortibras; who, by a sealed compact Well ratified by law and heraldry, Did forfeit, with his life, all these lands Which he stood seised of, to the conqueror; Against the which a moiety competent Was gagéd by our King, which had returned The inheritance of Fortinbras, Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same covenant And carriage of the article designed, His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras, Of unimproved mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes For food an diet to some enterprise 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 posthaste and romage in the land.
I think it be no other but e’en so.Well may it sort that this portentous figure Comes arméd through our watch so like the King That was and is the question of these wars.
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 feared 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 has 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, O, speak! Stay and speak. Stop it, Marcellus!
Shall I strike it with my partisan? Do, if it will not stand. ‘Tis here. ‘Tis here. ‘Tis gone. We do it wrong, being so majestical To offer it a show of violence, For it is as the air invulnerable, And our vain blows malicious mockery. It was about to speak when the cock crew.
And 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 fires in earth or air Th’extravagant and erring spirit hies To his confine. And of the truth herein this present Object made probation. It faded upon the crowing of the cock Some say that ever ‘gainst that season come Wherein our saviour’s birth is celebrated, This 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 hallowed and so gracious is that time. So have I heard and do in part believe it. But look, the moon 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 tonight 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 of our loves, Fitting our duty? Let’s do’t, I pray. And I this morning know where we shall find Him most conveniently.