Imatges de pÓgina

He may approve our eyes,1 and speak to it.
Ho. 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 two nights have seen.


Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

Ber. Last night of all,

When yon same star, that's westward from the pole,

Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,

The bell then beating one,

Mar. Peace; break thee off; look, where it comes again!

Enter GHOST.

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. Ho. Most like :-it harrows me with fear and wonder.

Ber. It would be spoke to.


Speak to it, Horatio.

Ho. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of


I Have proof that we were no way mistaken.

Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of buried Denmark

Did sometimes march? by heaven, I charge thee, speak.

Mar. It is offended.


See, it stalks away.

Ho. Stay; speak; speak, I charge thee; speak.

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

[Exit Ghost.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble and look


Is not this something more than fantasy?

What think you of it?

Ho. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.


Is it not like the king?

Ho. As thou art to thyself:

Such was the very armour he had on,
When he the ambitious Norway combated:
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks 1 on the ice.

"Tis strange.

Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump 2 at this dead hour,

With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

Ho. In what particular tnought to work, I know


1 Sledged Polanders.

2 Just.

But, in the gross and 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-laborer with the day:
Who is 't, that can inform me?


At least, the whisper goes so.

That can I;

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,

Dared 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 seised 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 comart,1

1 Joint bargain.

And carriage of the article design'd,1

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 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 post-haste and romage 3 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 5 of these wars. Ho. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye. In the most high and palmy 6 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.7

As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,

I i. e. import of the articles drawn up between them.

2 Resolution.

3 Romage here signifies inquiry into the means of defence 4 Suit. 5 The theme or subject. 6 Victorious. 7 An intermediate verse is here evidently lost.

Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,1
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 2 coming on,-
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.-

Re-enter GHOST.

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:

to me,

If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace
Speak to me:

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!

Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,

[cock crows. Speak of it-stay, and speak.-Stop it, Marcellus. Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan ? 3 Ho. Do, if it will not stand.

1 i. e. the moon.

A partisan is a kind of pike.

• Portentous event.

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