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Enter the Ghaft.
Look, where it comes again.
Ber. In the fame 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. Moit like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou, that ufurp'f this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form,
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometime march? by heav'n, I charge thee, speak.
Mar. It is offended.
Ber. See! it ftalks away.
Hor. Stay; speak: I charge thee, speak. [Exit Ghoft.
Mar. 'Tis gone and will not anfwer.
Ber. How now, Horatio ? you tremble and look pale.
Is not this something more than phantasy ?
What think you of it?
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 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 fleaded Polack on the ice.
Mar. Thus twice before, and just at this dead hour, With martial stalk, he hath gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not: But, in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes fome strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now fit down, and tell me, he that knows, Why this same strict and most observant watch So nightly toils the subjects 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?
Hor. That can I;
At least, the whisper goes fo., Our last King,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
(Thereto prickt on by a moft emulate pride)
'Dar'd to the fight: In which, our valiant Hamlet,
(For fo this fide of our known world esteem'd him)
Did say this Fortinbras: who by seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands,
Which he ftood seiz'd of, to the conqueror :
Againft the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our King; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vaquifher; as by that cov'nant,
And carriage of the articles design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd lift of landless refolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprize
That hath a ftomach in't : which is no other,
As it doth well appear unto our ftate,
But to recover of as 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 fource of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this pof-hafte and romage in the land.
Ber. I think, it be no other, but even fo:
Well may it fort, 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 moft high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The grave stood tenantlefs; the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets ;
Stars Thone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell;
Disasters veil'd the sun; and the moist ftar,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was fick 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'd coming on, (1)
Have heav'n and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and country-men.
Enter Gboft again.
But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blaft 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, foreknowing may avoid,
Or, if thou hast uphoorded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth, (Cock crows.
For which, they say, you fpirits 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
(1) And Prologue to the Omen coming on.] But Prologue and Omen are merely synonomous here, and must signify one and the fame Thing. But ihe Poet means, that these strange Phenomenit are Prologues, and Forerunners, of the Events prejag'd by them: And such Sense the flight' Alteration, which I have ventured to , make by a fingle Letter added, very aptly gives.
Mar. 'Tis gone.
[Exit Ghost. We do it wrong, being
To offer it Thew of violence;
For it is as the air, invulnerable ;
And our vain blows, malicious mockery,
Ber. It was about to fpeak 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 thrill-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 hies
To his confine : and of the truth herein
This present object made probation,
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then they say no fpirit walks abroad;
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm;
So hallow'd, and fo gracious is the 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 yon 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 fpirit, 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 fall find him most conveniently. (Exeunt.
SCENE changes to the Palace.
Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen,
Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius,
Lords and attendants.
Hough yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it fitted
To bear ôur hearts in grief, and our whole kingdoin
To be contracted in one brow of woe ;
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wifest forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves,
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our Queen,
Th' imperial jointress of this warlike State,
Have we, as Ptwere, with a defeated joy,
With one auspicious, and one dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair asong: (for all, our than::s.)
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak fuppofal of our worth;
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our ftate to be disjoint and out of frame;
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath 'not faild to pefter us with message,
Importing the furrender of those lands
Loft by his father, by all bands of law,
To our moft valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting :
Thus much the bufinefs is. We have here writ,
To Norway, uncle of young Fortintras,
(Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his vephew's purpose,) to suppress
His further gate herein; in that the levies,
The lifts, and full proportions are all made