Download this play [Zip file]
FRANCISCONay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
BERNARDOLong live the king!
BERNARDOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 5He.
FRANCISCOYou come most carefully upon your hour.
BERNARDO'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
FRANCISCOFor this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
BERNARDOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 10Have you had quiet guard?
FRANCISCONot a mouse stirring.
BERNARDOWell, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
FRANCISCOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 15I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?
HORATIOFriends to this ground.
MARCELLUSAnd liegemen to the Dane.
FRANCISCOGive you good night.
MARCELLUSO, farewell, honest soldier:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 20Who hath relieved you?
FRANCISCOBernardo has my place.
Give you good night.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 25What, is Horatio there?
HORATIOA piece of him.
BERNARDOWelcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
MARCELLUSWhat, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
BERNARDOI have seen nothing.
MARCELLUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 30Horatio 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;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 35That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
HORATIOTush, tush, 'twill not appear.
BERNARDOSit down awhile;
And let us once again assail your ears,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 40That are so fortified against our story
What we have two nights seen.
HORATIOWell, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
BERNARDOLast night of all,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 45When yond 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, —
MARCELLUSPeace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
BERNARDOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 50In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
MARCELLUSThou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
BERNARDOLooks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
HORATIOMost like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
BERNARDOIt would be spoke to.
MARCELLUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 55Question it, Horatio.
HORATIOWhat 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 march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
MARCELLUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 60It is offended.
BERNARDOSee, it stalks away!
HORATIOStay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
MARCELLUS'Tis gone, and will not answer.
BERNARDOHow now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 65Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
HORATIOBefore my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
MARCELLUSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 70Is it not like the king?
HORATIOAs 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 75He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
MARCELLUSThus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
HORATIOIn what particular thought to work I know not;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 80But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
MARCELLUSGood 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 85And 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 90Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
Who is't that can inform me?
HORATIOThat can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 95Was, 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 100Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 105To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
And carriage of the article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 110Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Shark'd up a list of lawless 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 —
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 115But 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 120Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
BERNARDOI 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.
HORATIOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 125A 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:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 130As 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 135As 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!
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 140I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 145Speak 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 150For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
MARCELLUSShall I strike at it with my partisan?
HORATIODo, if it will not stand.
HORATIOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 155'Tis here!
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 160And our vain blows malicious mockery.
BERNARDOIt was about to speak, when the cock crew.
HORATIOAnd then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 165Doth 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,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 170This present object made probation.
MARCELLUSIt 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:
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 175And then, they say, no spirit dares 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.
HORATIOSo have I heard and do in part believe it.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 180But, 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,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 185This 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?
MARCELLUSLet's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently.