Mar. Good now sit downe, & tell me he that knowes Why this same strict and most obseruant Watch, So nightly toyles the subiect of the Land, And why such dayly Cast of Brazon Cannon And Forraigne Mart for Implements of warre: Why such impresse of Ship-wrights, whose sore Taske Do's not diuide the Sunday from the weeke, What might be toward, that this sweaty hast Doth make the Night ioynt-Labourer with the day: Who is't that can informe me? Hor. That can I, At least the whisper goes so: Our last King, Whose Image euen but now appear'd to vs, Was (as you know) by Fortinbras of Norway, (Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate Pride) Dar'd to the Combate. In which, our Valiant Hamlet, (For so this side of our knowne world esteem'd him) Did slay this Fortinbras: who by a Seal'd Compact, Well ratified by Law, and Heraldrie, Did forfeite (with his life) all those his Lands Which he stood seiz'd on, to the Conqueror: Against the which, a Moity competent Was gaged by our King: which had return'd To the Inheritance of Fortinbras, Had he bin Vanquisher, as by the same Cou'nant And carriage of the Article designe, His fell to Hamlet. Now sir, young Fortinbras, Of vnimproued Mettle, hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway, heere and there, Shark'd vp a List of Landlesse Resolutes, For Foode and Diet, to some Enterprize That hath a stomacke in't: which is no other (And it doth well appeare vnto our State) But to recouer of vs by strong hand And termes Compulsatiue, those foresaid Lands So by his Father lost: and this (I take it) Is the maine Motiue of our Preparations, The Sourse of this our Watch, and the cheefe head Of this post-hast, and Romage in the Land. Enter Ghost againe.

But soft, behold: Loe, where it comes againe: Ile crosse it, though it blast me. Stay Illusion: If thou hast any sound, or vse of Voyce, Speake 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 priuy to thy Countries Fate (Which happily foreknowing may auoyd) Oh speake. Or, if thou hast vp-hoorded in thy life Extorted Treasure in the wombe of Earth, (For which, they say, you Spirits oft walke in death) Speake of it. Stay, and speake. Stop it Marcellus

Mar. Shall I strike at it with my Partizan? Hor. Do, if it will not stand

Barn. 'Tis heere

Hor. 'Tis heere

Mar. 'Tis gone.

Exit Ghost.

We do it wrong, being so Maiesticall To offer it the shew of Violence, For it is as the Ayre, invulnerable, And our vaine blowes, malicious Mockery

Barn. It was about to speake, when the Cocke crew

Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing Vpon a fearfull Summons. I haue heard, The Cocke that is the Trumpet to the day, Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding Throate Awake the God of Day: and at his warning, Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Ayre, Th' extrauagant, and erring Spirit, hyes To his Confine. And of the truth heerein, This present Obiect made probation

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cocke. Some sayes, that euer 'gainst that Season comes Wherein our Sauiours Birch is celebrated, The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long: And then (they say) no Spirit can walke abroad, The nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike, No Faiery talkes, nor Witch hath power to Charme: So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time

Hor. So haue I heard, and do in part beleeue it. But looke, the Morne in Russet mantle clad, Walkes o're the dew of yon high Easterne Hill, Breake we our Watch vp, and by my aduice Let vs impart what we haue seene to night Vnto yong Hamlet. For vpon my life, This Spirit dumbe to vs, will speake to him: Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, As needfull in our Loues, fitting our Duty? Mar. Let do't I pray, and I this morning know Where we shall finde him most conueniently.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
A Yorkshire Tragedy
The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
The Lamentable Tragedy of Locrine
The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra
The Tragedie of Coriolanus
The Tragedie of Cymbeline
The Tragedie of Hamlet
The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
The Tragedie of King Lear
The Tragedie of Macbeth
The Tragedie of Othello
The Tragedie of Richard the Third
The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus
Hamlet, Prinz von Dannemark