Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 1
Enter BARNARDO and FRANCISCO,
two sentinels, [meeting]. Full Summary
1 Who's there?
2 Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
3 Long live the king!
6 You come most carefully upon your hour.
7 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.
10 Have you had quiet guard?
10 Not a mouse stirring.
14 I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?
15 Friends to this ground.
15 And liegemen to the Dane.
16 Give you good night.
18 Holla! Barnardo!
19 A piece of him.
20 Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
21 What, has this thing appear'd again tonight?
22 I have seen nothing.
23 Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
24 And will not let belief take hold of him
25 Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
26 Therefore I have entreated him along
27 With us to watch the minutes of this night;
28 That if again this apparition come,
29 He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
30 Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
35 Last night of all,
36 When yond same star that's westward from the pole
37 Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
38 Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
39 The bell then beating one
40 Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
41 In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
42 Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
43 Looks 'a not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
44 Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
45 It would be spoke to.
45 Speak to it, Horatio.
46 What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
47 Together with that fair and warlike form
48 In which the majesty of buried Denmark
49 Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
50 It is offended.
50 See, it stalks away!
51 Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
52 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
58 Is it not like the king?
59 As thou art to thyself:
60 Such was the very armor he had on
61 When he the ambitious Norway combated;
62 So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
63 He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
64 'Tis strange.
70 Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
71 Why this same strict and most observant watch
72 So nightly toils the subject of the land,
73 And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
74 And foreign mart for implements of war;
75 Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
76 Does not divide the Sunday from the week;
77 What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
78 Doth make the night joint-laborer with the day:
79 Who is't that can inform me?
79 That can I;
80 At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
81 Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
82 Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
83 Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
84 Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet
85 For so this side of our known world esteem'd him
86 Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
87 Well ratified by law and heraldry,
88 Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
89 Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
90 Against the which, a moiety competent
91 Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
92 To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
93 Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same comart,
94 And carriage of the article design'd,
95 His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
96 Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
97 Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
98 Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
99 For food and diet, to some enterprise
100 That hath a stomach in't; which is no other
101 As it doth well appear unto our state
102 But to recover of us, by strong hand
103 And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
104 So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
105 Is the main motive of our preparations,
106 The source of this our watch and the chief head
107 Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
112 A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
113 In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
114 A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
115 The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
116 Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
117 As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
118 Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,
119 Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
120 Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
121 And even the like precurse of fierce events,
122 As harbingers preceding still the fates
123 And prologue to the omen coming on,
124 Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
125 Unto our climatures and countrymen
126 But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
127 I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
128 If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
129 Speak to me:
130 If there be any good thing to be done,
131 That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
132 Speak to me:
133 If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
134 Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
135 O, speak!
136 Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
137 Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
138 For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
139 Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
140 Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
141 Do, if it will not stand.
141 'Tis here!
141 'Tis here!
142 'Tis gone!
147 It was about to speak when the cock crew.
148 And then it started like a guilty thing
149 Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
150 The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
151 Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
152 Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
153 Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
154 The extravagant and erring spirit hies
155 To his confine: and of the truth herein
156 This present object made probation.
157 It faded on the crowing of the cock.
158 Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
159 Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
160 The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
161 And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
162 The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
163 No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
164 So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
165 So have I heard and do in part believe it.
166 But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
167 Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
168 Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
169 Let us impart what we have seen tonight
170 Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
171 This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
172 Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
173 As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?