Scene IV. The platform.
[Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.]
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
It is a nipping and an eager air.
What hour now?
I think it lacks of twelve.
No, it is struck.
Indeed? I heard it not: then draws near the season
Wherein the spirit held his
wont to walk.
[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off within.]
What does this mean, my lord?
The King doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail, and the
swaggering up-spring reels;
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Is it a custom?
Ay, marry, is't;
But to my mind,--though I am native here,
And to the manner
born,--it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
revel east and west
Makes us traduc'd and tax'd of other nations:
They clepe us
drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes
achievements, though perform'd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
it chances in particular men
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As in their
birth,--wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin,--
o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason;
some habit, that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners;--that these
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's
Their virtues else,--be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault: the
dram of eale
Doth all the noble substance often doubt
To his own scandal.
Look, my lord, it comes!
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!--
Be thou a spirit of health or
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents
wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to
thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane; O, answer me!
Let me not burst in
ignorance; but tell
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their
cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,
Hath op'd his
ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again! What may this mean,
That thou, dead
corse, again in complete steel,
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
beyond the reaches of our souls?
Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?
[Ghost beckons Hamlet.]
It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
Look with what courteous action
It waves you to a more removed ground:
not go with it!
No, by no means.
It will not speak; then will I follow it.
Do not, my lord.
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee;
And for my
soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth
again;--I'll follow it.
What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,
And draw you into madness? think of
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
looks so many fadoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.
It waves me still.--
Go on; I'll follow thee.
You shall not go, my lord.
Hold off your hands.
Be rul'd; you shall not go.
My fate cries out,
And makes each petty artery in this body
As hardy as the
Nemean lion's nerve.--
Still am I call'd;--unhand me, gentlemen;--
[Breaking free from them.]
By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!--
I say, away!--Go on; I'll follow
[Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet.]
He waxes desperate with imagination.
Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.
Have after.--To what issue will this come?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Heaven will direct it.
Nay, let's follow him.