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 it draws near the seasonWherein 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,The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray outThe
triumph of his pledge.
Is it a custom?
Ay, marry, is't:But to my mind, though I am native hereAnd to the manner born, it is a customMore
honour'd in the breach than the observance.This heavy-headed revel east and westMakes us traduced
and tax'd of other nations:They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phraseSoil our addition; and indeed
it takesFrom our achievements, though perform'd at height,The pith and marrow of our attribute.So, oft it
chances in particular men,That for some vicious mole of nature in them,As, in their birthwherein they
are not guilty,Since nature cannot choose his originBy the o'ergrowth of some complexion,Oft breaking
down the pales and forts of reason,Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavensThe form of plausive
manners, that these men,Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,Their
virtues elsebe they as pure as grace,As infinite as man may undergoShall in the general censure take
corruptionFrom that particular fault: the dram of ealeDoth all the noble substance of a doubtTo his own
Look, my lord, it comes!
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,Bring with
thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,Be thy intents wicked or charitable,Thou comest in such a questionable
shapeThat I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!Let me not
burst in ignorance; but tellWhy thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,Have burst their cerements; why
the sepulchre,Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,To cast
thee up again. What may this mean,That thou, dead corse, again in complete steelRevisit'st thus the
glimpses of the moon,Making night hideous; and we fools of natureSo horridly to shake our dispositionWith
thoughts 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 desireTo you alone.
Look, with what courteous actionIt waves you to a more removed ground:But do not go with it.
No, by no means.
It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Do not, my lord.
Why, what should be the fear?I do not set my life in 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 the cliffThat beetles
o'er his base into the sea,And there assume some other horrible form,Which might deprive your sovereignty
of reasonAnd draw you into madness? think of it:The very place puts toys of desperation,Without more
motive, into every brainThat looks so many fathoms to the seaAnd 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 ruled; you shall not go.
My fate cries out,And makes each petty artery in this bodyAs hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.Still
am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!I say, away! Go
on; I'll follow thee.
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.
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