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Scene Four 

The platform

 

[Enter HAMLET HORATIO and MARCELLUS]

HAMLET

The air bites shrewdlyit is very cold

HORATIO

It is a nippingand an eagerair

HAMLET

What hour now

HORATIO

I think it lacks of twelve

HAMLET

Noit is struck

HORATIO

Indeed I heard it notthen it draws nearthe season

Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk

A flourishof trumpets and ordnanceshot off within

What doeS this mean my lord

HAMLET

The king doth wake tonight and takes his rouse

Keeps wassail and the swaggering up-springreels

And as he drains his draughtsof Rhenishdown

The kettledrumdrum and trumpet thus bray out

The triumph of his pledge

HORATIO

Is it a custom

HAMLET

Aymarryis>t

But to my mindthough I am native here

And to the manner bornit is a custom

More honour'd in the breachthan the observance

This heavy headed revel east and west

Makes us traducedand tax'dof other nations

They clepe us drunkardsand with swinish phrase

Soilour addition and indeed it takes

From our achievements though perform'd at height

The pith and marrowof our attribute

So oft it chancesin particular men

That for some viciousmoleof nature in them

Asin their birth——wherein they are not guilty

Since nature cannot choose his origin——

By the o>ergrowthof some complexion

Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason

Or by some habit that too much o>er leavens

The form of plausivemanners that these men

CarryingI saythe stamp of one defect

Being nature's livery or fortune's star,——

Their virtues else——be they as pure as grace

As infinite as man may undergo——

Shall in the general censure take corruption

From that particular faultthe dram of eale

Doth all the noble substance of a doubt

To his own scandal

HORATIO

Look my lord it comes

[Enter Ghost]

HAMLET

Angels and ministers of grace defend us

Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd

Bring with thee airs from heaven or blastsfrom hell

Be thy intents wicked or charitable

Thou comest in such a questionable shape

That I will speak to thee I>ll call thee Hamlet

Kingfatherroyal DaneOanswer me

Let me not burst in ignorance but tell

Why thy canonizedbones hearsed in death

Have burst their cerementswhy the sepulchre

Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd

Hath oped his ponderousand marblejaws

To cast thee up againWhat may this mean

That thoudead corse again in complete steel

Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon

Making night hideousand we fools of nature

So horridly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls

Saywhy is this wherefore what should we do

[Ghost beckonsHAMLET]

HORATIO

It beckons you to go away with it

As if it some impartment did desire

To you alone

MARCELLUS

Lookwith what courteous action

It waves you to a more removed ground

But do not go with it

HORATIO

No by no means

HAMLET

It will not speak then I will follow it

HORATIO

Do notmy lord

HAMLET

Why what should be the fear

I do not set my life in a pin's fee

And for my soulwhat can it do to that

Being a thing immortalas itself

It waves me forth againI>ll follow it

HORATIO

What if it tempt you toward the flood my lord

Or to the dreadful summitof the cliff

That beetleso>erhis base into the sea

And there assume some other horrible form

Which might deprive your sovereigntyof reason

And draw you into madness think of it

The very place puts toys of desperation

Without more motive into every brain

That looks so many fathoms to the sea

And hears it roar beneath

HAMLET

It waves me still

Go onI>ll follow thee

MARCELLUS

You shall not gomy lord

HAMLET

Hold off your hands

HORATIO

Be ruled you shall not go

HAMLET

My fate cries out

And makes each petty artery in this body

As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve

Still am I call'dUnhand me gentlemen

By heavenI>ll make a ghost of him that lets me

I sayaway Go onI>ll follow thee

[Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET]

HORATIO

He waxesdesperatewith imagination

MARCELLUS

Let's follow >tis not fit thus to obey him

HORATIO

Have afterTo what issue will this come

MARCELLUS

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

HORATIO

Heaven will direct it

MARCELLUS

Naylet's follow him

[Exeunt]


 

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