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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway.
Hamlet, Son to the former, and Nephew to the prefent King.
Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.
Horatio, Friend to Hamlet.
Laertes, Son to Polonius.
Ofrick, a Fop.
Marcellus, an Officer.
Reynoldo, Servant to Polonius.
, Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother to Hamlet.
Ophelia, Daughter to Polonius, belov'd by Hamlet.
Ladies attending on the Queen.
Players, Grave-makers, Sailors, Messengers, and other attendants.
This Story was not invented by our Author ; tho' from
whence be took it, I know not.
An open Place before the palace.
Enter Bernardo and Francisco, two centinels.
Fran. Nay, answer me:
answer me: stand and unfold
Ber. Long live the King.
Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.
Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve, get thee to bed, Francisco.
Fran. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard ?
Fran. Not a mouse stirring.
Ber. Well, good-night.
If you do meet Horatie and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make halte.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Fran. I think I hear them. Stand; who's there?
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And liege-men to the Dane.
Fran. Give you good-night.
Mar. Oh farewel, honest soldier ; who hath reliev'd you ?
Fran. Bernardo has my place: give you good-night.
Mar. Holla, Bernardo.
Ber. Say, what is Horatio there?
Hor. A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome Horatio, welcome good Marcellus.
Mar. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our phantasie,
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded sight, ’twice seen of us ;
Therefore I have intreated him along
With us, to watch the minutes of this night,
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.
Hor. Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
Ber. Sit down a while,
And let us once again affail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we have two nights seen.
Hor. Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all,
same star, that's westward from the pole,
Had made his course t'illume that part of heav'n
Where now it burns, Marcellus and my self,
The bell then beating one-
Mar. Peace, break thee off;
Enter the Ghoi.
Look where it comes again.
Ber. In the same figure, like the King that's dead.
Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like the King? mark it, Horatio.
Hor. Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou that ufurpft this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form,
lo which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometime march: by Heav'n I charge thee speak.
Mar. It is offended.
Ber. See! it stalks away.
Hor. Stay; speak; I charge thee, speak. [Ex. Ghoft.
Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio ? you tremble and look pale.
Is not this something more than phantasie?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Mar. Is it not like the King?
Hor. As thou art to thy self.
Such was the very armour he had on,
When he th' ambitious Norway combated :
So frown'd he once, when in an angry parle,
He smote the sleaded * Polack on the ice.
Mer. Thus twice before, and just at this dead hour,
With martial stalk, hath he gone by our watch.
• Pole-axe in the common editions; he speaks of a prince of Poland whom he few in battle. He uses the word Polack again, a&t. 2. scene 4.
b fame. X x 2
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not:
But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now fit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subjects of the land?
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war ?
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the sunday from the week?
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint labourer with the day:
Who is't that can inform me?
Hor. That can I,
At least the whisper goes so. Our last King,
Whose image even but now appear’d to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
(Thereto prickt on by a most emulate pride)
Dard to the fight. In which, our valiant Hamlet,
(For so this side of our known world esteem’d him)
Did Nay this Fortinbras: who by seald compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands
Which he stood seiz'd of to the Conqueror :
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our King; which had return
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher, as by that cov’nant
And carriage of the articles design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes,