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Elsineur. A Platform before the Palace. FRANCISCO on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.

WHO's there?


Fran. Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

Ber. Long live the king!

Fran. Bernardo ?

Ber. He,

Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour, Ber, 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to-bed,


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,



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If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.


Fran. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is


Hor. Friends to this ground.

Mar. And liegemen to the Dane.

Fran. Give you good night.

Mar. O, farewel, honest soldier:

Who hath reliev'd you?

Fran. Bernardo hath 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


Ber. I have seen nothing.

Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our phantasy;

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 assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,

What we two nights have seen.
Hor. Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all,


When yon same star, that's westward from the pole, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,

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The bell then beating one,

Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes


Enter Ghost.


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 usurp'st this time of


Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of bury'd Denmark

Did sometime march? by heaven I charge thee,


Mar. It is offended.

Ber. See it stalks away.



Hor. Stay; speak; I charge thee, speak

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

[Exit Ghost.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and look


Is not this something more than phantasy?

What think you of it?

Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the sensible and true avouch

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So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polack on the ice.

'Tis strange.

Mar. Thus, twice before, and just at this dead hour,

With martial stalk he hath gone by our watch.

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know


But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.


Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that


Why this same strict and most observant watch

So nightly toils the subject of the land?

And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,

And foreign mart for implements of war?


Why such impress of ship-wrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week?

What might be toward, that this sweaty hastę
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 prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which, our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,
Well ratify'd 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'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher; as, by that covenant,
And carriage of the articles design'd,

His fell to Hamlet: Now, sir, 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,
For food and diet, to some enterprize
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,
And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands




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