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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark. MARCELLUS, Officers.
HAMLET, Son to the former, and BERNARDO,
Nephew to the present King. FRANCISCO, a Soldier.
HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.
REYNALDO, Servant to Polonius. POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain. LAERTES, his Son.
A Caplain. Ambassadors. VOLTIMAND,
Ghost of Hamlet's Father. CORNELIUS,
FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway.
Two Clowns, Grave-diggers.
OSRICK, a Courlier.
GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, Another Courtier.
and Mother to Hamlet. A Priest.
OPHELIA, Daughter to Polonius. Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Sailors, Messengers, and
Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold Yourself.
Ber. Long live the king!
Fran. You come most carefully upon your bour.
Ber. T is now struck twelve: get thee to bed, Francisco.
Fran. For this relief much thanks. 'T is bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Not a mouse stirring.
Ber. Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Fran. I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there!
Hor. Friends to this ground.
And liegemen to the Dane. Fran. Give you good night. Mar.
0! farewell, honest soldier: Who hath reliev'd you? Fran.
Bernardo bas my place. Give you good night.
(Exit FRANCISCO. Mar.
What! is Horatio there?
A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says, 't is but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of bim,
Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us:
Therefore, I have entreated 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! 't will not appear.
Sit down awhile;
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all,
When yond' same star, that 's westward from the pole,
Had made bis course t' illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,
The bell then beating one,
Mar. Peace! break thee off: 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.
Question it, Horatio.
Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form,
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
Mar. It is offended.
See! ít stalks away.
Hor. Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
[Exit Ghost. Mar. 'T is gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio! you tremble, and look pale.
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on 't?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king ?
Hor. As thou art to thyself.
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 sledded Polacks on the ice.
'T is strange.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour, With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not;
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 knows,
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 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?
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 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'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same co-mart,
And carriage of the article 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,