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· HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.

ACT FIRST.

SCENE I.

Elsinore. A platform before the castle. Francisco at his post. Enter to him Bernardo.

Ber. Who's there?
Fran. Nay, answer me. Stand, and unfold your

self. Ber. Long live the king! Fran. Bernardo? 5 Ber. He. 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. 10 Ber. Have you had quiet guard? Fran.

Not a mouse stirring. Ber. Well, good night.

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 there?

Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar.

And liegeman to the Dane. 15
Fran. Give you good night.
Mar.

0, farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you? Fran.

Bernardo hath my place. Give you good night.

[Exit. var.

Holla! Bernardo! Ber.

Say, What, is Horatio there? Hor.

A piece of him. Der Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Marcellus. 20 L!O". What, has this thing appeared again

to-night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,

And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us; 46
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, 'twill not appear.
Ber.

Sit down awhile, 30
And let us once again assail 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. 85 Ber. Last night of all, When yond 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, The bell then beating one,

Enter Ghost. 40 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. 45 Ber. It would be spoke to. Mar.

Question it, Horatio. Hor. What art thou that usurp’st this time of

wondo

night,

Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge

thee, speak! 60 Mar. It is offended. Ber.

See, it stalks away! Hor. Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, spcak!

[Exit Ghost.

55

60

Mar. 'Tis 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. Mar.

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 frowned he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.

'Tis strange. Mar. Thus twice before, and jump at this dead 65

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 70

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?
Hor.

• That can I; 80 At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,

Whose image even but now appeared to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant

Hamlet85 For so this side of our known world esteemed

him-
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a sealed

compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror;
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same

covenant,
And carriage of the article designed,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young

Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,

90

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