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HAMLET,

PRINCE OF DENMARK.

ACT I. SCENE I.

ELSINORE.

A PLATFORM BEFORE THE CASTLE.

Francisco on his post. Enter to him Bernardo.

Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold

Ber. Who's there?

Fran. Yourself. Ber.

Long live the king! Fran.

Ber.

Bernardo?

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. Ber. Have

you had quiet guard? Fran. Ber. Well

, good night.

Not a mouse stirring.

B

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. 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.

[Exit Francisco. Mar.

Holla! Bernardo!
Ber.

Say,
What, is Horatio there?
Hor.

A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Mar-

cellus. Hor. What, has this thing appear'd 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:
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 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, The bell then beating one, -Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it

comes again!

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, Ho

ratio. 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

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. Ber.

See! it stalks away.

Hor. Stay; speak; speak I charge thee, speak.

[Exit Ghost. 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 of it?

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 the ambitious Norway combated; So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle, IIe smote the sledded Polack on the ice. 'Tis 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?
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 com

páct, 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 coinpetent 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, 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 So by his father lost: And this, I take it, Is the main motive of our preparations; The source of this our watch; and the chief head

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