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Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle

FRANCISCO on his post. Enter to him


Ber. 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


Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

Fran. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter

And I am sick at heart.


Ber. Have you had quiet guard ?

Fran. Not a mouse stirring.

Ber. Well, good night.

T you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

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Who is there?

Hor. Friends to this ground.
Mar. And liegemen to the Dane.
Fran. Give you good night.

Mar. O, farewell, honest soldier:

Who hath reliev'd you?

Fran. Bernardo hath my place.

Give you good night.


Mar. Holla! Bernardo!

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Ber. Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Mar


Hor. What, has this thing appear'd again to


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 awhile;

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

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Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio. Ber. Looks it not like the King? mark it,

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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 buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven 1 charge thee,

Mar. It is offended.


Ber. See! it stalks away.

Hor. Stay; speak; speak 1 charge thee, speak.

[Exit Ghost,

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

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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 be


Without the sensible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.

Mar. Is it not like the King?
Hor. As thou art to thyself:

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Such was the very armour he had on,
When he the ambitious Norway combated;
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the fledded 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 wateh
So nightly toils the subject of the land;
Aud 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;

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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 compáct,

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


And carriage of the article design'd,

e co

His fell to Hamlet: Now, Sir, young Eortinbras,
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, 1 take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations;
The source of this our watch; and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

[Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so:
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the King
That was, and is, the question of these wars.
Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye,
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.

As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun; and the moist star,

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