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Claudius, King of Denmark.
Hamlet, Son to the former King, and Nephew to the
Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.
Horatio, Friend to Hamlet.
Laertes, Son to Polonius.
Osric, a Courtier.
Francisco, a Soldier.
Reynaldo, Servant to Polonius.
A Captain. An Ambassador.
Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway.
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother of Hamlet.
Ophelia, Daughter of Polonius.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Grave-diggers,
Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.
ELSINORE. A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold
Ber. Long live the king!
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 ?
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.-Staud, ho! 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.
[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, '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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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,
He smote the sledded Polack on the ice.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath be 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.
Mur. 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 :