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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.
HAMLET, Son to the former, and Nephew to the present, King.
POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain.
HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.
GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, and Mother to Hamlet.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Grave-diggers,
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
SCENE I. Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his post. Enter to him, BERNARDO.
Bernardo. WHO's there?
Ber. Long live the king!
Nay, answer me;1 stand, and unfold
He. Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour.
Ber. 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed,
Fran. For this relief, much thanks; 'tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Ber. Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
1 i. e. me, who have a right to demand the watchword; which appears to have been, "Long live the king."
* Shakspeare uses rivals for associates, partners; and competitor has the same sense throughout these plays. It is the original sense of rivalis.
Not a mouse stirring.
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Fran. I think I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there?
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Fran. Give you good
Give you good night.
And liegemen to the Dane. night.
O, farewell, honest soldier;
Bernardo hath my place.
Holla! Bernardo !
What, is Horatio there?
A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Marcellus.
Mar. Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy;
And let us once again assail your ears,
Well, sit we down,
When yon same star, that's westward from the pole,
1 To approve is to confirm.
Sit down awhile;
The bell then beating one,
Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes
Mar. It is offended.
Ber. In the same figure like the king that's dead.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Hor. What art thou, that
Together with that fair and warlike form
Speak to it, Horatio. usurp'st this time of
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By Heaven, I charge thee,
Ber. See! it stalks away.
Hor. Stay; speak: speak, I charge thee speak.
Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Is not this something more than fantasy?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king?
1 It was a vulgar notion, that a supernatural being could only be spoken to, with effect, by persons of learning; exorcisms being usually practised by the clergy in Latin.
2 The first quarto reads, "it horrors me."
3 i. e. the sledged Polander (Polaque, Fr.). The old copy reads Pollax
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know
But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that
Why this same strict and most observant watch
At least, the whisper goes so.
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
That can I
1 Jump. So the quarto of 1603, and that of 1604. The folio reads just. Jump and just were synonymous. So in Chapman's May Day, 1611:
"Your appointment was jumpe at three with me.”
2 That is, "what particular train of thought to follow," &c. The first quarto reads:
"In what particular to work I know not."