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Claudius, king of Denmark.

Hamlet, son to the former king, and nephew to the present king.

Polonius, lord chamberlain.

Horatio, friend to Hamlet.

Laertes, son to Polonius.





Osric, a courtier.

Another Courtier.

A Priest.




} officers.

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


Ophelia, daughter of Polonius.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Gravediggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.

Scene, Elsinore.




SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle.

Francisco on his post. Enter to him Bernardo.

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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.

Not a mouse stirring.


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


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A piece of him.

Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Mar


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 approvet 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,

• Partners.

+ Make good, or establish.

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, Horatio. Hor. Most like:-it harrows me with fear, and


Ber. It would be spoke to.


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 I charge thee,


Mar. It is offended.


See! it stalks away.

[Erit Ghost.

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

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and look


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 angry parlet,

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He 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

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

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?


At least, the whisper gocs so.

That can I;

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 compact,
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 co-martý, And carriage of the article design'd ||,

Sledged. + Polander, an inhabitant of Poland. § Joint bargain.

t Just.

The covenant to confirm that bargain.

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