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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.
LAERTES, Son to Polonius.

Osric, a Courtier.
Another Courtier.
A Priest.

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 to Hamlet.
OPHELIA, Daughter to Polonius.


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Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Grave-diggers,

Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.






Elsinore. A Platform before the


FRANCISCO on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.

Bernardo. Who's there?

Fran. Nay, answer mel; stand, and unfold Yourself.

Ber. Long live the king!



. 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?

Not a mouse stirring. Ber. Well, good night.

I i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watchword; which appears to have been, ‘Long live the king.'

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.

0, farewell, honest soldier: Who hath reliev'd you? Fran.

Bernardo hath my place. Give you good night.


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

Ber. I have seen nothing.

Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy;
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreadful sight, twice seen of us;
Therefore I have entreated him along,
With us to watch the minutes of this night;

2 Shakspeare uses rivals for associates, partners; and competitor has the same sense throughout these plays. It is the original sense of rivalis. The etymology was pointed out by Acro Grammaticus in his Scholia on Horace: A rivo dicto rivales qui in agris rivum haberent communem, et propter enim sæpe discrepabant. Hanmer applied this explanation:— Rivals, in Latin, being originally applied to proprietors of neighbouring lands parted only by a brook, which belonged equally to both, and so signified partners: this partnership led to contests; and hence the word came to signify persons contending for the same object.

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


Enter Ghost. Ber. In the same figure like the king that's dead. Mar. Thou art a seholar, speak to it, Horatio*. Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio. Hor. Most like:-- it harrows5 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

3 To approve or confirm. • Ratum habere aliquid.' —Baret.

4 It was a vulgar notion that a supernatural being could only be spoken to with effect by persons of learning; exorcisms being usually practiced by the clergy in Latin. Toby, in The Night Walker of Beaumont and Fletcher, says :

'Let's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,

And that will daunt the devil. 5 The first quarto reads, “it horrors me. To harrow is to distress, to vex, to disturb. To harry and to harass have the same origin, from the Gothic haer, an armed force. Milton has the word in Comus :

• Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear.'

In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee,

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
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think


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 parleo,
He smote the sledded Polack7 on the ice.
'Tis strange.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead

With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

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6 Parle, the same as parley, a conference between enemies.

7 i.e. the sledged Polander ; Polaque, Fr. The old copy reads Pollax. Malone therefore thinks that Shakspeare wrote Polacks, not considering that it was in a parley, and that a general slaughter was hardly likely to ensue. Mr. Boswell suggests that it is just possible the old reading may be right, pole-ax being put for the person who carried the pole-axe, a mark of rank among the Muscovites, as he has shown from Milton's Brief History of Muscovy.

8 Jump. So the quarto of 1603, and that of 1604. The folio reads just. Jump and just were synonymous in the time of Shakspeare. So in Chapman's May Day, 1611:

*Your appointment was jumpe at three with me.' • Thou bendest neither one way nor tother, but art even jumpe stark naught.-- Baret, B. 486.


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