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[The scene represents a platform before the castle of Elsinore, the royal seat of the Kings of Denmark. A bell tolls midnight. The curtain rises at the sixth stroke of the bell and discovers FRANCISCO walking on his post. Bernardo enters at the tenth stroke of the bell.

BERNARDO.
WHO'S there?

FRANCISCO.
Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

BERNARDO.
Long live the king!

FRANCISCO. Bernardo?

BERNARDO.
He.

FRANCISCO.
You come most carefully upon your hour.

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

FRANCISCO.
For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.

Bernardo.
Have

you
had quiet guard ?
FRANCISCO.

Not a mouse stirring.

BERNARDO.
Well, good night.
If

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

FRANCISCO. I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who is there?

Enter Horatio and MARCELLUS.

HORATIO. Friends to this ground.

MARCELLUS.

And liegemen to the Dane.

FRANCISCO. Give you good night.

MARCELLUS.

O, farewell, honest soldier: Who hath relieved you?

FRANCISCO

Bernardo hath my place. Give you good night.

(Exit.) MARCELLUS.

Holla! Bernardo!
BERNARDO.

Say, What, is Horatio there?

HORATIO.

A piece of him.

BERNARDO. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good Marcellus.

Marcellus. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

BERNARDO. I have seen nothing.

MARCELLUS.
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.

HORATIO.
Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

BERNARDO.

Sit down a while; And let us once again assail your ears, That are so fortified against our story, What we have two nights seen.

HORATIO.

Well, sit we down, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

BERNARDO. Last night of all, When yond 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

Enter GHOST.

MARCELLUS.
Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

BERNARDO.
In the same figure, like the king that's dead.

Horatio.
Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

BERNARDO. It would be spoke to.

MARCELLUS.

Question it, Horatio.

HORATIO. 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!

MARCELLUS.
It is offended.

BERNARDO.
See, it stalks away!

HORATIO.
Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!

(Exit Ghost.)

MARCELLUS. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

BERNARDO.
How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale :
Is not this something more than fantasy ?
What think you on't?

HORATIO.
Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.

MARCELLUS.
Is it not like the king ?

HORATIO.
As thou art to thyself:
Such was the very armour he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated.

MARCELLUS.
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

HORATIO.
In what particular thought to work I know-not;

not:) But, in the gross and scope of my opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state.“

MARCELLUS. 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: Who is't that can inform me?

HORATIO.

That can I; 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, Dared to the combat ; in which our valiant

Hamlet failer) Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact, Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror. Now, sir, young Fortinbras, , Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Shark'd

up

list of lawless resolutes, But to recover of us, by strong hand, those fore

said lands
So by his father lost.

BERNARDO.
I think it be no other but e'en so.

а

Re-enter Ghost.

HORATIO. But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again! I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion !

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