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OSRIC, a Courtier.
FRANCISCO, a soldier.
REYNALDO, servant to Polonius.
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, Mes sengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE I.-Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
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 ?
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-Stand, ho! Who is there?
Hor. Friends to this ground.
And liegemen to the Dane.
Fran. Give you good night.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Who hath reliev'd you?
Give you good night.
Bernardo hath my place.
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.
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.
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 again!
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.
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?
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 he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not;
But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Junius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
As, stars with trains of fire shed dews of blood,
Disaster's dimm'd the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,-
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen coming on,—
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climates and countrymen.—
But, soft; behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me.-Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me:
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace
Speak to me:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure from the depths of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death:
Speak of it :-stay, and speak.
Mar. "Tis gone!
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence.
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to harm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill:
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet: for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know Where we shall find him most convenient.
SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in the same.
Enter the KING, QUEEN, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, Lord's, and
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green; and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,—
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along :—For all, our thanks.
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of some suit? What is't, Laertes ?
Laertes. My dread lord,
Your leave and favor to return to France;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To show my duty in your coronation;
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave?
Pol. He hath, my lord,—
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
And thy best graces: spend it at thy will.-
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,-
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.
King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i' the sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st, 'tis common; all that live, must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
"Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: These, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within, which passeth show;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound,
In filial obligation, for some tern.
To do obsequious sorrow: But to perséver
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient:
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
For what, we know, must be; and is as common
As any of the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart? Fye! 'tis a fault to heaven.