Enter the Ghaft.

Look, where it comes again.

Ber. In the fame 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. Moit like it harrows me with fear and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.

Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.

Hor. What art thou, that ufurp'ft this time of night, Together with that fair and warlike form,

In which the majefty of buried Denmark

Did sometime march? by heav'n, I charge thee, speak. Mar. It is offended.

Ber. See! it stalks away.

Hor. Stay; fpeak: I charge thee, fpeak. [Exit Ghoft. Mar. 'Tis gone and will not anfwer.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble and look pale. Is not this fomething more than phantafy?

What think you of it?

Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the fenfible and true avouch

Of mine own eyes.

Mar. Is it not like the King?

Hor. As thou art to thyfelf.

Such was the very armour he had on,

When he th' ambitious Norway combated:

So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He fmote the fleaded Polack on the ice.

"Tis ftrange.

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

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not: But, in the grofs and scope of my opinion,

This bodes fome ftrange eruption to our flate.
Mar. Good now fit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this fame ftrict and moft obfervant watch
So nightly toils the fubjects of the land?
And why fuch daily caft of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war?

E 5


Why fuch imprefs of fhipwrights, whose fore task
Does not divide the funday from the week?
What might be toward, that this sweaty hafte
Doth make the night joint labourer with the day :
Who is't, that can inform me ?

Hor. That can I;

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At least, the whisper goes fo.. Our laft King,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
(Thereto prickt on by a moft emulate pride)
Dar'd to the fight: In which, our valiant Hamlet,
(For fo this fide of our known world esteem'd him}
Did flay this Fortinbras: who by feal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,

Did forfeit (with his life) all thofe his lands,
Which he flood feiz'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 vaquifher; as by that cov❜nant,
And carriage of the articles defign'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,

Hath in the fkirts of Norway, here and there,
up a
lift of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to fome enterprize

That hath a ftomach in't: which is no other,
As it doth well appear unto our fate,
But to recover of us by strong hand,
And terms compulfative, those forefaid lands
So by his father loft: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The fource of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this poft-hafte and romage in the land.
Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so :
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch fo like the King,
That was, and is, the queftion of these wars..
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the moft high and palmy state of Rome,

A little

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The grave ftood tenantlefs; the fheeted dead
Did fqueak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Stars fhone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell;
Difafters veil'd the fun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was fick almost to dooms-day with eclipfe.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding ftill the fates,
And prologue to the omen'd coming on, (1)
Have heav'n and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and country-men.

Enter Ghoft again.

But foft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illufion!

[Spreading his arms. If thou haft any found, or use of voice, Speak to me.

If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me;
Speak to me.

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Oh speak!

Or, if thou haft uphoorded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

[Cock crows

For which, they fay, you fpirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it. Stay, and fpeak-Stop it, Marcellus.-
Mar. Shall I ftrike at it with my partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

Ber. 'Tis here

Hor. 'Tis here

(1) And Prologue to the Omen coming on.] But Prologue and Omen are merely fynonomous here, and muit fignify one and the fame Thing. But the Poet means, that these ftrange Phænoment are Prologues, and Forerunners, of the Events prefag'd by them: And fuch Senfe the flight Alteration, which I have ventured to, make by a fingle Letter added, very aptly gives.


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Mar. 'Tis gone.

We do it wrong, being fo majeftical,
To offer it fhew of violence;

For it is as the air, invulnerable;

And our vain blows, malicious mockery.

[Exit Ghoft.

Ber. It was about to speak when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful fummons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and fhrill-founding throat
Awake the God of day; and, at his warning.
Whether in fea or fire, in earth or air,
Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This prefent object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then they fay no fpirit walks abroad;
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm;
So hallow'd, and fo gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But look the morn, in ruffet 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 fpirit, dumb to us, will fpeak to him:
Do you confent, 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 fhall find him moft conveniently. [Exeunt.


SCENE changes to the Palace.

Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and attendants.

King.Hough yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green, and that it fitted

To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;

Yet fo far hath difcretion fought with nature,
That we with wifeft forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves,
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our Queen,
Th' imperial jointrefs of this warlike State,
Have we, as twere, with a defeated joy,
With one aufpicious, and one dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal fcale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife. -Nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wifdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along: (for all, our thanks.)
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak fuppofal of our worth;
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our ftate to be disjoint and out of frame;
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pefter us with meffage,
Importing the furrender of those lands
Loft by his father, by all bands of law,

To our moft valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the bufinefs is. We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young
(Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpofe,) to fupprefs
His further gate herein; in that the levies,
The lifts, and full proportions are all made

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