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CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.
HAMLET, Son to the former, and Nephew to the present, King.
OSRIC, a Courtier.
MARCELLUS, & Officers.
FRANCISCO, a Soldier.
GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, and Mother to Hamlet.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Grave-diggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
SCENE I. Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle.
FRANCISCO on his post. Enter to him, BERNARDO.
Bernardo. WHO's there?
Nay, answer me;1 stand, and unfold
Ber. Long live the king!
He. 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.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
1 i. e. me, who have a right to demand the watchword; which appears to have been, "Long live the king."
2 Shakspeare uses rivals for associates, partners; and competitor has the same sense throughout these plays. It is the original sense of rivalis.
Enter HORATIO and Marcellus.
Fran. I think I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there?
Hor. Friends to this ground.
Fran. Give you good
Give you good night.
What, is Horatio there?
A piece of him.
Ber. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Marcellus. Hor. What, has this thing appeared again to-night? Ber. I have seen nothing.
And liegemen to the Dane. night.
O, farewell, honest soldier ;
Bernardo hath my place.
Holla! Bernardo !
Mar. Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy;
Sit down awhile;
Well, sit we down,
When yon same star, that's westward from the pole,
Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
1 To approve is to confirm.
Ber. In the same figure like the king that's dead.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Hor. What art thou, that night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
Speak to it, Horatio. usurp'st this time of
Mar. It is offended.
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Ber. 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?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Of mine own eyes.
1 It was a vulgar notion, that a supernatural being could only be spoken to, with effect, by persons of learning; exorcisms being usually practised by the clergy in Latin.
2 The first quarto reads, "it horrors me."
3 i. e. the sledged Polander (Polaque, Fr.). The old copy reads Pollax.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump1at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not; 2
But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so.
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
1 Jump. So the quarto of 1603, and that of 1604. The folio reads just. Jump and just were synonymous. So in Chapman's May Day, 1611:
"Your appointment was jumpe at three with me."
2 That is, "what particular train of thought to follow," &c. The first quarto reads:
"In what particular to work I know not.”