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Claudius, King of Denmark.
Marcellus, l officers.
Bernardo,' } Officers.
Francisco, a Soldier.
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother of Hamlet. Ophelia, Daughter of Polonius.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, GraveDiggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.
1 Hamlet, 1 i. e. Amleth. The h transferred from the end to the beginning of the name, STEEVENS.
ACT I. SCENE I. Elsinore. A Platform before the
Francisco on his Post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Fran. Nay, answer me:" stand, and unfold Yourself.
Ber. Long live the king!
He. 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?
Not a mouse stirring.
1 me:) i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word.
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Enter Horatio and MARCELLUS,
And liegemen to the Dane.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Bernardo hath my place.
Bernaraq Give you good night.
[Exit FRANCISCO. Mar.
A piece of him.
Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy;
Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile;
The rivals of my watch,] Rivals for partners. s approve our eyes,] He may make good the testimony of our eyes; be assured by his own experience of the truth of that which we have related, in consequence of having been eye-witnesses to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, signified to make good, or establish.
That are so fortified against our story,
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
Speak to it, Horatio.
night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee,
See! it stalks away.
[Exit Ghost. Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
4 Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.] It has always been a vulgar notion that spirits and supernatural beings can only be spoken to with propriety or effect by persons of learning.
5- it barrows me, &c.] To harrow is to conquer, to subdue. The word is of Saxon origin.
Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and look
pale: Is not this something more than fantasy? What think you of it?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the sensible and true avouch Of mine own eyes. Mar.
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. 'Tis strange. Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead
hour, 8 With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. : Hor. In what particular thought to work,' I know
6 sledded-) A sled, or sledge, is a carriage without wheels, made use of in the cold countries.
7 He smote the sledded Polack on the ice.] He speaks of a Prince of Poland whom he slew in battle. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland.
8 jump at this dead hour,] Jump and just were synonymous in the time of Shakspeare.
9 In what particular thought to work,] i.e. What particular train of thinking to follow.
gross and scope-) General thoughts, and tendency at large.