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SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle. Midnight. FRANCISCO at his post. The clock strikes twelve. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Fran. Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
Ber. Long live the king!
Fran. I think I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there?
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Who hath reliev'd you?
Give you good night.
What, is Horatio there?
Mar. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
Ber. I have seen nothing.
Mar. Horatio says 't is 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
4 Ground, i.e. country.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Bernardo has my place. [Exit.
5 Give you, i.e. God give you.
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
When yond same star that's westward from
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 harrows1 me with fear and wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Together with that fair and warlike form
Mar. It is offended. Ber. See, it stalks away! Hor. Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak! [Exit Ghost 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
Without the sensible and true avouch
1 Harrows, afflicts, tortures; or, perhaps, figuratively= tears, lacerates.
That hath a stomach in't: which is no other-
Ber. I think it be no other but e'en so: Well may it sort, that this portentous figure Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars. Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.] In the most high and palmy state of Rome, A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
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, O, speak!
1 Unimproved, untutored.
2 Stomach, i.e. courage.
4 The moist star, i.e. the moon.
I'll cross it, though it blast me.-Stay, illusion!
5 Happily, haply.
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Speak of it stay, and speak! [Cock crows.]
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan? Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
'T is here!
Mar. 'Tis gone!
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long: And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad; The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm; So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part be-
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Mar. Let's do 't, I pray; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most convenient.] [Exeunt.
• Extravagant, wandering.
'Tis here! [Exit Ghost.
7 Takes, bewitches.
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,-]
1 Bands, bonds.
2 Diluted articles, articles set out at large.
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
Cor. Vol. In that and all things will we show our duty.
King. We doubt it nothing: heartily fare- ́ well. [Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.] And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; what is 't, Laertes? [You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, And lose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed3 lids