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Enter Ghosts.
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.

Question 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!

[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?
What think you on't ?

Hor. Before my God, 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 th' ambitious Norway combated :
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks' on the ice.

'Tis strange.

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


5 Enter Ghost.] "Armed” is added in the corr. fo. 1632, perhaps needlessly ; but see A. iii. sc. 4.

- it HARROWs me] One of the senses of “ to harrow" is to overthrow or subdue, and some lexicographers have contended that it is more properly spelt harry. The verb recurs, with an obvious meaning, in scene 5 of this Act. The 4to, 1603, here reads, "it horrors me," &c.

the sLEDDED Polacks] i. e. The sledged Polanders ; " Polacks” (spelt Pollax) was the name by which they were known in Shakespeare's time.

and jump at this dead hour,] So every 4to: the-folio explains the meaning of "jump" by substituting just. See also A. v. sc. 2. “ Jump" was frequently used for just, as in Chapman's " May Day," 1611 :

“ Your appointment was jump at three."



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.

Mar. Good now, sit down; and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land ?
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war?
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week?
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint labourer with the day?
Who is't, that can inform me?

That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteem'd him)
Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit with his life all those his lands,
Which he stood seiz'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 vanquisher; as, by the same co-mart,
And carriage of the article design'd',
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle ' hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,

9 - such daily cast] Every 4to. prints "cast,” cost : the folio, 1623, corrects the probable error. 1

- as, by the same co-MART, And carriage of the article design'd,] The unusual word “co-mart” per. haps not having been understood, the folio, 1623, has cov'nant and design : the latter improvement was not made till the folio, 1632. The 4tos. have " co-mart.”

2 Of UNIMPROVED mettle] The 4to, 1603, reads, inapproved, i, e. unproved; which may have been the true reading, but all the other 4tos. and folios have “ unimproved."

3 — LAWLESS resolutes,] So every 4to, including that of 1603 : the folio, 1623, probably by an error, gives it," landless resolutes," and landless is amended to "lawless" in the corr. fo. 1632.

For food and diet, to some enterprize
That hath a stomach in't: which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsative “, those 'foresaid lands
So by his father lost. And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

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 :
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun'; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
And even the like precurse of fierce events ®

* And terms COMPULSATIVE,] So the folio, 1623, which suits the measure better than “And terms compulsatoryof the 4tos.

5 I think, it be no other, but e'en so :] This and the seventeen following lines are not in the folio, nor is any trace of them to be found in the earliest 4to, that of 1603. They are, however, contained in all the subsequent 4to. editions.

6 Well may it sort,] i. e. Agree or accord. See Vol. iv. pp. 141. 484. 7 As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,

Disasters in the sun ;] As these lines are not in the folio, 1623, we can look for no emendation in the corr. fo. 1632: they are probably irretrievably corrupt, and, as in other cases of like difficulty, we give the text precisely as it is found in the oldest authentic copy, the 4to, 1604. Malone and others have gone upon the supposition that a line has been lost, but there is no sufficient reason for thinking 80; and we shrewdly suspect that the error lies merely in the word “ Disasters," which was perhaps misprinted, because it was immediately below " As stars,” and thus misled the eye of the old compositor. We do not imagine that Shakespeare used so affected and unpopular a word as astres, or asters : though it is found in both editions of Florio's Dictionary, in 1598 and 1611, it is not met with in Todd's Johnson, nor in Richardson ; but it has been speculated upon, last by Mr. W. W. Williams, of Tiverton, who proposes to print the passage thus:

Astres with trains of fire and dews of blood

Did overcast the sun," &ć. No change is at all satisfactory to us, and we therefore, as in our former impression, leave the old text unaltered.

8 — of FIERCE events] So some of the later 4tos: that of 1604 has feare events," perhaps for "fear'd events."

As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen coming on-
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen. -

Re-enter Ghost.

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,

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 hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,

[Cock crous.
Speak of it:-stay, and speak !—Stop it, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

'Tis here! Hor.

'Tis here! Mar. "Tis gone.

[Excit Ghost. We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show of violence ; For it is, as the air, invulnerable, And our vain blows malicious mockery.

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',

9 Stay, illusion !] At these words there is a stage-direction in the edition of 1604, copied into the later 4tos, which seems to show the action used by the Ghost: the words are, “ It spreads his arms." Lower down, just before the Ghost disappears again, the stage-direction in the 4tos. (likewise omitted in the folios) is, “ The Cock crows :" this is added in MS. in the corr. fo. 1632.

1 Shall I strike at it] The word at is found only in the folios—" strike at it.”—It affords the regular number of syllables for the line.

- trumpet to the MORN,] The folio has day for “ MORN;" but the cock is the trumpet to the "morn," and not so properly to the day : we have not only "day" just afterwards, but it seems used in such a manner as to show that


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,
Th' 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.

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 charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is that 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 yond' 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 conveniently. [Exeunt.


The Same. A Room of State.

Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES,

VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants. King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green, and that it us befitted


“morn” (found in all the 4tos. but that of 1603, which has morning) is the true lection. Drayton, as Malone observes, calls the cock “ the morning's trumpeter.”

no spirit DARES Stir abroad ;] So all the 4tos, but the first of 1603, which has “ dare walk :" the folio, can walk. Lower down, the folio has "the time,” for “ that time" of the 4tos; but it seems right, still lower, in substituting “ eastern " for eastward.

4 No fairy TAKES,] Talks in the folio. To “take” is to blast, strike, or infect; and talks is amended to “takes " in the corr. fo. 1632.

3 – and Attendants.] The corr. fo. 1632 adds, “ The King takes his seat.”

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