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CLAUDIU S, King of Denmark.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway.
Hamlet, Son to the former, and Nephew to the present King,
Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.
Horatio, Friend to Hamlet.
Laertes, Son to Polonius.
Voltimand,
Cornelius,

Courtico's
Rosencrantz,
Guildenstern,
Ofrick, a Fop
Marcellus, an Officer.
Bernardo,

Two Soldiers.
Francisco,
Reynoldo, Servant to Polonius,
Ghost of Hamlet's Father.

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Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Mother to Hamict.
Ophelia, Daughter to Polonius, beloved bay Hamlet.
Ladies attending on the Queeil.
Players, Grave-makers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendents

SCENE, Ellinoor.

Η Α Μ Ι Ε Τ. (1)

A C Τ Ι.

Scene, a Platform before the Palace.

Enter BERNARDO and FRANCISCO, two Centinelso

W

BERNARDO.
HO's there?
Fran. Nay, answer me : stand, and un

fold yourself. Ber. Long live the King!

(1) Honest Langbaine (in his account of Dramatic Poets) having told us that he knew not whether this story were true or false, not finding in the list given by Doctor Heylin such a King of Denmark as Claudius; Mr Pope comes and tells us, that this story was not invented by our Author, though from whence he took it he knows not. Langbaine gives us a sensible reason for his ignorance in this point; what to make of Mr Pope's assertion, upon the grounds he gives us for it, I confefs I know not. But we'll allow this gentleman, for once, a prophet in his declaration; for the ttory is taken from Saxo Grammaticus, in his Danish history. I'll subjoin a short extract of the material circumstances on which the groundwork of the plot is built; and how hapa pily the Poet has adapted his incidents, I shall leave to the observation of every reader. The historian calls our Poet's hero Amlethus; his father, Horwendillus; his uncle, Fengo; and his mother Gerutha. The old King in fingle combat New Collerus, King of Norway; Fengo makes away with his brother Horwendillus, and marries his widow Gerutha. Amlethus, to avoid being suspected by his uncle of designs, assumes a form of utter madness. A fine woman is planted upon him, to try if he would yield to the impressions of love. Fengo contrives that Amlethus, in order to found him,

Fran. Bernardo?
Ber. He
Frax. 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 And I am fick at heart.

[cold, Ber. Have you had quiet guard ? Fran. Not a mouse stirring.

Ber. Well, good-night. If

you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch, bid them make halte.

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS. Fran. I think I hear them. Stand, ho! who is Hor. Friends to this ground.

[there? Mur. And licge-men to the Dane. Fran. Give you good night.

Mar. Oh, farewel, honelt foldier; who hath re. Lieved you?

Fran. Bernardo has my place; give you good night.

Èxit Francisco Mar. Holla! Bernardo.

should be closeted by his mother. A man is concealed in the rules to overhear their discourse, whom Amlethus dif. covers and kills. When the Queen is frighted at this behaviour of his, he tasks her about her criminal course of life, and incestuous conversation with her former husband's murderer; confesses his madnefs is but counterfeited, to preferve himself and fecure bis revenge for his father; to which be injoins the Queen frlence. Fengo fends amlethus to Britain; two of the King's servants attend hini, with liters to the British King, strictly pressing the death of Amlethus, who in the night time, coming at their commiflion, overreads it, forms a new one, and turns the destruction, designed towards himself, on the bearers of the letters. bethus, returning home, by a wile surprizes and kills his uncle,

Ber. Say, what, is Horatio there?
Hor. A piece of him.

[cellus. Ber. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good MarMar. What, has this thing appeared again toBer. I have seen nothing.

(night? Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy ; And will not let belief take hold of him, Touching this dreaded fight, twice feen of us : Therefore I have intreated him along With us, to watch the minutes of this night; That if again this apparition come, He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.

Hor. Tush! tush ! 'twill not appear.

Ber. Sit down a while,
And let us once again affail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we have two nights seen.

Hor. Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

Ber. Last night of all,
When

yon fame star, that's westward from the pole, Had made his course to illume that part of heav'n Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, The bell then beating one, Mar. Peace, break thee off;

Enter the Ghost.. 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. Most like : it harrows me with fear and

wonder.
Ber. It would be spoke to.
Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.

[night; Hor. What art thou, that usurpest this time f

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E T,
Together with that fair and warlike form,
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometime march? by Heaven, I charge thee,
Mar. It is offended.

[speak.
Ber. See! it italks away.
Hor. Stay; speak: I charge thee, speak.

[Exit Ghost. Mar, 'Tis gone, and will not answer.

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble and look Is not this something more than fantasy? [pale. 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 fleaded Polack on the ice.
'Tis strange-------

[hour, Mar. Thus twice before, and just at this dead With martial ftalk, he has gone by our watch.

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion, (not:
This bodes fome strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now sit down, and tell me, he that

knows,
Why this fame strict and most obfervant watch
So nightly toils the subjects of the land ?
And why such daily cait of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war?
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose foie task
Does not divide the Sunday 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?

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