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Elfinore. A Platform before the Cafile.

FRANCISCO on his Poft. Enter to him BERNARDO.

BER. Who's there?

FRAN. Nay, answer me: ftand, and unfold Yourself,

BER. Long live the king!3


Bernardo ?



FRAN. You come moft carefully upon your hour. BER. 'Tis now ftruck twelve ;+ get thee to bed, Francifco.


me:] i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. STEEVENS.

3 Long live the king!] This fentence appears to have been the watch-word. MALONE.

4 'Tis now ftruck twelve ;] I ftrongly fufpect that the true reading is-new ftruck, &c. So, in Romeo and Juliet, A& I. fc. i: "But new struck nine." STEEVENS,

FRAN. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter


And I am fick at heart.

BER. Have you had quiet guard?


Not a mouse stirring.

BER. Well, good night.


you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch,5 bid them make hafte.

5 The rivals of my watch.,] Rivals for partners.

So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1636: "Tullia. Aruns, affociate him.


"Aruns. A rival with my brother," &c. Again, in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1637:

"And make thee rival in thofe governments." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, A&t III. fc. v:


- having made ufe of him in the wars against Pompey, prefently deny'd him rivality." STEEVENS.

By rivals the fpeaker certainly means partners (according to Dr. Warburton's explanation,) or thofe whom he expected to watch with him. Marcellus had watched with him before; whether as a centinel, a volunteer, or from mere curiofity, we do not learn: but, which ever it was, it seems evident that his ftation was on the fame fpot with Bernardo, and that there is no other centinel by them relieved. Poffibly Marcellus was an officer, whofe bufinefs it was to vifit each watch, and perhaps to 'continue with it fome time. Horatio, as it appears, watches out of curiofity. But in Act. II. fc. i. to Hamlet's queftion,"Hold you the watch to-night?" Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo, all anfwer,-" We do, my honour'd lord." The folio indeed, reads-both, which one may with great proprietý refer to Marcellus and Bernardo. If we did not find the latter gentleman in fuch good company, we might have taken him to have been like Francifco whom he relieves, an honeft but common foldier. The ftrange indifcriminate ufe of Italian and Roman names in this and other plays, makes it obvious that the author was very little converfant in even the rudiments of either lan guage. RITSON.

Rival is conftantly ufed by Shakspeare for a partner or af fociate. In Bullokar's English Expofitor, 8vo. 1616, it is de


FRAN. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there!

HOR. Friends to this ground.
FRAN. Give you good night.

Who hath reliev'd you?

And liegemen to the Dane.


Give you good night.



What, is Horatio there?

O, farewell, honeft foldier:

Bernardo hath my place. [Exit FRANCISCO.

Holla! Bernardo !


fined" One that fueth for the fame thing with another;" and
hence Shakspeare, with his ufual licence, always ufes it in the
fame sense of one engaged in the fame employment or office with
another. Competitor, which is explained by Bullokar by the
very fame words which he has employed in the definition of
rival, is in like manner (as Mr. M. Mafon has obferved,) always
ufed by Shakspeare for affociate. See Vol. IV. p. 233, n. 6.
Mr. Warner would read and point thus:

If you do meet Horatio, and Marcellus
The rival of my watch,-

because Horatio is a gentleman of no profeffion, and because, as he conceived, there was but one perfon on each watch. But there is no need of change. Horatio is certainly not an officer, but Hamlet's fellow-student at Wittenberg: but as he accompanied Marcellus and Bernardo on the watch from a motive of curiofity, our poet confiders him very properly as an affociate with them. Horatio himfelf fays to Hamlet in a fubfequent scene


This to me

"In dreadful fecrecy impart they did,

"And I with them the third night kept the watch."



A piece of him."

BER. Welcome, Horatio; welcome, good Marcellus.

HOR. What,' has this thing appear'd again tonight?

BER. I have seen nothing.

MAR. Horatio fays, 'tis but our fantasy;
And will not let belief take hold of him,
Touching this dreaded fight, twice feen of us:
Therefore I have entreated 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. A piece of him,] But why a piece? He fays this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.


A piece of him, is, I believe, no more than a cant expreffion. It is used, however, on a ferious occafion in Pericles:

"Take in your arms this piece of your dead queen." STEEVENS,

7 Hor. What, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1604. STEEVENS. These words are in the folio given to Marcellus. MALONE. 8 the minutes of this night;] This feems to have been an expreffion common in Shakspeare's time. I found it in one of Ford's plays, The Fancies chofte and noble, Act V : I promise ere the minutes of the night."


STEEVENS. -approve our eyes,] Add a new teftimony to that of our eyes. JOHNSON.

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He may approve our eyes,] He may make good the testimony of our eyes; be affured by his own experience of the truth of that which we have related, in confequence of having been eyewitneffes to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, fignified to

HOR. Tufh! tufh! 'twill not appear.

And let us once again aflail your ears,
That are fo fortified against our story,
What we two nights have feen.'

Sit down awhile;

Well, fit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
BER. Laft night of all,

When yon fame ftar, that's weftward from the pole,
Had made his courfe to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myfelf,
The bell then beating one,-

MAR. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

Enter Ghoft.

BER. In the fame figure, like the king that's


MAR. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.

make good, or establish, and is fo defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard English Words, Svo. 1604. So, in King Lear:

"Good king that must approve the common saw !
"Thou out of heaven's benediction com'ft

"To the warm fun." MALONE.

What we two nights have feen.] This line is by Sir Thomas Hanmer given to Marcellus, but without neceflity. JOHNSON.

2 Thou art a fcholar, fpeak to it, Horatio.] It has always been a vulgar notion that fpirits and fupernatural beings can only be fpoken to with propriety or effect by perfons of learning. Thus, Toby, in The Night-walker, by Beaumont and Fletcher, fays:

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It grows ftill longer,

"'Tis fteeple-high now; and it fails away, nurse.
"Let's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,
"And that will daunt the devil."

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