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And then, they say, no spirit can walk 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 believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon 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.

SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in the



King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green; and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;

Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
The imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 't were, with a defeated joy,
With one auspicious and one dropping eye;
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage
In equal scale, weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd

a Takes-seizes with disease.

Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along:-For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth;
Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother.-So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting.
Thus much the business is: We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, to suppress
His further gaita herein; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject: and we here despatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power


To business with the king, more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow.

Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty.
Cor., Vol. In that, and all things, will we show our


King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell. [Exeunt VoL. and Cor. 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?

The head is not more native to the heart,

Gait-progress, the act of going.

b Out of his subject-out of those subject to him.

The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?


Dread my lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;

From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
To show my duty in your coronation ;

Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,

My thoughts and wishes bend again towards France, And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.

King. Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?

Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave, By laboursome petition; and, at last,

Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:

I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine, And thy best graces spend it at thy will! But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,-Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind." [Aside.

King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i' the sun. Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nightly colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust:

Thou know'st, 't is common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.

If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?

a The King has called him "my cousin Hamlet." He says, in a suppressed tone, "A little more than kin"-a little more than cousin. The King adds, "and my son." Hamlet says, "less than kind;"-I am little of the same nature with you. Kind is constantly used in the sense of nature by Ben Jonson and other contemporaries of Shakspere.

Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
"T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemu black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shows of grief,
That can denote me truly: These, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King. "T is sweet and commendable in your nature,

To give these mourning duties to your father:
But, you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound
Iu filial obligation for some term

To do obsequious" sorrow: But to persever
In obstinate condolement, is a course

Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool':
For what, we know, must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart? Fye! 't is a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
"This must be so." We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe; and think of us
As of a father: for let the world take note,
You are the most immediate to our throne,
And, with no less nobility of love,

a Obsequious sorrow-funereal sorrow,—from obsequies.

Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire:

And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet; I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg. Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam. King. Why, 't is a loving and a fair reply; Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, come; This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof, No jocunl health that Denmark drinks to-day, But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell; And the king's rouse the heavens shall bruit again, Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

[Ex. KING, QUEEN, Lords, &c., PoL., and LAERTES, Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd

His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

Seems to me all the uses of this world!
Fye on 't! O fye! 't is an unweeded garden,

That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead!-nay, not so much, not two;
So excellent a king; that was, to this,

Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on: And yet, within a month,-
Let me not think on 't;-Frailty, thy name is woman!



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