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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 this dream of his advantage, 2 He hath not fail'd to pester us with message, Importing the surrender of those lands Lost by his father, with all bands 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 gait herein;3 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 bearers 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 duty. King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell.
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS.
2 Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] This imaginary advantage, which Fortinbras hoped to derive from the unsettled state of the kingdom. s to suppress
His further gait herein,] Gate or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage; from the A. S. verb gae. A gate for a path, passage, or street, is still current in the north.
4 more than the scope -] More is comprized in the general design of these articles, which you 'may explain in a more dife fused and dilated style.
5- dilated articles, &c.] i, e, the articles when dilated.
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
My dread lord,
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
[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 nighted colour off,
6 Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.] A little more than kin, is a little more than a common relation. The king was certainly something less than kind, by having betrayed the mother of Hamlet into an indecent and incestuous marriage, and obtained the crown by means which he suspects to be unjustifiable,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
If it be,
seems. 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn 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, modes, 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. Tis sweet and commendable in your na
ture, Hamlet, 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 In filial obligation, for some term To do obsequious sorrow:8 But to perséver In obstinate condolement,o is a course Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief: It shows a will most incorrect' to heaven; A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
? railed lids ] With lowering eyes, cast down eyes.
o bsequious sorrow:] Obsequious is here from obsequies, or funeral ceremonies.
§ In obstinate condolement,] Condolement, for sorrow.
I a will most incorrect ] i. e. ill-regulated, not suffi. ciently regulated by a sense of duty and submission to the dispensations of Providence.
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
King. Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply;
2 To reason most absurd:1 Reason is here used in its common sense, for the faculty by which we form conclusions from arguments.
3 And, with no less nobility of love,] Eminence and distinction of love.
4 bend you to remain-] i. e. subdue your inclination to go from hence, and remain, &c.
No jocund health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
man! A little month; or ere those shoes were old, With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
s No jocund health,] The King's intemperance is very strongly impressed; every thing that happens to him gives him occasion to drink. 6 the king's rouse -] i. e. the King's draught of jollity.
resolve itself into a dew!] Resolve means the same as dissolve.
8 merely.] is entirely, absolutely.
9 Hyperion to a satyr:] Hyperion or Apollo is represented in all the ancient statues, &c. as exquisitely beautiful, the satyrs hideously ugly.
? That he might not beteem-] i. e. permit, or suffer.