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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.


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?
You told us of some suit; What is't, Laertes ?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice : What would'st thou beg,

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking ?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What would'st thou have, Laertes?

My dread 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 toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave? What says

Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow

By laboursome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will I seald 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 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.
Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids7
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st, 'tis common; all, that live, must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.

If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seeins, madain! nay, it is; I know not

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:
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! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd;a 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, 3
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward 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,

I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.

Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

King. Why, 'tis 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,

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,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell;
And the king's rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. POLONIUS,

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
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fye on't! O fye! 'tis 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 wo-

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.

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