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(For so this side of our known World esteem'd him)
Did flay this Fortinbras : who by a seald Compact,
Well ratified by Law, and Heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his Life, all those his Lands
Which he stood seiz'd on, to the Conqueror :
Against the which, a Moiety competent
Was gaged by our King; which had return'd
To the Inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been Vanquisher, as by the same Cov'nant
And carriage of the Article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now Sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved Mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a List of Landless Resolutes,
For Food and Dyet; to some enterprize
That hath a Stomach in't: which is no other,
And it doth well appear unto our State,
But to recover of us by strong Hand
And terms compulsative, those foresaid Lands
So by his Father loft: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our Preparations,
The source of this our Watch, and the chief head
Of this Post-hafte, and Romage in the Land.
Ber. I think it be no other, but even so :
Well may it sort that this porcentous Figure
Comes armed through our Watch so like the King,
That was, and is the Question of these Wars.
Hor. A More it is to trouble the Mind's Eye.
In the most high and flourishing State of Rome,
A little e'er the mightiest Julius fell,
The Graves stood Tenantless, and the sheeted Dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman Streets,
Stars shon with Trains of Fire, Dews of Blood fell,
Disasters veil'd the Sun, and the moist Star,
Upon whose Influence Neptune's Empire ftands,
Was fick almost to Doom's-day with Eclipse;
And even the like Precurse of fierce Events,
As Harbingers preceding still the Fates,
And Prologue to the Omen coming on,
Have Heav'n and Earth together demonstrated
Unto our Climatures and Country-men..
Enter Ghost again.
But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, Illusion!
[Spreading his Arms.
If thou hast any found, or use of Voice,
Speak to me, If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me; speak to me.
If thou art privy to thy Country's Fate,
Which happily fore-knowing may avoid, Oh speak!
Or, if thou hast uphoorded in thy Life
Extorted Treasure in the womb of Earth, [Cock Crows.
For which, they say, you Spirits oft walk in Death,
Speak of it. Stay, and speak-Stop it, Marcellus
Mar, Shall I strike at it with my Partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here-
Hor. 'Tis here
Mar. 'Tis gone.
We do it wrong. being so Majestical,
To offer it the Thew of Violence;
For it is as the Air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows, malicious mockery.
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful Summons. I have heard,
The Cock that is the Trumpet to the day,
Doth with his lofty and thrill-founding throat
Awake the God of Day: and at his warning,
Whether in Sea, or Fire, in Earth, or Air,
Th' extravagant and erring Spirit hyes
To his Confine. And of the truth herein,
This present Obje& made probation.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the Cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's Birth is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning fingeth all Night long :
And then, they say, no Spirit dares walk abroad,
The Nights are wholsome, then no Planets strike,
No Fairy takes, no Witch bath 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 Ruffet-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. [Excunt.
SCENE II. The Palace. Enter the King, Queen, Ophelia, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes,
Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants.
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear Brother's Death,
The Memory be green; and that
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 our felves.
Therefore our sometimes Sister, now our Queen,
Th' Imperial Jointress of this warlike State,
Have we, as 'twere, 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
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 this Dream of his Advantage;
He hath not fail'd to pefter 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 our self, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the Business is. We have here writ
To Norway, Uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears
of this his Nephew's purpose, to suppress
His further Gate herein. . In that the Levies,
The Lifts, and full Proportions are all made
Out of his Subje&s; and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further personal Power
Of Treaty with the King, more than the scope
Of these dilated Articles allow.
Farewel, and let your hafte commend your Duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we hew our Duty?
King. We doubt in nothing, heartily farewel.
[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.
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,
The Hand more Instrumental to the Mouth,
Than is the Throne of Denmark to thy Father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
Laer. Dread my Lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To shew my Duty in your Coronation,
Yet now I must confess, that Ducy 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, by laboursome Petition,
Wrung from me my flow Leave; '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
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.
King. How is it that the Clouds still hang on you?
Ham. Not so, my Lord, I am too much i'th' Suri.
Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nightly colour off,
And let thine Eye look like a Friend on Denmark.
Do not, for ever, with thy veiled Lids,
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.
Queen. If it be;
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, Madam Nay, it is; I know not Seems :
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloak, good Mother,
Nor customary Suits of solemn Black,
Nór 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, shews 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. 'Tissweet and commendable in your Nature, Hamlet, To give these mourning Duties to your Father: But you must know, your Father loft a Father, That Father loft, loft his, and the Surviver bound In filial Obligation, for some term To do obsequious Sorrow. But to persevere In obstinate Condolement, is a course Of impious Stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly Grief, It shews a Will most incorrect to Heav'n, A Heart unfortified, a Mind impatient, An Understanding simple, and unschoold: 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 Heari? Fie! 'Tis a fault to Heay'n, A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature, To Reason most absurd, whose common Theam Is death of Fathers, and who still hath cry'd, From the first Coarse, 'till he that died to Day, This must be so. We pray you throw to Earth