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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 confent 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.
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 it us befitted
To bear our Hearts in grief, and our whole Kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet fo far hath Difcretion fought with Nature,
That we with wifeft forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of our felves.
Therefore our fometimes Sifter, now our Queen,
Th' Imperial Jointress of this warlike State,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,
With one Aufpicious, 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 fuppofal 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 Meffage,
Importing the furrender of thofe Lands
Loft by his Father, with all Bonds of Law
To our most valiant Brother. So much for him..
Now for our felf, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the Bufinefs is. We have here writ
To Norway, Uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears
Of this his Nephew's purpose, to fupprefs
His further Gate herein. In that the Levies,
The Lifts, and full Proportions are all made
Out of his Subjects; and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you Voltimand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further perfonal Power
Of Treaty with the King, more than the scope
Of thefe dilated Articles allow.
Farewel, and let your hafte commend your Duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we fhew 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 fome Suit. What is't, Laertes?
You cannot speak of Reason to the Dane,
And lofe 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 Inftrumental to the Mouth,
Than is the Throne of Denmark to thy Father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To fhew my Duty in your Coronation,
Yet now I must confefs, 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 fays Polonins?
Pol. He hath, my Lord, by labourfome Petition,
Wrung from me my flow Leave; 'and at last
Upon his Will I feal'd my hard Confent;
I do befeech you give him leave to go.
King. Take thy fair Hour, Laertes, time be thine,
And thy beft graces; fpend it at thy Will.
But now, my Coufin Hamlet, and my Son-
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.
King. How is it that the Clouds ftill hang on you?
Ham. Not fo, my Lord, I am too much i'th' Sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet caft 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 duft;
Thou know'ft 'tis common, all that live muft die,
Paffing through Nature to Eternity.
Ham. Ay, Madam, it is common.
Queen If it be;
Why feems it fo particular with thee?
Ham. Scems, Madam? Nay, it is; I know not Seems! 'Tis not alone my Inky Cloak, good Mother,
Nor cuftomary Suits of folemn Black,
Nor windy Sufpiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful River in the Eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the Vifage,
Together with all Forms, Moods, fhews 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 paffeth fhow:
Thefe, but the Trappings, and the Suits of woe.
King. 'Tis fweet and commendable in your Nature, Hamlet,
To give thefe mourning Duties to your Father:
But you muft know, your Father loft a Father,
That Father loft, loft his, and the Surviver bound
In filial Obligation, for fome term
To do obfequious Sorrow. But to persevere
In obftinate Condolement, is a course
Of impious Stubbornnefs. 'Tis unmanly Grief,
It fhews a Will moft incorrect to Heav'n,
A Heart unfortified, a Mind impatient,
An Understanding fimple, and unfchool'd:
For what we know muft be, and is as common,
As any the most vulgar thing to fenfe,
Why should we, in our peevish Oppofition,
Take it to Hear:? Fie! 'Tis a fault to Heav'n,
A fault against the Dead, a fault to Nature,
To Reafon moft abfurd, whofe common Theam
Is death of Fathers, and who ftill hath cry'd,
From the firft Coarfe, 'till he that died to Day,
This must be fo. 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 lefs Nobility of Love,
Than that which deareft Father bears his Son,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
In going back to School to Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our Defire:
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our Eye,
Our chiefeft Courtier, Coufin, and our Son.
Queen. Let not thy Mother lofe her Prayers, Hamlet ;
I prithee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I fhall in all my best obey you, Madam.
King. Why 'tis a loving, and a fair Reply,
Be as our felf in Denmark. Madam, come,
This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits fmiling to my Heart, in grace whereof,
No jocund Health that Denmark drinks to Day,
But the great Cannon to the Clouds fhall tell,
And the Kings Rowfe, the Heav'n shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly Thunder. Come away.
Ham. O that this too too folid Flesh would melt,
Thaw, and refolve it felf into a Dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fixt
His Cannon 'gainst felf flaughter. O God! O God!
How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable
Seems to me all the ufes of this World.
Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded Garden
That grows to Seed; things rank, and grofs in Nature
Poffels it meerly. That it fhould come to this;
But two Months dead; nay, not fo much; not two,-
So excellent a King, that was, to this,
Hyperion to a Satyr: So loving to my Mother,
That he permitted not the Winds of Heav'n
Vifit her Face too roughly. Heav'n and Earth!
Muft I remember?why fhe 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:
A little Month!or e'er those Shooes were old,
With which the follow'd my poor Father's Body,
Like Niobe, all tears-Why fhe, even fhe,
O Heav'n! A Beaft that wants difcourfe of Reason
Would have mourn'd longer-married with mine Uncle,
My Father's Brother; but no more like my Father,
Than I to Hercules. Within a Month!
E'er yet the falt of moft unrighteous Tears
Had left the flushing of her gauled Eyes,
She married. O moft wicked fpeed, to poft
With fuch dexterity to inceftuous Sheets:
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But break, my Heart, for I muft hold my Tongue.
Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus.
Hor. Hail to your Lordship.
Ham. I am glad to fee you well,
Horatio, or I do forget my felf.
Hor. The fame, my Lord, and your poor Servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good Friend, I'll change that Name with
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?
Ham. I am very glad to fee you; good even, Sir.
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. A truant Difpofition, good my Lord.
Ham. I would not have your Enemy say fo;
Nor fhall you do mine Ear that Violence,
To make it trufter of your own report
Against your self. I know you are no Truant;
But what is your Affair in Elfinoor ?
We'll teach you to drink deep e'er you depart.
Hor. My Lord, I came to fee your Father's Funeral.
Ham. I prithee do not mock me, Fellow Student;
I think it was to fee my Mother's Wedding.
Hor. Indeed, 'my Lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio: The Funeral bak'd Meats Did coldly furnish forth the Marriage Tables; Would I had met my deareft Foe in Heav'n, E'er I had ever feen that Day, Horatio.