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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 message,
Importing the furrender of those lands
Loft 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 bufinefs is :-We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,—
Who, impotent and bed-rid, fcarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose,-to suppress
His further gait herein; in that the levies,
The lifts, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his fubject:-and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further perfonal power
To bufinefs with the king, more than the scope
Of thefe dilated articles allow.
Farewell; and let your hafte commend your duty.
Cor. Vol. In that, and all things, will we fhow our duty. King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell.
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS.
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you ?
You told us of fome fuit; what is't, Laertes?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lofe your voice: What would'ft 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 would't thou have, Laertes?
Laer. My dread Lord,
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 toward 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 flow leave, By labourfome petition; and, at laft,
Upon his will I feal'd my hard confent:
I do beseech 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 cousin Hamlet, and my fon,
Ham. A little more than kin, and lefs than kind. [Afide. King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not fo, my lord, I am too much i'the fun. Queen. Good Hamlet cast thy nighted 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 duft:
Thou know'ft, tis common; all, that live, must die,
Paffing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Why feems it fo particular with thee?
Ham. Seeins, madam! nay, it is; I know not feems.
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary fuits of folemn black,
Nor windy fufpiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, thows of grief,
That can denote me truly: Thefe, indeed, feem,
For they are actions that a man might play :
But I have that within, which paffeth fhow;
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe.
King.'Tis fweet 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 survivor bound,
In filial obligation, for fome term
To do obfequious forrow: But to perfevere
In obftinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornnefs, 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
An understanding fimple and unfchool'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? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reafon moft abfurd; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cry'd,
From the first corfe, 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 dearest father bears his fon,
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in 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 fon.
Queen. Let not thy mother lofe 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, 'tis a loving and a fair reply;
Be as ourself 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 king's rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, LORDS, &c. POLONIUS, and LAERTES.
Ham. O, that this too, too folid flesh would melt, Thaw, and refolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst felf-flaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the ufes of this world!
Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to feed: things rank, and grofs in nature,
Poffefs it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead!-nay, not fo much, not two:
So excellent a king, that was, to this,
Hyperion to a fatyr: fo loving to my mother,
That he might not let e'en the winds of heaven
Vifit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must 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 ere thofe shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears;-why fhe, even she,—
O heaven! a beaft, that wants discourse of reafon,
Would have mourn'd longer,-marry'd with my uncle,
My father's brother; but no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules: Within a month;
Ere yet the falt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flufhing in her galled eyes,
She marry'd :-O most wicked speed, to post
With fuch dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to, good;
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue!
Enter HORATIO, BERNARDO, and MARCELLUS.
Hor. Hail to your Lordship!
Ham. I am glad to see you well:
Horatio, or I do forget myself.
Hor. The fame, my Lord, and your poor fervant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you. And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?—Marcellus!
Ham. I am very glad to fee you; good even, fir,-
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?
Hor. A truant difpofition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy fay fo;
Nor fhall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it trufter of your own report
Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elfinore ?
We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.
Hor. My lord, I came to fee your father's funeral. Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-ftudent; I think it was to fee my mother's wedding.