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Hor.

No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed, and so gracious is that time.
So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward 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 ?
Let's do't I pray ; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most convenient.

[Exeunt omnes]

Mar.

SCENE II—ELSINORE

A ROOM OF STATE IN THE CASTLE

King

The memory

Flourish. Enter the King, Queen, Hamlet, POLONIUS,

Laertes, VoLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death

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 ourselves :
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious, and a 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

be green,

know young

Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along, (for all, our thanks).
Now follows that
you

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 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 ; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subject : and we here dispatch
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 delated articles allow :
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
In that, and all things, will we show our duty.
We doubt it nothing : heartily farewell.

[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 ?

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Laer.

King
Pol.

King

Laer.

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.
Have
you your father's leave? What

What says Polonius ?
He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
By laboursome petition, and at last
Upon his will I seald my hard consent :
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
With all our heart :
Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be thine,
And thy best graces spend it at thy will :
Fare thee well.
I, in all love and duty, take my

leave.

[Exit Laertes]
And now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son-
[Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.
What means these sad and melancholy moods ?
How is it that the clouds still hang on you ?
Not so much my lord ; I am too much in the “son.
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 dust :
Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Ay, madam, it is common.

If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee ?
Seems, madam ! nay, it is ; I know not “ seems.
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,

King Ham.

King

Ham.

Queen

Ham.

Queen

Ham.

Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the

eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes 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 passes show ;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

King

'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, 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 ; but to persever
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness ; 'tis unmanly grief ;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
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 :
“ None lives on earth, but he is born to die.”
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 reason most absurd, 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
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward

For
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
We hold it most unmeet, and inconvenient,

you.

your intent

Queen

Ham.

King

(Being the joy, and half heart of your mother)
It is most retrograde to our desire ;
And we beseech

you,
bend
you

to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye;
All Denmark's hope ;
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
Let not thy mother lose her prayers,

Hamlet :
I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.
I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply,
Spoke like a kind, and a most loving son.
Be as ourself in Denmark—Madam, come ;
This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart; in grace whereof,
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell;
And the rouse the king shall drink unto prince Hamlet,
The heavens shall bruit again, re-speaking earthly thunder.
.

(Flourish. Exeunt all but Hamlei] O! that this too much grieved and sallied 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! God !
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world !
Fie on't! Ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed ; things rank and gross in nature,
Possess it merely. That it should come thus :
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

Come away

Ham.

grown

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