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Prince. A glooming peace this morning with it


The fun for forrow, will not shew his head Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Some shall be pardon'd, and fome punished ??

For never was a story of more woe,

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. [Exeunt omnes.

▾ Mr. Steevens fays, that this line has reference to the novel from which the fable is taken. Here we read that Juliet's female attendant was banished for concealing her marriage; Romeo's fervant set at liberty because he had only acted in obedience to his master's orders; the apothecary taken, tortured, condemned, and hanged; while Friar Lawrence was permitted to retire to a hermitage in the neighbourhood of Verona, where he ended his life in penitence and peace.


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Lords, Ladies, Players, Grave-diggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Elfinour.

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1 The original story on which this play is built, may be found in Saxo Grammaticus the Danish hiftorian. 2 i.e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. 3 Rivals for partners, according to Warburton. Hanmer fays, that by rivals of the watch are meant thofe who were to watch on the next adjoining ground. Rivals, in the original fenfe of the word, were proprietors of neighbouring lands, parted only by a brook, which belonged equally to both.

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When yon fame ftar, that's weftward from the 10 At least the whisper goes fo. Our laft king,
Had made his courfe to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself,

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Ber. In the fame figure, like the king that's dead.
Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.
Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho-

Whofe image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat; in which, our valiant Hamlet
15(For fo this fide of our known world efteem'd him)
Did flay this Fortinbras; who, by a feal'd compact,
Well ratify'd by law, and heraldry,

[wonder. 20 Hor. Moft like it harrows 2 me with fear and Ber. It would be spoke to.

Mar. Speak to it, Horatio.

[night, time of

Hor. What art thou, that usurp'ft this
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of bury'd Denmark [speak.
Did fometime march? By heaven I charge thee,
Mar. It is offended.

Ber. See! it stalks away.

Hor. Stay; speak; I charge thee, speak.

[Exit Gboft.

Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and
look pale:

Is not this fomething more than phantafy?
What think you of it?

Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Without the fenfible and true avcuch

Of mine own eyes.

Mar. Is it not like the king?

Hor. As thou art to thyself:

Such was the very armour he had on,

When he the ambitious Norway combated;

So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He fmote the fledded Polack 3 on the ice.
'Tis ftrange.

Mar. Thus, twice before, and just at this dead
With martial stalk he hath gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I

know not;

But, in the grofs and scope 5 of mine opinion,
This bodes fome strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now, fit down, and tell me, he
that knows,

Why this fame strict and most obfervant watch


Did forfeit, with his life, all thofe his lands,
Which he ftood feiz'd of, 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 that covenant,
And carriage of the articles defign'd",

His fell to Hamlet: Now, fir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,

Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a lift of landless resolutes,

For food and diet, to fome enterprize
30 That hath a ftomach 9 in't; which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,
And terms compulfatory, thofe forefaid lands
So by his father loft: And this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations;
The fource of this our watch; and the chief head
Of this poft-hafte and romage 10 in the land.

Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so:
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
40 Comes armed through our watch; fo like the king
That was, and is the question of these wars.

Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy " state of Roine,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
45 The graves ftood tenantlefs, and the sheeted dead
Did fqueak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Stars fhone with trains of fire; dews of blood fell;
Difafters 12 veil'd the fun; and the moist star,
Upon whofe influence Neptune's empire ftands,
50 Was fick almoft to dooms-day with eclipse.
And even the like precurfe of fierce 13 events,-
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
And prologue to the omen 14 coming on,-
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
155 Unto our climatures and countrymen.—

1 i. e. add a new teftimony to that of our eyes. 2 To barrow is to conquer, to fubdue. The word is of Saxon origin. 3 He fpeaks of a prince of Poland whom he flew in battle. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland: Polaque, French. A fled, or fledge, is a carriage made ufe of in the cold countries. 4 i. e. what particular train of thinking to follow. thoughts, and tendency at large. 7 Unimproved, for unrefined.

5 i. e. general Carriage is import: defign'd, is formed, drawn up between them. To fhark up may mean to pick up without diftinction, as the foarkfifh collects his prey. 9 Stomach, in the time of our author, was used for conftancy, refolution. ioj. e. tumultuous hurry. 11 Palmy for victorious, flourishing. 12 Difafters is here finely used in its original fignification of evil conjunction of stars. 13 Fierce, for confpicuous, glaring. 14 Omen, for fate.


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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, haply, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!

Or, if thou haft uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
[Cock crows.
Speak of it :-stay, and speak.-Stop it, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I ftrike at it with my partizan?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

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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 fummons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-founding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in fea or fire, in earth or air1,
The extravagant2 and erring spirit hies
To his confine 3: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock 4.
Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning fingeth all night long :
And then, they say, no fpirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes 5, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and fo gracious is the time.

Her. 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 fpirit, 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




A Room of State.

Enter the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants.

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's

The memory be green; and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
10 To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Yet fo far hath discretion fought with nature,
That we with wifest sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our queen,
The 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,—
20 Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wifdoms, 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;
25 Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our ftate 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

30 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,―
35 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 subject :-and we here dispatch
40 You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further perfonal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Of thefe dilated articles allows.

45 Farewel; and let your hafte commend your duty.
Vol. In that and all things will we fhew our


King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel.
[Exeunt Voltimand, and Cornelius.

50 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'st thou beg.

Where we shall find him most convenient. [Exeunt.[55] That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?

According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of fpirits, who had difpofitions different, according to their various places of abode. 2 i. e. got out of its bounds. 3 Bourne of Newcastle, in his Antiquities of the Common People, informs us, "It is a received tradition among the vulgar, that at the time of cock-crowing the midnight spirits forfake these lower regions, and go to their proper places." 4 This is a very ancient fuperftition. 5 No fairy frikes with lameness or diseases. The meaning is, He goes to war fo indifcreetly, and unprepared, that he has no allies to fupport him but a dream, with which he is colleagued or confederated. or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage. • i. e. the articles when dilated.

1 Gate


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'st thou have, Laertes?

Laer. My dread lord,

Your leave and favour to return to France; [mark,
From whence though willingly I came to Den-
To fhew my duty in your coronation;
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,

[But, you must know, your father loft a father;
That father loft, loft his 5; and the furvivor bound
In filial obligation, for some term

To do obfequious forrow: but to perféver
5 In obftinate condolement 7, is a course
Of impious stubbornnefs: 'tis unmanly grief:
It fhews a will most incorrect3 to heaven;
A heart unfortify'd, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschool'd:

My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France, 10 For what, we know, must be, and is as common
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon. As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
King. Have you your father's leave? What

[flow leave,

fays Polonius?
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my
By labourfome petition: 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

And thy best graces fpend it at thy will.-
But now, my coufin Hamlet, and my son,--
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind2.


Why should we, in our peevish oppofition,
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
15 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
20 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 10 toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :

King. How is it that the clouds ftill hang on
[fun 3.25
Ham. Not fo, my lord, I am too much i' the
Queen. Good Hamlet, caft thy nighted colour

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Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not
'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, shews 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 show;
Thefe, but the trappings and the fuits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendabile in your na-
ture, Hamlet,

To give those mourning duties to your father:



And, we befeech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the chear and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefeft courtier, coufin, and our fon.
Queen. Let not thy mother lofe her prayers,

I pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I fhall in all my best obey you, madan.
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 canon to the clouds shall tell;
40 And the king's rouze the heaven fhall bruit again,
Re-fpeaking earthly thunder. Come, away.


Manent Hamlet.
Ham. O, that this too too folid flesh would melt,
45 Thaw, and refolve 1 itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 42 'gainst self-flaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable

Seem to me all the uses of this world!
50 Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

The fenfe is, The head is not formed to be more useful to the heart, the hand is not more at the fervice of the mouth, than my power is at your father's fervice. 2 Hanmer observes, It is not unreasonable to fuppofe that this was a proverbial expreffion, known in former times for a relation fo confufed and blended, that it was hard to define it. Dr. Johnson afferts kind to be the Teutonick word for child: Hamlet therefore, he adds, aniwers with propriety, to the titles of coufin and fen, which the king had given him, that he was fomewhat more than coufin, and lefs than for. Mr. Steevens fays, that a jingle of the fame fort is found in another old play, and feems to have been proverbial, as he has met with it more than once. 3 Mr. Fari per questions whether a quibble between fun and for be not here intended. 4 With lowering eyes, caft-down eyes. 5 That is, Your father left a father, i. e. your grandfather, which left grandfather so loft his father. 7 Condolement, for f vow. & Incorrect, for untutor`d. 10 i. e. communicate whatever I can bestow.

or funeral ceremmies.

means generofity.


Obfequious is here from obfequies

9 Nobility here

* Rejuve means the fame as diffolase. 12 i, e. that he bad not restrained fun ide by bis express law and peremptory prohibition.



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