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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.

"Tis here! Hor.

"Tis here! Mar. 'Tis gone!

[Exit Ghost. We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show 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 morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,8
The extravagant and erring spirit' hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object 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,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad ;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes,' nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

8 Whether in sea, &c.] According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of spirits, who had dispositions different, according to their various places of abode. The meaning therefore is, that all spirits extravagant, wandering out of their element, whether aerial spirits visiting earth, or earthly spirits ranging the air, return to their station, to their proper limits in which they are confined.

erring spirit,] Erring is here used in the sense of wandering.

* No fairy takes,] No fairy strikes with lameness or diseases. This sense of take is frequent in this author.


Hor. 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 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, A's 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 convenient.



The same. A Room of State in the same. Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS,

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
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,
The 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 tiranks.


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 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


Fortinbras, –
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, -eto suppress
His further gait herein ;8 in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject :- and we here despatch
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 dilated articless allow.
Farewell; and let

haste commend

your duty. Cor. Vol. In that, and all things, will we show

our duty. King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell.




2 Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] This imaginary advantage, which Fortinbras hoped to derive from the unsettled state of the kingdom.

to suppress His further gait herein,) Gate or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage ; from the A. S. verb gae. A gate for a path, passage, or street, is still current in the north.

more than the scope-] More is comprized in the general design of these articles, which you may explain in a more diffused and dilated style.

5 dilated articles, &c.] i. e. the articles when dilated.


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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 would'st thou beg,

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 would'st thou have, Laertes?

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.
King. Ilave you your father's leave ? What says

Polonius Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow

leave, By laboursome petition; and, at last, Upon his will I seal'd


hard consent : I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be thinc, And thy best graces: spend it at thy will. But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.

[Aside. King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i’the sun, Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,


Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.] A little more than kin, is a litcle more than a common relation. The king was certainly something less than kind, by having betrayed the mother of Hamlet into an indecent and incestuous marriage, and obtained the crown by means which he suspects to be unjustifiable.

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 live, must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.

If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?

Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not


"Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the

Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shows 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. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your na-

ture, 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 perséver
In obstinate condolement,o is a course
Of impious stubbornness ; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect' to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient :

vailed lids-] With lowering eyes, cast down eyes.

obsequious sorrow:] Obsequious is here from obsequies, or funeral ceremonies. 9 In obstinate condolement,] Condolement, for sorrow.

a will most incorrect-] i.e. ill-regulated, not sufficiently regulated by a sense of duty and submission to the dispensations of providence.


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