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The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?

Dread my 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 towards France,
And how 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 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.

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be thine, 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 nightly 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, 't is common ; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.

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

a The King has called him “my cousin Hamlet.” He says, in a suppressed tone, “A little more than kin”-a little more than cousin. The King adds, "and my son." “less than kind;"-I am little of the same nature with you. Kind is constantly used in the sense of nature by Ben Jonson and other contemporaries of Shakspere.

Hamlet says,



Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
"T is 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 eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, 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. 'T is sweet and commendable in your nature,

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; 't is unmanly grief :
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'dl:
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? Fye! 't is 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,

a Obsequious sorrow-funereal sorrow,-from obsequies.

Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart towards you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

Queen. Let not thy mother lose 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, 't is a loving and a fair reply; 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 king's rouse the heavens shall bruit again, Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away. [Ex. KING, QUEEN, Lords, &c., POL., and LAERTES.

Ham. O, that this too too solid 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! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seems to me all the uses of this world! Fye on 't! O fye! 't is an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature, Possess it merely. That it should come to this ! 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 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 those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears, why she, even she,-
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, a
Would have mourn'd longer, — married with mine

My father's brother ; but no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules : Within a month;
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing of her galled eyes,
She married :-0 most wicked speed, to post
With such 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!

I am glad to see you well : Horatio,—or I do forget myself.

Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; I 'll change that name

with you.

And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?-

Mar. My good lord,

Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, sir,But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ?

Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.

Ham. I would not have your enemy say so;
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself: I know, you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore ?
We 'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.

a Discourse of reason is the discursion of reason-the faculty of pursuing a train of thought, or of passing from one thought to another.


Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student ; I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift,a Horatio ! the funeral bak d

Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
'Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Ere I had ever seen that day, Horatio !-
My father,-Methinks, I see my father.

0, where, My lord ? Ham. In mind's


Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king.

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?
Hor. My lord, the king your father.

The king my father!
Hor. Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear; till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.

For heaven's love, let me hear. Hor. Two nights together had these gentlemen, Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, In the dead waste and middle of the night, Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father, Arm'd at all points, exactly, cap-à-pé, Appears before them, and, with solemn march, Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walk'd, By their oppress'd and fear-surprized eyes, Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, bestill'd Almost to jelly with the act of fear,

a Thrift, thrift. It was a frugal arrangement,-a thrifty proceeding.

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