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And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.

Laer. Let this be so;

His means of death, his obscure funeral,-
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,—
Cry, to be heard, as 'twere, from Heaven to earth,
That I must call❜t in question.

King. So you shall;

And, where the offence is, let the great axe fall.


An Apartment in the Palace.


Hor. What are they, that would speak with me? Fran. Sailors, sir;

They say, they have letters for you.

Hor. Let them come in.


Enter two SAILORS.

1 Sail. Heaven bless you, sir.

Hor. Let him bless thee too.


I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

1 Sail. He shall, sir; an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir; it came from the embassador that was bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

HORATIO reads the Letter.

Horatio, when thou shalt have overlook'd this, give these fellows some means to the King; they have letters for him. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England; of them I have much to tell thee.-In my heart there was a kind of fighting, that would not let me sleep; up from my cabin, in the dark grop'd I to find out them; had my desire; finger'd their packet; and withdrew to my own room again, making so bold to unseal their grand commission; when I found, that, on the supervise, no leisure bated, no, not to stay the grinding of the axe, my head should be struck off. I sat me down, devis'd a new commission, that, on the view of these contents, the bearers should be put to sudden death. I had my father's signet in my purse, which was the model of that Danish seal; folded the writ up in the form of the other; gave it the impression; plac'd it safely, the changeling never known.-The next day, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase: Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compell'd va lour, and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them Let the King have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste, as thou would'st Ay death. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Farewell.


He that thow knowest thine,


Come, I will give you way for these your letters;
And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
To him, from whom you brought them. [Exeunt.


Another Room in the Palace.


King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal;

you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father slain,
Pursu'd my life.

Laer. And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desperate terms;
Whose worth

Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections: But my revenge will come.
King. Break not your sleeps for that: you must not

That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more.—
How now? what news?


Ber.. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet :
This to your majesty; this to the Queen.
King. From Hamlet! who brought them?

Ber. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them not.
King. Laertes, you shall hear them.—
Leave us.

[Exit BERNARDO. [Reads.] High and mighty, you shall know, I am set naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes: when I shall, first asking your

pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden, and more strange, return.


What should this mean? Are all the rest come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?
Laer. Know you the hand?

King. 'Tis Hamlet's character.-Naked,-
And, in a postscript here, he says, alone.-
Can you advise me?

Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come; It warms the very sickness in my heart,

That I shall live, and tell him to his teeth,
Thus diddest thou.

King. If it be so, Laertes,

Will you be rul❜d by me.
Laer. Ay, my lord;


you will not o'er-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace.

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If he be now re

As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe;
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice,
And call it, accident.

Laer. My lord, I will be rul'd;

The rather, if you could devise it so,
That I might be the organ.

King. It falls right.

You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say, you shine.

Laer. What part is that, my lord?
King. A very ribband in the cap of youth.
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,-
He made confession of you;


And gave you such a masterly report,
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especial,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,
If one could match you:

This report of his

Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you.
Now, out of this,-

Laer. What out of this, my lord?

King. Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?

Laer. Why ask you this?

King. Hamlet comes back :-What would you undertake,

To show yourself in deed your father's son
More than in words?

Laer. To cut his throat i' the church.

King. No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize. Hamlet, return'd, shall know you are come home: We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, And set a double varnish on the fame

The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, together,

And wager o'er your heads: he, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.

Luer. I will do't:

And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare,

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