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HAMAS So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Mas. Shall I strike at it with my partisan ? Is the main motive of our preparations,
Hor. Do, if it will not stand. The source of this our watch, and the chief head
'Tis here! Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
'Tis here! Ber. I think it be no other, but e'en so ::
MAR. 'Tis gone!
Exit Glast Well may it sort that this portentous figure
We do it wrong. being so majestical, Comes armed throngh our watch; so like the
To offer it the show of violence; king
For it is, as the air, invulnerable, That was and is the question of these wars.
And our vain blows malicious mockery. Hoz. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye. BER. It was about to speak, when the cock In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
crew. A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
The coek, that is the trumpet to the morn, As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat Disasters in the sun ; (l) and the moist star,
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning, Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air, Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse : The extravagant and erring' spirit hies And even the like precurse of fierce events,- To his confine: and of the truth herein, As harbingers preceding still the fates,
This present object made probation. And prologue to the omen coming on,
MAR. It faded on the crowing of the cock.(2) Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes Unto our climatures and countrymen.
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, But, soft ! behold! lo, where it comes again! The bird of dawning singeth all night long
And then, they say, no spirit dare stirt abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planeta Re-enter Ghost.
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, I'll cross it, though it blast me.—Stay, illusion !" So hallow'd and so gracious is the time. If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Speak to me: If there be any good thing to be done,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill :
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice, That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet: for, upon my life,
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ? Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
MAR. Let's do't, I pray: and I this morning For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Where we shall find him most conveniently. Speak of it:-stay, and speak !--Stop it, Marcellus.
(*) First folio, day.
(1) First folio, can walke.
& -romage--) Commolion, turmoil.
b I think it be no other, but e'en so :) This and the seventeen succeeding lines are not in the folio.
cl'll cross it, though it blast me.--) It was an ancient superstition, that any one who crossed the spot on which a spectre was seen, became subjected to its malignant influence. See Blakeway's note ad l. in the Variorum edition.
Stay, illusion !) Attached to these words in the 1604 quarto, is a stage direction," It spreads his arms."
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat-] This is the text of the folio and all the quartos, except the first, which reads, perhaps preferably
carly and shrill-crowing throat. f- extravagant and erring-) Wandering and erratic.
Her Russet Mantill bordourit all with sabill." 1- yon high eastern hill :] The earliest quarto has,
yon hie mountaine top ;"the later quartos,
yon high eastward hill.”
& No fairy takes,-) The folio inadvertently prints talkes. To take has before been explained to mean, to paralyze, to deaden, to benumb.
b - in russet mantle clad,-) In the recapitulation of his
" Quhen pale Aurora with Face lamentabill."
cheareful Chaunticlere with his note shrill
| With one auspicious and one dropping eye, SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in With mirth. in funeral, and with dirge in the same.
In equal scale weighing delight and dole, Enter the King, QUEEN, HAMLET, POLONIUS, Taken to wife : nor have we herein barr’d
LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone and Attendants.
With this affair along:-for all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's Holding a weak supposal of our worth, death
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death, The memory be green; and that it us befitted Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole Colleagued with the dream of his advantage, kingdom
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message, To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Importing the surrender of those lands Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature, Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting, Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, Thus much the business is :—we have here writ The imperial jointress of this warlike state, To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,Have we, as 't were with a defeated joy,– Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, -to suppress
Ham. Not so, my lord; I am too much i' His further gait herein ; in that the levies,
Coff, The lists, and full proportions, are all made
QUEEN. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour Out of his subject : and we here dispatch
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, Do not for ever with thy vailed lids For bearers * of this greeting to old Norway; Seek for thy noble father in the dust : [die, Giving to you no further personal power
Thou know'st 't is common,—all that lives must To business with the king, more than the scope Passing through nature to eternity. Of these dilated articles allow.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common. Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty. QUEEN.
If it be, Cor., Vol. In that and all things will we Why seems it so particular with thee? [secms. show our duty.
Ham. Seems, madam ! nay, it is; I know not King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell.- 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. Nor customary suits of solemn black, And now, Laertes, what's the news with you ? Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath, You told us of some suit ; what is 't, Laertes ? No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage, And lose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Together with all forms, modes,* shows of grief, Laertes,
That can denote me truly: these, indeed, seem, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking? For they are actions that a man might play: The head is not more native to the heart,
But I have that within which passeth show; The band more instrumental to the mouth, These, but the trappings and the suits of woe. Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father. KING. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?
nature, Hamlet, LAER.
Dread my lord, To give these mourning duties to your father: Your leave and favour to return to France; But, you must know, your father lost a father ; From whence though willingly I came to Denmark, That father lost, lost his; and the survivor boun To show my duty in your coronation ;
In filial obligation, for some term Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
To do obsequious" sorrow: but to perséver, My thoughts and wishes bend again toward In obstinate condolement, is a course France,
Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief: And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.(3) It shows a will most incorrect to heaven; KING. Have you your father's leave ?—What A heart unfortified, a mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschoold: Pol. He hatn, my lord, wrung from me my For what we know must be, and is as common slow leave
the most vulgar thing to sense, By laboursome petition ; and, at last,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition, Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
Take it to heart? Fie! 't is a fault to heaven, I do beseech you, give him leave to go."
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, KING. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be To reason most absurd ; whose common theme thine,
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried, And thy best graces spend it at thy will !
From the first corse till he that died to-day, But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,
This must be so.
We pray you, throw to earth Ham. [Aside.] A little more than kin, and less This unprerailing woe; and think of us than kind.
As of a father; for let the world take note, KING. How is it that the clouds still hang on You are the most immediate to our throne;
And with no less nobility of love
(*) First folio, bearing.
(*) Old text, moods.
* I do berserh you, give him leave to go.) In the folio this speech in: obreviated to,
“He hath my Lord :
I do beseech you give him leave to go." A little more than kin, and less than kind.) The meaning may perhaps be gathered from what appears to have been a proverbial saying, in Rowley's "Search for Money:"_“I would he were not so neere to us in kindred, then sure he would be neerer in kindnesse." - I am too much i'the sun.] By this, IIamlet may mean, I
am too much in the way; a mote in the royal eye: but his reply is purposely enigmatical.
d- obsequious sorrow :) The customary junereal sorrow; thus, in “ Titus Andronicus," Act V. Sc 3,
"To shed obsequious tears upon his trunk." e - with no less nobility of love-) So the Ghost,—"To me, whose love was of that dignity." Dr. Badham, however, proposes to read,
"- with nobility no less of love Than that."
Than that which dearest father bears his son, KING. Why, 't is a loving and a fair reply: Do I impart toward you. For your intent Be as ourself in Denmark.—Madam, come; In going back to school in Wittenberg,
This gentle and unforc'd accord of Hamlet It is most retrograde to our desire :
Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof, And, we beseech you, bend you to remain
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day, Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye, But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell ; Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
And the king's rouse“ the heavens shall bruit again, Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.(4) Hamlet;
[Exeunt all except Hamlet. I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.. Hám. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
.- the king's rouse-) See note on the drinking terms at the end of this play.
HAM. O, that this too too a solid flesh would I HAM.
I am glad to see you well : melt,
Horatio,-or I do forget myself. Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor serOr that the Everlasting had not fix'd
vant ever. His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! 0, God! O, Ham. Sir, my good friend ; I'll change that God!
name with you. How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Marcellus ? Fie on 't! O, fie! 't is an unweeded garden, MAR. My good lord, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in Ham. I am very glad to see you.—Good even nature
sir, Possess it merely. That it should come to this! But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ? But two months dead !—nay, not so much, not Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord. two;
Ham. I would not hear* your enemy say so ; So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother, To make it truster of your own report That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Against yourself: I know you are no truant. Visit her face too'roughly. Heaven and earth! But what is your affair in Elsinore ? Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart. As if increase of appetite had grown
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's By what it fed on : and yet, within a month,
funeral. Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is Han. I prythee, do not mock me, fellowwoman !
student ; A little month ; or ere those shoes were old, I think it was to see my mother's wedding. With which she follow'd my poor father's body, Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. Like Niobe, all tears ;--why she, even she,- Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ! the funeral bak'd 0, God !* a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
meats (5) Would have mourn'd longer,-married with mine Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. uncle,
Would I had met my dearest (6) foe in heaven My father's brother ; but no more like my father, Ere ever I had † seen that day, Horatio !Than I to Hercules : within a month ;
My father,-methinks, I see my father. Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Hor. O, where, my lord ? Had left the flushing of her galled eyes,
In my mind's eye,& Horatio. She married :—0, most wicked speed to post
Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king. With such dexterity to incestuous sheets,
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, It is not, nor it cannot come to, good ;
I shall not look upon his like again. But break, my heart,—for I must hold my tongue ! Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw who?
HOR. My lord, the king your father. Enter HORATIO, BERNARDO, and MARCELLUS. Ham.
The king my father!
Hor. Season your admiration for a while Hor. Hail to your lordship!
With an attentive hear; till I may deliver,
(*) First folio, heaven. a 0, that this too too solid flesh would melt.--) Mr. Halliwell has proved by numberless examples, culled from our early writers, that where too too occurred, in the generality of cases it formed a compound word, too-too, and when thus connected bore the meaning of exceeding. The present instance, however, must be regarded as an exception to the rule. Here the repetition of too is not only strikingly beautiful, rhetorically, but it admirably expresses that morbid condition of the mind which makes the unhappy prince deem all the uses of the world but "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable."
(*) First folio, hare. (+) First folio, Ere I had ever . And what make you-) We should now ask, "What do you?" but the above was a household form of speech in Shakespeare's day; in the same manner, Hamlet subsequently demands of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,-“What moke you at Elsinore?' in “Othello," Act I. Sc. 2, Cassio inquires of Jago,
"— ancient, what makes he here?" and in “Love's Labour's Lost," Act IV. Sc. 3, the king questions Costard,
b - beteem -) That'ís, couchsafe, allow, suffer, and the like.
c - discourse of reason,-) By "discourse of reason" was meant the comprehensive range, or discursiveness of reason, the retrospective and foreseeing faculties; thus in Act IV. Sc. 4, Hamlet remarks,
“ Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
To fust in us unus'd."
" — what makes treason here?" f We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.) The reading of the 1603 quarto and of the folio 1623 : the other old copies have,
“We 'll teach you for to drink ere you depart." & In my mind's eye, Horatio.) The expression was not unusual : “Ąh why were the Eyes of my Mynde so dymned wyth the myste of fonde zeal, that I could not consyder the common Malyce of men now a dayes."— F# xton's Tragicall Discourses, 4to. 1567. Again,-" Let us consider and behold with the eyes of our soul his long suffering will."-1
Epistle of St. Clement, cap. 19. h - an attentive ear ;] The folio and one of the quartos have, -"an attent ear."