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Hor. That can I ;
At least, the whisper goes fo. Our last King,
Whose image but even now appeared to us,
Was, as you know, by Fontinbras of Norway,
{Thereto prick'd on by a molt emulate pride)
Dar'd to the fight : in which our valiant Hamlet,
(For so this fide of our known world esteemed him)
Did lay this Fortinbras; who by sealed compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands,
Which he stood feised of, to the conqueror :
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher : as by that covenant,
And carriage of the articles designed,
His fell to Hamlet. Now young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprize
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other,
As it doch well appear unto our state,
But to recover of us by strong hand,
And terms compulsative, thole foresaid lands
So by his father loft: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this post haste and romage in the land.

Ber. I think it be no other but even fo :
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
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 Rome,
A little ere the mightieft Julius fell,

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The graves

stood tenantless: the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell; Disasters veiled the sun; and the moist star, Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, Was almost fick to doomsday with eclipse. And even the like precurse of fierce events, As harbingers preceding still the Fates, And prologued to the omened coming on, (2) Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Unto our climatures and countrymen.

Enter Ghost again. But foft, behold! lo, where it comes again! I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion !

[Spreading his arms,
If thou hast any found, or use of voice,
Speak to me.
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, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Oh speak !-----
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth, [Cock crows.
For which, they say, you fpirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it. Stay, and speak--Stop it, Marcellus.--

Mar. Shall I strike it with my partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

(2) And prologue to the omen coming on.) But prologue and men are merely synonymous here, and must signify one and the * same thing. But the Poet means, that these strange pbæno

mena are prologues and forerunners of the events presaged by them; and such sense the Night alteration which I have ventured to make by a single letter added, very aptly gives.

:

Ber. 'Tis here--..
Hor. 'Tis here.
Mar.' 'Tis gone,

[Exit Gholt.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it Thew 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 thrill-founding throat
Awake the god of day, and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th'exravagant and erring fpirit 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,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then they say no fpirit walks abroad;
The nights are wholsome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm;
So hallowed and fo gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But look, the morne 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 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

know Where we shall find him most conveniently. [Exe. VOL. XII.

B

SCENE changes to the Palace. Enter CLAUDIUS King of Deninark, GERTRUDE the

Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTI. MAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants.

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's The memory

be
green,

and that it fitted [death
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 wiselt sorrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime filter, now our Queen,
Th' 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 barred
Your better wisdoms, 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;
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjointed and out of frame;
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage
He hath not failed to pefter us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, by 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 young Fortinbras,
(Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose) to fupprefs

And now,

His further gate herein ; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subjects: and we here dispatch
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
Which these dilated articles allow,
Farewel, and let your haste commend your duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we thew our

duty. King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel.

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius,

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'it thou beg,

Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy alking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftruinental 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;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To lhew my duty in your coronation;
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again towards France,
And bow thein to your gracious leave and pardon,
King. Have you your father's leave? what says

Polonius? Pol. He hath, my Lord, by laboursome petition, Wrung from me my slow leave; and, at the lalt, Upon his will I fealed my hard confent. I do beseech you give hiin leave to go.

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