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So by his father lost : 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 so :
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through out watch; so 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 mightiest Julius fell, The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead Đid squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; Stars shone with trains of fire ; dews of blood fell; Disasters veil'd the sun; and the moist star, 131 Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse. And even the like precurse of fierce events,As harbingers preceding still the fates, And prologue to the omen coming on,— Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Unto our climatures and countryinen.--)
But, soft; behold, lo, where it comes again !
I'll cross it, though it blast me.---Stay, illusion! 140
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me :-
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to three do ease, and grace to me,
Speak to me:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
150 For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
[Cock crows. Speak of it :-stay, and speak.-Stopit, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here!
Hor. 'Tis liere !
Mar. 'Tis gone!
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the shew of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
160 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
Avvake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine : and of the truth herein
170 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.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, 181
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,
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 convenient. [Exeunt.
A Room of State. Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, PO
LONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS,
Lords, and Attendants.
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 thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth;
Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Qur state to be disjoint, and out of frame,
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester uś 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 young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose, --to suppress
His further gait herein ; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject :-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
Of these dilated articles allows.
Farewel; and let your haste commend your duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we shew our
230 King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewel.
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND, and CORNELIUS, 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 ?
Laer. My dread lord, '
Your leave and favour to return to France ;
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark, .
To sljew my duty in your coronation;
Yet now, I must confess, that duty donę,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon,
King. Have you your father's leave? What says
Pol. He haili, my lord, [wrung from me my slow
By laboursome petition; and, at last,