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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,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us 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 gaitk herein; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject :-and we here despatch
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 allow.
Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty.

dole,] i. e. Lamentation. Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] i. e. The imaginary advantage, which Fortinbras hoped to derive from the unsettled state of the king. dom.-M. Mason.

gait-] i.e. Proceeding, passage ; from the A. S. verb gae. A gate for a path, passage, or street, is still current in the north. – Percy.

more than the scope- ] More is comprized in the general design of these articles, which you may explain in a more diffused and dilated style Johnson.

diluted articles, &c.] i.e. T'he articles when dilated.


Cor. Vol. In that, and all things, will we show our

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

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, Laertes,
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 ?

My dread 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 toward France,
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave?

Pol. He hath, my lord, [wrung from me my slow leave,
By laboursome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will I seal'd 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 nighted colour off, + Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.] i.e. He may do what he pleases with my kingly authority.-Steevens.

• These lines between crotchets are omitted in the folio. P And thy best graces :] Johnson proposes to read, and my


graces. 9 Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.] Kind is the Teutonick word for child. Hamlet therefore answers with propriety to the titles of cousin and son, which the king bad given him, that he was something more than cousin, and less than son.- Johnson.

What says

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, 'tis common; all, that live, must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.

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

Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
'Tis 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, modes, 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. 'Tis 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 perséver
In obstinate condolement,' is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief :
It shows a will most incorrect" to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient:
An understanding simple and unschool'd:
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! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,

vuiled lids-] i.e. With downcast eyes.
obsequious) i.e. Funereal; from obsequies.
condolement,] For sorrow.

incorrect -] i.e. Ill-regulated, not sufficiently regulated by a sense of duty and submission to the dispensations of Providence.--MALOXE.

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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, y
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart toward 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, 'tis 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 roused the heaven shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder.

[Ereunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. POLONIUS,


Come away.

»To reason most absurd ;] Reason is here used in its common sense, for the faculty by which we forn conclusions from arguments.--Jounson.

nobility of love,) i. e. Eminence and distinction of love.-HEATII. Do I impart toward you.) I believe in part is impart myself, communicate whatever I can bestow.--Johnson.

Wittenberg,] In Shakspeare's time there was a university at Wittenberg ; which, however, was not founded till 1502, consequently did not exist in the time to which this play is referred.-MALONE.

b_bend you to remain—] i. e. Subdue your inclination to go from hence, and remain, &c.-STEEVENS.

e No jocund health,] The king's intemperance is very strongly impressed; every thing that happens to him gives him occasion to drink.-- Johnson.

rouse-] Rouse and carouse, like rye and revye, are but the reciprocation of the same action. A rouse was a large glass (“not past a pint,” as Iago says), in which a health was given, the drinking of which by the rest of the company formed a carouse.-Gifford's Massinger, vol. i. 239.



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 Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fye on't! O fye! ’tis 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, Hyperions 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, Would have mourn'd longer,-married with my uncle, 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

resolve-] The same as dissolve.

merely.) Is entirely, absolutely. & Hyperion--] All our English poets are guilty of the same false quantity, and call Hyperion, Hyperïon. In the present instance Shakspeare has no allusion except to the beauty of Apollo, and its immediate opposite the deformity of a satyr.-STEEVENS.

beteem-] i. e. Permit, or suffer.

discourse of reason,] It is proposed by Gifford, Massinger, vol. i. 149, to read “discourse and reason :" he says, “ It is very difficult to determine the precise meaning which our ancestors gave to discourse, or to distinguish the line which separated it from reason. Perhaps it indicated a more rapid deduction of consequences from premises, than was supposed to be effected by reason: but I speak with hesitation. Whatever be the sense, it frequently appears in our old writers, by whom it is usually coupled with reason or judge ment." Discourse of reasonis so poor and perplexed a phrase, that I should dismiss it at once, for what I believe to be the genuine language of Shakspeare, “discourse and reason.”—I have not admitted his calteration because the phrase was, as Mr. Boswell has shown, in frequent use, and is found a second time in the works of our author himself, Troilus and Cressida, act ii. scene 2. Discourse of reason means the instruction or counsel of reason.



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