Page images

may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. You may wear your rųe with a difference; there's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd. They say, he made a good end j

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.

Laer. Thought, and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness.

Oph. And will be not come again?

And will be not come again?
No, no, be is dead,
Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll :
He is gone, be is gone,
And we cast away mone,
Gramercy on his soul !


And on all christian souls! God b'wi'ye. (Exit Oph, Laer. Do

you see this, you Gods !
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but a-part.
Make choice of whom your wifest friends you will,
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me.
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our Kingdom give,
Our Crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in fatisfaction. But if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us;
And we shall jointly labour with your soul,
To give iç due conteni.

Laer. Let this be fo.
His means of death, his obscure funeral,


9 No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heav'n to earth,
That I must call’t in question.

King. So you shall :
* And where th’offence is, let the great ax fall.
pray you go with me.


[merged small][ocr errors]



Enter Horatio, with an Attendant,


Hor. What are they, that would speak with me?

Serv. Sailors, Sir.' They say, they have letters for you.

Hor. Let them come in.
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.



Enter Sailors.

[ocr errors]

Sail. God bless


Hor. Let him blels thee too.

Sail He shall, Sir, an't please him There's a letter for you, Sir. It comes from th' ambassador that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

9 No trophy, sword, nor hatch the great Ax fall.] We

men!~] It was the custom, should read, in the times of our authour, to

let the great tax fall. hang a sword over the grave of a i, e. penalty, punishment. Knight.

WARBURTON i And where th' offence is, let Fall corresponds better to ax.


[merged small][ocr errors]

Horatio reads the letter.


ORATIO, when thou shalt have overlook'd this, give these fellows some means to the King :

: they have letters for him. Ere we were too days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chace. Finding ourselves too pow of fail, we put on a compelled valour, and in-the grapple I boarded them: on the instant they got clear of our ship, fo I alone became their prifoner. 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 wouldest fly death. I have words to speak in thy ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light ? for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosincrantz and Guildenstern bold their course for England, Of them I have much to tell thee. Farewel.

He'that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.'

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

[blocks in formation]

King. Now must your conscience my acquittance


2. for the bore of the matter. ] The matter, fays Hamlet, would The bore is the caliber of a gun, carry heavier words. or 'the capacity of the barrel.


370 H. A M LE T,
And you must put me in your heart for friend; ;
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father fain,
Pursued my life .

Laer. It well appears. But tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mâinly were stirr'd up?

Ring. O, for two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unfinewod,
And yet to me are strong. The Queen, his mother,
Lives almost by his looks, and for myself,
My virtue or my plague, be't either which,
She's so conjunctive to mỳ life and foul;
That, as the star moves not bút in his sphere;
I could not but by her. The other motive,
Why to a publick count I might not go,
Is the great love ' the general gender beat him';
4 Would, like the spring that tuřneth wood to store,
Convert his gyves to graces. So that my arrows,
Too Nightly timbred for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.

Laer. And fo have I a noble father loft,
A fifter driven into desperate terms,
Who has, sif praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections. But my revenge will come,



-the general gender---] changed base metals to gold, the The common race of the people, thought had been more proper. 4 Would, like the Spring--]

if praises may go back This fimile is neither very sea again.) If I may praise what fonable in the deep interest of has been, but is now to be found th s conversation, nor very accujately applied. If the ffring had

no more,

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 shall soon hear more."
I lov'd your father, and we love ourself,
And that, I hope, will teach you to imaginemate
How now ? what news


Enter a Messenger

. Letters, my Lord, from Hamlet.
These to your Majesty. This to the Queen.

King. From Hamlet? Who brought them?

Mef. Sailors, my Lord, they say, I saw them not.
They were given me by Claudio ; he receiv'd them.
King. Laertes, you shall hear them.

[Exit Messenger. IG H and Mighty, you shall know, I am fet na

ked 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 any sudden return.


Leave us,

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 poftfcript here, he fays)
Alone. Can you advise me?

Laer. I'm lost in it, my Lord. But let him come;
It warms the sickness in my heart,
That I shall live and rell him to his teeth,
Thus diddest thou.

King. If it be so, Laertes,
As how should it be so ?
be fo? how, otherwife?

very sich

« PreviousContinue »