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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.
SCENE II.—The same. A Room of State in the same.
Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, Polonius, LAERTES,
VOLTIMAND, Cornelius, Lords, and Attendants.
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
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,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Culleagued 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 gait 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, Voltiinand,
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.
Cor. & Vol. In that, and all things, will we show our
King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell.
(Exeunt Vol. and Cor.
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 Denınark 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 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? What says Po
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow
By laboursome petition; and, at last,
Upon his will I seald 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, 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, ’lis common; all, that live, must die, Passing through nature to eternity.
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Queen. If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thec?
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 cominendable 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,
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,
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 rouse the heavens shall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.
[Ereunt King, Queen, Lurds, 8c. POLONIUS, and
LAERTES. 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! () God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Tye 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,