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Therefore I have entreated him along
Is not this something more than fantasy ?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king? And let us once again assail your ears,
Hor. As thou art to thyself: That are so fortified against our story,
Such was the very armour he had on, What we two nights have seen.
When he* the ambitious Norway combated ; HOR.
Well, sit we down, So frowu'd he once, when, in an angry parle, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
le smote the sledded Polacks" on the ice. BER. Last night of all,
'Tis strange. When yond same star that's westward from the Man. Thus twice before, and jumpe at this dead pole
hour, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven With martial stalk he passed through our watch. Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I The bell then beating bone,-
know not ; Mar. Peace! break thee off'; look, where it But in the gross and scope of minet opinion, comes again !
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land ? Ber. In the same figure, like the king that's And why such daily cast of brazen cannon, dead.
And foreign mart for implements of war; Mar. Thou art a scholar,' speak to it, Horatio. Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task BER. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Does not divide the Sunday from the week ; Horatio.
What might be toward that this sweaty haste Hor. Most like :-it harrows me with fear and Doth make the night joint-labourer with the wonder.
day: BER. It would be spoke to.
Who is't that can inform me ?
That can I ; Hor. What art thou, that usurp’st this time of At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king, night,
Whose image even but now appeard to us, Together with that fair and warlike form
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Thereto prick’d on by a most emulate pride, Did sometimes march? by heaven, I charge thee, | Dard to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet speak!
(For so this side of our known world esteem'd Mar. It is offended.
See! it stalks away! Did slay this Fortinbras ; who, by a seal'd compact, Hor. Stay! speak! speak! I charge thee, Well ratified by law and heraldry, speak!
[Exit Ghost. | Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands, Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Which he stood seiz'd of, I to the conqueror : BER. IIow now, Horatio ! you tremble, and | Against the which, a moiety competent look pale:
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
(*) First folio omits, he. (+) First folio, my.
(1) First folio, on.
& -- approve- Corroborale, confirm, make good. b- beating- The quarto, 1603, has,
"The bell then tolling one," which, perhaps, imparts additional solemnity to this impressive preparation for the appearance of the spectre.
c Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.) As exorcisms were usually pronounced by the clergy in Latin, the notion became current, that supernatural beings regarded only the addresses of the learned. In proof of this belief, Reed quotes the following from "The Night Walker" of Beaumont and Fletcher, Act II. Se. 2, where Toby is scared by a supposed ghost, and exclaims,-
"Let's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,
And that will daunt the devil." - the sledded Polacks-) The sledged Polanders; though it may be doubtful whether the original Pollax" was intended as the singular or plural: many editors read, "Polack,"
e-- and jump at this dead hour.-) So the quartos ; the folie substitutes the more modern word, just: but in Shakespeare's day, "jump" was the familiar term. So in Act. V. Sc. 9, of this play,
"But since, so jump upon this bloody question." | So, also, in " Othello," Act II. Sc. 3,
" — bring him jump when he may Cassio find." f With martial stalk he passed through our watch.] The reading of the earliest quarto, and presenting a finer image than that of the subsequent editions, which have,
- hath he gone by our watch."
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,-] By unimproved=unproved, we apprehend is meant, insatiable, ungovernable, as in Chapman's Homer's Iliads," Book the Eleventh,
(*) First folio, Landlesse. () First folio, And. "— the King still cride, Pursue, pursue,
And all his unreproved hands, did blood and dust embrue."
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan ? Is the main motive of our preparations,
Hor. Do, if it will not stand. The source of this our watch, and the chief head
'Tis here! Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
'Tis here! BER. I think it be no other, but e'en so:
Mar. 'Tis gone!
[Exit Ghost. Well may it sort that this portentous figure We do it wrong, being so majestical, Comes armed through our watch; so like the To offer it the show of violence ; king
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye. BER. It was about to speak, when the cock In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
crew. A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
Hon. And then it started like a guilty thing The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead | Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets : The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,* As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat Disasters in the sun ;(1) and the moist star, Awake the god of day; and, at his warning, Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air, Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse: The extravagant and erring spirit hies And even the like precurse of fierce events,
To his confine: and of the truth herein, As harbingers preceding still the fates,
This present object made probation. And prologue to the omen coming on,
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.(2) Have heaven and earth together demonstrated Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes Unto our climatures and countrymen.--
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, But, soft ! behold ! lo, where it comes again! The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir † abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets Re-enter Ghost.
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, I'll cross it, though it blast me.—Stay, illusion !d | So hallow'd and so gracious is the time. If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it. Speak to me:
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, If there be any good thing to be done,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill :: That may to thee do ease, and grace to me, Break we our watch up; and, by my advice, Speak to me:
Let us impart what we have seen to-night If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Unto young Hamlet: for, upon my life, Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak! | This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him: Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ? For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death, MAR. Let's do 't, I pray: and I this morning
know Speak of it:-stay, and speak !-Stop it, Mar- | Where we shall find him most conveniently. cellus.
[Ereunt. | With one auspicious and one dropping eye, SCENE II.—The same. A Room of State in With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in the same.
& -romage-] Commotion, turmoil.
(*) First folio, day.
(+) First folio, can alk. b I think it be no other, but e'en so :) This and the seventeen succeeding lines are not in the folio. c I'll cross it, though it blast me.-) It was an ancient super
Her Russet Mantill bordourit all with sabill." stition, that any one who crossed the spot on which a spectre was
i - yon high eastern hill :] The earliest quarto has,seen, became subjected to its malignant influence. See Blakeway's note ad l. in the Variorum edition.
"— yon hie mountaine top;" d Stay, illusion!) Attached to these words in the 1604 quarto,
the later quartos, is a stage direction,"It spreads his arms." Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat-1 This is the
"- yon high eastward hill." text of the folio and all the quartos, except the first, which reads, perhaps preferably,
We adopt the lection of the folio, as more in accordance with the
poetical phraseology of the period. Thus, in Chapman's traat "— early and shrill-crowing throat."
lation of the Thirteenth Book of Homer's Odyssey,
" Ulysses still f-extravagant and erring ) Wandering and erratic.
An eye directed to the eastern hill." & No fairy takes,-) The folio inadvertently prints talkes. To take has before been explained to mean, to paralyze, to deaden, to | And Spenser charmingly ushers in the morn by telling us that benumb. h in russet mantle clad,- In the recapitulation of his
"- cheareful Chaunticlere with his note shrill labours at the conclusion of the Ænead, Gawin Douglas says,-
Had warned once, that Phæbus' fiery Car
In haste was climbing up the Eastern Hill, “Guhen pale Aurora with Face lamentabill
Full en vious that Night so long his room did fill.**
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,– Enter the King, QUEEN, HAMLET, Polonius, Taken to wife : nor have we herein barr’d
LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone and Attendants.
With this affair along:—for all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's Holding a weak supposal of our worth, death
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death, The memory be green; and that it us befitted Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole Colleagued with the dream of his advantage, kingdom
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message, To be contracted in one brow of woe;
Importing the surrender of those lands Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature, Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting, Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, Thus much the business is :-we have here writ The imperial jointress of this warlike state, To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,Have we, as 't were with a defeated joy,—
| Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose,- to suppress
Ham. Not so, my lord; I am too much in His further gait herein ; in that the levies,
the sun. The lists, and full proportions, are all made
QUEEN. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour Out of his subject : and we here dispatch
Ind let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids For bearers * of this greeting to old Norway; Seek for thy noble father in the dust : [die, Giving to you no further personal power
Thou know'st 't is common,—all that lives must To business with the king, more than the scope Passing through nature to eternity. Of these dilated articles allow.
HAM. Ay, madam, it is common. Farewell; and let your haste commend your duty. QUEEN.
If it be, CoR., Vol. In that and all things will we Why seems it so particular with thee? (seems. show our duty.
HIAM. Seems, madam ! nay, it is; I know not KING. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell. 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Exeunt VOLTINAND and CORNELIUS. Nor customary suits of solemn black, And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath, You told us of some suit ; what is 't, Laertes ? No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage, And lose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Together with all forms, modes,* shows of grief, Laertes,
That can denote me truly: these, indeed, seem, That shall not be my offer, not thy asking? For they are actions that a man might play: The head is not more native to the heart,
But I bave that within which passeth show; The land more instrumental to the mouth,
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe. Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?
nature, Hamlet, LAER.
Dread my lord, To give these mourning duties to your father: Your leave and favour to return to France;
But, you must know, your father lost a father; From whence though willingly I came to Denmark, That father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound, To show my duty in your coronation ;
In filial obligation, for some term
To do obsequious d sorrow: but to perséver,
Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief:
An understanding simple and unschool'd: Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my For what we know must be, and is as common slow leave
As any the most vulgar thing to sense, By laboursome petition ; and, at last,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition, Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
Take it to heart? Fie! 't is a fault to heaven, I do beseech you, give him leave to go.*
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, KING. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be To reason most absurd ; whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried, And thy best graces spend it at thy will !
From the first corse till he that died to-day, But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth Ham. [Aside.] A little more than kin, and less This unprevailing woe ; and think of us than kind.”
As of a father; for let the world take note, King. How is it that the clouds still hang on You are the most immediate to our throne ;
And with no less nobility of love
(*) First folio, bearing.
(*) Old text, moods.
*I do beseech you, give him leave to go.] In the folio this speech is abbreviated to,
“He hath my Lord :
I do beseech you give him leave to go."
b A little more than kin, and less than kind.] The meaning may perhaps be gathered from what appears to have been a proverbial saying, in Rowley's "Search for Money:"-"I would he were not so neere to us in kindred, then sure he would be netrer in kindnesse" - I am too much i'the sun.] By this, Hamlet may mean, I
am too much in the way; a mote in the royal eye: but his reply is purposely enigmatical.
d obsequious sorrow :) The customary janereal sorros: thas. in “Titus Andronicus," Act V. Sc 3,
"To shed obsequious tears upon his trunk." - with no less nobility of love-) So the Ghost,-"To me. whose love was of that dignity." Dr. Badham, however, propeses to read,
" with nobility no less of love Than that."