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His fell to Hamlet. Now, Sir, young Fortinbras,
Ber. I think it be no other, but e'en so:
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 Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets : As, stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun; and the moist star, 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 countrymen.But, soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
Re-enter Ghost. I'll cross it, though it blast me.—Stay, illusion / If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, Speak to me: If there be any good thing to be done, That may to thee do ease, and grace to me. Speak to me: If thou art privy to thy country's fate, Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak! Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life Extorted treasure in the womb of earth.
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
[Cock crows. Speak of it: stay, and speak !-Stop it, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
'Tis here! Hor.
[Exit Ghost. Mar. 'Tis gone! We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show of violence; For it is, as the air, invulnerable, 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
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it
Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
SCENE II.-A Room of State in the Castle. 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, Th' 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 the 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 farther 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, Voltimand, For bearers of this greeting to old Norway; Giving to you no farther 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 duty.
[Excunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS.
My dread lord,
Ring. Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius ?
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave,
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be thine,
Ham. (Aside.] A little more than kin, and less than kind.
Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
Ham. Ay, Madam, it is common.
If it be,
Ham. Seems, Madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage,
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
Queen. Let not thy inother 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,