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To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Shark'd up a list of lawless* resolutes, Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same cov’nant, For food and diet, to some enterprise And carriage of the article design'd,"
That hath a stomach in't: which is no other His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras, (As f it doth well appear unto our state,) Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
But to recover of us, by strong hand, Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there, And terms compulsative, those 'foresaid lands
- design'd,-) So the second folio; the previous editions having, designe.
boj unimproved mettle hot and full,–] By unimproved=unreproved, we apprehend is meant, insatiable, ungovernable, as in Chapman's "Homer's Iliads,” Book the Eleventh
(*) First folio, Landlesse.
(t) 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 BER.
'Tis here! Of this post-haste and romage" in the land.
'Tis here! BER. I think it be no other, but e'en so: b
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
Hor. 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 !! 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,
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.
(*) First folio, day.
(t) First folio, can walke.
romage- ] Commotion, turmoil, 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 superstition, that any one who crossed the spot on which a spectre was seen, became subjected to its malignant influence. See Blakeway's note ad l. in the Variorum edition.
d Stay, illusion !) Attached to these words in the 1604 quarto, is a stage direction.-" It spreads his arms.”
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat-] This is the text of the folio and all the quartos, except the first, which reads, perhaps preferably,–
early and shrill-crowing throat." extravagant and erring-) Wandering and erratic. & No fairy takes,-) The folio inadvertently prints talkes. To take has before been explained to mean, to paralyze, to deaden, to benumb.
h - in russet mantle clad,-) In the recapitulation of his labours at the conclusion of the Ænead, Gawin Douglas says, –
· Quhen pale Aurora with Face lainentabill
Her Russet Mantill bordourit all with sabill."
yon hie mountaine top;"-
"-yon high eastward hill."
cheareful Chaunticlere with his note shrill
With one auspicious and one dropping eye,
:-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
Ham. Not so, my lord ; I am too much i His further gait herein; in that the levies,
[off, The lists, and full proportions, are all made
QUEEN. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour Out of his subject : and we here dispatch
And 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.
HAM. Seems, madam ! nay, it is; I know not KING. We doubt it nothing ; heartily farewell.— 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
[Exeunt VOLTIMAND 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 have that within which passeth show; The band 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.
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 Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
To do obsequious a sorrow: but to perséver, My thoughts and wishes bend again toward In obstinate condolement, is a course France,
Of impious stubbornness; 't is unmanly grief:
An understanding simple and unschoold: Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my For what we know must be, and is as common slow leave
the most vulgar thing to sense, By laboursome petition ; and, at last,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition, Upon his will I seald my hard consent :
Take it to heart? Fie! 't is a fault to heaven, I do beseech you, give him leave to go.a
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, KING. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be To reason most absurd ; whose common theme thine,
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 neerer in kindnesse." - I am too much i'the sun.) By this, Ilamlet may mean, I
am too much in the way; a mote in the royal eye: but his reply is purposely enigmatical.
- obsequious sorrow:] The customary junereal sorrow: thus, 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, proposes to read,
" — with nobility no less of love Than that."
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Hamlet; pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg. Ha. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.