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I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors. 1 Sail. God bless you, sir. Hor. Let him bless thee to.

1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir : it comes from the ainbas. sador that was bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

Hor. (Reads.) Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give these fellow's some means to the king; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase: Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour ; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our ship: so 1 alone became their prisoner. 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 1 have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou would'st fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the hore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England: of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.

He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from wbom you brought them.


scene VII. Another Room in the same.

Enter King and LAERTES. King. Now must your conscience my acquit.

tance seal, 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 slain, Pursu'd 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, greatness, wisdom, all things You mainly were stirr'd up.

[else, King.

0, for iwo special reasons; Which may, to you, perhaps, seem much un

sinew'd, But yet to me they are strong. The queen,

bis mother, Lives almost by bis looks; and for myself, (My virtue, or my plague, be it either which), She is so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but 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 bear him: Who, dipping all his faults in their affection, Would, like the spring that turneth wood to

Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I bad aim'd them.

Laer. And so have I a noble father lost;
A sister driven into desperate terms;
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For ber perfections :-But my revenge

will come. King. Break not your sleeps for that: you

must not think, That we are made of stuff so fiat and dull, That we can let our beard be shook with danger, And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear

more: I loved your father, and we love ourself; And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine,How now? what news?

Enter a Messenger. Mess. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet: This to your majesty; this to the queen.

King. From Hamlet! who brought them? Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them

not ; They were given me by Claudio, he received

them Of him that brought them.

King. Laertes, you shall hear them :Leave us.

[Exit Messenger. [Reads.] High and mighty, you shall know, I am set naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes: when I shall, first ask. ing your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden and more strange return.

Hamlet. 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. "Tiš Hamlet's character. Naked, -
And, in a postscript here, he says, alone :
Can you advise me?
Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him

come ;
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
That I shall live and tell him to bis teeth,
Thus diddest thou.

If it be so, Laertes,
As how should it be so? how otherwise ?
Will you be ruld by me?

Ay, my lord;
So you will not o'errule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace. If he be now re-

turn'd,As checking at his voyage, and that he means No more to undertake it, I will work bim To an exploit, now ripe in my device, Under the which he shall not choose but fall: And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe; But even his mother shall uncharge the practice, And call it, accident. Laer.

My lord, I will be rul'd; The rather, if you could devise it so, That I might be the organ. King.

It falls right. You have been talk'd of since your travel much, And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality Wherein, they say, you shine: your sum of parts Did not together pluck such envy from him, As did that one; and that, in my regard, of the anwortbiest siege. Laer.

What part is that, my lord! King. A very riband ju the cap of youth,

Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes The light and careless livery that it wears, Than settled age his sables and his weeds, Importing bealth and graveness.-Two months

since, Here was a gentleman of Normandy,-. I have seen myself, and serv'd against the

And they can well on horseback: but this gallant
Had witchcraft in 't; he grew into his seat;
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse,
As he had been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast : so far be topp'd my

That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.

A Norman was 't?
King. A Norman,
Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.

The very same. Laer. I know bim well: he is the brooch in

deed, And gem of all the nation.

King. He made confession of you; And gave you such a masterly report, For art and exercise in your defence, And for your rapier most especial, That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed, If one could match you: the scrimers of their

nation, He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye, If you oppos'd them : Sir, this report of his Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy, That he could nothing do, but wish and beg Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you. Now, out of this, Laer.

What out of this, my lord ? King. Laertes, was your father dear to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a beart? Laer.

Why ask you this? King. Not that I think, you did not love your

But that I know, love is begun
And that I see, in passages of proof,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.


There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too much: That we would do,
We should do when we would; for this would

And bath abatements and delays as many,
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this should is like a spendthrift's sigh,
Tbat hurts by easing. But, to the quick o'the

ulcer: Hamletcomes back; What would you undertake, To show yourself in deed your father's son More than in words? Laer.

To cut his throat i' the church. King. No place, indeed, should murder sanc

tuarize; Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,

(ber: Will you do this, keep close within your chamHamlet, return’d, shall know you are come

home: We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, And set a double varnish on the fame The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine,

together, And wager o'er your beads: he, being remiss, Most generous and free from all contriving, Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease, Or with a little shutting you may choose A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice, Requite him for your father. Laer.

I will do't: And, for the purpose, V'll anoint my sword. I bought an unction of a mountebank, So mortal, that but dip a knife in it, Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare, Collected from all simples that have virtue Under the moon, can save the thing from death, That is but scratch'd withal: l'll touch my point With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly, It may be death. King.

Let's further think of this; Weigh, wbat convenience, both of time and


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