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Hor. That can I; At least, the whisper goes fo. Our last King, Whose image but even now appeared to us, Was, as you know, by Fontinbras of Norway, (Thereto prick'd on by a moit emulate pride) Dar'd to the fight : in which our valiant Hamlet, (For so this side of our known world esteemed him) Did flay this Fortinbras ; who by sealed compact, Well ratified by law and heraldry, Did forfeit (with his life) all those his lands, Which he stood feised of, to the conqueror : Against the which, a moiety competent Was gaged by our king; which had returned To the inheritance of Fortinbras, Had he been vanquisher : as by that covenant, And carriage of the articles deligned, His fell to Hamlet. Now young Fortinbras, Of unimproved mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there, Shark?d up a list of landless resolutes, For food and diet, to some enterprize That hath a stomach in't; which is no other, As it doth well appear unto our state, But to recover of us by strong hand, And terms compulfative, thole foresaid lands So by his father loft: and this, I take it, Is the main motive of our preparations, The source of this our watch, and the chief head Of this post haste and romage in the land.

Ber. I think it be no other but even fo :
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch so like the King,
That.was, and is, the question of these wars.

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: the sheeted dead
Did lqueak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell;
Disasters veiled the sun; and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was almost fick to doomsday with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding still the Fates,
And prologued to the omened coming on, (2)
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.

Enter Ghoft again.
But soft, behold ! lo, where it comes again !
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion !

[Spreading his arms.
If thou hast any found, 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,
Oh speak!
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth, [Cock crows.
For which, they say, you fpirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it. Stay, and speak--Stop it, Marcellus.--

Mar. Shall I strike it with my partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.

!--...

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(2) And prologue to the omen coming on.) But prologue and emen are merely synonymous here, and mult' fignify one and the fame thing. But the Poet means, that these strange phænomena are prologues and forerunners of the events presaged by them; and such sense the flight alteration which I have ventured to make by a single letter added, very aptly gives.

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Mar. 'Tis gone,

Ber. 'Tis here....
Hor. 'Tis here.

[Exii Ghost.
We do it wrong, being fo majestical,
To offer it fhew 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
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and fhrill-founding throat
Awake the god of day, and, at his warning,
Whether in fea or fire, in earth or air,
Th'exravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that feafon comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then they say no fpirit walks abroad;
The nights are wholfome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm;
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it,
But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill;
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet: for upon my life
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do

you consent we thall 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 conveniently. [Exe. VOL. XII.

B

SCENE changes to the Palace. Enter CLAUDIU's King of Denmark, GERTRUDE the

Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and attendants.

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's The memory be green, and that it fitted [death 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 wiseft forrow think on him, Together with remembrance of ourfelves.

Therefore our sometime fifter, 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 barred 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 disjointed and out of frame; Colleagued with this dream

Jerantage He hath not failer Importing the Loft Lars ΤονNo.

rid,

His further gate herein ; in that the levies,
The lists, and full proportions are all made
Out of his subjects: and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the King, more than the scope
Which these dilated articles allow.
Farewel, and let your hafte commend your duty.-
Vol. In that, and all things, will we shew our"

duty.
King. We doubt it nothing'; heartily farewel.

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit. What is’t, Laertes? You eannot 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 inftrumental to the mouth, Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father. What would'ít thou have, Laertes?

Laer. My dread Lord, Your leave and favour to return to France; From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark, To lhew my duty in your coronation;

it confess, that duty done, Myt" I wishes bend again towards France, And

to your gracious leave and pardona 1

you your father's leave? what says: s? 1, my Lord, by laboursome petition, ne my flow leave; and, at the lait,

I fealed my hard consent. you give him leave to go.

Yet nor

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