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Lives almost by his looks; and for my self,
My virtue or my plague, be’t either which,
She's 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 stone,
Convert his gyves to graces. So my arrows
Too slightly timbred for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.
Laer. And so have I a noble father lost,
A lifter driven into desperate terms,
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections ---- But revenge will come.
King. Break not your sleeps for that, you must not think
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,
And think it pastime. You shall soon hear more.
I lov'd your father, and we love
self, And that I hope will teach you to imagine
Mes. These to your Majesty: this to the Queen.
King. From Hamlet? who brought them?
Mesi Sailors, my lord, they fay, I saw them not:
They were giv’n me by Claudio, he receiv’d them.
King. Laertes, you shall hear them: leave us, all--- [Exit Mes.
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 Mall, first asking you pardon thereunto, recount th' occasion of my sudden 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. 'Tis Hamlet's character;
Naked, and (in a postscript here, he says)
Alone: can you advise me?
Laer, I'm loft in it, my lord; but let him come,
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth,
Thus diddest thou.
King. If it be so, Laertes,
As how should it be so? how otherwise? -----
be ruld by me?
Laer. I, so you'll not o'er-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace: if he be now return'd,
As liking not his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it; I will work him
To an exploit now ripe in my devise,
Under the which he shall not chuse but fall :
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,
But ev’n his mother shall uncharge the practice,
And call it accident.
Laer. I will be ruld,
The rather if you could devise it fo
That I might be the instrument.
King. It falls right:
You have been talkt of fince 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 unworthiest siege.
Laer. What part is that, my lord:
King. A very feather in 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 health and graveness. Two months since
Here was a gentleman of Normandy;
I've seen my self and serv'd against the French,
And they can well on horse-back; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't, he grew unto his seat;
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse,
As he had been incorps'd and demy-natur’d
With the brave bealt; so far he past my thought,
That I in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.
Laer. A Norman was’t ?
King. A Norman.
Laer. Upon my life, Lamond.
King. The very fame.
Laer. I know him well, he is the brooch indeed,
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 cry'd out, 'twould be a fight indeed,
If one could match you. 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 him.
Now out of this
Laer. What oat 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 heart?
Laer. Why ask you this ?
King. Not that I think you did not love your father,
But that I know love is begun by time;
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 pleurisie,
Dies in his owo too much; What we would do,
We should do when we would; for this would changes,
And bath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents,
And then this pould is like a spend-thrift's sigh
That hurts by easing; but to th’ quick o'th' ulcer
Hamlet comes back; what would you undertake
self your father's son indeed, More than in words?
Laer. To cut his throat i'thchurch.
King. No place indeed should murther sanctuarisc;
Revenge should have no bounds; but, good Laertes,
you do this, keep close within your chamber?
Hamlet 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 on your heads. He being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may chuse
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice
father. Laer. I will do't ; And for the purpose I'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; I'll touch my point
With this contagion, if I gall him slightly
It may be death.
King. Let's further think of this,
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape. If this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assay’d; therefore this project
Should have a back, or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proof. Soft let me see
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,
I ha’t ----- when in your motion you are hot,
And make your bouts more violent to th’end,
And that he calls for drink; I'll have prepard him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but lipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd tuck,
Our purpose may hold there. How now, sweet Queen ?
S CE N E x
Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow: your fister's drown'd, Laertes.
Laer. Drown'd! oh where?
Queen. There is a willow grows allant a brook,
That shews his hoar leaves in the glassie stream:
There with fantastick garlands did she come,
Of crow-dow'rs, nettles, daisies, and long purples