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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 fhew 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 fuit. What is't, Laertes ?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice. What would'At thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy aking?
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Dermark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?

Laer. My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark
To fhew my duty in your coronation ;
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again tow'rd France :
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.

King. Have you your father's leave? what says Polonius?

Pol. He hath, my lord, by laboursome petition, Wrung from me my flow leave; and, at the laft, Upon his will I seal'd


hard consent. I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes, time be thine ; (2)

(2) Take tby fair hour, Laertes, time be thine,

And tby fair Graces; Spend it at iby Will.] This is the Pointing in both Mr. Pope's Editions; but the Poet's Meaning is loft by it, and the Close of the Sentence miserably flattened. The Pointing, i have restored, is that of the best Copies; and the Sense this; “ You “ have my Leave to go, Inertes; make the faireft Uie you please of

your Time, and spend it at your Will with the fairest Graces you « are Master of."


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And thy best graces fpend it at thy will.
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my fon-
Ham. A little inore than kin, and less than kind.

[ Afide, King. How is it that the clouds ftill hang on you? Ham. Not so, my Lord, I am too much i'th sun.

Queen. Good Hamlet, caft thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not, for ever, with thy veiled lids,
Seek for thy noble father in the dust;
Thou know'ft, 'tis common: all, that live, muft die;
Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, Madam, it is common.

Queen. If it be,
Why seems it fo particular with thee?

Ham. Seems, Madam ? nay, it is; I know not seems :
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of folemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, thews of grief,
That can denote me truly. These indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play ;
But I have that within, which paffeth few :
These, but the trappings, and the faits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,

To give these mourning duties to your father :
But you must know, your father loft a father ;
That father loft, loft, his; and the surviver bound
In filial obligation, for some term,
To do obsequious forrow. But to persevere
In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness, unmanly grief.
It thews a will moft incorrect to heav'n,
A heart unfortify'd, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple, and unfchool'd:
For, what we know must be, and is as common


As any the most vulgar thing to fense,
Why should we, in our peevith oppofition,
Take it to heart? fie! 'tis a fault to heav'n,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd ; whose common theam
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cry'd,
From the first coarse, 'till ke that died to-day,
“ This must be fo.” We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father : for let the world take note,
You are the moit immediate to our throne ;
And with't no less nobility of love, (3)
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Do I impart tow'rd you. For your intent
In going back to school to Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire :
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefeft courtier, cousin, and our fon.

Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet :
I proythee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
Ham. I mall 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
No jocund

health, that Denmark drinks to-day,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell ;
And the King's rowse the heav'n fhall bruit again,
Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away. c [Exeunt.

(3) And with no less Nobility of Love,
Than that wbich deareji Farber bears bis Song

Do I impart towards jour] But what does the King impart ? We want the Substantive governed of the Verb. The King had decared Hamlet his in mediate Succeffor ; and with that Declaration, he must mean, he imparts to him as noble a Love, as ever fond Father tendered to his own Son. I have ventured to make the Text conform with this Sense.

Manet Manet Hamlet.

Ham. Oh, that this too-too-folid Aeth would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew ! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd (4) His canon 'gainst felf-llaughter! O God! oh God! How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world ! Fie on't ! oh fie! 'tis an unweeded garden, That grows to feed ; things rank, and gross in nature, Poffers it merely. That it should come to this ! But two months dead! nay, not so much; not two; So excellent a King, that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother, (5)

(4) Or thut the Everlasting bad not fix'd

His Cannon 'gains Self-Slaughter!) The Generality of the Edi: tions read thus, as if the Poet's Thought were, Or that the Almighty bad not planted bis Artillery, bis Resentment, or Arms of Vengeance, against Self-Murder. But the Word, which I restored to the Text, (and which was espoused by the accurate Mr. Hughes, who gave an Edition of this Play ;) is the Poet's true Reading. i. e. That be bad not refrain'd Suicide by bis express Law, and peremptory Prohibition. Miftakes are perpetually made in the old Editions of our Poet, be twixt those two Words, Cannon and Canon.


So loving to my Mother, That he permitted not the Winds of Heav'n

Visit her Face too roughly. ] This is a sophisticated Reading, copied from the Players in some of the modern Editions, for Want of Understanding the Poet, whose Text is corrupt in the old Impreffions: All of which that I have had the fortune to see, concur in reading;

-So loving to my Mother,
That be might not beteene the Winds of Heav'n

Vifit ber Face too roughly. Beleene is a Corruption without doubt, but not fo inveterate a one, but that, by the Change of a single Letter, and the Separation of two Words" mistakingly jumbled together, I am verily persuaded, I have retrieved the Poet's Reading. That be might not let c'en the Winds of Heav'n, &c,


That he might not let e'en the winds of heav'n
Visit her face too roughly. Heav'n and earth !
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; yet, within a month,
Let me not think-Frailty, thy name is woman!
A little month! or ere those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears Why she, ev'n fhe,
(0 heav'n ! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer-) married with mine uncle,
My father's brother ; but no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules. Within a month !.
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes,
She married. -Oh, most wicked speed, to poft
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets !
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

Enter Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus..
Hor. Hail to your lord ship!

Ham. I am glad to see you Horatio,or I do forget myself?

Hor. The fame, my lord, and your poor servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; l'll change that name with

you: And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ? Marcellus !

Mar. My good lord

Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, Sir. But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ?,

Hor. A truant difpofition, good my lord.

Ham. I would not hear your enemy say fo; Nor Thall


do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself. I know, you are no truant ;
But what is your affair in Ellinoor?
We'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.


well ;

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