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Enter LAERTES, armed; Danes following.
Laer. Where is this king?-Sirs, stand you all Dan. No, let's come in.
pray you, give me leave.
[They retire without the door.
Laer. I thank you :-keep the door.—O thou vile Give me my father.
Calmly, good Laertes.
Laer. That drop of blood, that's calm, proclaims me
Cries, Cuckold, to my father; brands the harlot
Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person;
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Why thou art thus incens'd;-Let him go, Gertrude;-
Laer. Where is my father?
King. Let him demand his fill.
But not by him.
Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with.
I dare damnation: To this point I stand,
Who shall stay you?
Laer. My will, not all the world's:
And, for my means, I'll husband them so well,
If you desire to know the certainty
Of dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge, That, sweepstake,' you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and loser?
Laer. None but his enemies.
Will you know them then? Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican," [arms; Repast them with my blood.
Danes. [Within.] Let her come in.
Enter OPHELIA, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers.
O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
They bore him barefac'd on the bier ;
Fare you well, my dove!
2 It is almost needless to observe that this account of the bird is entirely fabulous.
Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade It could not move thus. [revenge,
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Oph. There's fennel for you,' and columbines :there's rue for you;' and here's some for me:-we may call it, herb of grace o'Sundays:-you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy :-I would give you some violets; but they withered all, when my father died :-They say, he made a good end,
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,— [Sings. Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness.
And will he not come again?
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
He is gone, he is gone,
And of all Christian souls! I pray God. God be [Exit OPHELIA.
Laer. Do you see this, O [Heavens]? King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief, Or you deny me right. Go but apart, Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will, And they shall hear and judge 'twixt If by direct or by collateral hand
you and me:
2 To the queen.
'To the king.
i. e. You may call your rue by its Sunday name, herb of grace, and so wear it with a difference to distinguish it from mine, which can never be anything but rue, i. e. sorrow.
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,
Let this be so;
So you shall; And, where th' offence is, let the great axe fall. I pray you, go with me.
They say, they have letters for you.
SCENE VI.—Another room in the same.
Enter HORATIO, and a Servant.
Hor. What are they, that would speak with me? Serv. Sailors, sir;
1 Sail. God bless you, sir.
Hor. Let him bless thee too.
I do not know from what part of the world
Let them come in.
1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir; it comes from the ambassador 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 fellows 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 I 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 I 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 bore' 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:
SCENE VII.-Another room in the same.
Enter King and LAERTES.
King. Now must your conscience my acquittance And you must put me in your heart for friend; [seal, Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear, That he, which hath your noble father slain, Pursu'd my life.
It well appears :—
As by your safety, greatness, wisdom, all things else,
"P, for two special reasons; Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd, But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother Lives almost by his looks; and for myself, My virtue, or my plague, be it 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:
The bore is the calibre of a gun, or the capacity of the barrel. The matter (says Hamlet) would carry heavier words.
2 the common race of the people.