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Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Laer. And so have I a noble father lost;
King. Break not your sleeps for that: you must
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine,—
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 receiv'd them Of him that brought them.
shall hear them :-
[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 asking 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?
'If I may praise what has been, but is now found to be no
• Idcirco stolidam præbet tibi vellere barbam Jupiter. Persius, 2. 28.-STeevens.
Laer. Know you the hand?
"Tis Hamlet's character.
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 his teeth,
Thus diddest thou.
If it be so, Laertes,
Ay, my lord;
As how should it be so? how otherwise?-
So you will not o'er-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace. If he be now return'd,—
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it,—I will work him
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;
My lord, I will be rul'd;
It falls right.
The rather, if you could devise it so,
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
of the lowest rank; siege, for seat, place.
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
A Norman, was't?
The very same.
Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch, indeed, And gem of all the nation.
King. He made confession of you;
If one could match you; the scrimers3 of their nation,
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
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 heart?
Why ask you this?
King. Not that I think you did not love your father; But what would you undertake,
'I could not contrive so many proofs of dexterity as he could perform.
a in the science of defence.
3 the fencers.
To show yourself in deed your father's son
To cut his throat i' th' church.
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, together,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm3 so rare,
Under the moon, can save the thing from death,
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,
' not blunted, as foils are by a button fixed to the end.
2 a thrust for exercise.
may enable us to assume proper characters, and to act our part.
5 A metaphor taken from the proving of fire-arms, which often blast, or burst, in the proof.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,—
When in your motion you are hot and dry,
But stay, what noise?
How now, sweet queen ?
Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow:- Your sister's drown'd, Laertes. Laer. Drown'd! O, where?
Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook,
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be,
Laer. Alas, then, she is drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet
the express purpose.
3 insensible to.