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King.

King.

Good Laertes, If you desire to know the certainty Of your 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

arms;
And, like the kind life-rendering pelican?,
Repast them with my blood.
King.

Why, now you speak
Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am most sensibly in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment ’pear',
As day does to your eye.

Danes. [Within.] Let her come in“.
Laer. How now! what noise is that?

Re-enter OPHELIA".
O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight,
Till our scale turns the beam. O rose of May!
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !
O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits

2 — life-rendering PELICAN,] This is the reading of every quarto : the folio absurdly misprints it politician, and modern editors silently adopt the word in the earlier impressions, as in many other instances, leaving people to imagine that the folio, 1623, is much more accurately printed than it is in reality.

3 — to your judgment ’PEAR,] So the quartos : the folio, pierce.

4 Let her come in.] These words are given to Laertes in the quartos ; but in the folio they properly stand as uttered by the Danes, who are unseen by the audience.

5 Re-enter Ophelia.] “Enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers” say modern editors; but not so the old copies, where we read merely “Enter Ophelia," excepting in the quarto, 1603, which has, “Enter Ophelia, as before.” In fact, it is only her “re-entrance,” as she has been on the stage before in this scene.

Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and, where 'tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves 6.
Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier ;

Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny":

And in his grave raind many a tear ; Fare you well, my dove8! Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade re

venge, It could not move thus.

Oph. You must sing, Down a-down, an you call him a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter'.

Laer. This nothing's more than matter.

Oph. 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,

6 After the thing it loves.] This hemistich and the two preceding lines are only in the folios : the quartos read, “ a poor man's life," but they are evidently wrong.

7 Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny :) This burden (not uncommon in old songs of the time) is not in any of the quarto impressions.

8 Fare you well, my dove !) In the folio, these words are erroneously printed in Italics, as if part of the song.

9 It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter.] No such ballad is known. In the quarto, 1603, Ophelia says, “ 'Tis o' the king's daughter, and the false steward."

1- and there is PANSIES,] The folio calls them paconcies.

2 — we may call it, herb of grace o'Sundays :) Rue seems to have been also constantly called “herb of grace.” Shakespeare so terms it in “ Richard II.” Vol. iv. p. 181 :

“ I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.” And in “ All's Well that Ends Well,”. Vol. iii. p. 295, it is spoken of as “ herb of grace" only. | 3 -- you may wear-] O! you must wear,” in the folio.

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,—[Sings. Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness. Oph. And will he not come again? [Sings.

And will he not come again?

No, no, he is dead;

Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll ;

He is gone, he is gone,

And we cast away moan :
God ha mercy on his soul*!

you!

And of all christian souls! I pray God. God be wi’

[Exit OPHELIA. Laer. Do you see this, O God?

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 you and me.
If by direct, or by collateral hand
They find us touch’d, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction ; but if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us,

4 God ha' mercy on his soul !) This last stanza is quoted with some variation in “ Eastward Ho !” 1605, by Ben Jonson, Marston, and Chapman. See Dodsley's Old Plays, last edit. vol. iv. p. 223. Both Shakespeare and the authors of “ Eastward Ho !” probably adopted the words of a well-known ballad of the time. The folio reads, “ Gramercy on his soul."

I pray God.) Here the quartos are more scrupulous than the folio, as they omit “ I pray God.” In the next speech of Laertes, the quartos omit "see.”

And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content.
Laer.

Let this be so:
His means of death, his obscure funeral",
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call’t in question.
King.

So you shall;
And, where th' offence is, let the great axe fall.
I pray you, go with me.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

Another Room in the Same.

Enter HORATIO, and a Servant. Hor. What are they, that would speak with me? Serv. Sailors, sir?: they say, they have letters for

you. Hor. Let them come in.

[Exit Servant. I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors. 1 Sail. God bless you, sir. Hor. Let him bless thee too.

1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir: it comes from the ambassador that

6 his obscure PUNERAL,] So the quartos, 1604, &c. The folio has burial. In the last line of this speech, the quartos seem right in reading, “ That I must callt in question :" the folio has “ That I must call in question.”

7 SAILORS, sir :) For “ Sailors," the quartos, 1604, &c. have “ Sea-faring men;" but on their entrance they are termed “ Sailors," and the prefixes accord with this designation.

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; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whiom you brought them. [Excunt.

SCENE VII.

Another Room in the Same.

Enter King and LAERTES. King. Now must your conscience my acquittance

seal,

8- I am to do a good turn for them.] “Good” is from the folio, and there are other minute variations : thus " and " is in one place omitted in the folio, and “thine ear" is there printed “your ear.” In the quartos the letter ends, “ Farewell; So that thou knowest thine.”

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