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And you must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father slain,
Pursu'd my life.

It well appears: but tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So criminal and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, greatness, wisdom, all things else',
You mainly were stirr'd up.

O! 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 conjunctivel' 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 public count I might not go,
Is the great love the general gender bear him;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Work like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timber'd 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 sister driven into desperate terms;
Whose worth ?, if praises may go back again,

9 SO CRIMINAL and so capital in nature,

As by your safety, GREATNESS, wisdom, all things else,] The folio prints “ criminal” crimeful, and omits “greatness.” In the third line of the king's next speech, the folio substitutes And for “ But.”

10 She's so CONJUNCTIVE-] The quartos, 1604, &c. have it conclice, which is clearly an error.

1- for so LOUD A wind,] So the folio, and rightly. Some quartos read, loued armed, and others loued armes. The quartos, 1604, &c. are however right in giving, in the next line but one,“ aim'd" instead of arm'd, as it is misprinted in the folio.

? Whose worth,] So the quartos, 1604, &c. The folio makes the passage nonsense by misprinting it Who was.

Stood challenger on mount of all the age
For her perfections. But my revenge will come.
King. Break not your sleeps for that: you must not

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 shortly shall hear more :
I loved your father, and we love ourself;
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine,--
How now! what news 3?


Enter a Messenger.

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. King.

Laertes, you shall hear them.Leave us.

[Exit Messenger. [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 occasions 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?

Laer. Know you the hand ?

King. 'Tis Hamlet's character. “ Naked,”— And, in a postscript here, he says, “ alone :" Can you advise me ?

3 How now! what news ?] Only in the folios, as well as part of the answer, “ Letters, my lord, from Hamlet.”

4 Of him that brought them.] This hemistich, which completes the sentence, though not absolutely necessary to it, is not found in the folios.

5 -- and more strange-] These words are only in the folios.

Laer. I'm 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,
(As how should it be so ? how otherwise ?)
Will you be ruled by me?

Ay, my lord;
So you will 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 device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall;
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe,
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice,
And call it, accident.

My lord, I will be ruld;
The rather, if you could devise it so,
That I might be the organ.

It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's bearing, 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 ®.

What part is that, my lord ?

- Ay, my lord, So you will not o'er-rule me to a peace.) Thus the quartos, completing the unfinished line of the king's speech : the folios have only, “ If so you'll not o'errule me to a peace.”

7 As liking not his voyage,] This is the clear and correct reading of the undated quarto, that of 1611, &c. Malone seems to have referred here to no other quarto than that of 1604, and finding it read corruptly, “ As the king at his voyage,” he adopted the text of the folio, “ As checking at his voyage," which, no doubt, was there introduced as a conjectural emendation,

8 Of the unworthiest siege.] “Siege” is here used, as in “Othello,” A. i. sc. 2, &c. for seat; and seat denotes place or runk. Shakespeare was by no means peculiar in this respect.

King. A very riband 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 have seen myself, and serv'd against the French,
And they can well on horseback'; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't; he grew unto his seat ;
And to such wond'rous doing brought his horse,
As he had been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast: so far he topp'd’ my thought,
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.

A Norman, was't ?
King. A Norman.
Laer. Upon my life, Lamord'.

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 ; And gave you such a masterly report, For art and exercise in your defence, And for your rapier most especially, That be cried out, ’twould be a sight indeed, If one could match you: the scrimers of their nation“, He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye, If you oppos’d them. Sir, this report of his Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,


9 Importing health and graveness.] These words, and all the previous lines between them and “ And call it accident,” are only in the quartos. The folio takes it up again at “ Two months since,” which it prints “ Two months hence."

1 And they can well on horseback ;] The folio has ran for “can.” It was a mere misprint ; people do not run on horseback. In the next line, the folio has into for “ unto."

? — so far he toPP'D—] So the quartos : the folio, tamely, pase'd. 3 Upon my life, LAMORD.] The folios print the name Lamound.

4 – the SCRIMERS of their nation,] Escrimeur is Fr. for a fencer ; and hence “scrimer.” This passage, “ If you oppos'd them,” is not in the folios.

That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you.
Now, out of this, –

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 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 pleurisy, Dies in his own too-much. That we would do, We should do when we would; for this “ would”

changes, And hath abatements and delays as many, As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents; And then this “ should” is like a spendthrift's sigh', That hurts by easing. But, to the quick o' the ulcer. Hamlet comes back: what would you undertake, To show yourself your father's son in deed, More than in words? Laer.

To cut his throat i’the church.

5 What out of this, my lord ?] The folio, “ Why out of this," &c.

There lives within the very flame of love) This and the nine following lines are excluded from the folio.

7 — like a spendthrist's sigh,] So the quartos, 1604, 1611, and the undated quarto, though Malone states that the quarto, 1611, has “spendthrift sigh :" perhaps he meant the quarto, 1637, where it is so printed ; but how carelessly he sometimes wrote upon these points may be judged from the fact, that he asserts that the folio, 1623, has “spendthrift's sigh,” when no word of the whole passage is there to be found, nor in any other folio. The meaning seems sufficiently obvious.

8 — your father's son in deed,] The quartos thus transpose the words, “ in deed your father's son:" in both it is printed initeed.

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