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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. Farewel.
He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come, I will give you way for these And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt.
ANOTHER ROOM IN THE SAME.
Enter King and Laertes.
have heard, and with a knowing ear,
It well appears:-But tell me,
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 is 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: 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, 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
Enter a Messenger.
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet : This to your majesty; this to the queen.
King. From Hamlet! Who brought them?
Mes. 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.
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 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?
Laer. Know you the hand?
"Tis Hamlet's character. Naked, -
King: If it be so, Laertes,-
be rul'd by me? Laer.
Ay, my lord; So you
will not o'er-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine own peace. If he be now re
My lord, I will be rul'd;
It falls right.
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. Laer.
What part is that,
is that, niy lord? King. A very ribband 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,
A Norman, was't?
The very same. Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch, in
deed, And gem of all the nation. King. He made confession of
What out of this, my lord?
this? King. Not that I think, you did not love your
father; But that I know, love is begun by time; And that I