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King. Will

King. Who shall stay you?

Laer. My will, not all the world
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.

King. Good Laertes,
If you desire to know the certainty.
Of your dear father, is’t writ in your revenge,
(That sweep-stake) you will draw both friend and foe,
Winner and loser
Laer. None but his enemies.


know them then ?
Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
And, like the kind life-rendring pelican,
Repast them with


King. Why, now you speak
Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of


father's death,
And am most sensible in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce,
As day does to your eye. [A Noise within, Let her come in.

Laer. How-now, what Noise is that?
Enter Ophelia fantastically drejt with straws and flowers.
O heat, dry up my brains ! tears, seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and vertue of mine eye!.
By heav'n, thy madness Ihall be paid with weight,
'Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May.
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !
O heav'ns, is't possible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and where'cis fine, (62)
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(62) Nature is fine in Love,] Mr. Pope seems puzzled at this Passage, and therefore in both his Editions subjoins this Conjecture, Perhaps, fays He,

Nature is fire in love, and where tis fire, -... ,

It fends fome precious Incense of itself

After the Thing it loves, I own, this Conjecture to me imparts no Satisfactory Idea. Nature is suppos'd to be the Fire, and to furnish the Incense too : Had Love been


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Oph. They bore him bare-fat'd on the bier,

And on his Grave rains many a tear ;

you well, my dove! Laer. Hadft thou thy wits, and didst perswade Re

venge, It could not move thus.

Oph. You must sing, down a-down, and 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, love, remember; and there's pancies, that's for thoughts.

Laer. A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.

fuppos'd the Fire, and Nature sent out the Incense, 'I'fhould more readily have been reconcil'd to the Sentiment. But no Changę, in my Opinion, is neceffary to the Text ; I conceive, that This might be the Poet's Meaning “ In the Passion of Love, Nature becomes more exquifite “ of Senfation, is more delicate and refin'd; that is, Natural Aftection, “ rais’d and sublim'd into a Love-Passion, becomes more inflamed and “ intense than usual; and where it is so, as People in Love generally send “ what they have of most valuable after their Lovers ;. fo poor Ophelia “ has sent her most precious Senses after the Object of her inflamed Af“ fection.” If I. miffake not, our Poet has play'd with this Thought, of the Powers being refin’d by the Passions, in feveral other of his Plays. His Clown, in As you like it, seems sensible of this Refinement ; but, talking in his own Way, interprets it a fort of Frantickness.

We, that are true Lovers, run into strange Capers ; but as All is mortal in Nature, so is all Nature in Love mörtal in Folly.

Again, in Troilus and Cresida, the latter expresses herself concerning Grief, exactly as Laertes does here of Nature.

The Grief is fine, full, perfect, that I tasté ;
And in its Sense is no less strong, than That
Which caufeth it.

til But Jago, in Othello, delivers himself much more directly to the Purpose of the Sentiment here before us.

Gome hither, if thou bee'A valiant; as they say, base Men, being in Love, si batre thém-c Nobility in their Natures more than is native to them.


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 dafie ; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd: they say, he made a good end';

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy. !
Laer. Thought, and amiction, passion, hell it Telf,
She turns to favour, and to prettiness.

Oph. And will be not come again?

And will be not come again?

No, no, he is dead, go to thj death-bed, - He never will come again. night. His beard was as white as (note, 11: i All flaxen was his pole :

He is gone, be is gone, and we cast away mone,

Gramercy on his soul ! And of all christian souls ! God b'w'ye.! [Exit Ophelia.

Laer. Do you see this, you Gods !

King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right : go but a part,
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 fatisfaction. But if not,
Be you content to lend your patience to us ;
And we shall jointly labour with your soul,
To give ic due content.

Laer. Let this be fo.
His means of death, his obfcure funeral,
No trophy, Tword, nor hatchment o’er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal oftentation,

Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heav'n to earth,
That I must call'o in question.

2 King. So you shall : .
And where th’ offence is; let the great ax fall.
I pray you, go with me.

Enter Horatio, with an attendant.
Hor. What are they, that would speak with me?
Ser. Sailors, Sir ; they say, they have letters for you.

Hor. Let them come in.
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors.
Sail. God bless you, Sir.
Hor. Let him bless thee too.
Sail. He shall, Sir, a’nt please him. There's a let-

you, Sir : It comes from th' ambassador that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.


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Hor. reads the letter. ORATIO, when thou malt have overlook'd this, give

these fellows fome means to the King : they bave letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chace. Finding our selves too how 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 bave 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 baste as thou wouldest fly death. I have words to speak in thy ear, will make thee dumb ; yet are they much too light for the matter. These good fellows will bring thee wbere I

Rosincrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England. Of them I have much to tell thee, farewel.


He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.



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Come, I will make you way for these your letters ;
And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt.

Enter King, and Laertes.
King. Now muft your conscience my acquittance

And you must put me in your heart for friend ;

have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father Nain,
Pursued my life.

Laer. It well appears. But tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirr’d up?

King. Two special reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd,
And yet to me are strong. The Queen, his mother,
Lives almost by his looks ; and for myself,
(My virtue or my plague, be’t 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 ;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces. So that my arrows,
Too flightly cimbred 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,
Whofe 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 neeps for that; you must not

That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
Vol. VII.




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