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This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:
The same. A Room of State in the same.
Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, Polonius, Laertes, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants.
King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green; and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe; Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature, That we with wisest sorrow think on him, Together with remembrance of ourselves. Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, The imperial jointress of this warlike state, Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy, With one auspicious, and one dropping eye; With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole,Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone With this affair along: For all, our thanks. Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,Holding a weak supposal of our worth; Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death, Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,"
2 Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] This imaginary advantage, which Fortinbras hoped to derive from the unsettled state of the kingdom.
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
King. We doubt it nothing; heartily farewell. [Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. And now, Laertes, what's the news with you? You told us of some suit; What is't, Laertes ? You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice: What would'st thou beg,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
His further gait herein,] Gate or gait is here used in the northern sense, for proceeding, passage; from the A. S. verb gae. A gate for a path, passage, or street, is still current in the north. more than the scope-] More is comprized in the general design of these articles, which you may explain in a more diffused and dilated style.
dilated articles, &c.] i. e. the articles when dilated.
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
My dread lord,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France,
Pol. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave,
King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.
King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i'the sun. Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids'
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know'st, 'tis common; all, that live, must die,
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems.
If it be,
6 Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.] A little more than kin, is a little more than a common relation. The king was certainly something less than kind, by having betrayed the mother of Hamlet into an indecent and incestuous marriage, and obtained the crown by means which he suspects to be unjustifiable. ―vailed lids-] With lowering eyes, cast down eyes.
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,
To give these mourning duties to your father:
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
obsequious sorrow:] Obsequious is here from obsequies, or funeral ceremonies.
9 In obstinate condolement,] Condolement, for sorrow.
a will most incorrect-] i. e. ill-regulated, not sufficiently regulated by a sense of duty and submission to the dispensations of Providence.
2 To reason most absurd;] Reason is here used in its common sense, for the faculty by which we form conclusions from argu
From the first corse, till he that died to-day,
Than that which dearest father bears his son,
Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet;
pray thee, stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, &c. POLONIUS,
Ham. O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew !7
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
And, with no less nobility of love,] Eminence and distinction of love. ·bend you to remain—] i. e. subdue your inclination to go from hence, and remain, &c.
No jocund health,] The king's intemperance is very strongly impressed; every thing that happens to him gives him occasion to
6 -the king's rouse-] i. e. the king's draught of jollity.
resolve itself into a dew!] Resolve means the same as dis