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Ber. I think, it be no other; but even fo
Well may it fort, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch fo like the King,
That was, and is, the question of thefe wars.
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy State of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The Graves food tenantlefs; and the fheeted Dead.
Did fqueak and gibber in the Roman streets;
Stars fhone with trains of fire, Dews of blood fell
Difafters veil'd the Sun; and the moist Star,


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Upon whofe influence Neptune's Empire ftands,
Was fick almost to dooms-day with eclipfe.
"And even the like precurfe of fierce events,
As barbingers preceding till the fates,
7 And prologue to the omen'd coming on,
Have heav'n and earth together demonftrated
Unto our climatures and country-men.

Enter Ghoft again.

But foft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blaft me. Stay, illufion!

Thefe, and all other lines. printed in the Italick letter, throughout this play, are omitted in the folio edition of 1623. The omiffions leave the play fometimes better and fometimes worfe, and feem made only for the fake of abbreviation.

4 palmy State of Rome,] Palmy, for victorious; in the other editions, flourishin. POPE.

5 Disasters veil'd the Sun ;~] Difafters is here finely used in its original fignification of evil conjunction of ftars.



[Spreading his Arms.

-precurfe of fierce events,] WARB. Fierce, for terrible.

7 And prologue to the omen

coming on. But prologue and omen are merely fynonymous here. The Poet means, that these ftrange Phænomena are prologues and fore-runners of the events prefag'd: And fuch fenfe the flight alteration, which I have ventured to make, by changing omen to omen'd, very aptly gives. THEOBALD. WARB.

Omen, for fate.
Hanmer follows Theobald.
K 4.


If thou haft any found, or use of voice,
Speak to me.

If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do eafe, and grace to me,
Speak to me.

If thou art privy to thy Country's fate,
Which happily foreknowing may avoid,
Oh fpeak!,

Or, if thou haft uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,

For which, they fay, you Spirits oft walk in death,

[Cock crows Speak of it. Stay, and fpeak-Stop it, MarcellusMar. Shall I ftrike it with my partizan ?

Hor. Do, if it will not ftand.

Ber. 'Tis here

Hor. 'Tis here

Mar. 'Tis gone.

We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the fhew of violence;
For it is as the air, invulnerable,

And our vain blows, malicious mockery.

[Exit Ghoft,

Ber. It was about to speak when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful Summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and fhrill-founding throat
Awake the God of day; and, at his warning,
9 Whether in fea or fire, in earth or air,

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*Th' extravagant and erring Spirit hies To his Confine: And of the truth' herein This prefent object made probation.

Mer. It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some fay, that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, The bird of Dawning fingeth all night long: And then, they fay, no Spirit can walk abroad, The nights are whole come, then no planets strike, * No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm So hallow'd and fo gracious is the time.


Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it. But look, the morn, in ruffet mantle clad, Walks o'er the dew of yon + high eastern hill. Break we our watch up; and, by my advice, Let us impart what we have seen to night Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life, This Spirit, dumb to us, will fpeak to him: Do you confent, we shall acquaint him with it, As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know

Where we fhall find him moft conveniently. [Exeunt.

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Changes to the palace.

Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand, Cornelius, Lords and Attendants.


Hough yet of Hamlet our dear brother's



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 fo far hath Difcretion fought with Nature,
That we with wifeft forrow think on him,
Together with remembrance of our felves.
Therefore our fometime fifter, now our Queen,
T'imperial jointress of this warlike State,
Have we, as 'twere, with a defeated joy,
With one aufpicious, and one dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage,
In equal fcale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife.

Nor have we herein barr'd
Your better wifdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak fuppofal 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,
He hath not fail'd to pefter us with meffage

5. Colleagued with this dream of his advantage,] The meaning is, He goes to war fo indifcreetly, and unprepared,

that he has no allies to fupport him but a Dream, with which he is colleagued or confederated.



Importing the furrender of thofe Lands

Loft by his father, by all bands of law,

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To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourfelf, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the bufinefs is. We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
Who, impotent and bed-rid, fcarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpofe, to fupprefs
His further gate herein; in that the Levies,
The Lifts, and full Proportions are all made
Out of his Subjects; and we here difpatch'
You, good Cornelius, and you Veltimand,
For bearers of this Greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further perfonal power
To bufinefs with the King, more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allows.

Farewel, and let you hafte commend your duty.
Vol. In that, and all things, will we fhew our duty.
King. We doubt in nothing. Heartily farewel.
[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
You told us of fome fuit. What is't, Laertes?
You cannot fpeak of Reason to the Dane,

And lofe your voice. What would't thou beg,

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
6 The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than to the throne of Denmark is thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?

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Laer. My

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