King. Where is Polonius?

Ham. In heaven: send thither to see; if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’the other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.

King. Go seek him there. [To some Attendants. Ham. He will stay till you come.

[Exeunt Attendants. King. Hamlet, this deed’, for thine especial safety,Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve For that which thou hast done,-must send thee hence With fiery quickness : therefore, prepare thyself. The bark is ready, and the wind at help, Th' associates tend, and every thing is bent For England. Ham. For England ?

Ay, Hamlet.

Good. King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.

Ham. I see a cherub that sees them'.—But, come; for England !- Farewell, dear mother.

King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.

Ham. My mother : father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England.

[Exit. King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed

aboard :
Delay it not, I'll have him hence to-night.
Away, for every thing is seald and done,
That else leans on th’ affair : pray you, make haste.

[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL.

King. Ham.

2 Hamlet, this deed,] The folio inserts of thine after “ deed,” unnecessarily to the sense, and injuriously to the metre. Lower down, “ With fiery quickness" is only in the folio. It also reads, “ at bent” for “ is bent” of the quartos, at the conclusion of the speech.

3 — that sees ThEM.] The folio has him for “ them” of the quartos : him seems to have no reference, unless Hamlet be mentally adverting to his father.

And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,
(As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Pays homage to us) thou may'st not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
By letters conjuring to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me. Till I know 'tis done,
Ilowe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun'. [Exit.


A Plain in Denmark.

Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching. For. Go, captain; from me greet the Danish king: Tell him, that by his licence Fortinbras Claims the conveyance of a promis'd march Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. If that his majesty would aught with us, We shall express our duty in his eye; And let him know so. Cap.

I will do’t, my lord. For. Go softly on?

[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces.

By letters CONJURING-) All the quartos have congruing. The same word occurs in the quartos of “Henry V.” (See Vol. iv. p. 476, note 7) which the folio there alters to congreeing. The text of the folio seems preferable, although the quartos may be right.

5 – were ne'er begun.) So the folio, and so the rhyme requires: the quartos, “will ne'er begrin.

6 Claims the conveyance-] “ Craves the conveyance" in the quartos.

7 Go softly on.] These words are probably addressed to his troops, and in the quarto, 1603, we have, “Go, march away,” instead of them. The folio prints “ softly" safely.


Ham. Good sir, whose powers are these?
Cap. They are of Norway, sir.

How purpos’d, sir,
I pray you?

Against some part of Poland. Ham.

Who Commands them, sir?

Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.

Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier ?

Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of ground,
That hath in it no profit but the name.
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Nor will it yield to Norway, or the Pole,
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.

Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Cap. Yes, 'tis already garrison'd.
Ham. Two thousand souls, and twenty thousand

Will not debate the question of this straw:
This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.—I humbly thank you, sir.
Cap. God be wi’you, sir.

[Exit Captain. Ros.

Will't please you go, my lord ? Ham. I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good, and market of his time, Be but to sleep, and feed ? a beast, no more. Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse,

& Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, &c.] The folio omits all the rest of this scene, and there is no trace of it in the quarto, 1603.

Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason,
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event,-
A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom,
And ever three parts coward",—I do not know
Why yet I live to say, “ This thing's to do ;"
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means,
To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness this army, of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff’d,
Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great,
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When honour's at the stake. How stand I, then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason, and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That for a fantasy, and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause;
Which is not tomb enough, and continent,
To hide the slain ?-0! from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! [Exit.

9 And ever three parts coward,–] Schlegel, in his work, Ueber dramatische Kunst und Litteratur, iii. p. 149, quotes this passage as a sort of key to Hamlet's character, and the omission of such an important soliloquy, in connexion with what immediately precedes it, would convince us, even if we had no other reason for thinking so, that the abbreviation of this tragedy for the stage, as we find it in the folio, 1623, was the work of the players, and not of the poet.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Queen, HORATIO, and a Gentleman''.
Queen. I will not speak with her.

Gent. She is importunate; indeed, distract:
Her mood will needs be pitied.

What would she have ? Gent. She speaks much of her father; says, she

hears, There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her

heart; Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt, That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection; they aim at it', And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts; Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield

them, Indeed would make one think, there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. Hor. "Twere good she were spoken with, for she

may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. Queen. Let her come in.



10 Enter Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman.) The folio omits the “Gentleman,” and gives all the quartos assign to him to Horatio, and what Horatio says to the Queen-no doubt to avoid the employment of another actor. We have restored the ancient, more convenient, and, as it seems to us, more natural distribution of the dialogue.

1- they aim at it,] The folio has “ aim ” for yawn of the quartos ; and yarn may possibly be right, though not very likely to be so. Three lines lower, the folio substitutes would for “ might.”

? Hor. "Twere good, she were spoken with.] This advice seems to come properly from Horatio, as it is given in the quartos, and the Queen's reply ought to commence at the order, “ Let her come in.” In the quartos these latter words are, however, erroneously made the end of what Horatio says. The desire to employ few actors, in all probability, led to this confusion of the dialogue.

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