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Another Room in the Palace.

Enter KING and LAERTEs.

King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal; Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear, That he, which hath your noble father slain, Pursu'd my life. Laer. And so have I a noble father lost; A sister driven into desperate terms; Whose worth Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections: But my revenge will come. Ring. Break not your sleeps for that: you must not think, That we are made of stuff so flat and dull, That we can let our beard be shook with danger, And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more.— How now 2 what news?


Ber. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet: This to your majesty; this to the Queen. King. From Hamlet! who brought them? Ber. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them not. Ring. Laertes, you shall hear them.— . Leave us. [Erit BERNARDo.

[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

King. "Tis Hamlet's character.—Naked,— And, in a postscript here, he says, alone.— Can you advise me?

Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come; It warms the very sickness in my heart, That I shall live, and tell him to his teeth, Thus diddest thou.

King. If it be so, Laertes,
Will you 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


As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall:
And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe;
But even his mother shall uncharge the practice,
And call it, accident.

Laer. My lord, I will be rul'd;
The rather, if you could devise it so,
That I might be the organ.

King. It falls right.
You have been talk'd of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality
Wherein they say, you shine.

Laer. What part is that, my lord? r

King. A very ribband in the cap of youth.
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,
He made confession of you;


And gave you such a masterly report,
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especial,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,
If one could match you :
This report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you.
Now, out of this,
Laer. What out of this, my lord?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you ?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?
Laer. Why ask you this
King. Hamlet comes back:-What would you un-
dertake, -
To show yourself in deed your father's son
More than in words?
Laer. To cut his throat i' the church.
King. No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize.
Hamlet, return'd, shall know you are come home:
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, toge-
And wager o'er your heads: he, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.
}. I will do.'t: -
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare,

Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death,
That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.
King. Let's further think of this:—
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings;
When in your motion you are hot and dry,
(As make your bouts more violent to that end)
And that he calls for drink, I'll have preferr'd him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.—But stay, what noise?

Enter QUEEN.

Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow —Your sister's drown'd, Laertes. Laer. Drown'd ' O, where Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook, That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream ; There with fantastic garlands did she come Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples; There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke; When down her weedy trophies, and herself, Fell in the weeping brook. Laer. I forbid my tears: But yet It is our trick; nature her custom holds, Let shame say what it will. Adieu, my lord I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze, But that this folly drowns it. [Erit LAERTEs. King. How much I had to do to calm his rage 1 Now fear I, this will give it start again. [Ereunt.



A Churchyard.

Enter two Gravebiggers.

1. Graved. Is she to be buried in christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation? 2 Graced. I tell thee, she is; therefore, make her grave straight: the crowner hath set on her, and finds it christian burial. 1 Graved. How can that be, unless she drown'd herself in her own defence 2 2 Graved. Why, 'tis found so. 1 Graved. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies the point: If I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act: and an act hath three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to perform : Argal, she drowned herself wittingly. 2 Graved. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver;1 Graved. Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here stands the man; good : If the man go to this water, and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, he goes; mark you that: but, if the water come to him, and drown him, he drowns not himself: Argal, he, that is not guilty of his own death, shortens not his own life. 2 Graced. But is this law 1 Graved. Ay, marry is't; crowner's-quest law. 2 Graved. Will you ha' the truth on't: If this had

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