Laer. And so haue I a Noble Father lost, A Sister driuen into desperate tearmes, Who was (if praises may go backe againe) Stood Challenger on mount of all the Age For her perfections. But my reuenge will come

King. Breake not your sleepes for that, You must not thinke That we are made of stuffe, so flat, and dull, That we can let our Beard be shooke with danger, And thinke it pastime. You shortly shall heare more, I lou'd your Father, and we loue our Selfe, And that I hope will teach you to imagine- Enter a Messenger.

How now? What Newes? Mes. Letters my Lord from Hamlet, This to your Maiesty: this to the Queene

King. From Hamlet? Who brought them? Mes. Saylors my Lord they say, I saw them not: They were giuen me by Claudio, he receiu'd them

King. Laertes you shall heare them: Leaue vs.

Exit Messenger

High and Mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your Kingdome. To morrow shall I begge leaue to see your Kingly Eyes. When I shall (first asking your Pardon thereunto) recount th' Occasions of my sodaine, and more strange returne. Hamlet. What should this meane? Are all the rest come backe? Or is it some abuse? Or no such thing? Laer. Know you the hand? Kin. 'Tis Hamlets Character, naked and in a Postscript here he sayes alone: Can you aduise me? Laer. I'm lost in it my Lord; but let him come, It warmes the very sicknesse in my heart, That I shall liue and tell him to his teeth; Thus diddest thou

Kin. If it be so Laertes, as how should it be so: How otherwise will you be rul'd by me? Laer. If so you'l not o'rerule me to a peace

Kin. To thine owne peace: if he be now return'd, As checking at his Voyage, and that he meanes No more to vndertake it; I will worke him To an exployt now ripe in my Deuice, Vnder the which he shall not choose but fall; And for his death no winde of blame shall breath, But euen his Mother shall vncharge the practice, And call it accident: Some two Monthes hence Here was a Gentleman of Normandy, I'ue seene my selfe, and seru'd against the French, And they ran well on Horsebacke; but this Gallant Had witchcraft in't; he grew into his Seat, And to such wondrous doing brought his Horse, As had he beene encorps't and demy-Natur'd With the braue Beast, so farre he past my thought, That I in forgery of shapes and trickes, Come short of what he did

Laer. A Norman was't? Kin. A Norman

Laer. Vpon my life Lamound

Kin. The very same

Laer. I know him well, he is the Brooch indeed, And Iemme of all our Nation

Kin. Hee mad confession of you, And gaue you such a Masterly report, For Art and exercise in your defence; And for your Rapier most especiall, That he cryed out, t'would be a sight indeed, If one could match you Sir. This report of his Did Hamlet so envenom with his Enuy, That he could nothing doe but wish and begge, Your sodaine comming ore to play with him; Now out of this

Laer. Why out of this, my Lord? Kin. Laertes was your Father deare to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart? Laer. Why aske you this? Kin. Not that I thinke you did not loue your Father, But that I know Loue is begun by Time: And that I see in passages of proofe, Time qualifies the sparke and fire of it: Hamlet comes backe: what would you vndertake, To show your selfe your Fathers sonne indeed, More then in words? Laer. To cut his throat i'th' Church

Kin. No place indeed should murder Sancturize; Reuenge should haue no bounds: but good Laertes Will you doe this, keepe close within your Chamber, Hamlet return'd, shall know you are come home: Wee'l put on those shall praise your excellence, And set a double varnish on the fame The Frenchman gaue you, bring you in fine together, And wager on your heads, he being remisse, Most generous, and free from all contriuing, Will not peruse the Foiles? So that with ease, Or with a little shuffling, you may choose A Sword vnbaited, and in a passe of practice, Requit him for your Father

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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