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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell. He that thou knowest thine,

HAMLET.'

Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them.

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[Exeunt.

SCENE VII.-Another Room in the Same.

Enter KING and LAERTES.

King. Now must your conscience my acquittance

seal,

And you must put me in your heart for friend,
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father slain,
Pursued my life.

Laer.

It well appears :—but tell me
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirred up.

King.
O, for two special reasons;
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinewed,
And yet to me they are strong. The queen, his

mother,

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Lives almost by his looks; and for myself,-
My virtue, or my plague, be it either which,
She's so conjunctive to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive

Why to a public count I might not go,

Is the great love the general gender bear him;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,

Would, like the spring that turneth wood to

stone,

Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,
Too slightly timbered for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aimed them.

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Laer. And so have I a noble father lost, A sister driven into desperate terms,Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections.—But my revenge King. Break not your sleeps for that; you must

not think

will come.

That we are made of stuff so flat and dull

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That we can let our beard be shook with danger And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear

more:

I loved your father, and we love ourself;

And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine,

Enter a Messenger.

How now! what news?

Mess.

Letters, my lord, from Hamlet.

This to your majesty; this to the queen.

King. From Hamlet! who brought them?

Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them

not:

They were given me by Claudio, he received them Of him that brought them.

King. Leave us.

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Laertes, you shall hear them.[Exit Messenger. 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 occasions of my sudden and more strange return. HAMLET.'

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What should this mean? Are all the rest cou

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.'

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Laer. I'm 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,

As how should it be so? how otherwise

Will you be ruled by me?

Laer.

my lord;

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So will not o'er-rule me to a peace.

you

King. To thine own peace.

returned,

If he be now

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 ruled;

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The rather, if you could devise it so

That I might be the organ.

King.

It falls right.

You have been talked of since your travel much,
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality

Wherein, they say, you shine: your sum of parts
Did not together pluck such envy from him
As did that one; and that, in my regard,
Of the unworthiest siege.

Laer

What part is that, my lord

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King. A very riband in the cap of youth, Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes The light and careless livery that it wears, Than settled age his sables and his weeds, Importing health and graveness.-Two months since,

Here was a gentleman of Normandy,

I have seen myself, and served against, the French,
And they can well on horseback; but this gallant
Had witchcraft in 't; he grew unto his seat;
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse,
As he had been incorpsed and demi-natured
With the brave beast: so far he topped my thought
That I in forgery of shapes and tricks

Come short of what he did.

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Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch,

indeed,

And gem of all the nation.

King. He made confession of you; And gave you such a masterly report, For art and exercise in your defence, And for your rapier most especially,

That he cried out, 't would be a sight indeed

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