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sequences of his own well meant, yet too artificial and subtle contrivances.
And the prince, turning to these old lords, Mountague and Capulet, rebuked them for their brutal and irrational enmities, and shewed them what a scourge heaven had laid upon such offences, that it had found means even through the love of their children to punish their unnatural hate. And these old rivals, no longer enemies, agreed to bury their long strife in their children's graves; and lord Capulet requested lord Mountague to give him his hand, calling him by the name of brother, as if in acknowledgment of the union of their families by the marriage of the young Capulet and Mountague; and saying that lord Mountague's hand (in token of reconcilement) was all he demanded for his daughter's jointure: but lord Mountague said he would give him more, for he would raise her statue of pure gold, that while Verona kept its name, no figure should be so esteemed for its richness and workmanship as that of the true and faithful Juliet. And lord Capulet in return said that he would raise another statue to Romeo. So did these poor old lords, when it was too late, strive
to outgo each other in mutual courtesies: while so deadly had been their rage and enmity in pait times, that nothing but the fearful overthrow of their children (poor sacrifices to their quarrels and dissensions) could remove the rooted hates and jealousies of the noble families.
TALE THE EIGHTEENTH.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark, becoming a widow by the sudden death of king Hamlet, in less than two months after his death married his brother Claudius, which was noted by all people at the time for a strange act of indiscretion, or unfeelingness, or worse: for this Claudius did no ways resemble her late husband in the qualities of his person or his mind, but was as contemptible in outward appearance, aa he was base and unworthy in disposition; and suspicions did not fail to arise in the minds of some, that he had privately made away with his brother, the late king, with the view of marrying his widow, and ascending the throne of Denmark, to the exclusion of young Hamlet, the son of the buried king, and lawful successor to the throne.
But upon no one did this unadvised action of the queen make such impression as upon this young prince, who loved and venerated the memory of his dead father almost to idolatry, and being of a nice sense of honour, and a most exquisite practiser of propriety himself, did sorely take to heart this unworthy conduct of his mother Gertrude: insomuch that, between grief for his father's death and shame for his mother's' marriage, this young prince was overclouded with a deep melancholy, and lost ill his mirth and all his good looks; all his customary pleasure in books forsook him, his princely exercises and sports, proper to his youth, were no longer acceptable; he grew weary of the world, which seemed to him an unweeded garden, where all the wholesome flowers were choaked up, and nothing but weeds could thrive. Not that the prospect of exclusion from the throne, his'lawful inheritance, weighed so much upon his spirits, though that to a young and high-minded prince was a bitter wound and a sore indignity; but what so galled him, and took away all his cheerful spirits, was, that his mother had shewn her
self so forgetful to his father's memory: and such a father! who had been to her so loving and so gent|e a husband! and then she always appeared as loving and obedient a wife to him, and would hang upon him as if her affection grew to him: and now within two months, or as it seemed to young Hamlet, less than two months, she had married again, married his uncle, her dead husband's brother, in itself a highly improper and unlawful marriage, from the nearness of relationship, but made much more so by the indecent haste with which it was concluded, and the unkingly character of the man whom she had chosen to be the partner of her thrpne and beefThis it was, which, more than the Joss of ten kingdoms, dashed the spirits, and brought a cloud oyer the mind of this honourable young prince.
In vain was all that his mother Gertrude or the king could do or contrive to divert him; he Still appeared in court in a suit of deep black, as mourning for the king his father's death, which mode of diess he had never laid aside, nof even in compliment to his mother upon the clay she was married, nor could he be brought to join in any