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songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come; make her laugh at that.-Pr'ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing.
Hor. What's that, my lord?
Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander looked o' this fashion i' the earth?
Hor. E'en so.
Ham. And smelt so? pah!
[Throws down the skull.
Hor. E'en so, my lord.
Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
Hor. "Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so?
Ham. No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: As thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam : And why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay,
Enter Priests, &c., in procession; the corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES, and Mourners following: KING, QUEEN, their Trains, &c.
The queen, the courtiers: Who is this they follow?
Laer. What ceremony else?
A very noble youth: Mark.
ì Priest. Her obsequies have been so far enlarg'd
Laer. Must there no more be done?
[Retiring with HORATIO
That is Laertes.
No more be done!
We should profane the service of the dead
Lay her i' the earth,—
Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !
Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell:
[Leaps into the grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
Ham. [Advancing.] What is he, whose grief
[Leaps into the grave [Grappling with him.
I pr'ythee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet!
Good my lord, be quiet.
[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme, Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Queen. O my son! what theme?
Ham. I loved Ophelia; forty thousand brothers
Make up my sum.-What wilt thou do for her?
Ham. Zounds, show me what thou'lt do:
Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?
I'll do't.-Dost thou come here to whine?
This is mere madness,
And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
Hear you, sir;
Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech; [To LAERTes.
Hamlet has learned the intentions of the King, in sending him to England, and while consulting with Horatio how to act, a messenger comes from Claudius inviting the Prince to a "trial of skill" in fencing, with Laertes; Hamlet accepts the challenge, and the scene changes to a Hall in the Palace where the court are assembled to witness the encounter.
SCENE the last.-A Hall in the Castle.
Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, &c.
King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
[The KING puts the hand of LAERTES into that of HAMLET. Ham. Give me your pardon, sir: I have done you wrong; But pardon it as you are a gentleman. Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil Free me so far in your most generous thoughts, That I have shot my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
I am satisfied in nature,
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
Come, one for me.
You mock me, sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.
King. Give them the foils, young Osric.-Cousin Hamlet, You know the wager?
Very well, my lord;
Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another.
Ham. This likes me well: These foils have all a length ?
Osr. Ay, my good lord.
King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that table :-If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire;
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Ham. Come on, sir,
Laer. Come, my lord.
[They prepare to play.
Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
King. Stay, give me drink: Hamlet, this pearl is thine; Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup.
[Trumpets sound; and cannon shot off within. Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by awhile. Come.-Another hit; What say you?
Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
Queen. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Gertrude, do not drink.
Queen. I will, my lord ;-I pray you, pardon me.
And yet it is almost against my conscience.
[They play. [LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES. Part them, they are incens'd.
Ham. O villany!-Ho! let the door be lock'd: Treachery! seek it out.
[The QUEEN falls. Look to the queen there, ho! Hor. They bleed on both sides :-How is it, my lord? Osr. How is't, Laertes ?
Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric; I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.
Ham. How does the queen?
She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,—O my dear Hamlet!— The drink, the drink ;-I am poison'd!
Laer. It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
Envenom'd too!-Then, venom, to thy work.
Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
Never believe it;
[Stabs the KING.