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And will this brother's wager frankly play.-
Give us the foils; come on.


Come, one for me. Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine ignorance Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,

Stick fiery off indeed.


You mock me, sir.

Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Osric.-Cousin


You know the wager?

Your grace hath laid the

Very well, my lord;


odds o' the weaker side. King. I do not fear it. I have seen you both.But since he's bettered, we have therefore odds. Laer. This is too heavy; let me see another. Ham. This likes me well. These foils have all a [They prepare to play.


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 king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath ;
And in the cup an union 3 shall he throw,
Richer than that which four successive kings
In Denmark's crown have worn.

Give me the cups;

And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,

The trumpet to the cannoneer without,

The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.-Come, begin;—
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.

1 The king had wagered six Barbary horses to a few rapiers, poniards, &c.; that is, about twenty to one.-These are the odds here meant. The odds the king means in the next speech were twelve to nine in favor of Hamlet, by Laertes giving him three.

2 Stoup is a common word in Scotland at this day, and denotes a pewter vessel resembling our wine measures; but of no determinate quantity.

3 An union is a precious pearl, remarkable for its size. Under pretence of throwing a pearl into the cup, the king may be supposed to drop some poisonous drug into the wine. Hamlet subsequently asks him tauntingly, "Is the union here?"

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Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup.

[Trumpets sound; and cannon shot off within. Ham. I'd play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.-Another hit; what say you?

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
King. Our son shall win.


[They play.

He's fat, and scant of breath.

Here, Hamlet, take my napkin; rub thy brows.
The queen carouses' to thy fortune, Hamlet.

Ham. Good madam,—


Gertrude, do not drink.

Queen. I will, my lord ;-I pray you, pardon me.
King. It is the poisoned cup; it is too late. [Aside.
Ham. I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. My lord, I'll hit him now.

Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

I do not think it.

[Aside. You do but

Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes.


I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton 2 of me.
Laer. Say you so? come on.

Osr. Nothing neither way.

Laer. Have at you now.

[They play.

[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES.

1 i. e. the queen drinks to thy good success.

ie. you trifle or play with me as if I were a child.


Part them; they are incensed.

Ham. Nay, come again.


[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 mine own springe, Osric;

I am justly killed 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


The drink, the drink ;—I am poisoned !

[Dies. Ham. O villany!-Ho! let the door be locked. Treachery! seek it out.

[LAERTES falls.
Laer. It is here, Hamlet; Hamlet, thou art slain;
No medicine in the world can do thee good;
In thee there is not half an hour's life.
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated,' and envenomed. The foul practice
Hath turned itself on me; lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mother's poisoned;
I can no more; the king, the king's to blame.
The point
Envenomed too!-Then, venom, to thy work.2
[Stabs the King.

Osr. and Lords. Treason! treason!
King. O, yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned


Drink off this potion.-Is the union here?

Follow my mother.


He is justly served;

It is a poison tempered by himself.

[King dies.

Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.

1 See note 2, p. 365.

2 In the quarto of 1603:

"The poisoned instrument within my hand?
Then venom to thy venom; die, damned villain:
Come, drink, here lies thy union here.

[King dies."

Mine and my father's death come not upon thee;
Nor thine on me!

Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I am dead, Horatio.-Wretched queen, adieu !—
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time, (as this fell sergeant,' death,
Is strict in his arrest,) O, I could tell
But let it be.-Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

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I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,
Here's yet some liquor left.


As thou'rt a man,—

Give me the cup; let go; by Heaven, I'll have it.O God!-Horatio, what a wounded name,

Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me! If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,

Absent thee from felicity awhile,

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,

To tell my story.—

[March afar off, and shot within.

What warlike noise is this?

Os Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from


To the ambassadors of England gives

This warlike volley.


O, I die, Horatio;

The potent poison quite o'ercrows 2 my spirit.
I cannot live to hear the news from England;
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;

So tell him, with the occurrents, more or less,
Which have solicited,3-The rest is silence.


Hor. Now cracks a noble heart.-Good night, sweet


1 A sergeant was a bailiff or sheriff's officer.

2 To overcrow is to overcome, to subdue.

3 "The occurrents which have solicited"-the occurrences or incidents which have incited. The sentence is left unfinished.

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?

[March within.

Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and


Fort. Where is this sight?


What is it you would see?

If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.

Fort. This quarry cries on havoc !-O proud death!

What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,

That thou so many princes, at a shot,

So bloodily hast struck?

1 Amb.

The sight is dismal;

And our affairs from England come too late.

The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
To tell him, his commandment is fulfilled,

That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?

Not from his mouth,

Had it the ability of life to thank you;

He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump 2 upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arrived; give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view;

And let me speak, to the yet unknowing world,
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts; 3

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters;


Of deaths put on by cunning, and forced cause;
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook

1 "This quarry cries on havoc!" To cry on was to exclaim against. Quarry was the term used for a heap of slaughtered game. See Macbeth, Act iv. Sc. 3.

2 It has been already observed that jump and just, or exactly, are synonymous. Vide note on Act i. Sc. 1.

3 Of sanguinary and unnatural acts, to which the perpetrator was instigated by concupiscence or "carnal stings." The allusion is to the murder of old Hamlet by his brother.

4 i. e. instigated, produced. Instead of "forced cause," the quartos read, "for no cause."

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