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Enter 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

But pardon it, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,
How I am punished with a sore distraction.
What I have done,
That might your nature, honor, and exception,
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never, Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,
And, when he's not himself, does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it then? His madness.If't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy. .
Sir, in this audience,?
Let my disclaiming from a purposed 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,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge ; but in my terms of honor,
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder masters, of known honor,
I have a voice and precedent of peace,

To keep my name ungorged. But till that time,
I do receive your offered love like love,
And will not wrong

it. Ham.

I embrace it freely,

1. e. the king and queen.

2 This line is not in the quarto 3 i. e. unwounded.

And will this brother's wager frankly play.-

: Give us the foils; come on. Laer.

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. Laer.

You mock me, sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.
King. Give them the foils, young Osric.—Cousin

You know the wager?

Very well, my lord ;
Your grace hath laid the 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 length ?

[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 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.


| The king had wagered sir 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.

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. Tamlet subsequently asks him tauntingly, " Is the union here?”

Ham. Come on, sir.

Come, my lord. [They play Ham.

One. Laer.

No. Нат.

Judgment Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit. Laer.

Well,—again. 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'd play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.—Another hit; what say you? [They play.

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

He's fat, and scant of breath.-
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin ; rub thy brows.
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.

1 Ham. Good madam,King.

Gertrude, do not drink. Queen. I will, my lord ;-) 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. King

I do not think it. Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

[Aside. Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes. You do but

dally; I

pray you, pass with your best violence; I am afeard


make a wanton 2 of me. Laer. Say you so ? come on.

[They play. Osr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now. [LAERTES wounds Hamlet; then, in scuffling,

they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES.


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

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



Part them; they are incensed. Ham. Nay, come again. [The Queen falls. Osr.

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,

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,-0 my dear

The drink, the drink ;-) am poisoned !

Ham. O villany 'S-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. Ham.

The point Envenomed too!—Then, venom, to thy work.

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.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.

[King dies.

I 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!

[Dies. 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 you,-
But let it be.—Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

Never believe it;
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?
Osı 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® 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. [Dies.
Hor. Now cracks a noble heart.-Good night, sweet


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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.

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