« PreviousContinue »
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
I am satisfied in nature,
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.
Very well, my lord ;
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.
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.
He's fat, and scant of breath.-
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
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 !
Ham. How does the queen ?
She swoons to see them bleed.
Ham. O villany 'S-Ho! let the door be locked.
[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
He is justly served ;
I See note 2, p. 365.
“ The poisoned instrument within my hand ?
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee;
[Dies. Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee. I am dead, Horatio.-Wretched queen, adieu !
Never believe it;
As thou’rt a man,-
What warlike noise is this?
O, I die, Horatio ;
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.