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Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

Luer. Must there no more be done?
No more be done:
We should profane the service of the dead, 260
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.

Lay her i' the earth; And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest, A ministering angel shall my sister be, When thou liest howling.

Ham. What! the fair Ophelia ? Queen. Sweets to the sweet: farewell! Scattering flowers. I hop'd thou should'st have been my Hamlet's wife;

I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,

And not have strew'd thy grave.

Laer. O treble woe 270 Fall ten times treble on that cursed head Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense Depriv'd thee of. Hold off the earth awhile, Till I have caught her once more in mine arms. Leaps into the grave. Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead, Till of this flat a mountain you have made, To o'er-top old Pelion or the skyish head Of blue Olympus.

Ham. Advancing. What is he whose grief Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of

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Ham. So much for this, sir: now let me see the other;

You do remember all the circumstance?
Hor. Remember it, my lord?

Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep; methought I lay
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
And prais'd be rashness for it, let us know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do pall; and that should
teach us

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With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.


Is 't possible? Ham. Here's the commission: read it at more leisure.

But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?
Hor. I beseech you.

Ham. Being thus benetted round with villanies,

Ere I could make a prologue to my brains
They had begun the play,—I sat me down,
Devis'd a new commission, wrote it fair;
I once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote ?


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Hor. It must be shortly known to him from England

What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short: the interim is mine; And a man's life no more than to say 'One.' But I am very sorry, good Horatio, That to Laertes I forgot myself; For, by the image of my cause, I see The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours: But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me Into a towering passion. Hor.

Peace! who comes here! Enter OSRIC.

Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

Ham. I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?

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Osr. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should impart a thing to you from his majesty.

Ham. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use; 'tis for the head.

Osr. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot. Ham. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.

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Osr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. Ham. But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion.

Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, as 'twere, I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid a great wager on your head. Sir, this is the matter,

Ham. I beseech you, remember

HAMLET moves him to put on his hat. Osr. Nay, good my lord; for mine ease, in good faith. Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes; believe me, an absolute gentleman, ful of most excellent differences, of very soft society and great showing; indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see.

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Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you; though, I know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article; and his infusion of such dearth and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his semblable is his mirror;

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Osr. I know you are not ignorantHam. I would you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did, it would not much approve me. Well, sir?

Osr. You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is

Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him in excellence; but, to know a man well, were to know himself.

Osr. I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.

Ham. What's his weapon?
Osr. Rapier and dagger.


Ham. That's two of his weapons; but, well. Osr. The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses; against the which he has imponed, as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit. Ham. What call you the carriages? Hor. I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.


Osr. The carriages, sir, are the hangers. Ham. The phrase would be more german to the matter if we could carry cannon by our sides; I would it might be hangers till then. But, on six Barbary horses against six French swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited carriages; that's the French bet against the Danish. Why is this imponed,' as you call it ?

Osr. The king, sir, hath laid, sir, that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits; he hath laid on twelve for nine, and it would come to immediate trial if your lordship would vouchsafe the

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Osr. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.

Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall; if it please his majesty, 'tis the breathing time of day with me; let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the king hold his purpose, I will win for him an I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits.

Osr. Shall I re-deliver you e'en so? Ham. To this effect, sir; after what flourish your nature will. 191

Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship. Ham. Yours, yours. Exit OSRIC. He does well to commend it himself; there are no tongues else for 's turn,

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Ham. I am constant to my purposes; they follow the king's pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.

Lord. The king and queen and all are coming down.

Ham. In happy time.

Lord. The queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play.

Ham. She well instructs me.


Exit Lord.

Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord. Ham. I do not think so; since he went into France I have been in continual practice; I shall win at the odds. But thou would'st not think how ill all's here about my heart; but it is no matter.

Hor. Nay, good my lord,-

Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of gain-giving as would perhaps trouble a woman. Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it; I will forestall their repair hither, and say you are not fit.


Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury; there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come : the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is 't to leave betimes? Let be.

Enter KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, etc.


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've done

you wrong;

But pardon 't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
With sore distraction. What I have done,
That might your nature, honour and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd 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 wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Sir, in this audience,


Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge; but in my terms of honour

I am satisfied in nature, 260

I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
I have a voice and precedent of peace,

To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time,
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.

I embrace it freely;

And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Give us the foils. Come on.

Come, one for me. 270
Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine

Your skill shall, like a star i̇' the darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.


You mock me, sir.

Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Osric.

Cousin Hamlet,

You know the wager?


Нать. 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 better'd, 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 methe 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 290


And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
'Now the king drinks to Hamlet!' Come, begin;
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
Ham. Come on, sir.





Come, my lord.

They play.



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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.
They play.

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Another hit; what say you? Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess. King. Our son shall win. Queen.


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! King.

Gertrude, do not drink.

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Ham. O villany! Ho! let the door be lock'd: 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 of life;
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom'd. The foul practice
Hath turn'd itself on me; lo! here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mother's poison'd.
I can no more. The king, the king's to blame.
Ham. The point envenom'd too!
Then, venom, to thy work.

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As thou 'rt a man, Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have 't. O God! Horatio, what a wounded name, 360 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 shout within. What war-like noise is this? Osr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,

To the ambassadors of England gives
This war-like volley.


O! I die, Horatio ;

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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 upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from

Are here arriv'd, 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

Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forc'd cause,
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on the inventors' heads; all this can I
Truly deliver.

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