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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.
Ham.

I embrace it freely;
And will this brother's wager frankly play. .
Give us the foils.

232 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 Osrick. --- Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager?
Ham.

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 is 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.
Ay, my good lord.
King. Set me the stoops of wine upon that table.

233
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 heavens to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet!" Come, begin;
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye. |
Ham.
Sir.

234 Laer. Come, my lord.

[They play.
Ham.

One.
Laer.

No.
Ham.

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

[Flourish.
Laer.

Well: again.

Osr.

Come on,

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King. Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine ; Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.

[Trumpets sound; Shot yoes off.
Ham. I'll 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.
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.
Queen. I will, my lord : I pray you, pardon me.

King. It is the poison'd cup! it is too late. [Aside. 235 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 but dally:
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard, you make a wanton 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. Kiny.

Part them! they are incens'd. 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? | 236 Laer. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osrick; I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.

Ham. How does the queen?
King.

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.

[Dies. Ham. O villainy! 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;

237

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.

[Stabs the King. I
All. Treason! treason!
King. 0! yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.

Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane ,
Drink off this potion : is the union here?
Follow my mother.

[King dies. Laer.

He is justly serv’d;
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet;
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) 0! I could tell you ,
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied. I
Hor.

Never believe it:
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
Here's yet some liquor left.
Ham.

As thou 'rt a man,
Give me the cup; let go; by heaven I'll have it.
0 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?
Osr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.

238

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Ham.

0! I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o’er-grows 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 and less,
Which have solicited The rest is silence.

[Dies. 239 Hor. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince;

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

[March within.
Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and Others.
Fort. Where is this sight?
Hor.

What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.

Fort. This quarry cries on havock. O proud death!
What feast is toward in thine infernal 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 fulfill’d,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

Where should we have our thanks? | 240 Hor.

Not from his mouth,
Had it th' 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 England ,
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 hear
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.

Fort. Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience. I
241 For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:

I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.

Hor. Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more :
But let this scene be presently perform’d,
Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance,
On plots and errors, happen.
Fort.

Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royally: and for his passage ,
The soldiers' music, and the rites of war,
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

[Exeunt, marching; after which, a Peal of Ord

nance is shot off.

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