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Laer. You mock me, Sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.
King. Give them the foils, young Ofrick.
Hamlet, you know the wager.
Ham. Well, my Lord ;
Your Grace hath laid the odds o'th' 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.
[Prepares to play.
Ofr. Ay, my good Lord.
King. Set me the stoops of wine
that table :
If Hamlet gives the first or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire;
The King Thall 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 trumpets speak,
The trumpets to the canoneer without,
The cannons to the heav'ns, the heav'ns to earth :
Now the King drinks to Hamlet.--- Come, begin,
And you the judges bear a wary eye.
Ham. Come on, Sir.
Laer. Come, my Lord.
Ofr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Laer. Well -again
King. Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is
Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.
[Trumpets found, shot goes off. Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by a while.
[They play. Come another hit- what lay you?
Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
King. Our fon shall win.
Queen. He's fat, and fcant 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. [-ipide.
Ham. I dare not drink yet, Madam, by and by.
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. I'll hit him now.
King. I do not think’t.
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 afraid
niake a wanton of me. Laer. Say you so ? come on.
[Play. Ofr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now. [Laertes wounds Hamlet; then, in scuffling they
change rapiers, and flamlet wounds Laertes. King. Part them, they are incens'd. Ham. Nay, come again Ofr. Look to the Queen there, ho! Kor. They bleed on both fides. How is't, my Lord? Ofr. How is't, Laertes ?
Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, OfI'm justly kill'd with mine own treachery. [rick,
Ham. How does the Queen ?
King. She fwoons to see them bleed.
Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink
Oh my dear Hamlet, the drink, the drink,
I am poison'd
[ Queen dies. Ham. Oh villany! ho! let the door be lock’d: Treachery! seek it out
Laer. It is here. Hamlet, thou art slain; No medicine in the world can do thee good. In thee there is not half an hour of life; The treach'rous instrument is in thy hand, Unbated and invenom’d; the foul practice Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again; thy mother poison'd;
I can no more-the King, the King's to blame.
Ham. The point invenom'd too?
Then, venom, do thy work. [Stabs the King
All. Treason, treason.
King. O yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Here thou incelluous, murth'rous, damned Drink off this potion : is the union here? [Dane, Follow my mother.
[King dies. Laer. He is juftly served. It is a poison temper'd by himself. Exchange forgiveness with me, Noble Hamlet ; Mine and my father's death come not on thee, Nor thine on me !
Ham. Heav'n make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I'm 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 ferjeant Death
Is itriet in his arrest), oli, I could tell you
But let it be- Horatio, I am dead ;
Thou liv's, report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
Hor. Never believe it.
I'm more an antic Roman than a Dane :
Here's yet some liquor left.
Hamn. As th’art a man,
Give me the cup; let go; by heav'n I'll have't.
Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, that live behind me?
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity a-while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my tale. [March afar off, and shout within.
What warlike noise is this?
SCENE VI. Enter Ofrick.
Ofr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from
To the ambassadors of England gives [Poland,
This warlike volley.
Ham. 0 I die, Horatio :
The potent poison quite o'ergrows my spirit;
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophesy th' election lights
On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice ;
So tell him, with the occurrents more or less,
Which have solicited *.-The rest is silence. [Dies,
Hor. Now cracks a noble heart! good night, sweet
And flights of angels wing thee to thy rest !
Why does the drum come hither?
nter Fortinbras and English Ambassadors, with drum,
colours, and attendants. Fort. Where is this fight?
Hor. What is it you would fee?
If aught of woe or wonder cease your search.
Fort. This quarry cries --- on havock. Oh proud
What feast is tow'rd in thy infernal cell,
That thou fo many princes at a shot
So bloodily haft ftruck?
Amb. The fight 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 Rofincrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
Where should we have our thanks ?
Hor. Not from his mouth t,
Had it th' ability of life to thank you :
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since fo 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 th' unknowing world,
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of cruel, bloody, and unnatural acts;
Of accidental judgments, casual Naughters ;
Of deaths put on by cunning, and force'd cause;
And, in this upfhot, purposes mistook,
Fall’n on th’inventors' heads. All this can I
* solicited, for brought on the event.
i. . the King's
Fort. Let us haste to hear it,
And call the Noblefle to the audience.
For me, with forrow 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 the same be presently perform'd,
Even while mens' minds are wild, left 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 passages The soldiers' music, and the rites of war Speak loudly for him. Take up the body; such a fight as this Becomes the field, but here thews much amiss. Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
[Exeunt marching : after which a peal of ord
nance is foot off.