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got the tune of the time, and outward habit of encounter; a kind of yesty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial; the bubbles are out.


Enter a Lord.


Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osrick, who brings back to him, that you attend' himn in the hall : He sends to know, if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.'

Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they follow "the king's pleasure : if his fitness speaks, mine in ready ; now, or whensoever, provided I be so able 2 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. 530

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 forestal their repair hither, and say, you are not fit.

Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury; there is 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 readi. ness is all : Since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes ? Let be.

Enter the King, Queen, LAERTES, Lords, OSRICK,

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

wrong ; But pardon it, as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, and you must needs have heard, How I am punish'd with a sore distraction.

550 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 my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

Laer. I am satisfy'd in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge: but in my terms of honour
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
'Till by some elder masters, of known honour, 576
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

Hani. I embrace it freely;
And will this brother's wager frankly play.--
Give us the foils ; coine 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 Osrick.-Cousin

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's better'd, we have therefore odds.


Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another. 590 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's 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.

[They play.
Ham. One.
Laer. No.
Ham. Judgment.

610 Ost. A hit, a very palpable hit. Leer. Well, again,King. Stay, give me drink : Hamlet, this pearl is

thine ; Here's to thy health. Give him the сир.

[Trumpets sound; shot goes off Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by a while.

[They play.


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Come.-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: 626
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.
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't.

699 Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

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

I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afraid, you make a wanton of me.
Laer. Say you so? come on.

[Play. Osr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now. (LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they

change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES, King. Part them, they are incens'd. Ham. Nay, come again. Ost. Look to the queen there, ho! [The Queen falls, Hor. They bleed on both sides :-How is it, my lord

640 Ost.

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