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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 çannons to the heavens, the heaven 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.
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 bealth.-Give him the cup.
[Trumpets sound ; and Cannon shot off within. 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. Oar son shall win.
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,-
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.
I do not think it.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.
[Aside. Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do hot
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, und Hamlet wounds
Part them, they are incens'd, Ham. Nay, come again. The Queen falls. Osr.
Look to the queen there, bo! Hor. They bleed on both sides:-How is it, my
lord ? Osr. How is't, Laertes ?
Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric; I am justly killd with mine own treachery.
Ham. How does the queen?
She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,40 my dear
The drink, the drink ;-I am poison'd!
[Dies. Ham. O villany!-Ho! let the door be lock’d: Treachery! seek it out.
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 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 Osr. and Lords. Treason! treason ! King. O, yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, damned Drink off this potion :-Is the union here? [Dane, 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!
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 hat 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.
Never believe it;
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,
Here's yet some liquor left.
As thou'rt a man,-
Give me the cup; let go; by heaven, I'll have it.-
O 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
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.
0, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows 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 or less,
Which have solicited.-The rest is silence. [Dies.
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, you would see? If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
Fort. This quarry cries on havoc - proud death!
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes, at a shot,
So bloodily hast struck?
The sight is dismal;
And our affairs from England come too late :
The ears are senseless, that should give us hearing,
To tell hiin, his commandment is fulfillid,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?
Not from his moulb,
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 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 come 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
Fort. Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
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 no more :
But let this same be presently perform’d,
Even while men's minds are wild; lest móre mischance,
On plots and errors, happen.
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 soldier's 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.
[A dead March. [Exeunt, bearing off the dead Bodies; after which,
a Peal of Ordnance is shot off:
If the dramas of Shakspeare were to be characterised, each by the particular excellence which distinguishes it from the rest, we must allow to the tragedy of Hamlet the praise of variety. The incidents are so namerous, that the argument of the play would make a long tale. The scenes are interchangeably diversified with merriment and solemnity: with merriment that includes judicious and instructive observations; and solemnity not strained by poetical violence above the natural sentiments of man. New characters appear from time to time in continual succession, exhibiting various forms of life, and particular modes of conversation. The pretended madness of Hamlet causes much mirth, the jnournful distraction of Ophelia fills the heart with tenderness, and every personage produces the effect intended, from the apparition that, in the first act, chills the blood with horror, to the fop in the last, that exposes affectation to just contempt.
The conduct is, perhaps, not wholly secure against objections. The action is, indeed, for the most part, in continual progression; but there are some scenes