Puslapio vaizdai

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,
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.

You mock me, sir.

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.

Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Osric. - Cousin

You know the wager?


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.7

Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another.
Ham. This likes me well: These foils have all a
[They prepare to play.


Osr. Ay, my good lord.

King. Set me the stoups of wine
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;

upon that table:

7 But since he's better'd, we have therefore odds.] These odds were twelve to nine in favour of Hamlet, by Laertes giving him thrce.

8 the stoups of wine—] A stoup is a kind of flagon.

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 to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.-Come, begin; -
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.

Ham. Come on, sir.





Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.


Come, my lord.




[They play.

Well, — again.

King. Stay, give me drink: Hamlet, this pearl is thine;" 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. Come. Another hit; What say you?

[They play.

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
King. Our son shall win.

He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows:
The queen carouses2 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.

9 And in the cup an union-] A species of pearl.


this pearl is thine;] Under pretence of throwing a pearl into the cup, the king may be supposed to drop some poisonous drug into the wine. Hamlet seems to suspect this, when he afterwards discovers the effects of the poison, and tauntingly asks him,—“ Is

the union here?"

2 The queen carouses—] i. e. (in humbler language) drinks good

luck to you.

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.


Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do but dally;
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard, you make a wanton of me.9
Laer. Say you so? come on.

Osr. Nothing neither way.
Laer. Have at you now.

[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change Rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES.

Ham. Nay, come again.

Part them, they are incens'd. [The Queen falls. Look to the queen there, ho! Hor. They bleed on both sides:- How is it, my lord?

[They play.

Osr. How is't, Laertes?

Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own+ springe, Osric; I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.

Ham. How does the queen?


She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink, O my dear Hamlet!

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The drink, the drink; -I am poison'd!


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, In thee there is not half an hour's life; The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, Unbated, and envenom'd: the foul practice


you make a wanton of me.] You trifle with me as if you were playing with a child. +"mine own"-MALONE.

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.

Osr.& 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?
Follow my mother.

[Stabs the King.



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!

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



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,) O, I could tell you,But let it be: - Horatio, I am dead; Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright To the unsatisfied.


[King dies.

41 Is the union here?] It should seem from this line, and Laertes' next speech, that Hamlet here forces the expiring king to drink some of the poisoned cup, and that he dies while it is at his lips.

5 That are but mutes or audience to this act,] That are either auditors of this catastrophe, or at most only mute performers, that fill the stage without any part in the action.


(as this fell sergeant,] A sergeant is a bailiff, or sheriff's



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.—

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[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.

O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows7 my spirit;
I cannot live to hear the news from England:
But I do prophecy, 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 havock'!-O proud death!

7 The potent poison quite o'er-crows-] Alluding to a victorious cock exulting over his conquered antagonist.


• the occurrents,] i. e. incidents.

9 Which have solicited,] Solicited for excited.

This quarry cries on havock !] To cry on, was to exclaim against. I suppose, when unfair sportsmen destroyed more quarry or game than was reasonable, the censure was to cry, havock.


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