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Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
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.
King. Give them the foils, young Osric. - Cousin
You know the wager?
Very well, my lord;
Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another.
Osr. Ay, my good lord.
King. Set me the stoups of wine
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,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
Ham. Come on, sir.
Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Come, my lord.
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?
Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
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.
I do not think it.
Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do but dally;
Osr. Nothing neither way.
[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change Rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES.
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?
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!
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,
Envenom'd too! - Then, venom, to thy work.
Osr.& Lords. Treason! treason!
Drink off this potion: Is the union here?
[Stabs the King.
Never believe it;
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.
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,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
[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;
[Dies. Hor. Now cracks a noble heart; - Good night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
[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.