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290

Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
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, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. KING.

Part them; they are incensed. Ham. Nay, come, again.

[The Queen falls. Osr.

Look to the queen there, ho! Hon. They bleed on both sides. How is it, my

lord ? Osr. How is't, Laertes ?

LAER. Why, as a woodcook to mine own springe, Osric; I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery.

Ham. How does the queen ?
KING.

She swounds to see them bleed. QUEEN. No, no, the drink, the drink, – 0

my

dear Hamlet, The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.

[Dies.

301

290 pass) make the thrust. 291 make a wanton of me) treat me like a spoilt child. 294 (stage direction) Laertes ... Laertes) This is Rowe's emendation. In

the First Quarto the stage direction runs: They catch one anothers Rapiers, and both are wounded, Laertes falles downe, the Queene falles downe and dies. The other Quartos omit all stage direction here.

The Folios merely read In scuffling they change Rapiers. 298 as a woodcock ... springe) See note on I, iii, 115, supra: "springes

(i. e., traps) to catch woodcocks.Woodcocks were proverbially foolish birds.

310

Ham. O villany! 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 of 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.
All. Treason! treason!
King. O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.
Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned

Dane,
Drink off this potion: is thy union here?
Follow my mother.

(King dies. LAER.

He is justly served;
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!

[Dies.
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,

320

309 Unbated] Unblunted, with the button off. Cf. IV, vii, 138, supra:

"sword unbated.318 thy union) the pearl mentioned at line 264, supra. Thus the First

Quarto and the Folios. The other Quartos read the Onyx. 320 temper'd) mixed.

330

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 livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
Hor.

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

As thou’rt a man,
Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I 'll have 't.
O good 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 a while,
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

Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.

340

327 mutes] dumb performers in a play. Cf. stage direction for the

Dumb Show, III, ii, 130, supra: “The poisoner, with some two or

three mutes, comes in again.” 328 fell sergeant, death] The bailiff or sheriff's officer was often called a

"sergeant.” For the figure cf. Sonnet lxxiv, 1-2: “when that

fell arrest Without all bail shall carry me away.” 336 O good Horatio) Thus the Folios. The Second and later Folios read

O god Horatio. 339 felicity] the joys of heaven.

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Ham.

O, 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 and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

[Dies. 350 HOR. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet

prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! [March within. Why does the drum come hither? Enter FORTINBRAS, and the English Ambassadors, with drum,

colours, and Attendants 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. O proud death, What feast is toward in thine eternal cell, 345 o'er-crows] overcomes, like the victorious cock in a cock fight. 349–350 the occurrents . . . solicited] the incidents, greater and smaller,

which have promoted (the situation). Apparently the sentence is

interrupted. 356 This quarry) Thus the Quartos. The Folios read, less satisfactorily,

His quarry. The phrase means, this heap of dead (game) proclaims or plainly announces an indiscriminate slaughter. “Cry havoc" (cf. Jul. Caes., III, i, 274) means “give order for no quarter.” But “cry on havoc” means “calls out or proclaims that havoc is in progress, as in Othello, V, i, 48: “whose noise is this that cries on (i. e., calls

out or proclaims) murder ?” 357 toward] at hand, imminent. Cf. As you like it, V, iv, 35: “another

flood toward."
eternal) used like “infernal.” Cf. I, v, 21, supra.

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360

370

That thou so many princes at a shot
So bloodily hast struck ?
FIRST AMB.

The sight 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 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?
HOR.

Not from his mouth
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 arrived, 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 came about: so shall you

hear Of carnal, bloody and unnatural acts, Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause, And, in this upshot, purposes mistook Fall’n on the inventors' heads: all this can I Truly deliver. 364 from his mouth] from the king's mouth. 367 so jump upon

question) so close, prompt, upon this theme of tragedy. 373 carnal] incestuous. 375 put on . . . forced cause] instigated by trickery and stratagem that

circumstances compelled. Cf. line 29 seq., supra, where Hamlet explains his plot against the lives of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

For forced cause, the Folio reading, the Quartos give for no cause. 376 in this upshot) in this conclusion of the tragedy.

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