Page images
PDF
EPUB

Enter a Lord. Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Ofrick, who brings back to him, that you attend him 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 ; ifhis fitness speaks, mine is ready, now, or whensoever, provided I be so able as 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 inftrucis me.

Exit Lord. Hor. You will lose this

wager, my

lord. 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 wouldeit not think how ill all's here about my

heart--but it is no matter. Hor. Nay, my good 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 readiness is all. * Since no man, of ought he leaves, knows, what is't to leave betimes ? Let be.

V.

S C Ε Ν Ε Enter King, Queen, Laertes and lords, Ofrick, with

other attendants with foils, and gantlets. A table,

and flaggons of wine on it. King. OME Hamlet, come, and take this hand

Ham.

Ham. Give me your pardon, Sir; I've done you wrong;
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,
How I am punilh'd with a fore distraction.
What I have done,
Tbat 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 fo,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy .
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd Evil,
Free me so far in your moft generous thoughts,
That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

Laer. I am salisfied in nature
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me moft
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 president 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.

Ham. I embrace it freely,
And will this brother's wager frankly play..
Give us the foils.

Laer. Come, one for me.

Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine Ignorance
Your skill shall like a star i'th' darkest night
Stick fiery off, indeed.

Laer. You mock me, Sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Ofrick.
Hamlet, you know the wager.

Ham.

Ham. Well, my lord;
Your Grace hath said the odds o'th' weaker fide.

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. Ham. This likes me well; these foils have all a length.

[Prepares to play. Ofr. Ay, my good lord.

King. Set me the stoops of wine upon that table : If Hamlet gives 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 trumpets speak, The Trumpets to the cannoneer without; The cannons to the-heav'ns, the heav'ns to earth: Now the King drinks to Hamlet.Come, begin, And you the Judges bear a wary eye.

Sir. Laer. Come, my lord, .

(They play. Ham. One Laer. No Ham. Judgment. Or. A hit, a very palpable hit. Laer. Well- again King. Stay, give me Drink. Hamlet, this Pearl

is thine, Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.

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

[They play. Come-another bit- 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

Ham. Come on,

1

Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows;
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.
Lear. I'll hit him now.
King. I do not think't.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

[Afde
Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes, you but dally;
I pray you, pass with your best violence;
Iam afraid

you

make a Wanton of me. Laer. Say you so ? come on.

(Play. Ofr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now. [Laertes wounds Hamlet; then, in scufling, they

change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. King. Part them, they are incens'd. Han. Nay come againOfr. Look to the Queen there, ho ! Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't, my lord ? Ofr. How is't, Laertes ?

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

Ham. How does the Queen ?
King. She swoons to see them bleed.

Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink-
Oh my dear Hamlet, the drink, the drink,
I am poison'd

Ham. Oh villany! ho! let the door be lock'd : Treachery ! seek it out

Laer. It is here, Hamlet, thou art slain,
No medicine in the world can do thee good.
In thee there is not half an hour of life;
The treach'rous instrument is in thy hand,

Unbated

[Queen dies.

Unbated and envenom'd : the foul pra&ice
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 do thy work.

[Stabs the King.
All. Treason, treason.
King. O yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, damned

Dane,
Drink of this potion : is the Union here ?
Follow my mother,

(King dies.
Laer. He is justly served
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgivness with me, noble Hamlet;
Mine and my father's death come not on thee,
Nor thine on me!

[Diese
Ham, Heav'n make thee free of it! I follow thee.
I'm 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 Serjeant death
Is ftri& in his arrest) oh, I could tell you-
But let it be- Horatio, I am dead ;
Thou liv'st, report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

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

Ham. As th' art a man,
Give me the cup; let go; by heav'n, I'll have't.
Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me?
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Abfent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my tale. [March afar off, and shout within.
What warlike noise is this?

SCENE

« PreviousContinue »