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What I have done,
That 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 so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrongd;
His madness is

poor
Hamlet's

's enemy
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
Laer.

I am satisfied in nature,
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:7 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; come on.
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.

a

7 Unwounded.

8

Laer.

You mock me, sir. Ham. No, by this hand, King. Give them the foils, young Osric.—Cousin

Hamlet, You know the wager ? Ham.

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.

Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another. Ham.. This likes me well: These foils have all a length ?

[They prepare to play, Osr. Ay, my good lord. King. Set me the stoups 8 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 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.
Laer. Come, my lord.

[They play. llam.

One.
Laer.

No,

[blocks in formation]

Ham.

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 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.
Queen.

He's fat, and scant of breath. Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, 'rub thy brows: The queen carouses 2 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.
Luer. My lord, I'll hit him now,
King.

I do not think it.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

[ Aside. Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do but

dally;

I pray you, pass with

your best violence; I am afeard, you make a wanton3 of me.

Laer. Say you so ? come on. [They play.

a

I Handkerchief.

2.Drinks good luck to you.

3 Boy.

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

(LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuf.

fling, they change Rapiers, and HAMLET

wounds LAERTES. King.

Part them, they are incens'd. Ham. Nay, come again. [The Queen falls. Osr.

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 ?
King.

She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,- my dear

Hamlet! The drink, the drink;~I am poison’d! [Dies.

Hum. 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 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

4

4 The foil without a button, and poisoned point.

[King dies.

:

Envenom'd too!-Then, venom, to thy work.

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

Dane,
Drink off this potion :-Is the union here?
Follow my mother.
Laer.

He is justly serv'd;
It is a poison temper'ds 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,
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 livost; 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 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,

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