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And will this brother's wager frankly play.-
Come, one for me.
You mock me, sir.
Very well, my lord;
? King. I do not fear it. I have seen you both.— But since he's bettered, 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 ? 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.
1 The king had wagered sir Barbary horses to a few rapiers, poniards, &c.; that is, about twenty to one. These are the odds here meant. The odds the king means in the next speech were twelve to nine in favor of Hamlet, by Laertes giving him three.
2 Stoup is a common word in Scotland at this day, and denotes a pewter vessel resembling our wine measures; but of no deterininate quantity.
3. An union is a precious pearl, remarkable for its size. Under pretence of throwing a pearl into the cup, the king may be supposed to drop some poisonous drug into the wine. Hamlet subsequently asks hiin tauntingly, “ Is the union here?”
Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup.
[Trumpets sound; and cannon shot off within. Ham. I'd play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come. Another hit; what say you?
Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin; rub thy brows.
Gertrude, do not drink.
Queen. I will, my lord;-I pray you, pardon me. King. It is the poisoned cup; it is too late. [Aside. Ham. I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by. Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. My lord, I'll hit him now.
I do not think it.
Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes. You do but
pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
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.
1 i. e. the queen drinks to thy good success.
ie. you trifle or play with me as if I were a child.
Part them; they are incensed. 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 mine own springe,
I am justly killed with mine own treachery.
Ham. How does the queen ?
She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,-0 my dear
Hamlet! The drink, the drink ;-I am poisoned ! [Dies.
Ham. O villany!-Ho! let the door be locked. Treachery! seek it out.
(Stabs the King.
He is justly served ;
1 See note 2, p. 365.
“ The poisoned instrument within my hand ?
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee;
Never believe it ;
As thou’rt a man,-
[March afar off, and shot within.
What warlike noise is this?
0, I die, Horatio ;
1 A sergeant was a bailiff or sheriff's officer. 2 To overcrow is to overcome, to subdue.
3 “ The occurrents which have solicited”-the occurrences or incidents which have incited. The sentence is left unfinished.
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and
Fort. Where is this sight?
What is it you would see?
If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
Fort. This quarry cries on havoc !1-O proud death!
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes, at a shot,
So bloodily hast struck?
The sight is dismal;
And our affairs from England come too late.
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Not from his mouth,
He never gave commandment for their death.
1 "This quarry cries on havoc!" To cry on was to exclaim against. Quarry was the term used for a heap of slaughtered game. See Macbeth, Act iv. Sc. 3.
2 It has been already observed that jump and just, or exactly, are synonymous. Vide note on Act i. Sc. 1.
3 Of sanguinary and unnatural acts, to which the perpetrator was instigated by concupiscence or "carnal stings." The allusion is to the murder of old Hamlet by his brother.
i. e. instigated, produced. Instead of "forced cause," the quartos read, "for no cause.'