Imatges de pàgina

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

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

Ham. Well, my Lord ;
Your Grace hath laid the odds o'th' weaker side.

King. I do not fear it, 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,

[ reparis to play. Ofr. Ay, my good Lord.

King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that table: If Hamle, 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 Hamiei's better breath : And in the cup an Union shall hc throw, (74). Riche: than that which four successive Kings In Derinary's crown have worn. Give me the cups; And let the kettle to the trumpets speak, The trumpets to the cannoncer withouts (74) And in the eup an onyx shall be ibrow,

Ricber than tbat wbiib four fucceffive Kings

In Denmark's crown have worn.] This is a various reading in several of the old copies; but union seems to me to be the true word, for leveral reasons. The onyx is a species of lucid fone, of which the ancients made both columns and pavements for ornaments, and in which they likewise cut seals, &c. but, if I am not mistaken, neither the onyx, nor Jardunyx, are jewels which ever found place in an imperial crown. On the ither hand, an union is the finest sort of peail, and has its place in all crowns and coronets. Multùm enim intereft utrum unio fatuatur in cæno, an verò litus & injertus in coronâ resplendeat : says Theodoret upon St. Mar hew. Besides, let us confi. der what the King lays on liamlet's giving Laertes the first hit.

Stay, give me drink : Hamle!, this pearl is thine:

Here's to thy bealth. The terms upon which the King was to throw a jewel into the cup, were, if Hamlet g ve Laertes the first hit: which Hamlet does. Therefo e, if an union be a pearl, and an onyx a gemm or stɔne, grite differing in its nature from pcarls; the King saying, that Hamlet has earn'd the pearl, I think, amounts to a demonstration that it was an vrion-pearl, which he meant to throw into the cup.


what say you

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.

Ham, Come on, Sir.
Lrer. Come, my Lord.

[They play.
Ham. One.
Laer. No.
Ham. Judgment.
Ofr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Laer. Well

-againKing. Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine, Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.

[Trumpets found, Shot goes off. Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by awhile.

[They play. Come another hit

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
King. Our son shall win.

Queen. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlıt, 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. [Afide.
Him. I dare not drink yet, Madam, by and by.
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. I'll hit him now.
King. I do not think't.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience.

[Afide. Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes, you but dally; I

pray you, pass with your best violence; I am afraid, you make a wanton of me. for come on.

[Play. Ofr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now.

[Laertes wounds Hamlet; then, in fcuffling, they

change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. King. Part them, they are incens'd.


Laer. Say you

Ham. Nay, come again-
Ofr. look to the Queen there, ho!
Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't, my Lord ?
Ofi. How is't, Laertes ?

Lver. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Ofrick;
I'm juftly 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

[Quren dier. Ham. Oh villany! ko! let the door be lock'd : Treachery! seek it out

Laer. It is here, Hamlet, thou art slain,
No med'cine 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, (75)
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;
(75) The treacb'rous inftrument is in Iby band,

Unbated and envenom'd.] 'The King, in the fourth act, in the scene betwixt him and Laertes, says ;

So that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may chufe
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practife

Requite him for your father.
In which passage the old folio's read,

A sword unbaited-
which makes nonsense of the place, and destroys the Poet's meaning.
Unbated signifies, unabated, unblunted, not charg'd with a button as
foils are. There are many passages in our Author, where bate and
abate Ggnify to blunt.

But doth relate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind.

Mcaf. for Meas.
That honour which thall bate his scythe's keen edge.

Love's Labour Lof.
For from his metal was his party fleeld,
Which once in him abated, all the rest

Turn'd on themselves like dull and heavy lead. 2 Henry IV.
So, likewise, Ben Johnson in his Sad Shepberd.

As far as her proud scorning him could bate,

Or blunt the edge of any lover's temper,


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I can

I can no more the King, the King's to blame.

Han. 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 off this potion : is the Union here? Follow my mother.

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

Hum. Heav'n make thee free of it! ! 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 strict in his arrest) oh, I could tell you
But let it be Ho atio, I am dead;
Thou liv'ft, 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.

Hom. As th' art a man,
Give me th' 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,
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my tale. [March qfar off, and shout within.
What warlike noise is this?

Enter Ofrick. Ofr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from To the Ambassadors of Englund gives [Poland, This warlike volley. Ham. O, I die, Horatio :

The potent poison quite o'er-grows my spirit ;
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophesy, th? election lights
On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice ;
So tell him, with th' occurrents more or less,
Which have sollicited. The rest is filence. [Dies.

Hir. Now cracks a noble heart; good-night, sweet
And Alights of angels fing thee to thy reft ! .[Prince ;
Why does the drum come hither?
Enter Fortinbras, and English Ambasadors, with drum,

colours, and attendants.
Forl. Where is this fight?
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! (76)
What feast is tow'rd in thy infernal cell,
That thou so many Princes at a shot
So bloodily haft struck ?

Amb. The fight 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 fulfillid,
That Rafincrantz and Guildenstern are dead :
Where should we have our thanks?

Hor. Not from his mouth,
Had it th' ability of life to thank you :
He never gave commandment for their death. (77)



-Ob, proud Dearb! Wbat feast is tow'rd' in thy eternal cell.] This epithet, I think, has no great propriety here. I have chose the reading of the old quario editions, infernal. This communicates an image suitable to the circumstance of the havock, which Fortinbras looks on and would represent in a light of horror. Upon the right of so many dead bodies, he exclaims against death as an execrable, riotous, destroyer; and as preparing to make a savage, and bellish feast.

(77) He never gave commandment for their death.) We must either believe, the Poet had forgot himself with regard to the circumstance of Rosincrantz and Guildenstern's death; or we must undesstand him


thus ;

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