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More than Octavius and Mark Antony
By this viie conquest shall attain unto.

So fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history:

Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would


That have but labour'd to attain this hour.

[Alarum. Cry Within, 'Fly, fly, fly!'

Cli. Fly, my lord, fly.


Hence! I will follow.

[Exeunt Clitus, Dardanius, and Volumnius.

I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:
Thou art a fellow of a good respect;

Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it :
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Stra. Give me your hand first. Fare you well,

my lord.

Bru. Farewell, good Strato. [Runs on his sword.] Cæsar, now be still:

I kill'd not thee with half so good a will. [Dies.

Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIus, Antony,
MESSALA, LUCILIUS, and the army.

Oct. What man is that?

Mes. My master's man. Strato, where is thy


Stra. Free from the bondage you are in,

The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,

And no man else hath honour by his death.
Lucil. So Brutus should be found.

thee, Brutus,

I thank

That thou hast proved Lucilius' saying true.

46. smatch, taste.

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Oct. All that served Brutus, I will entertain


Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?

Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
Oct. Do so, good Messala.

Mes. How died my master, Strato?

Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it.

Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, That did the latest service to my master.

Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he

Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He only, in a general honest thought

And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world 'This was a man!'

Oct. According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.

Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.
So call the field to rest; and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day.

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thought, out of honest regard for the common good.




CLAUDIUS, king of Denmark.

HAMLET, son to the late, and nephew to the present king.

POLONIUS, lord chamberlain.

HORATIO, friend to Hamlet.

LAERTES, son to Polonius.






A Gentleman,

A Priest.


MARCELLUS, }officers.


FRANCISCO, a soldier.

REYNALDO, servant to Polonius.

Two Clowns, grave-diggers.
FORTINBRAS, prince of Norway.

A Captain.

English Ambassadors.

GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark, and mother to Hamlet.
OPHELIA, daughter to Polonius.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Messengers,
and other Attendants.

Ghost of Hamlet's Father.

SCENE: Denmark.


HAMLET, the longest of Shakespeare's plays, was never printed, as it was certainly never performed, entire, in his own time. Our authentic text is derived from two early versions, each defective in certain points: viz. the Quarto of 1604 (Q2), and the Folio of 1623. The title-page of the Quarto runs :—

THE Tragicall Historie of | HAMLET, Prince of Denmarke. By William Shakespeare. | Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much againe as it was, according to the true and perfect | Coppie. Į AT LONDON, | Printed by I. R. for N. L., and are to be sold at his shoppe under Saint Dunstons Church in | Fleet Street. 1604.

This is the more valuable of the two editions, and the Hamlet texts of the last generation have steadily approximated towards it. But the Folio of 1623 was printed from an independent MS. containing some new passages as well as dropping many old; and while its variations in phrase were rarely for the better, it was much more accurately printed.

Four Quartos followed that of 1604, each printed substantially from its immediate predecessor in 1605, 1611, circa 1611-1637, and 1637.

In addition to these authentic editions of the Shakespearean text, two rude versions of the Hamlet story exist, which stand in a close but enigmatic rela

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