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KING. Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;

Here's to thy health.

[They play.


[Trumpets sound, and cannon shot off within. Give him the cup.

HAM. I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile.
Come. [They play.] Another hit; what say you?
LAER. A touch, a touch, I do confess.

KING. Our son shall win.
He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows:
The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
HAM. Good Madam!


Gertrude, do not drink.
QUEEN. I will, my Lord; I pray you, pardon me.
KING [aside.] It is the poison'd cup; it is too late.
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.

LAER. Say you so? come on.

OSRIC. Nothing, neither way.
LAER. Have at you now!

I do not think 't. LAER. [aside.] And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience. HAM. Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;


pray you, pass with your best violence;

I am afeard you make a wanton of me.

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[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES. Part them; they are incens'd.

[The QUEEN falls.

HAM. Nay, come, again.
Look to the Queen there, ho!
HORA. They bleed on both sides. How is it, my Lord?
OSRIC. How is 't, Laertes?

[They play.

a woodcock to mine own springe, ACT V Sc. II

LAER. Why, as


I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery. HAM. How does the Queen?


She swounds to see them bleed. QUEEN. No, no, the drink, the drink-O my dear Hamlet

The drink, the drink! I am poison'd.

HAM. O villainy! Ho! let the door be lock'd!



Treachery! seek it out.

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 of 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 envenom'd too!

Then, Venom, to thy work!

[stabs the KING.

ALL Treason! treason!

KING. O, yet defend me, Friends! I am but hurt.
HAM. Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion! Is thy union here?

[KING dies.

Follow my mother!
He is justly serv'd;
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet;
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me!

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 liv'st: report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.


Never believe it:





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As thou 'rt a man,
Give me the cup: let go; by Heaven, I'll have 't.
O 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 awhile,

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,

To tell my story.


[March afar off, and shot within.

What warlike noise is this?
OSRIC. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from

To the ambassadors of England gives

This warlike volley.


O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:

I cannot live to hear the news from England;

But I do prophesy the election lights

On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;

So tell him, with the occurrents,1 more and less,
Which have solicited.2 The rest is silence.
HORA. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet




And flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?

[March within.
Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors,
and others.
FORTIN. Where is this sight?
What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
FORTIN. This quarry cries on havoc.
cries on havoc. 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,
To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd,

1 events.

2 instigated me.


That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?

Not from his mouth,
Had it the ability of life to thank you:
He never gave commandment for their death.
But, since, so jump upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Are here arriv'd, give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view;
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about: so shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts;

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters;

Of deaths put on by cunning and forc'd cause;
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook

Fall'n on the inventors' heads: all this can I
Truly deliver.


Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.

For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
HORA. Of that I shall have also cause to speak,

And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more:
But let this same be presently perform'd,
Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance,
On plots and errors, happen.
Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,1

To have prov'd most royally: and, for his passage,

The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.

Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shews much amiss.

Go, bid the soldiers shoot.


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[A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead bodies; after which a peal of ordnance is shot off.

1 i.e. tested in war.


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