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I embrace it freely;
And will this brother's wager frankly play.-
Give us the foils; come on.

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.

You mock me, sir
Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Osric.—Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager ?

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 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. Ham.

One. Laer.


Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.

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. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet. Ham. Good madam, King

Gertrude, do not drink.


Queen. I will, my lord ;-) pray you, pardon me.
King. It is the poison’d cup; it is too late.

[Aside. Laer.

I'll hit him now;
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 wanton of me. Laer. Say you so ? come on.

[They play. (LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they

change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds LAERTES.

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 killd 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 poison'd!

[Dies. Ham. O villany !-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
Envenom’d too !—Then, venom, to thy work. [Stabs the KING
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.
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;

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,
Here's yet some liquor left.

As thou’rt a man,-
Give me the cup , let go; by heaven I'll have it.
O Heaven !-Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknɔwn, shall live behind me !
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from fel city awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.-0, I die, Horatio ;
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit ;
The rest is silence.

Her. Now cracks a noble heart ;-Good-night, sweet princo);
And lights of angels sing thee to thy rest !

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VARIOUS sources have be assigned, from which Shakspeare borrowed lo story of his comedy; Orlando Furioso, The Faëry Queen, and a novel of Bandello's, have ach been cited as furnishing the original conception of the plot. It is perhaps of little jonsequence whence the poet drew his materials: the play itself is so full of life and sharacter, so teeming with wit, poetry, and humor, as to render the mere superstructure on which the incidents are founded a matter of no account to the general reader.

Don PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Don John, his illegitimate brother.
CLAUDIO, a young lord of Florence, favorite to Don Pedro.
BENEDICK, a young lord of Padua, favorite likewise to Don Pedro
LEONATO, governor of Messina.
ANTONIO, his brother.
BALTHAZAR, servant to Don Pedro.
BORACHIO, CONRADE, followers of Don John.
DOGBERRY, VERGES, two foolish officers.
A Sexton, A Friur, A Boy.
HERo, daughter to Leonato.
BEATRICE, niece to Leonato.
MARGARET, URSULA, gentlewomen attending on Hero.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.


ACT I. SCENE I.-Before Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, HIERO, BEATRICE, and others, with a Messenger.

Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.

Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues off when I left him.

Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action ?
Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name.
Leon. A victory is twice itself,

when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro hath bestowed much nonor on a young Florentine, called Claudio.

Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.

Mess. I have already delivered him letters and there appears much joy in him ; even so much, that joy could not show itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears ?
Mess. In great measure.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness : There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping ?

Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no ?

Mess. I know none of that name, lady ; there was none such in the army of any sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ?
Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he is returned, and as pleasant as ever he was.

Beat. I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.

Leon. Faith, niece, you tạx signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

Mess. He hath done guod service, lady, in these wars.

Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, ne hath an excellent stomach.

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-But what is he to a lord ? Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honorable virtues.

Beat. It is so, indeed : he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing,-Well, we are all mortal.

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her: they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit beiween them.

Beat. Alas, he gets no:hing by that. In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and +5w is the old man governed with

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