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songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come; make her laugh at that.-Pr'ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing.
Hor. What's that, my lord?
Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander looked o' this fashion i' the earth?
Hor. E'en so.
Ham. And smelt so? pah!
Hor. E'en so, my lord.
[Throws down the skull.
Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
Hor. "Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so?
Ham. No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: As thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam: And why of that loam, wherete he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel ?
Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
But soft! but soft! aside;-Here comes the king,
Enter Priests, &c., in procession; the corpse of OPHElia, Laertes, and Mourners following: KING, QUEEN, their Trains, &c.
The queen, the courtiers: Who is this they follow ?
Laer. What ceremony else?
A very noble youth: Mark.
[Retiring with HORATIO
That is Laertes.
1 Priest. Her obsequies have been so far enlarg'd
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Laer. Must there no more be done?
No more be done!
We should profane the service of the dead
Lay her i' the earth,
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring!—I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist'ring angel shall my sister be,
Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !
Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell:
I hop'd, thou should'st have been my Hamlet's wife;
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
[Leaps into the grave.
Ham. [Advancing.] What is he, whose grief Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers? this is I,
Hamlet the Dane.
The devil take thy soul!
I pr'ythee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Which let thy wisdom fear: Hold off thy hand.
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet!
Good my lord, be quiet.
[Leaps into the grave
[Grappling with him.
[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave.
Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme,
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Queen. O my son! what theme?
Ham. I loved Ophelia; forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my sum.—What wilt thou do for her?
King. O, he is mad, Laertes.
Ham. Zounds, show me what thou'lt do:
Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?
I'll do't.-Dost thou come here to whine?
I'll rant as well as thou.
Nay, an thou❜lt mouth,
This is mere madness,
And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
Hear you, sir;
What is the reason, that you use me thus ?
I lov'd you ever: But it is no matter;
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.
King. I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.
Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech; [To LAERTES.
Hamlet has learned the intentions of the King, in sending him to England, and while consulting with Horatio how to act, a messenger comes from Claudius inviting the Prince to a "trial of skill" in fencing, with Laertes; Hamlet accepts the challenge, and the scene changes to a Hall in the Palace where the court are assembled to witness the
SCENE the last.-A Hall in the Castle.
Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, &c.
King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
[The KING puts the hand of LAERTES into that of HAMLET. Ham. Give me your pardon, sir: I have done you wrong; But pardon it as you are a gentleman.
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
And hurt my brother.
I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine ignorance Your skill shall, like a star i̇' 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
Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side.
Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another.
Ham. This likes me well: These foils have all a length?
Osr. Ay, my good lord.
[They prepare to play
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;
In Denmark's crown have worn; Give me the cups;
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Ham. Come on, sir,
Come, my lord.
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.
Queen. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Ham. Good madam,
Gertrude, do not drink.
Queen. I will, my lord ;-I pray you, pardon me.
I'll hit him now;
And yet it is almost against my conscience.
Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do but dally;
I am afeard, you make a wanton of me.
[LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES. Part them, they are incens'd.
[The QUEEN falls.
Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric;
She swoons to see them bleed.
Ham. O villany!-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;
Envenom'd too!-Then, venom, to thy work.
He is justly serv'd ;
It is a poison mper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
[Stabs the KING,
Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright