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Enter Ofrick.

Ofr. Young Fortinbras, with Conqueft come from Poland,

To the Ambaffadors of England gives
This warlike volley.

Ham. O, I die, Horatio:

The potent poifon quite o'e-growes my spirit;
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophefie, th' election lights
On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents more or less,
Which have follicited.. The reft is filence.


Hor. Now cracks a noble heart; good night, fweet


And flights of angels fing thee to thy Reft!
Why does the Drum come hither ?

Enter Fortinbras, and English Ambassadors, with drum, colours, and attendants.

Fort. Where is this fight?

Hor. What is it you would fee?

If aught of woe or wonder, cease your fearch.
Fort. This quarry cries on havock. Oh proud

What feaft is tow'rd in thy infernal cell,
That thou so many Princes at a fhot
So bloodily haft ftruck?

Amb. The fight is difmal,

And our affairs from England come too late :`
The ears are fenfelefs, that should give us hearing;
To tell him, his commandment is fulfill'd,

That Rofincrantz 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.
But fince fo 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 th' yet unknowing world,
How these things came about. So fhall you hear
Of cruel, bloody, and unnatural acts;
Of accidental judgments, cafual flaughters;
Of deaths put on by cunning, and forc'd caufe ;
And, in this upfhot, purposes miftook,
Fall'n on th' inventors' heads. All this can I
Truly deliver.

Fort. Let us hafte to hear it,

And call the Noblefs to the audience.
For me, with forrow I embrace my fortune;
I have fome rights of memory in this Kingdom,
Which, now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
Hor. Of that I fhall have alfo caufe to speak,
And from his mouth whofe voice will draw on more: (35)
But let this fame be presently perform'd,

Even while men's minds are wild, left more mischance
On plots and errors happen.

Fort. Let four captains

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Bear Hamlet, like a foldier, to the Stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royally. And for his paffage,

(35) And from his Mouth, whofe Voice will draw no more.]` This is the Reading of the old Quarto's, but certainly a mistaken one. We fay, a Man will no more draw Breath; but that a Man's Voice will draw no more, is, I believe, an Expreffion without any Authority. I chufe to espouse the Reading of the Elder Folio.

And from his Month, whofe Voice will draw on more. And this is the Poet's Meaning. Hamlet, just before his Death, had faid;

But I do prophefie, th' Election lights

On Fortinbras: He has my dying Voice;:
So tell him, &c.

Accordingly, Horatio here delivers that Meffage; and very jùftly infers, that Hamlet's Voice will be feconded by others, and procure them in Favour of Fortinbras's Succeffion.


The Soldiers' mufick, and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him

Take up the body fuch a fight as this
Becomes the field, but here shews much amiss.
Go, bid the Soldiers fhoot.


[Exeunt, marching: after which, a peal of Ordnance is foot off.


H.Gravelot in & del. V.8.P. 229

G.Vander Gucht Scul

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