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Ham. He did so, Sir, with his dug before he fuck'd it: thus has he (and many more of the famę breed, that, I know, the drofly age dotes on) only got the tune of the time, and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yefty collection, which carries' them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions ; and do but blow them to their trials, the bubbles are out.

Enter a Lord. Lord. My Lord, his Majesty commended him to you by young Ofrick, who brings back to him, that you attend him in the hall; he fends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes; or that you will take longer time?

Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they follow the King's pleasure; if his fitness speaks, mine is ready, now, or whenfoever, provided I be so able as now.

Lord. The King, and Queen, and all are coming down.

Ham. In happy time.

Lord. The Queen desires you to use fome gentle en tertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play. Ham. She well instructs me.

[Exit Lord. Hor. You will lofe this wager, my Lord.

Ham. I do not think so; since he went into France, I have been in continual practice; I shall win at the odds., But thou would not think how ill all's here about my heart-but it is no matter.

Hor. Nay, my good Lord.

Ham. It is bui foolery; but it is such a kind of gaingiving as 'would, perhaps, trouble a woman.

Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it. I will forestal their repair hither, and say you are not fit.

Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury; there is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now : If it be not now, yei it will come; the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes ?


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Exter King, Queen, Laertes and Lords, Ofrick, with other

Attendants with foils, and gantlets. A table, and flaggons of wine son it.

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King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand

from me. Ham. Give me your pardon, Sir; I've done you wrong; But pardon't, as you are a gentleman. This presence knows, and you must needs have heard, How I am punish'd with a sore distraction. What I have done, That might your nature, honour, and exception Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness : Was’i Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? never, Hamlet. IF Hamlet from himself be ta'en away, And, when he's not himself, does wrong Laertes, Then Hamlet does it not ; Hamlet denies it : Who does it then ? his madness. If't be fo, Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd; His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy: Let my disclaiming from a purpos d evil, Free me so far in in your most generats thoughts, That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house, And hurt


Laer. I am fatisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge : but in my terms of honour
I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement ;
"Till by fome elder masters of known honour
I have a voice, and prefident of peace,
To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time,
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.

Ham. I embrace it freely,
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Give us the foils.

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Laer. Come, one for me.

Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine ignorance
Your skill shall like a ftar i'th' darkest night
Stick fiery off, indeed.

Laer. You mock me, Sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Ofrick.
Hamlet, you know the wager.

Ham. Well, my Lord ;
Your Grace hath laid the odds o'th' weaker fide.
King. I do not fear it, I have seen


both: But fince 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.

[Prepares 10 play.
Ofr. Ay, my good Lord.
King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that table :
If Hamlet gives the first, or second, hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire ;
The King fall drink to Humlet's better, breath:
And in the cup an Union Mall he throw, (33)


(33) And in tbe Cup an Onyx shall be throw,

Richer than that which four successive Kings

In Denmark's Crown bave worn.] This is a various Reading in several of the old Copies ; but Union feems to me to be ihe true Word, for several reasons. The Onyx is a species of lucid Sione, of which the Ancients made both Columns and Pavements for Ornament, and in which they likewise cút Seals, &c. but, if I am not mistaken, neither the Onyx, nor Sardonyx, are Jewels which ever found Place in an Imperial Crown. On the other Hand, an Union is the finest sort of Pearl, and has its Place in ell Crowns and Coronets. Besides, let us consider what the King fays ou Hamlet's giving Laertes the first Hit.

Stay, give me Drink : Hamlet, this Pearl is thine :

Here's to eby Health. Therefore, if an Union be a Pearl, and an Onyx à Gemm, or Stone quite differing in its Nature from Pearls; the King faying,


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Richer than that which four succeflive Kings
In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups
And let the kettle to the trumpets speak,


Il LOY The trumpets to the cannoneer without, The cannons to the heav'ns, the heav'tis to earth :) Now the King drinks to Hamlet. Come, Begin, And you the Judges bear a wary eye.


B Ham. Come on, Sir. Laer. Come, my Lord.

[They play: Ham. One. Laer. No.Ham. Judgment. Ofr. A hit, a very palpable hit. Laer. Well-again

King. Stay, give me drink. Hamlet,' this pearl'is thine, Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.

[Trumpets found, Shot goes off: Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by awhile.

[They play. Come another hit-what say you?'

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
King. Our son fhall win.

Queen. 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,
King. Gertrude, do not drink,
Queen. I will, my Lord; I pray you, pardon me.
King. It is the poison'd cup, it is too late. [Aside.
Ham. I dare not drink yer, Madam, by and by.
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. I'll hit him now.
King. I do not think't.
· Laer. And yet it is almost againft my conscience.

[ Aside. Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes, you but dally;

. that Hamlet has earn'd the Pearl, I think, amounts to a Demonstration that it was an Union-Pearl, which he meant to throw into

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I pray,

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I pray you, pass with your best violence;
I am afraid, you make a wanton of me.
Laer. Say you fo? come on.

[Play. Ofr. Nothing neither way. Laer. Have at you now.

(Laertes wounds Hamlet ; ' then, in fcuffling, they

change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. King. Part them, they are incens’d. Ham, Nay, come againOfr. Look to the Queen there, ho ! Hor. They bleed on both sides. How is't, my Lord? Ojr. How is’t, Laertes ?

Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Ofrick; I'm justly killd with mine own treachery.

Ham. How does the Queen ?
King. She swoons to see them bleed.

Queen, No, no, the drink, the drink-
Oh my dear Hamlet, the drink, the drink,
I am poison's

[ Queen dies. Ham. Oh villainy! ho! let the door be lock'd : Treachery ! seek it out

Laer. It is here, Hamlet, thou art flain,
No med'cine in the world can do thee good.
In thee there is not half an hour of life ;
The treach'rous instrument is in thy hand, (34).
Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practice
Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie,

(34) The treacbercus Inffrument is in thy band,

Unbated and environ'!:) The King in the fourth Af, in the Scene betwixt him and Laertes, says;

So that with ease,
Or with a little fouffling, you may chuse
A Sword unbaited, and in a Pass of Practice

Requite him for your Farber,
In which Passage the old Folio's read,

A Sword unbaited which makes Nonsense of the Place, and destroys the Poet's Mean. ing. Unbated signifies, unabated, unblunted, not charged with a Button as Foils are.


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