Page images
PDF

songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set ine 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 !

[Throws down the skull. Hor. E'en so, my lord.

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, whereto 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 :
O, that the earth, which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw!
But soft! but soft! aside ;-Here comes the king,

Enter Priests, fc., in procession; the corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES,

and Mourners following : KING, QUEEN, their Trains, foc.
The queen, the courtiers : Who is this they follow ?
And with such maimed rites! This doth betoken,
The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand
Foredo its own life. 'Twas of some estate : .
Couch we awhile, and mark.

[Retiring with HORATIO Laer. What ceremony else? Ham.

That is Laertes. A very noble youth: Mark.

Laer. What ceremony else?

i Priest. Her obsequies have been so far enlarg'd
As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her,
Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

Laer. Must there no more be done ?
1 Priest.

No more be done!

We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem, and such rest to her,
As to peace-parted souls.
Laer.

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,
When thou liest howling.

Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !

Queen. Sweets to the sweet : Farewell: [Scattering flowers. I hop'd, thou should'st have been my Hamlet's wife; I thought, thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, And not have strew'd thy grave. Laer.

0, treble woe Fall ten times treble on that cursed head, Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense Depriv'd thee of !-Hold off the earth awhile, Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:

[Leaps into the grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
To o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.

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 1,
Hamlet the Dane.

(Leaps into the grave Laer. The devil take thy soul! [Grappling with him.

Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
I pr’ythee, take thy fingers from my throat;
For, though I am not splenetive and rash,
Yet have I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear: Hold off thy hand.

King. Pluck them asunder.
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet !
All. Gentlemen,
Hor.

Good my lord, be quiet.
[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.—Wat 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 ?
Won't drink up Esil ? eat a crocodile ?

I'll do't.-Dost thou come here to whine ?
To outface me with leaping in her grave ?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I:
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us; till our ground
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.
Queen.

This is mere mauness,
And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclos’d,
His silence will sit drooping.
Ham.

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.

(Exit. King. I pray thee, good Horatio, wait upon him.

( Exi HORATIO. Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech; [To LAERTES. We'll put the matter to the present push. Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.This grave shall have a living monument: An hour of quiet shortly shall we see; Till then, in patience our proceeding be.

[Exeunt. 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 encounter.

SCENE the last.-A Hall in the Castle. Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, Osric,

and Attendants with foils, fc. 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,
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge :
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.

[ocr errors]

Ham.

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

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.
Laer.

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

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

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.
Laer.
Ham.

Judgment.
Osr. 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 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,

Gertrude, do not drink.

* One.

No.

King.

King.

Queen. I will, my lord ;- I 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 kill'd with mine own treachery.

Ham. How does the queen ?
King.

She swoons to see them bleed.
Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,- 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.
Laer.

He is justly servd;
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!

[Dies.
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.
Hor.

Never believe it;

« PreviousContinue »