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Scene Two 

A hall in the castle

 

[Enter HAMLET and HORATIO]

HAMLET

So much for thissirnow shall you see the other

You do remember all the circumstance

HORATIO

Remember itmy lord

HAMLET

Sir in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleepmethought I lay

Worse than the mutinesin the bilboesRashly

And praised be rashness for itlet us know

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us wellWhen

our deep plots do palland that should teach us

There's a divinity that shapes our ends

Rough-hew them how we will,——

HORATIO

That is most certain

HAMLET

Up from my cabin

My sea-gownscarf'd about mein the dark

Groped I to find out themhad my desire

Finger'd their packetand in fine withdrew

To mine own room againmaking so bold

My fears forgetting mannersto unseal

Their grand commissionwhere I foundHoratio,——

O royal knavery!——an exact command

Larded with many several sorts of reasons

ImportingDenmark's health and England's too

Withhosuch bugsand goblins in my life

Thaton the supervise no liesure bated

Nonot to stay the grinding of the axe

My head should be struck off

HORATIO

Is>t possible

HAMLET

Here's the commissionread it at more leisure

But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed

HORATIO

I beseech you

HAMLET

Being thus be-netted round with villanies,——

Ere I could make a prologue to my brains

They had begun the play——I sat me down

Devised a new commission wrote it fair

I once did hold it as our statists do

A baseness to write fair and labour'd much

How to forget that learningbutsirnow

It did me yeoman's service wilt thou know

The effect of what I wrote

HORATIO

Aygood my lord

HAMLET

An earnest conjuration from the king

As England was his faithful tributary

As love between them like the palmmight flourish

As peace should stiff

her wheaten garland wear

And stand a comma >tween their amities

And many such-like >As>es of great charge

That on the view and knowing of these contents

Without debatement furthermore or less

He should the bearersput to sudden death

Not shriving-time allow'd

HORATIO

How was this seal'd

HAMLET

Whyeven in that was heaven ordinant

I had my father's signet in my purse

Which was the model of that Danish seal

Folded the writ up in form of the other

Subscribed itgave>t the impressionplaced it safely

The changeling never knownNow the next day

Was our sea-fightand what to this was sequent

Thou know'st already

HORATIO

So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to>t

HAMLET

Whymanthey did make love to this employment

They are not near my consciencetheir defeat

Does by their own insinuationgrow

>Tis dangerous when the baser naturecomes

Between the pass and fell incensedpoints

Of mighty opposites

HORATIO

Whywhat a king is this

HAMLET

Does it not think'st thee stand me now upon——

He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother

Popp'd in between the election and my hopes

Thrown out his angle for my proper life

And with such cozenage——is>t not perfect conscience

To quit him with this arm and ist not to be damn'd

To let this canker of our nature come

In further evil

HORATIO

It must be shortly known to him from England

What is the issue of the business there

HAMLET

It will be shortthe interimis mine

And a man's life's no more than to say >One>

But I am very sorry good Horatio

That to Laertes I forgot myself

For by me image of my causeI see

The portraiture of hisI>ll court his favours

Butsurethe bravery of his grief did put me

Into a towering passion

HORATIO

Peacewho comes here

[Enter OSRIC]

OSRIC

Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark

HAMLET

I humbly thank yousirDost know this water-fly

HORATIO

Nomy good lord

HAMLET

Thy state is the more graciousfor>tis a vice to

know himHe hath much landand fertilelet a

beast be lord of beastsand his crib shall stand at

the king's mess>tis a choughbutas I say

spaciousin the possession of dirt

OSRIC

Sweet lordif your lordship were at leisureI

should impart a thing to you from his majesty

HAMLET

I will receive itsirwith all diligenceof

spiritPut your bonnetto his right use>tis for the head

OSRIC

I thank your lordshipit is very hot

HAMLET

Nobelieve me>tis very coldthe wind is

northerly

OSRIC

It is indifferent coldmy lordindeed

HAMLET

But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for mycomplexion

OSRIC

Exceedinglymy lordit is very sultry,——as

>twere,——I cannot tell howButmy lordhis

majesty bademe signifyto you that he has laid a

great wager on your headsir this is the matter,——

HAMLET

I beseechyouremember——

[HAMLET moves him to put on his hat]

OSRIC

Naygood my lordfor mine easein good faith

Sirhere is newly come to court Laertesbelieve

me an absolute gentleman full of most excellent

differencesof very soft society and great showing

indeedto speak feelinglyof him he is the card or

calendar of gentryfor you shall find in him the

continent of what part a gentleman would see

HAMLET

Sirhis definement suffers no perdition in you

thoughI know to divide him inventoriallywould

dizzy the arithmeticof memoryand yet but yaw

neitherin respect of his quick sailButin the

verity of extolmentI take him to be a soul of

great articleand his infusion of such dearth and

rarenessas to make true dictionof him his

semblable is his mirror and who else would trace

himhis umbrage nothing more

OSRIC

Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him

HAMLET

The concernancysirwhy do we wrap the gentleman

in our more rawer breath

OSRIC

Sir

HORATIO

Ist not possible to understand in another tongue

You will do>tsirreally

HAMLET

What imports the nominationof this gentleman

OSRIC

Of Laertes

HORATIO

His purse is empty already all's golden words are spent

HAMLET

Of him sir

OSRIC

I know you are not ignorant——

HAMLET

I would you didsir yet in faith if you did

it would not much approve meWell sir

OSRIC

You are not ignorant of what excellence laertes is——

HAMLET

I dare not confess that lest I should compare withhim in excellencebut to know a man well were toknow himself

OSRIC

I meansirfor his weapon but in the imputation laid on

him by them in his meed

he's unfellowed

HAMLET

What's his weapon

OSRIC

Rapierand dagger

HAMLET

That's two of his weaponsbutwell

OSRIC

The kingsirhath wagered with him six Barbary

horsesagainst the which he has imponedas I take

itsix French rapiers and poniardswith their

assigns as girdle hangers and so three of the

arriagesin faith are very dear to fancy very

responsive to the hilts most delicate carriages

and of very liberal conceit

HAMLET

What call you the carriages

HORATIO

I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had

done

OSRIC

The carriagessirare the hangers

HAMLET

The phrase would be more german to the matterif we

could carry cannon by our sidesI would it might

be hangers till thenButonsix Barbary horses

against six French swordstheir assign and three

liberal-conceited carriagesthat's the French bet

against the Danish Why is this >imponed>as you call it

OSRIC

The kingsirhath laidthat in a dozen passes

between yourself and him he shall not exceed you

three hitshe hath laid on twelve for nineand it

would come to immediate trial if your lordship

would vouchsafethe answer

HAMLET

How if I answer >no>

OSRIC

I mean my lord the opposition of your person in trial

HAMLET

SirI will walk here in the hall if it please his

majesty>tis the breathing time of day with melet the foils

be brought the gentleman willing and the

king hold his purposeI will win for him an I can

if notI will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits

OSRIC

Shall I re-deliver you e>en so

HAMLET

To this effect sir after what flourish your nature will

OSRIC

I commend my duty to your lordship

HAMLET

Yoursyours

[Exit OSRIC]

He does well to commend it himself there are no

tongues else for's turn

HORATIO

This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head

HAMLET

He did comply with his dug before he sucked it

Thus has he——and many more of the same bevy that I

know the dressy age dotes on——only got the tune of

the time and outward habit of encountera kind of

yestycollection which carries them through and

through the most fond and winnowedopinions and do

but blow them to their trialthe bubbles are out

[Enter a Lord]

Lord

My lordhis majesty commended him to you by young

Osricwho brings back to him that you attend him in

the hallhe sends to know if your pleasure hold to

play with Laertesor that you will take longer time

HAMLET

I am constant to my purposethey follow the king's

pleasureif his fitness speaksmine is readynow

or whensoever provided I be so able as now

Lord

The king and queen and all are coming down

HAMLET

In happy time

Lord

The queen desires you to use some gentle

entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play

HAMLET

She well instructs me

[Exit Lord]

HORATIO

You will lose this wagermy lord

HAMLET

I do not think sosince he went into France I

have been in continual practiseI shall win at the

oddsBut thou wouldst not think how ill all's here

about my heartbut it is no matter

HORATIO

Naygood my lord,——

HAMLET

It is but foolery but it is such a kind of gain-qaveng

gain-givingas would perhaps trouble a woman

HORATIO

If your mind dislike any thingobey itI will

forestall their repair hither and say you are not

fit

HAMLET

Not a whitwe defyaugurythere's a special

providence in the fall of a sparrowIf it be now

>tis not to comeif it be not to comeit will be

nowif it be not now yet it will come the

readiness is allsince no man has aught of what he

leaveswhat is>t to leave betimes

[Enter KING CLAUDIUS QUEEN GERTRUDE LAERTESLordsOSRICand Attendants with foilsc]KING CLAUDIUS

ComeHamletcomeand take this hand from me

[KING CLAUDIUS puts LAERTES> hand into HAMLET's]

HAMLET

Give me your pardonsirI>ve done you wrong

But pardon>t as you are a gentleman

This presence knows

And you must needs have heardhow I am punish'd

With sore distraction What I have done

That might your naturehonour and exception

Roughly awakeI here proclaim was madness

Was>t Hamlet wrong'dLaertes Never Hamlet

If Hamlet from himself be ta>en away

And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes

Then Hamlet does it notHamlet denies it

Who does it thenHis madnessif>t be so

Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy

Sirin this audience

Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil

Free me so far in your most generous thoughts

That I have shot mine arrow o>er the house

And hurt my brother

LAERTES

I am satisfied in nature

Whose motivein this caseshould stirme most

To my revenge but in my terms of honour

I stand aloof and will no reconcilement

Till by some elder mastersof known honour

I have a voice and precedent of peace

To keep my name ungoredBut till that time

I do receive your offer'd love like love

And will not wrong it

HAMLET

I embrace it freely

And will this brother's wager frankly play

Give us the foils Come on

LAERTES

Comeone for me

HAMLET

I>ll be your foilLaertesin mine ignorance

Your skill shalllike a star i> the darkest night

Stick fiery off indeed

LAERTES

You mock mesir

HAMLET

Noby this hand

KING CLAUDIUS

Give them the foilsyoung OsricCousin Hamlet

You know the wager

HAMLET

Very wellmy lord

Your grace hath laid the oddso>the weaker side

KING CLAUDIUS

I do not fear itI have seen you both

But since he is better'd we have therefore odds

LAERTES

This is too heavy let me see another

HAMLET

This likes me wellThese foils have all a length

[They prepare to play]

OSRIC

Aymy good lord

KING CLAUDIUS

Set me the stoopsof wine upon that table

If Hamlet give the first or second hit

Or quitin answer of the third exchange

Let all the battlementstheir 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 wornGive me the cups

And let the kettle to the trumpet speak

The trumpet to the cannoneer without

The cannons to the heavensthe heavens to earth

>Now the king dunks to Hamlet>Comebegin

And youthe judgesbear a waryeye

HAMLET

Come onsir

LAERTES

Comemy lord

[They play]

HAMLET

One

LAERTES

No

HAMLET

Judgment

OSRIC

A hita very palpable hit

LAERTES

Wellagain

KING CLAUDIUS

Staygive me drinkHamletthis pearl is thine

Here's to thy health

[Trumpets soundand cannon shot off within]

[Give him the cup]

HAMLET

I>ll play this bout firstset it by awhile Come

[They play]

[Another hitwhat say you]

LAERTES

A toucha touchI do confess

KING CLAUDIUS

Our son shall win

QUEEN GERTRUDE

He's fat and scant of breath

Here Hamlet take my napkin rub thy brows

The queen carouses to thy fortune Hamlet

HAMLET

Good madam

KING CLAUDIUS

Gertrude do not drink

QUEEN GERTRUDE

I willmy lordI pray youpardon me

KING CLAUDIUS

[Aside] It is the poison'd cupit is too late

HAMLET

I dare not drink yetmadamby and by

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Comelet me wipe thy face

LAERTES

My lord I>ll hit him now

KING CLAUDIUS

I do not think>t

LAERTES

[Aside] And yet >tis almost >gainst my conscience

HAMLET

Comefor the thirdLaertes you but dally

I pray youpass with your best violence

I am afeard you make a wanton of me

LAERTES

Say you so come on

[They play]

OSRIC

Nothingneither way

LAERTES

Have at you now

[LAERTES wounds HAMLETthen in scufflingtheychange rapiersand HAMLET wounds LAERTES]

KING CLAUDIUS

Part themthey are incensed

HAMLET

Naycomeagain

[QUEEN GERTRUDE falls]

OSRIC

Look to the queen thereho

HORATIO

They bleed on both sidesHow is it my lord

OSRIC

How is>tLaertes

LAERTES

Whyas a woodcock to mine own springeOsric

I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery

HAMLET

How does the queen

KING CLAUDIUS

She swounds to see them bleed

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Nonothe drinkthe drink,——O my dear Hamlet,——

The drinkthe drink I am poison'd

[Dies]

HAMLET

O villanyHolet the door be lock'd

TreacherySeek it out

LAERTES

It is here Hamlet Hamlet thou artslain

No medicine in the world can do thee good

In thee there is not half an hour of life

The treacherous instrument is in thy hand

Unbated and envenom'd the foul practise

Hath turn'd itself on me lohere I lie

Never to rise again thy mother's poison'd

I can no morethe kingthe king's to blame

HAMLET

The point!——envenom'd too

Thenvenomto thy work

[Stabs KING CLALUDIUS]

All

Treasontreason

KING CLAUDIUS

Oyet defend mefriendsI am but hurt

HAMLET

Herethou incestuousmurderousdamned Dane

Drink off this potionIs thy unionhere

Follow my mother

[KING CLAUDIUS dies]

LAERTES

He is justly served

It is a poison temper'd by himself

Exchange forgiveness with menoble Hamlet

Mine and my father's death come not upon thee

Nor thine on me

[Dies]

HAMLET

Heaven make thee free of itI follow thee

I am dead Horatio Wretched queen adieu

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 sergeantdeath

Is strict in his arrest——OI could tell you——

But let it be Horatio I am dead

Thou livest report me and my cause aright

To the unsatisfied

HORATIO

Never believe it

I am more an antique Ruman than a Dane

Here's yet some liquor left

HAMLET

As thou>rt a man

Give me the cuplet goby heaven I>ll have>t

O good HoratioHoratiowhat a wounded name

Things standing thus unknown shall live behind me

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart

Absent thee from felicity awhile

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain

To tell my story

[March afar offand shot within]What warlike noise is this

OSRIC

Young Fortinbras with conquest come from Poland

To the ambassadorsof England gives

This warlike volley

HAMLET

OI dieHoratio

The potent poison quite o>er-crows my spirit

I cannot live to hear the news from England

But I do prophesy the election lights

On Fortinbrashe has my dying voice

So tell himwith the occurrents more and less

Which have solicitedThe rest is silence

[Dies]

HORATIO

Now cracks a noble heartGood night sweet prince

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest

Why does the drum come hither

[March within]

[Enter FORTINBRASthe English Ambassadorsand others PRINCE FORTINBRAS]

Where is this sight

HORATIO

What is it ye would see

If aught of woe or wondercease your search

PRINCE FORTINBRAS

This quarry cries on havocO proud death

What feast is toward in thine eternal

That thou so many princes at a shot

So bloodily hast struck

First Ambassador

The sight is dismal

And our affairs from England come too late

The ears are senseless that should give us hearing

To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd

That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

Where should we have our thanks

HORATIO

Not from his mouth

Had it the ability of life to thank you

He never gave commandment for their death

But sinceso jump upon this bloody question

You from the Polack warsand you from England

Are here arrived give order that these bodies

High on a stage be placed to the view

And let me speak to the yet unknowing world

How these things came about so shall you hear

Of carnalbloodyand unnatural acts

Of accidental judgmentscasual slaughters

Of deaths put on by cunningand forced cause

Andin this upshotpurposes mistake

Fall>n on the inventors> readsall this can I

Truly deliver

PRINCE FORTINBRAS

Let us haste to hear it

And call the noblest to the audience

For mewith sorrow I embrace my fortune

I have some rights of memory in this kingdom

Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me

HORATIO

Of that I shall have also cause to speak

And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more

But let this same be presently perform'd

Even while men's minds are wild lest more mischance

On plotsand errors happen

PRINCE FORTINBRAS

Let four captains

Bear Hamletlike a soldierto the stage

For he was likely had he been put on

To have proved most royallyandfor his passage

The soldiers> music and the rites of war

Speak loudly for him

Take up the bodiessuch a sight as this

Becomes the fieldbut here shows much amiss

Gobid the soldiers shoot

[A dead marchExeuntbearing off the dead bodiesafter

which a peal of ordnance is shot off


 

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