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[Aside.

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.
Ham. I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face.
Laer. My lord, I'll hit him now.
King.

I do not think it.
Laer. And yet it is almost against my conscience. [Aside.

Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes. You 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. Osr. Nothing, neither way. Laer. Have at you now. [LAERTES wounds HAMLET; then, in scuffling, they change

rapiers, and HAMLET wounds LAERTES. King.

Part them ! they are incens'd. Ham. Nay, come again.

[The Queen falls. Osr.

Look to the queen there, ho! IIor. They bleed on both sides.—How is it, my lord ? Osr. How is't, Laertes ?

Laer. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osrick’; 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, - Oh my dear

Hamlet!-
The drink, the drink: I am poison’d.

[Dies. Ham. Oh villainy !-How ? 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 of life ® ; The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, defectively, “ Here's a napkin : rub thy brows,” which in the corr. fo. 1632, is made to run thus: “Here is a napkin, rub thy brows, my son.

6 I am AFEARD, you make a wANTON of me.] The 4tos, “I am sure," &c. “ Wanton" bere means a feeble effeminate person.

? Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osrick;] The folio omits " but it is placed in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632.

half an hour of life ;] So the folio : the 4tos, “half an hour's life,” treating “ hour" as a dissyllable.

own,"

8

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 All. Treason ! treason ! King. Oh! yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.

Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, Drink off this potion :—is thy union here? Follow my mother.

[King dies. Laer.

He is justly serv'd;
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.
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 sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest) Oh! 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:
I am more an antique Roman than a Dane:
Here's yet some liquor left.
Ham.

As thou’rt a man,
Give me the cup: let go; by heaven I'll have't.-
Oh God !-Horatio', what 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 off, and shot within?.

9

- and my cause aright] The folio, “and my causes right." 1 Oh God!-Horatio,] The folio, “Oh good Horatio !” In the next line, for “shall live behind me," of the folio, the 4tos. have “shall I leave behind me.”

? — and shot within.] The folio, which only has this part of the stage-direction, reads, “and shout within ;" but the "warlike volley,” afterwards mentioned, would show that shout was a misprint for “shot.”

What warlike noise is this?
Osr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,
To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.
Ham.

Oh! I die, Horatio;
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 Fortinbras : he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited—The rest is silence

[Dies.
Hor. Now cracks a noble heart.--Good night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest'! -
Why does the drum come hither?

[March within. Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others. Fort. Where is this sight? Hor.

What is it ye would see?
If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.

Fort. This quarry cries on havock.-Oh proud death!
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes at a shot
So bloodily hast struck?
1 Amb.

The sight is dismal,
And our affairs from England come too late :

4

3 – quite o’ER-CROWs my spirit:] Malone states that only the 4to, 1637, reads o'er-grows for “o'er-crows;" but the fact is, that that reading (whether it be, or be not an improvement upon the word in the 4to, 1604, and in the folio, 1623) is found in the undated 4to, and in that of 1611.

The rest is silence.] The folio has “Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!” after“ silence." 5 And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!] The remainder of the tragedy is struck through with a pen in the corr. fo. 1632, and the word Finis subjoined, to show that it was there at an end. The concluding lines also are thus converted into a couplet :

“Now cracks a noble heart: good night, be blest,

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” Another “ tag" is added afterwards, of a very poor and inanimate character, most unlike the language of Shakespeare, which, it seems, the performer of the part of Horatio was also to deliver when the piece was abbreviated : it is as follows:

“ While I remain behind to tell a tale,

That shall bereafter turn the hearers pale." Although the conclusion is hastened in this way, the old annotator has continued his corrections to the end of the tragedy, as it has come down to us; but from what source he derived his information we know not : perhaps he had at one time witnessed the performance in its entirety, and had remedied defects from the recitation of the actors.

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 ?
Hor.

Not from his mouth,
Had it th' ability of life to thank you :
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump upon this bloody question o,
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 the yet unknowing world,
How these things came about: so shall you

hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning, and forc'd cause',
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on the inventors' heads : all this can I
Truly deliver.
Fort.

Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.

Hor. Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more:
But let this scene be presently perform’d",
Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance,
On plots and errors, happen.

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6 But since, so JUMP upon this bloody question,] i. e. So exactly: the same word occurs, and in precisely the same sense, in A. i. sc. 1, of this play, p. 475. See also “ Othello," A. ii. sc. 3.

7 — and Forc'd cause,] So the folio: the 4tos, “and for no cause.” “ Put on" means here produced, cr occasioned: below it rather means incited, instigated.

8 – Also cause to speak,] Always cause to speak," in the folio; and in the preceding line, for “Which now to claim ” of the 4tos, the reading is, “Which are to claim."

. And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more :) i. e. Will draw on more voices; referring to the declaration of Hamlet, “ He bas my dying voice."

10 But let this scene be presently perform’d,] It is “ let this same ” in the old copies, 4to. and folio, but the alteration in the corr. fo. 1632 is so much superior, in reference to the words “ perform’d" and "stage” which occur just afterwards, that we make the change, not only without reluctance, but with thankfulness for the improvement upon the usual tame and unfigurative line. Same for "scene" was the easiest possible misprint of carelessly written manuscript.

Fort.

Let four captains
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royally: and for his passage,
The soldiers' music, and the rites of war,
Speak loudly for him.-
Take up the body.--Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.

[A dead march. [Exeunt, marching; after which, a peal of

ordnance is shot off.

1 In reference to the character of Hamlet, and to the design of Shakespeare in writing the tragedy of which Hamlet is the hero, we cannot refrain from quoting a characteristic passage or two from one of the recently published Lectures of Coleridge, delivered as long since as the year 1812.

“ The first question we should ask ourselves is—what did Shakespeare mean when he drew the character of Hamlet? He never wrote any thing without design, and what was his design when he sat down to compose this tragedy? My belief is, that he always regarded his story, before he began to write, much in the same light that a painter regards his canvas before he begins to paint--as a mere vehicle for his thoughts-as a ground upon which to work. What, then, was the point to which Shakespeare directed himself in Hamlet? He intended to pourtray a person, in whose view the external world, and all its incidents and objects, were comparatively dim, and of no interest in themselves, and which began to interest only, when they were reflected in the mirror of his mind. Hamlet beheld external things in the same way that a man of vivid imagination, who shuts his eyes, sees what has previously made an impression on his organs. The poet places him in the most stimulating circumstances that a human being can be placed in. He is the heir apparent of a throne ; his father dies suspiciously; his mother excludes her son from the throne by marrying his uncle. This is not enough; but the Ghost of the murdered father is introduced to assure the son that he was put to death by his own brother. What is the effect upon the son ? instant action and pursuit of revenge? No: endless reasoning and hesitating—constant urging and solicitation of the mind to act, and as constant an escape from action; ceaseless reproaches of himself for sloth and negligence, while the whole energy of his resolution evaporates in these reproaches. This, too, not from cowardice, for he is drawn one of the bravest of his time-not from want of forethought, or from slowness of apprehension, for Hamlet sees through the very souls of all who surround him, but merely from that aversion to action, which prevails among those who have a world in themselves.” Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, 8vo, 1856, p. 141.

VOL. V.

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