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King. Give them the foils, young Osrick.—Cousin
Very well, my lord ;
King. I do not fear it: I have seen you both ;
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 stoops of wine upon that table.-
Ham. Come on, sir.
Come, my lord. [They play. Ham.
Judgment. Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit. Laer.
Well :again. King. Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is
? And in the cup an Union shall he throw ;) So the folio, rightly, an union being the most valuable kind of pearl. The quarto, 1604, has unice, the undated quarto Onix, and so it continued to be printed in the quarto, 1637.
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.
He's fat, and scant of breath'.-
Ham. Good madam,-
Gertrude, do not drink.
I do not think it.
[They play. Osr. Nothing, neither way.
set it by awhile.] The folio omits “it,” and the quartos afterwards, A touch, a touch."
4 He's fat, and scant of breath.] On the authority of “Wright's Historia His. trionica,” 1699, it has been supposed that Taylor was the original Hamlet. This is a mistake: Wright says that “ Taylor acted Hamlet incomparably well;" but he had the advantage of seeing Burbage in the part until 1619. We know, on the authority of the MS. epitaph upon Burbage, that he was celebrated for his Hamlet, and Shakespeare's words are employed, with reference to the obesity of the actor :
“No more young Hamlet, though but scant of breath,
Shall cry revenge for his dear father's death.” These lines must have been written very soon after the decease of the subject of them, and they are decisive upon the point that Burbage was the performer who first acted the part of Ilamlet. See the Introduction.
5 Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows :] So the quartos : the folio, defectively, “Here's a napkin : rub thy brows.”
6 I am AFEARD, you make a wanton of me.] The quartos, “ I am sure," &c. “ Wanton ” here means a feeble effeminate person.
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 ! Hor. They bleed on both sides.—How is it, my
lord ? Osr. How is't, Laertes ? Laer. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe,
Ham. How does the queen?
She swoons to see them bleed. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,-0 my dear
[Dies. Ham. O villainy !-How? let the door be lock'd: Treachery! seek it out.
Ham. The point
[Stabs the King.
7 Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osrick ;] The folio omits own.”
half an hour of life ;] So the folio : the quartos," half an hour's life.”
Follow my mother.
He is justly serv'd;
Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
Never believe it:
As thou’rt a man,
[March afar off, and Shot within’.
What warlike noise is this?
and my cause aright] The folio, "and my causes right." 1 () God !-Horatio,] The folio, “() good Horatio !” In the next line, for “shall live behind me” of the folio, the quartos have “shall I leave behind me."
and Shot within.] The folio, which only has this part of the stagedirection, reads, “and shout within ;" but the "warlike volley" afterwards mentioned would show that shout was a misprint for “shot."
O! I die, Horatio ; The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit 3: 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?
What is it ye would see? If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search.
Fort. This quarry cries on havock.–0 proud death!
The sight is dismal,
Not from his mouth,
3 – quite o’ER-CROWs my spirit :] Malone states that only the quarto, 1637, reads o'er-grous for “o'er-crows ;" but the fact is, that that reading (whether it be or be not an improvement upon the word in the quarto, 1604, and in the folio, 1623) is found in the undated quarto, and in that of 1611.
1 - The rest is silence.] The folio has “0!0!0! 0!” after “ silence.”