Laer. Why, as a woodcock to my own springe;

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’d-

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

Laer. It is here, Hamlet. Thou art lain,
No med'cine in the world can do thee good.
In thee there is not half an hour of life;
The treach'rous inftrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom’d. The foul practice
Hach turn'd itself on me. · Lo, here I lye,
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 do thy work. [Stabs the King.

All. Treason, treason.
King. O yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt.
Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murd'rouş, damned

Drink off this potion. Is the 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 on thee,
Nor thine on me!

[Dies. Ham. Heav'n make thee free of it. I follow thee. I'm dead, Horatio. Wretched Queen, adieu ! You that look pale, and tremble at this chance, s That are but mutes or audience to this act, 5 That are but mutes or audience or at most only mute performers,

10 this azt, ] That are either that fill the ftage without any mere auditors of this catastrophe, part in the action. X 2


Had I but time, as this fell Serjeant 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'm more an antique Roman than a Dane.

yet some liquor left.
Ham. As th'art a man,
Give me the cup. Let go; by heav'n, I'll hav't.
Oh good Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me?
If thou didit ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story. [March afar off, and sout witbis.
What warlike noise is this?

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Ofr. Young Fortinbras, with Conquest come from

To the Ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.

Ham. O, I die, Horatio :
The potent poison quite o'er-grows 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 th' occurrents more or less,
• Which have follicited. The rest is silence. [Dies.

[ocr errors]

6 Which have sollicitedevent.

..] Sollicited, for brought on the



Hor. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet

And flights of angels sing thee to thy Rest!
Why does the Drum come hither?

Enter Fortinbras, and English Ambassadors, with

drum, colours, and attendants.

Fort. Where is this sight?

Hor. What is it you would see?
If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
Fort. ? This quarry cries on havock. Oh proud

What feast is tow'rd in thy infernal cell,
That thou so many Princes at a shot
So bloodily haft struck ?

Amb. 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 fulfillid,
That Rofincrantz 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, 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 th' yet unknowing world,

7 This guarry cries or bau ck] I suppose, when unfuir sportsman Hanmer reads,

dettroyed more quarry or game cries out, bavock. than was realonable, the centure To cry on, was to exciaim again. was, to cry, Havock.


X 3

How these things came about. So fhall you heap
Of cruel, bloody, and unnatural acts;
Of accidental judgments, casual Naughters ;
Of deaths put on by cunning, and forc'd cause ;
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fall'n on th’inventors' heads. All this can I
Truly deliver.

Fort. Let us hafte to hear it,
And call the Nobless 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 doch 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 fame be presently performid, Even while men's minds are wild, left more mischance On plots and errors happen.

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 paffage, The Soldiers' musick, and the rites of war Speak loudly for him:

* And from his mouth whole Hamlet, juft before his death, voice will draw no more.

re.] had said; This is the reading of the old Buh I do prophely, th clea isk Quario's, but certainly a mitlaken

lights one, We say, a man will 10

On Fortinbras: He has my dy more draw: breath; but that a ing voice ; man's voice will drawnomore, is, So reil him; &c. I believe, an expreflion without Accordingly, Horatio here de. any authority. I chuse to espouse livers that message; and very the reading of the e'der folio ; justly infers, that Hamlet's voice And from his mouih, whose will be seconded by others, and

Oice will dramu on more, procure them in favour of Foro Aad this is the poet's meaning. tinbras's succesfion. THEOB.


Take up the body. Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shews much amiss.
Go, bid the Soldiers shoot.

[Exeunt, marching : after which, a peal of

Ordnance is shot of • If the dramas of Shakespeare for he does nothing which he were to be characterised, each by might not have done

with the rethe particular excellence which putation of fanity. He plays the distinguishes it from the rest, madman most, when he treats we must allow to the tragedy of Ophelia with so much rudeness, Hamlet the praise of variety, which seems to be useless and The incidents are so numerous, wanton cruelty. that the argument of the play Hamlet is, through the whole would make a long tale. The play, rather an instrument than scenes are interchangeably diver, an agent. After he has, by the fified with merriment and solem- tratagem of the play, convicted nity; with merriment that in the King, he makes no attempt cludes judicious and instructive to punish him, and his death is at observations, and folemnity, not last effected by an incident which Atrained by poetical violence a- Hamlet has no part in producing. bove the natural sentiments of The catastrophe is not very man. New characters appear happily produced ; the exchange from time to time in continual of weapons is rather an expedifucceffion, exhibiting various ent of necessity, than a stroke of forms of life and particular modes art. A scheme might easily have of conversation. The pretend- been formed, to kill Hamlet with ed, madness of Hamlet causes the dagger, and Laertes with the much mirth, the mournful bowl. distraction of Ophelia fills the The poet is accused of having heart with tenderness, and every shewn little regard to poetical personage produces the effect in- justice, and may be charged with tended, from the apparition that equal neglect of poetical probain the first act chills the blood bility. The apparition left the with hotrour, to the fop in the regions of the dead to little purlaft, that exposes affectation to pose; the revenge which he dejust contempt.

mands is not obtained but by the The conduct is perhaps not death of him that was required wholly secure against objections. to take it; and the gratification The action is indeed for the moft which would arise from the de. pare in continual progression, but 'struction of an usurper and a there are some scenes which nei- murderer, is abated by the unther forward nor retard it. Of timely death of Ophelia, the the feigned madness of Hamlet young, the beautiful, the harmthere appears no adequate cause, less, and the pious.


X 4

« ElőzőTovább »