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2008 -- Stoppard Files

"Closet Scene"

Act V, Scene ii (cont.)

[Enter King, Queen, Laertes, Lords, Osric, and Attendants with
foils &c.]

Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

[The King puts Laertes' hand into Hamlet's.]

Give me your pardon, sir: I have done you wrong:
But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,
How I am punish'd with sore distraction.
What I have done
That might your nature, honour, and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,
And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it, then? His madness: if't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Sir, in this audience,
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. But in my terms of honour
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement
Till by some elder masters of known honour
I have a voice and precedent of peace
To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.

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 heavens to earth, 'Now the king drinks to Hamlet.'--Come, begin:-- And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
Act V, Scene ii (cont.) Ham. Come on, sir. Laer. Come, my lord. [They play.] Ham. One. Laer. No. 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.-- [Trumpets sound, and cannon shot off within.] Give him the cup. 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. He's fat, and scant of breath.-- Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows: 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. [Aside.] 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't. Laer. [Aside.] And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience. 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! 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!--O 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 of 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.] Osric and Lords. Treason! treason! King. O, 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,--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: 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.-- O good 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.] What warlike noise is this? Osr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland, To the ambassadors of England gives This warlike volley. Ham. O, 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.]
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