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SCENE VI.

The Court of Denmark.

Flourish of trumpets and drums.

King and Queen seated - Laertes, Osrick, Marcellus,

BERNARDO, GENTLEMEN, and Ladies, discovered.

Enter Hamlet and HORATIO.

King.
To put an end to squabble, strife, and noise,
Shake hands and make it up, my jolly boys.

[To Hamlet and Laertes.

Hamlet. (T. Laertes) Sir, I have done you wrong, and sorely

rue it, But, on my word, I didn't go to do it ; Therefore, let's make it up ;-come, don't be hard on

Laertes.
Enough ; no man can do more than beg pardon.-
We're friends.-

Hamlet.

With all my heart. Come, let's set to. Bring me the gloves

Laertes.

And bring me a pair too.

King.
Hamlet, you know the wager.

Hamlet.

Aye, my Lord; You've back'd the worser man tho', on my word.

King.
I'm not afraid ; I'm sure you'll not fight shy ;
If you don't win, I know at least you'll try.

Laertes.

These gloves are much too tight-another pair

Hamlet.

Mine fit.-Are his as soft as mine?

Osrick.

All's fair.

King.
If i' th’ two first rounds Hamlet hit most blows,
Or 'scape the third without a bloody nose,
Let all the guns we've got make the discovery ;-
The King shall drink to Hamlet's quick recovery;
And in the beer this nutmeg shall he pound,
The largest that in Denmark could be found.-
Give me the mug: now drum a loud tattoo ;
The drum shall tell the trumpet what to do;
The trumpet's tantarara, post, (1) shall set off,
And tell the cannoneer the guns to let off ;
The cannoneer shall fire 'em, and then-stop-
I think I've said enough-I'll drink a drop.

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Here's Hamlet's health! (Drums, trumpets, and cannon)

Come, now begin the bout;
And you, the judges, keep a sharp look-out.

Hamlet and Laertes spar.

Hamlet.

A hit.

Laertes,

No hit.

Osrick.

A hit, I'll bet a crown.

Hamlet.

A hit or not, 't has almost knock'd him down.

[Drums, trumpets, and cannon.

King.
Give me the beer : this nutmeg is for you.

[Puts poison into the drink. Hamlet, your health pretends to drink). You'd better

drink some too.

Hamlet.

Let's have this round; when I want drink I'll ask it.

(They spar again.)

Egad, I had him there in the bread-basket (m).

[blocks in formation]

I'll nab him ;-but it goes against my conscience.

[ Aside.

Hamlet.

Laertes, you're afraid to hit,

Laertes.

Pooh! nonsense.

They spar again in the scufle, they exchange gloves

Hamlet knocks Laertes down.The Queen swoons.

Osrick.

Look to the Queen. (To Laertes) How is't, my lord ?

Laertes.

I'm dish'd (n);

I'm caught as neatly as I could have wish'd.

Hamlet.

How does the Queen?

King.

To see your bloody noses, Her stomach-royal slightly indisposes.

Queen.
No, no ; I'm poison'd: your damn'd uncle, here,
Has mix'd a deadly poison with the beer.-
'Tis now too late—I've had a precious swig-
If I'm not a dead woman-dash my wig (6).

[Dies.

Hamlet.

O, treachery! I'll smoke it, on my oath.

Laertes.

0, Hamlet ! 'tis all dickey with us both (o)!
I promis’d to die game; but I'll expose
That dirty scamp; for you am I a Nose (7):
You've done my business by a blow, 'tis true;
But I-Oh! I-have done the same for

you. You're mother's poison's ;—dying, here I lieThe King's to blame

Hamlet.

Die, damn'd old murd'rer, die.

[Kills the King.

Laertes.

You've sery'd him right. Hamlet, let's square accounts
Tho' there's some little diff'rence in amounts-

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