Hamlet: Act 5, Scene 2
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO. Full Summary
3 Remember it, my lord?
4 Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
5 That would not let me sleep: methought I lay
6 Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly
7 And praised be rashness for itlet us know,
8 Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
9 When our deep plots do pall: and that should learn us
10 There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
11 Rough-hew them how we will
11 That is most certain.
12 Up from my cabin,
13 My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
14 Groped I to find out them; had my desire.
15 Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew
16 To mine own room again; making so bold,
17 My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
18 Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio
19 O royal knavery!an exact command,
20 Larded with many several sorts of reasons
21 Importing Denmark's health and England's too,
22 With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
23 That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
24 No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
25 My head should be struck off.
25 Is't possible?
28 I beseech you.
29 Being thus be-netted round with villanies
30 Or I could make a prologue to my brains,
31 They had begun the playI sat me down,
32 Devised a new commission, wrote it fair:
33 I once did hold it, as our statists do,
34 A baseness to write fair and labour'd much
35 How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
36 It did me yeoman's service: wilt thou know
37 The effect of what I wrote?
37 Ay, good my lord.
38 An earnest conjuration from the king,
39 As England was his faithful tributary,
40 As love between them like the palm might flourish,
41 As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
42 And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
43 And many such-like 'As'es of great charge,
44 That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
45 Without debatement further, more or less,
46 He should the bearers put to sudden death,
47 Not shriving-time allow'd.
47 How was this seal'd?
48 Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
49 I had my father's signet in my purse,
50 Which was the model of that Danish seal;
51 Folded the writ up in form of the other,
52 Subscrib'd it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
53 The changeling never known. Now, the next day
54 Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent
55 Thou know'st already.
56 So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
57 Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
58 They are not near my conscience; their defeat
59 Does by their own insinuation grow:
60 'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
61 Between the pass and fell incensed points
62 Of mighty opposites.
62 Why, what a king is this!
63 Does it not, think'st thee, stand me now upon
64 He that hath kill'd my king and whored my mother,
65 Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
66 Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
67 And with such cozenageis't not perfect conscience,
68 To quit him with this arm? and is't not to be damn'd,
69 To let this canker of our nature come
70 In further evil?
73 It will be short: the interim is mine;
74 And a man's life's no more than to say "One."
75 But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
76 That to Laertes I forgot myself;
77 For, by the image of my cause, I see
78 The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours.
79 But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
80 Into a towering passion.
80 Peace, who comes here?
81 Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
82 I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?
83 No, my good lord.
84 Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to
85 know him. He hath much land, and fertile: let a
86 beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall stand at
87 the king's mess: 'tis a chough; but, as I say,
88 spacious in the possession of dirt.
94 I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
97 It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
100 Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultryas
101 'twereI cannot tell how. But, my lord, his
102 majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid a
103 great wager on your head: sir, this is the matter
104 I beseech you, remember
105 Nay, good my lord; for my ease, in good faith.
106 Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes; believe
107 me, an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent
108 differences, of very soft society and great showing:
109 indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or
110 calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the
111 continent of what part a gentleman would see.
112 Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you;
113 though, I know, to divide him inventorially would
114 dozy the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw
115 neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the
116 verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of
117 great article; and his infusion of such dearth and
118 rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his
119 semblable is his mirror; and who else would trace
120 him, his umbrage, nothing more.
121 Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
129 Of Laertes?
132 Of him, sir.
133 I know you are not ignorant
144 What's his weapon?
145 Rapier and dagger.
146 That's two of his weapons: but, well.
147 The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary
148 horses: against the which he has impawn'd, as I take
149 it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their
150 assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so: three of the
151 carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very
152 responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages,
153 and of very liberal conceit.
154 What call you the carriages?
157 The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
158 The phrase would be more german to the matter,
159 if we could carry cannon by our sides: I would
160 it might be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary
161 horses against six French swords, their assigns,
162 and three liberal-conceited carriages; that's the
163 French bet against the Danish. Why is this "impawn'd,"
164 as you call it?
165 The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes
166 between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you
167 three hits: he hath laid on twelve for nine; and it
168 would come to immediate trial, if your lordship
169 would vouchsafe the answer.
170 How if I answer "no"?
173 Sir, I will walk here in the hall: if it please his
174 majesty, 'tis the breathing time of day with me.
175 Let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing,
176 and the king hold his purpose, I will win for him
177 an I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame
178 and the odd hits.
179 Shall I re-deliver you e'en so?
182 I commend my duty to your lordship.
187 'A did comply, sir, with his dug, before 'a sucked it.
188 Thus has heand many more of the same breed
189 that I know the drossy age dotes ononly got the
190 tune of the time and, out of an habit of encounter,
191 a kind of yesty collection, which carries them
192 through and through the most fann'd and winnow'd
193 opinions; and do but blow them to their trial,
194 the bubbles are out.
195 My lord, his majesty commended him to you by
196 young Osric, who brings back to him that you attend
197 him in the hall: he sends to know if your pleasure
198 hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer
204 The king and queen and all are coming down.
205 In happy time.
208 She well instructs me.
209 You will lose, my lord.
210 I do not think so: since he went into France, I
211 have been in continual practice: I shall win at the
212 odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill all's here
213 about my heart: but it is no matter.
214 Nay, good my lord
219 Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special
220 providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
221 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
222 now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The
223 readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows
224 what is't to leave betimes, let be.
225 Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
226 Give me your pardon, sir: I've done you wrong;
227 But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.
228 This presence knows,
229 And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd
230 With a sore distraction. What I have done,
231 That might your nature, honour and exception
232 Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
233 Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
234 If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,
235 And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,
236 Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
237 Who does it, then? His madness: if't be so,
238 Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
239 His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
240 Sir, in this audience,
241 Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
242 Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
243 That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
244 And hurt my brother.
244 I am satisfied in nature,
245 Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
246 To my revenge: but in my terms of honour
247 I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
248 Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
249 I have a voice and precedent of peace,
250 To keep my name ungored. But till that time,
251 I do receive your offer'd love like love,
252 And will not wrong it.
254 Come, one for me.
257 You mock me, sir.
258 No, by this hand.
264 This is too heavy, let me see another.
265 This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
266 Ay, my good lord.
267 Set me the stoups of wine upon that table.
268 If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
269 Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
270 Let all the battlements their ordnance fire:
271 The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
272 And in the cup an union shall he throw,
273 Richer than that which four successive kings
274 In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups;
275 And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
276 The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
277 The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth,
278 "Now the king drinks to Hamlet." Come, begin:
279 And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
280 Come on, sir.
280 Come, my lord.
281 A hit, a very palpable hit.
281 Well; again.
282 Stay; give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine;
283 Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.
*** Drum, trumpets [sound a] flourish. A piece
284 I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile. Come.
285 Another hit; what say you?
286 A touch, a touch, I do confess.
287 Our son shall win.
290 Good madam!
290 Gertrude, do not drink.
291 I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon me.
292 It is the poison'd cup: it is too late.
293 I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.
294 Come, let me wipe thy face.
295 My lord, I'll hit him now.
295 I do not think't.
296 And yet 'tis almost 'gainst my conscience.
300 Say you so? come on.
301 Nothing, neither way.
302 Have at you now!
302 Part them; they are incensed.
303 Nay, come, again.
303 Look to the queen there, ho!
304 They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?
305 How is't, Laertes?
308 How does the queen?
308 She swoons to see them bleed.
313 It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;
314 No medicine in the world can do thee good;
315 In thee there is not half an hour of life;
316 The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
317 Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practise
318 Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie,
319 Never to rise again: thy mother's poison'd:
320 I can no more: the king, the king's to blame.
323 Treason! treason!
324 O, yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.
327 Follow my mother.
332 Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.
333 I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
334 You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
335 That are but mutes or audience to this act,
336 Had I but timeas this fell sergeant, death,
337 Is strict in his arrestO, I could tell you
338 But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
339 Thou livest. Report me and my cause aright
340 To the unsatisfied.
342 As thou'rt a man,
343 Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have't.
344 O good Horatio, what a wounded name,
345 Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me!
346 If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
347 Absent thee from felicity awhile,
348 And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
349 To tell my story.
349 What warlike noise is this?
352 O, I die, Horatio;
353 The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit:
354 I cannot live to hear the news from England;
355 But I do prophesy the election lights
356 On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
357 So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
358 Which have solicited. The rest is silence.
361 Why does the drum come hither?
362 Where is this sight?
367 The sight is dismal;
368 And our affairs from England come too late:
369 The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
370 To tell him his commandment is fulfill'd,
371 That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
372 Where should we have our thanks?
372 Not from his mouth,
373 Had it the ability of life to thank you:
374 He never gave commandment for their death.
375 But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
376 You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
377 Are here arriv'd, give order that these bodies
378 High on a stage be placed to the view;
379 And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
380 How these things came about. So shall you hear
381 Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
382 Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
383 Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
384 And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
385 Fall'n on th' inventors' heads: all this can I
386 Truly deliver.
386 Let us haste to hear it,
387 And call the noblest to the audience.
388 For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:
389 I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
390 Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
391 Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
392 And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more;
393 But let this same be presently perform'd,
394 Even while men's minds are wild; lest more mischance
395 On plots and errors, happen.
395 Let four captains
396 Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
397 For he was likely, had he been put on,
398 To have prov'd most royal: and, for his passage,
399 The soldiers' music and the rites of war
400 Speak loudly for him.
401 Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
402 Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
403 Go, bid the soldiers shoot.