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How to forget that learning; but, Sir,
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote ?

Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them like the palm might flourish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear,
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
And many such like as 's of great charge,
That on the view and knowing of these contents,
Without debatement further, more or less,
He should the bearers put to sudden death,

Not shriving-time allow'd. 220 Hor.

How was this seal'd?
Ham. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
I had my father's signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal;
Folded the writ up in form of the other;
Subscrib’d it; gave 't th' impression; plac'd it safely,
The changeling never known. Now, the next day
Was our sea-fight, and what to this was sequent
Thou know'st already.

Hor. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to 't.

Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this employment:
They are not near my conscience; their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow.
'T is dangerous, when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points

Of mighty opposites. 221 Hor.

Why, what a king is this!
Ham. Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon
He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother;
Popp'd in between th' election and my hopes;
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such cozenage is 't not perfect conscience,
To quit him with this arm ? and is 't not to be damn’d,
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?

Hor. It must be shortly known to him from England,
What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short: the interim is mine;
And a man's life's no more than to say, one.

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But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself,
For by the image of my cause I see
The portraiture of his: I'll court his favour:
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.

Peace! who comes here? |

Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.
Ham. I humbly thank you, Sir. — Dost know this water-fly?

No, my good lord. Ham. Thy state is the more gracious, for 't is a vice to know him. He hath much land, and fertile: let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall stand at the king's mess: 't is a chough; but, as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt.

Osr. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should impart a thing to you from his majesty.

Нат. I will receive it, Sir, with all diligence of spirit.
Your bonnet to his right use; 't is for the head.

Osr. I thank your lordship, 't is very hot.
Ham. No, believe me, 't is very cold: the wind is northerly.
Osr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.

Ham. But yet, methinks, it is very sultry, and hot, or my complexion- |

Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, as 't were, 223 - I cannot tell how. - My lord, his majesty bade me signify to you, that he has laid a great wager on your head. Sir, this is the matter, Ham.


[HAMLET moves him to put on his Hat. Osr. Nay, good my lord, for my ease, in good faith. Sir, here is newly come to court, Laertes; believe solute gentleman, full of most excellent differences, of very soft society, and great showing: indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see.

Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you; though, I know, to divide him inventorially, would dizzy the arithmetic of memory; and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article; and his infusion of such dearth

I beseech you,


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Of him,

and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his semblable is his mirror; and who else would trace him, his umbrage,

nothing more. 224 Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.

Ham. The concernancy, Sir? why do we wrap the gentleman in our more rawer breath?

Osr. Sir:

Hor. Is 't not possible to understand in another tongue ?
You will do 't, Sir, really.

Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman
Osr. Of Laertes ?

Hor. His purse is empty already; all his golden words
are spent.

Osr. I know, you are not ignorant

Ham. I would, you did, Sir; yet, in faith, if you did, it would not much approve me.

Well, Sir.

You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is

Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him in excellence; but to know a man well were to know

himself. | 225 Osr. I mean, Sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.

Ham. What's his weapon?
Osr. Rapier and dagger.
Ham. That 's two of his weapons: but well.

Osr. The king, Sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses: against the which he has impawned, as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so. Three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit.

Ham. What call you the carriages?

Hor. I knew, you must be edified by the margin, ere you had done.

Osr. The carriages, Sir, are the hangers. 226 Ham. The phrase would be more german to the matter,

if we could carry a cannon by our sides: I would, it might be hangers till then. But, on: six Barbary horses against six French swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited carriages; that's the French bet against the Danish. Why is this impawned, as you call it?

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Osr. The king, Sir, hath laid, Sir, that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits : he hath laid on twelve for nine; and it would come to immediate trial, if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer.

Ham. How, if I answer no?'

Osr. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.

Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall: if it please his majesty, it is the breathing time of day with me, let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the king hold his purpose,

I will win for him, if I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my shame, and the odd hits. I Osr. Shall I deliver you so ?

227 Ham. To this effect, Sir; after what flourish your nature will. Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship.

[Exit. Ham. Yours, yours.

He does well to commend it himself; there are no tongues else for 's turn.

Hor. This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.

Ham. He did comply with his dug before he sucked it. Thus has he (and many more of the same breed, that, I know, the drossy age dotes on) only got the tune of the time, and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yesty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out. / Enter a Lord.


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Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osrick, who brings back to him, that you attend him in the hall: he sends to know, if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.

Ham. I am constant to my purposes; they follow the king's pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now, or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.

Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming down.
Ham. In happy time.
Lord. The


you to use some gentle entertain-
ment to Laertes, before you fall to play.
Ham. She well instructs me.

[Exit Lord. Hor. You will lose, my lord.

Ham. I do not think so: since he went into France, I 229 have been in continual practice; I shall win at the dds.

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Thou would'st not think, how ill all 's here about my heart; but it is no matter.

Hor. Nay, good my lord,

Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kind of gaingiving, as would, perhaps, trouble a woman.

Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: I will forestall their repair hither, and say you are not fit.

Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury: there is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, it is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.

Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows, what is 't to leave betimes :

Let be. I 230 A Table prepared ; Trumpets, Drums, and Officers with Cushions ;

King, Queen and all the State; Foils, Daggers, and LAERTES.
King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

[The King puts the Hand of LAERTES into that of

Ham. Give me your pardon, Sir: I've 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. I 231 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 mine 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, known honour,

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