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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 'twere, I cannot tell how--My lord, bis majesty bade me signify to you, that he has laid a great wager on your head: Sir, this is the matter, liam. I beseech you, remember
(HAMLET mores 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 me, an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences, of very soft society, and great showing: Indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card6 or calendar of gentry, for you shall find in him the continent 7 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 arithmetick of memory; and yet but raw 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 and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his semblable is his mirrour; and, who else would trace him, his unbrage, nothing more.
Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
Ham. The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gentleman in our more rawer breath?
4 The affected phrase of the time. 5 Distinguishing excellencies. Compass or chart.
7 The country and pattern for imitation. * This speech is a ridicule of the court jargon of that time.
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 gentle.. man ?
Osr. Of Laertes ?
Hor. His purse is empty already; all his golden words are spent.
Ham. Of him, sir.
Ham. I would, you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did, it would not much approve' me ;-Well, sir.
Osr. 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.
Osr. I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed 2 he's unfellowed.
Ham. What's his weapon ?
Osr. The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses: against the which he has impawned,3 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
· Mentioning. 1 Recommend. 2 Praise.
3 Imponed, put down, staked. 4 That part of the belt by which the sword was suspended.
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 margent, ere you had done.
Osr. The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
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 ?
Osr. The king, sir, hath laid, 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.
Osr. Shall I deliver you so ?
Ham. To this effect, sir; after what flourish your nature will.
5 Margin of a book which contains explanatory notes.
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 8 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 a collection, which carries them through and through the most fonds and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
Enter a Lord. Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osric, 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,
Ilam. 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
Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming down.
Ham. In happy time.
Lord. The queen desires you, to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.
8 A bird which runs about immediately it is hatched.
3 For fond read fann'd.
Ham. She well instructs me.
[Erit Lord, Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord.
Ham. I do not think so; since he went into France, I have been in continual practice; I shall win at the odds. But 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 gain-giving, as would, perhaps, trouble a woman.
Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: I will forestals 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, 'tis 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.
Enter King, Queen, LAERTES, Lords, Osric, and
Attendants, with Foils, fc. King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand
from me. [The King puts the Hand of Laertes into
that of HAMLET. Ham. Give me your pardon, sir: I have done you
wrong; But pardon it, as you are a gentleman. This presence 6 knows, and you must needs have
heard, How I am punish'd with a sore distraction.
6 The king and queen's presence.