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King

It falls right. You have been talk'd of since your travel inuch, , And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality Wherein, they say, you shine: your sum of parts Did not together pluck such envy from him, As did that one; and that, in my regard, Of the unworthiest siege. Laer.

What part is that, my lord? King. A very ribband in the cap of youth, Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes The light and careless livery that it wears, Than settled age his sables, and his weeds, Importing health and graveness. –Two months

since,
Here was a gentleman of Normandy,-
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
And they can well on horseback: but this gallant
Had witchcraft in't; he grew unto his seat;
And to such wond'rous doing brought his horse,
As he had been incorps'd and demi-natur'd
With the brave beast: so far he topp'd my thought,
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
Come short of what he did.
Laer.

A Norman, was't?
King. A Norman.
Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.
King.

The very same. Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch, indeed, And gem of all the nation. .

King. He made confession of
And gave you such a masterly report,
For art and exercise in your defence,

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And for your rapier most especial,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,

? Of the unworthiest siege.] Of the lowest rank. Siege, for seat, place. Importing health and grateness.] i. e. implying, denoting.

in your defence,] That is, in the science of defence

on of you;

Why ask

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you this?

If one could match you: the scrimers' of their nation,
He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye,
If you oppos’d them: Sir, this report of his
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you.
Now, out of this,
Laer.

What out of this, my lord?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?

Laer.

King. Not that I think, you did not love your father;
But that I know, love is begun by time;
And that I see, in passages of proof, ,
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.
There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still;
For goodness, growing to a plurisy,
Dies in his own too-much: That we would do,
We should do when we would; for this would changes,
And hath abatements and delays as many,
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this should is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. But, to the quick o'the ulcer:
Hamlet comes back: What would

you undertake,

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the scrimers-] The fencers. From escrimeur, Fr. a fencer.

love is begun by time;] This is obscure. The meanin may be, love is not innate in us, and co-essential to our nature, but begins at a certain time from some external cause, and being always subject to the operations of time, suffers change and diminution. JOHNSON.

passages of proof,] In transactions of daily experience. 8 And then this should is like a spendthrift sigh,

That hurts by easing.) A spendthrift sigh is a sigh that makes an unnecessary waste of the vital flame. It is a notion very prevalent, that sighs impair the strength, and wear out the animal powers. Johnson.

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wager o'er

To show yourself in deed your

father's son More than in words? Laer.

To cut his throat i'the church. King. Noplace, indeed, should murder sanctuarize; Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes, Will you do this, keep close within your chamber: Hamlet, return’d, shall know you are come home: We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, And set a double varnish on the fame The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, together, And

your

heads: he, being remiss, Most generous, and free from all contriving, Will not

peruse

the foils; so that, with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated,' and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.
Laer.

I will do't:
And, for the

purpose, I'll anoint my sword. I bought an unction of a mountebank. So mortal, that but dip a knife in it, Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare, Collected from all simples that have virtue Under the moon, can save the thing from death, That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly, It may

be death.

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9 A sword unbated,] i. e. not blunted as foils are.

La pass of practice,] Practice is often by Shakspeare, and other writers, taken for an insiduous stratagem, or privy treason, a sense not incongruous to this passage, where yet it may mean a thrust for exercise; or perhaps, a favourite pass, one he was well practised in. ? It

may be death.] It is a matter of surprise, that no one of Shakspeare's numerous and able commentators has remarked, with proper warmth and detestation, the villainous assassin-like trea, chery of Laertes in this horrid plot. There is the more occasion that he should be here pointed out an object of abhorrence, as he is a character we are, in some preceding parts of the play, led to respect and adınire. Ritson.

King.

Let's further think of this; Weigh, what convenience, both of time and means, May fit us to our shape: if this should fail, And that our drift look through our bad performance, 'Twere better not assay’d; therefore this project Should have a back, or second, that might hold, If this should blast in proof.* Soft ;-let me see:We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings, I ha't: When in your motion you are hot and dry, (As make your bouts more violent to that end,) And that he calls for drink, I'll have preferr'd hims A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping, If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck, Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what noise?

Enter Queen. How now, sweet queen?

Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow:--Your sister's drown'd, Laertes,

Laer. Drown'd! 0, where?

Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook, That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream; Therewith fantastick garlands did she make Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, That liberal” shepherds give a grosser name, But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them; There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds

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May fit us to our shape:] May enable us to assume proper characters, and to act our part.

4 - blast in proof.) A metaphor taken from the trying or proving fire-arms or cannon, which often blast or burst in the proof

I'll have preferr'd him-] i. e. presented to him. 6 If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,] i. e. your venom'd thrust. Stuck was a term of the fencing-school.

liberal—] Liberal is free-spoken, licentious in language.

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Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,8
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Laer.

Alas then, she is drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.

Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet It is our trick; nature her custom holds, Let shame say what it will: when these are gone, The woman will be out. —Adieu, my lord! I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze, But that this folly drowns it.

[Exit. King.

Let's follow, Gertrude: How much I had to do to calm his rage! Now fear I, this will give it start again; Therefore, let's follow.

[Exeunt.

ACT V.

SCENE I. A Church Yard.

Enter Two Clowns, with Spades, &c. i Clo. Is she to be buried in christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation?

8 As one incapable of her own distress,] As one having no under. standing or knowledge of her danger.

? The woman will be out.] i. e. tears will flow.

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