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Folded the writ up in form of the other;
Subscrib'd it; gave't the 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. S. 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 : "Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell incensed points Of mighty opposites. 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;
Poppd in between the 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

To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil
Hor. It must be shortly known to him from Eng-

What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short: the interim is mine;
And a man's life no more than to say, one.
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself;
For by the image of my cause, I see

by their own insinuation – ] By their having insinuated or thrust themselves into the employment.

* To quit him -) To requite him; to pay him his due.

The portraiture of his : I'll count his favours :'
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.

Peace; who comes here?

Enter OSRIC. Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

Ham. I humbly thank you, sir.—Dost know this water-fly?'

Hor. No, my good lord.

Ham. Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis 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 : "Tis 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.

Ham. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit: Your bonnet to its right use; 'tis for the head.

Osr. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot.

Ham. No, believe me, 'tis 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

Ośr. Exceedingly, my lord ; it is very sultry,as 'twere,–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,--


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I'll count his favours :] I will make account of them, i. e. reckon upon them, value them.

Dost know this water-fly!) A water-fly skips up and down upon

the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy triler.

'Tis a chough;] A kind of jackdaw.



Ham. I beseech


remember (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 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 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 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 senblable is his mirrour; and, who else would trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.

Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.

Nay, good my lord ; for my ease, in good faith.] This seems to have been the affected phrase of the time.

- full of most excellent differences,] Full of distinguishing excellencies.

s—the card or calendar of gentry,] The general preceptor of elegance; the card by which a gentleman is to direct his course; the calendar by which he is to choose his time, that what he does may be both excellent and seasonable. JOHNSON.

for you shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see.] You shall find him containing and comprising every quality which a gentleman would desire to contemplate for imitation.

? Sir, his definement, &c.] This is designed as a specimen, and ridicule of the court jargon amongst the precieux of that time. The sense in English is, “Sir, he suffers nothing in your account of him, though to enumerate his good qualities particularly would be endless; yet when we had done our best, it would still come short of him. However, in strictness of truth, he is a great genius, and of a character so rarely to be met with, that to find any thing like him we must look into his mirrour, and his imitators will appear no more than his shadows."



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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

geno tleman ?

Osr. Of Laertes ?

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

Ham. Of him, sir.
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;8–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 meedo 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

if you did, it would not much approve me :) If you knew I

was not ignorant, your esteem would not much advance my reputation. To approve, is to recommend to approbation.

in his meed -] In his excellence.
impawned,] Wagered and staked.

hangers,] Under this term were comprehended four graduated straps, &c. that hung down in a belt on each side of its receptacle for the sword.

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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



you must be edified by the margent,] Dr. Warburton very properly observes, that in the old books the gloss or comment was usually printed on the margent of the leaf.

more german -] More a-kin. The king, sir, hath laid,] As three or four complete pages would scarcely hold the remarks already printed, together with those which have lately been communicated to me in MS. on this very unimportant passage, I shall avoid both partiality and tediousness, by the omission of them all. I therefore leave the conditions of this wager to be adjusted by the members of Brookes's or the Jockey-Club at Newmarket, who on such subjects may prove the most enlightened commentators, and most successfully bestir themselves in the cold unpoetick dabble of calculation.


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