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Hor. Ay, 'beseech you.

Ham. Being thus benetted' round with villanies, Or I could make a prologue to my brains, They had begun the play;--I sat me down; Devis'd a new commission; wrote it fair: I once did hold it, as our statists2 do,

A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's3 service: Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote?

Hor.
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-time1 allow'd.

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 models of that Danish seal : 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. 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

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benetted, ensnared.

2 statists, statesmen.

That is, this yeomanly qualification was a most useful servant 4 shriving-time, time for confession.

to me.

5 The model is in old language the copy.

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?3 He that hath kill'd my king, and [shamed] 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?5

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 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 sec

The portraiture of his. I'll count his favours : 6
But, surc, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.

Hor.

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

1i.e. by their having insinuated or thrust themselves into the employment.

i. e. become a most imperative duty?

5 i. e. grow to a greater head.

2 bethink thee.

6 count, make account of.

✦ quit, requite.

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.

Ósr. 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 his 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

Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry,2-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,—

Ham. I beseech you, remember

[HAMLET moves him to put on his hat. Osr. Nay, good my lord; for my ease, in good faith.3 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.

Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

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;-Well, sir.

A kind of jackdaw.

igniculum brumæ si tempore poscas,

Accipit endromidem; si dixeris æstuo, sudat.-MALONE. 3 The common language of ceremony in Shakspeare's time.

* distinguishing excellences. 5 i, e. if you knew I was not ignorant,

Does by their own insinuation1 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? 3 He that hath kill'd my king, and [shamed] 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?5

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 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 sec

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

Hor.

6

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

1i.e. by their having insinuated or thrust themselves into the employment.

2 bethink thee. • quit, requite.

2 i. e. become a most imperative duty?

5 i. e. grow to a greater head.

6 count, make account of.

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 his 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

Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry,2-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,—

Ham. I beseech you, remember

[HAMLET moves him to put on his hat. Osr. Nay, good my lord; for my ease, in good faith. 3 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.

Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

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;-Well, sir.

A kind of jackdaw.

igniculum brumæ si tempore poscas,

Accipit endromidem; si dixeris æstuo, sudat.-MALONE. 3 The common language of ceremony in Shakspeare's time. * distinguishing excellences. 5 i, e. if you knew I was not ignorant,

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