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And ftand a Commere 'tween their amities;
And many fuch like As's of great charge;
That on the view and knowing thefe contents,
Without debatement further, more or less,
He fhould the bearers put to fudden death,
Not fhriving-time allow'd.


Hor. How was this feal'd?

Hor. Why, ev'n in that was heaven ordinant ;
I had my father's Signet in my purfe,
Which was the model of that Danish feal:
I folded the Writ up in form of th' other,
Subfcrib'd it, gave th' impreffion, plac'd it fafely,
The changeling never known; now, the next day
Was our fea-fight, and what to this was fequent
Thou know'it already.

Hor. So, Guildenfiern and Rofincrantz go to't.
Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this employ-


They are not near my confcience; their defeat
Doth by their own infinuation grow :
'Tis dangerous when the bafer nature comes
Between the pafs, and fell incensed points,
Of mighty oppofites.

Hor. Why, what a King is this!

Ham. Does it not, think it thou, ftand me now upon? He that hath kill'd my King, and whor'd my mother, Popt in between th' election and my hopes, Thrown out his angle for my proper life, And with fuch cozenage; is't not perfect confcience, 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 fhortly known to him from England, What is the iffue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short.

The Interim's mine; and a man's life's no more

Than to fay, one.

But I am very forry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot my felf;
For by the image of my caufe I fee


The portraiture of his; I'll court his favour;
But, fure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a tow'ring paffion.

Hor. Peace, who comes here?

Enter Ofrick.

Ofr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

Ham. I humbly thank you, Sir. Doft know this water-fly?

Hor. No, my good lord.

Ham. Thy ftate is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to know him he hath much land, and fertile; let a beaft be lord of beafts, and his crib fhall ftand at the King's meffe; 'tis a chough; but, as I fay, fpacious in the poffeffion of dirt.

Ofr. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leifure, I fhould impart a thing to you from his Majesty.

Ham. I will receive it with all diligence of fpirit: your bonnet to his right ufe, 'tis for the head. Ofr. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot.

Ham. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.

Ofr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. Ham. But yet, methinks, it is very fultry, and hot for my complexion.

Ofr. Exceedingly, my lord, it is very fultry, as 'twere, I cannot tell how: My lord, his Majefty bid me fignify to you, that he has laid a great wager on your head: Sir, this is the matter

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Ham. I beseech you, remember

Ofr. Nay, in good faith, for mine eafe, in good faith: -Sir, here is newly come to Court Laertes; (32) believe

(32) Sir, here is newly come to Court Laertes.] I have reflor'd here feveral fpeeches from the elder Quarto's, which were omitted in the Folio Editions, and which Mr. Pope has likewife thought fit to fink upon us. They appear to me very well worthy not to be loft, as they throughly fhew the Foppery VOL. VIII.



lieve me, an abfolute Gentleman, full of most excellent Differences, of very foft fociety, and great fhew: indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or kalendar of gentry; for you fhall find in him the conti nent of what part a gentleman would fee.

Ham. Sir, his definement fuffers no perdition in you, tho' I know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy the arithmetick of memory; and yet but raw neither in refpect of his quick fail: But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a Soul of great article; and his infufion of fuch dearth and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his Semblable is his mirrour; and, who elfe would trace him, his umbrage, nothing


Ofr. Your Lordship fpeaks moft infallibly of him. Ham. The Concernancy, Sir?- Why do we wrap the Gentleman in our more rawer breath ?

[To Horatio.

Ofr. Sir,

Hor. Is't not poffible to understand in another tongue? you will do't, Sir, rarely.

Ham. What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

Ofr. Of Laertes ?

Hor. His purfe is empty already: all's golden words are spent.

Ham. Of him, Sir.

Ofr. 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.

Ofr. You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is.

Ham. I dare not confefs that, left I fhould compare with him in excellence: but to know a man well, were to know himself.

Ofr. I mean, Sir, for his weapon: but in the Im

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and Affectation of Ofrick, and the Humour and Address of Hamlet in accofting the other at once in his own Vein and Style.


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putation laid on him by them in his Meed, he's unfellow'd.

Ham. What's his weapon?
Ofr. Rapier and dagger.

Ham. That's two of his weapons; but well.

O/r. The King, Sir, has wag'd with him fix Barbary horfes, against the which he has impon'd, as I take it, fix French rapiers and poniards, with their affigns, as girdle, hangers, and fo: three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very refponfive 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, e'er you had done. [afide.

Ofr. The carriages, Sir, are the hangers.

Ham. The phrafe would be more germane to the matter, if we could carry cannon by our fides; I would, it might be hangers 'till then. But, on; fix Barbary horfes against fix French fwords, their affigns, and three liberal-conceited carriages; that's the French bett against the Danish; why is this impon'd, as you

call it ?

Ofr. The King, Sir, hath laid, that in a Dozen Paffes between you and him, he shall not exceed you three hits; he hath laid on twelve for nine, and it would come to immediate tryal, if your lorship would vouchsafe the anfwer.

Ham. How if I answer, no?

Ofr. I mean, my lord, the oppofition of your perfon in tryal.

Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the Hall; If it please his Majesty, 'tis 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'll gain nothing but my fhame, and the odd hits.

Ofr. Shall I deliver you fo?

Ham. To this effect, Sir, after what flourish your nature will.

Ofr. I commend my duty to your lordship. [Exit.
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Ham. Yours, yours; he does well to commend it himfelf, there are no tongues elfe for's turn.

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

Ham. He did fo, Sir, with his dug before he fuck'd it: thus has he (and many more of the fame breed, that, I know, the droffy 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 moft fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their tryals, the bubbles are out.

Enter a Lord.

Lord. My lord, his Majefty commended him to you by young Ofrick, who brings back to him, that you at tend him in the Hall; he fends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time?

Ham. I am conftant to my purposes, they follow the King's pleasure; if his fitnefs fpeaks, mine is ready, now, or whenfoever, provided I be fo able as now.

Lord. The King, and Queen, and all are coming down.

Ham. In happy time.

Lord. The Queen defires you to ufe fome gentle.entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.

Ham. She well inftructs me.

[Exit Lord.

Hor. You will lofe this wager, my lord. Ham. I do not think fo; fince he went into France, I have been in continual practice; I fhall win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think how ill all's here about my heart- but it is no matter.

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Hor. Nay, my good lord.

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

Hor. If your mind diflike any thing, obey it. I will foreftal their repair hither, and fay you are not fit.

Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury; there is a fpecial 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


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