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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 for my complexion.
Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry,(45) as 'twere, I cannot tell how. But my lord, his majesty bade me signify to you, that he has laid a great wager on your head: Sir, this is the mat. ter, HAM. I beseech
remember[Hamlet moves him to put on his Hat. Osr. Nay, in good faith; for mine ease, in good faith.(46) [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, (47) for you shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see.
• all diligence of spirit] “With the whole bent of my mind.” A happy phraseology; in ridicule, at the same time that it was in conformity with the style of the airy, affected insect that playing round him.
an absolute—a great showing] A finished gentleman, full of various accomplishments, of gentle manners, and very imposing appearance.
* to speak feelingly of him] With insight and intelligence.
d the continent of what part a gentleman would see] Literally the contents or sum of whatever, &c. : but a quibble is also intended, " a specimen or exhibition of such part of the continent or whole world of man, as a gentleman need see.” And in the same way in L. L. L. IV. 1. Boyet calls Rosaline, “ nent of beauty," i. e. universe of beauty, the whole, that it contains. Johnson in his Dict. says, the use of this word in this sense (it is very frequent in Shakespeare) is confined to our author.
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 ; b 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 umbrage, nothing more.
Osr. Your lordship speaks most infalliblyd of him.
Him. The concernancy, sir ? why do we wrap the gentleman in our more rawer breath ?.
• Sir, his definement-in respect of his quick sail] “ His qualifications lose nothing in your detail of them : though to make an exact enumeration would distract the arithmetic and utmost powers
of memory; and yet these most elaborate efforts would appear no better than sluggish inaptitude, in comparison with his quick conceptions, and the rapidity of his mind." But it has been rendered very naturally and simply by Dr. Warburton : “ 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.”
Raw is unready, untrained and awkward. “ Instruct her what she has to do, that she may not be raw in her entertainment.” Pericl. IV. 3. Pandar.; and Touchst. in As you, &c. tells the Shepherd, “ You are raw." III. 2.
a soul of great article] Of great account or value. Dr. Johnson says, of large comprehension, of many contents; the particulars of an inventory are called articles.
and his infusion—umbrage, nothing more] The qualities, with which he is imbued, or tinctured, are of a description so scarce and choice, that, to say the truth of him, in himself, in his own glass alone, can he be reflected, and an attempt by whomsoever else to delineate him, would prove but the faintest shadow.
infallibly] With the most oracular insight and fidelity.
concernancy, sir—more rawer breath] The tendency of all this blazon of character? Why do we clothe this gentleman's perfections in our humble and imperfect language? make him the subject of our rude discussion?
Hor. Is't not possible to understand in another tongue? You will do't, sir, really.“
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.
HAM. I would, you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you did, it would not much approve me:'-Well, sir.]
Osr. Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at his weapon?
HAM. [I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him in excellence: but, to know a man well, were to know himself.a
• Is't not possible--you will do't] Seeing the facility with which Hamlet caught the knack and gibberish of this affected phraseology, Horatio asks, “ Is it not possible to understand even in another, a different tongue from one's own; in a language also, as well as a dialect, not one's own? He then in stantly adds, answering his own question : since, as Mr. Sey. mour says, you have so aptly answered the jargon of this fellow, I really think, you will do't, you will effect it: you will be, or are, possessed of this talent or faculty. I cease to wonder or make question of the possibility. I see you really have done it.
What imports the nomination, &c.] What is the object of the introduction of this gentleman's name?
if you did, it would not much approve me] Yet if you knew I was not ignorant, your judgment would not much advance my reputation. To approve is to recommend to approbation.
JOHNSON. • I dare not-lest I should compare—were to know himself ] No one can have a perfect conception of the measure of another's excellence, unless he shall himself cone up to that standard. Dr. Johnson says, I dare not pretend to know him, lest I should pretend to an equality: no man can completely know another, but by knowing himself, which is the utmost extent of human wisdom.
Osr. I mean, sir, for this weapon; but in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.]
HAM. What's his weapon ?
Osr. The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses : against the which he has imponed,148
) as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers,(40) or so: Three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most deli. cate carriages, and of very liberal conceit. HAM. What call
the carriages ? [Hor. I knew, you must be edified by the margent,(so
) ere you had done. ] Osk. The carriages, sir, are the hangers,
HAM. The phrase would be more germano 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.(51) Why is this imponed, as you call it?
in the imputation laid on him by them] There is here nothing to refer to, no antecedent, to “ them." It must mean, “ the qualities ascribed or assigned to him by the public voice.”. Meed seems to be the term, that imports“ reward or recompence," used fantastically for that which challenges it “merit," and is,—" in this his particular faculty, or branch of science, he is excellent and matchless." “ My meed hath got me fame.” III H. VI. K. Henr. IV. 8. and ib. II. 1. Edw,
very dear to fancy-very liberal conceit] Of exquisite invention, well adapted to their hilts, and in their conception rich and high fashioned.
more german] A-kin. “ Those that are german to him, though removed fifty times, shall come under the hangman.” Wint. T. STEEVENS.
Osr. The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits; he hath one twelve for
mine; (52) and it would come to immediate trial, if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer.
HAM. How, if I answer, no ?c
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 :(53) let the foils be brought, the gentle. man 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 re-deliverd you e'en so ?
HAM. To this effect, sir ; after what flourish your nature will. Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship.
(Erit. HAM. Yours, yours. - He does well, to com. mend it himself, there are no tongues else for's turn.
Hor. This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.(54)
HAM. He did comply with his dug, before he sucked it. (55) Thus has he (and many more of the same bevy, that I know, the drossy age dotes on) only got the tune of the time, and outward habit
• he hath one twelve for mine] The reading of the quartos, adopted by the modern editors is ---" he hath laid on twelve for nine.” douchsafe the answer] Condescend to answer,
or meet, his wishes. • How, if I answer, no] Reply,
re-deliver] Report, or in return make such representation on your behalf.“ Brings back to him,” Lord, infra.