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of encounter, ; a kind of yesty collection, which
carries them through and through the most fond trennow, and winnowed* opinions; and do but blow them
to their trial, the bubbles are out." nowned,
Enter a Lord.
LORD. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osric, (56) who brings back to him, that you
attend him in the hall : He sends to know, if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.
HAM. I am constant to my purposes, they follow the king's pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready ; now, or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.
Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming down.
Ham. In happy time.
LORD. The queen desires you, to use some gentle entertainment' to Laertes, before you
fall to play HAM. She well instructs me.
• Thus has he-the bubbles are out] Thus has he-only got the tune of the time and outward habit of encounter (i. e. the turn of character, and exterior carriage or address), a kind of yesty collection (i. e. a frothy mass, compounded of modern phrase and manner) which carries them (i. e. enables them to pass current) through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; (i. e. all judgments, not the simplest only, but the most sifted and wisest) and do but blow them to their trial, (i. e. prove them by how slight soever a breath of inquiry or examination) the bubbles are out (i. e. burst) the imposition is detected
if his fitness speaks] If it suits the king, and he calls for it: or it may be, if Laertes announces or admits his aptness or sufficiency.
o use some gentle entertainment] Conciliating address or behaviour,
HOR. You will lose this wager, my lord.
HAM. I. do not think so; since he went into France, I have been in continual practice ; I shall win at the odds. But thou would'st not think, how ill all’s here about my heart: but it is no matter.
Hor. Nay, good my lord,
HAM. It is but foolery ; but it is such a kind of gain-giving, as would, perhaps, trouble a woman.
Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it :I will forestall their repair hither, and say, you are not fit.
· HAM. Not a whit, we defy augury; there is a special 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 be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all : Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is’t to leave betimes? (Let be.(57]
Enter King, Queen, Laertes, Lords, Osric, and
Attendants with Foils, fc.
King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand
from me. [The King puts the Hand of LAERTES into
that of HAMLET. HAM. Give me your pardon, sir : I have done
you wrong; But pardon it, as you are a gentleman.
• I shall win at the odds] At the vantage stated.
gain-giving] Misgiving : internal sense of revolt; a giving against, says Dr. Johnson in his dictionary: and adds, that the word is formed upon the same principle as “ gainsay;" which is to say against.
• If your mind, &c.] If you have any presentiment of evil, yield to its suggestion.
This presence knows, and you must needs have
I am satisfied in nature,
I have a voice and precedent of peace, * ungorged, To keep my name ungor'd :* But till that
I embrace it freely :
Come, one for me.
* exception] Resentment.
a voice and precedent of peace] A sentence pronounced, and adjudged case in favor of.
Your skill shall, like a star i'the darkest night,
You mock me, sir.
, my lord; You grace hath laid the odds o'the weaker side.
King. I do not fear it: I have seen you both: But since he's better'd, we have therefore odds.
LAER. This is too heavy, let me see another.
a length ? [They prepare to play. Osr. Ay, my good lord. King. Set me the stoups of wined upon that
• like a star i the darkest night, stick fiery off] Be made by the strongest relief to stand brightly prominent. For darkest the fo. of 1632 strangely reads brightest.
Your grace hath laid the odds o'the weaker side. King. But since, &c.] The wager having been twelve hits of Laertes's to nine of Hamlet's, we are here prepared rather to read “ taken, than laid, the odds ;" and at first to suppose with Johnson, as it struck Hanmer, who omits “the odds," that it was a slip of our authors. But, as the king replies, “ since he's better'd, we have therefore odds," we may well conceive the phrase to be used by the different speakers with a different aim : and that Hamlet refers to the higher value of the articles pledged, and the king to the advantage had in the other terms of the wager ; those that respected the issue of this trial of skill, viz. the number of hits on each side.
Bettered is stands higher in estimation. The quartos read belter.
• This likes me well] See II. 2. King.
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath ;
the judges, bear a wary eye.
[Trumpets sound; and Cannon shot off within. HAM. I'll play this bout first, set it by a while. Come. Another hit; What say you ? [They play.
LAER. A touch, a touch, I do confess.
QUEEN. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Ham. Good madam,-
Gertrude, do not drink.
pray you, pardon
King. It is the poison'd cup; it is too late.
[Aside. HAM. I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.