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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,

ed, tren

4tos.

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.

[Exit Lord.

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.

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This presence knows, and you must needs have

heard,
How I am punished with a sore distraction.
What I have done,
That might your nature, honour, and exception,
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never, Hamlet:
If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,
And, when he's not himself, does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Who does it then? His madness : If't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is

poor
Hamlet's

enemy.
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
LAER.

I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge: but in my terms of honour,
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder masters, of known honour,

I have a voice and precedent of peace, * ungorged, To keep my name ungor'd :* But till that

time,
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.
HAM.

I embrace it freely :
And will this brother's wager frankly play.
Give us the foils; come on.
LAER.

Come, one for me.
Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine igno-

(58)

1623, 32.

rance

* exception] Resentment.

a voice and precedent of peace] A sentence pronounced, and adjudged case in favor of.

b

Your skill shall, like a star i'the darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.
LAER.

You mock me, sir.
Ham. No, by this hand.
King. Give them the foils, young Osric.

Cousin Hamlet,
You know the wager?
HAM.

Very well

, 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.
HAM. This likes me well :. These foils have all

a length ? [They prepare to play. Osr. Ay, my good lord. King. Set me the stoups of wined upon that

table :
If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
Or quit. in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordinance fire;

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.
• Stoups of wine See V. I. 1 Clown.
quit in answer] Make the wager quit, or so far drawn.

M

onire, 4tos.

The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath ;
And in the cup an *union (59) shall he throw,
Richer than that which four successive kings
In Denmark's crown have worn; Give me the

cups ;
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.Come, begin;
And
you,

the judges, bear a wary eye.
HAM. Come on, sir.
LAER. Come, my lord. [They play.
HAM.

One.
LAER.

No.
HAM.

Judgment.
OSR. A hit, a very palpable hit.
LAER.

Well,-again.
King. Stay, give me drink: Hamlet, this pearl

is thine;
Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.

[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.
King. Our son shall win.

QUEEN. He's fat, and scant of breath.
Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows:
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.(60)

Ham. Good madam,-
KING.

Gertrude, do not drink.
Queen. I will, my lord; I

pray you, pardon

me.

King. It is the poison'd cup; it is too late.

[Aside. HAM. I dare not drink yet, madam; by and by.

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