Ham. Yours, yours; hee does well to commend it himselfe, there are no tongues else for's tongue

Hor. This Lapwing runs away with the shell on his head

Ham. He did Complie with his Dugge before hee suck't it: thus had he and mine more of the same Beauty that I know the drossie age dotes on; only got the tune of the time, and outward habite of encounter, a kinde of yesty collection, which carries them through & through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and doe but blow them to their tryalls: the Bubbles are out

Hor. You will lose this wager, my Lord

Ham. I doe not thinke so, since he went into France, I haue beene in continuall practice; I shall winne at the oddes: but thou wouldest not thinke how all heere about my heart: but it is no matter

Hor. Nay, good my Lord

Ham. It is but foolery; but it is such a kinde of gain-giuing as would perhaps trouble a woman

Hor. If your minde dislike any thing, obey. I will forestall their repaire hither, and say you are not fit

Ham. Not a whit, we defie Augury; there's a speciall Prouidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come: if it bee not to come, it will bee now: if it be not now; yet it will come; the readinesse is all, since no man ha's ought of what he leaues. What is't to leaue betimes? Enter King, Queene, Laertes and Lords, with other Attendants with Foyles, and Gauntlets, a Table and Flagons of Wine on it.

Kin. Come Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me

Ham. Giue me your pardon Sir, I'ue done you wrong, But pardon't as you are a Gentleman. This presence knowes, And you must needs haue heard how I am punisht With sore distraction? What I haue done That might your nature honour, and exception Roughly awake, I heere proclaime was madnesse: Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Neuer Hamlet. If Hamlet from himselfe be tane away: And when he's not himselfe, do's wrong Laertes, Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it: Who does it then? His Madnesse? If't be so, Hamlet is of the Faction that is wrong'd, His madnesse is poore Hamlets Enemy. Sir, in this Audience, Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd euill, Free me so farre in your most generous thoughts, That I haue shot mine Arrow o're the house, And hurt my Mother

Laer. I am satisfied in Nature, Whose motiue in this case should stirre me most To my Reuenge. But in my termes of Honor I stand aloofe, and will no reconcilement, Till by some elder Masters of knowne Honor, I haue a voyce, and president of peace To keepe my name vngorg'd. But till that time, I do receiue your offer'd loue like loue, And wil not wrong it

Ham. I do embrace it freely, And will this Brothers wager frankely play. Giue vs the Foyles: Come on

Laer. Come one for me

Ham. Ile be your foile Laertes, in mine ignorance, Your Skill shall like a Starre i'th' darkest night, Sticke fiery off indeede

Laer. You mocke me Sir

Ham. No by this hand

King. Giue them the Foyles yong Osricke, Cousen Hamlet, you know the wager

Ham. Verie well my Lord, Your Grace hath laide the oddes a'th' weaker side

King. I do not feare it, I haue seene you both: But since he is better'd, we haue therefore oddes

Laer. This is too heauy, Let me see another

Ham. This likes me well, These Foyles haue all a length.

Prepare to play.

Osricke. I my good Lord

King. Set me the Stopes of wine vpon that Table: If Hamlet giue the first, or second hit, Or quit in answer of the third exchange, Let all the Battlements their Ordinance fire, The King shal drinke to Hamlets better breath, And in the Cup an vnion shal he throw Richer then that, which foure successiue Kings In Denmarkes Crowne haue worne. Giue me the Cups, And let the Kettle to the Trumpets speake, The Trumpet to the Cannoneer without, The Cannons to the Heauens, the Heauen to Earth, Now the King drinkes to Hamlet. Come, begin, And you the Iudges beare a wary eye

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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