Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

HAMLET.
Does it not, thinks't thee, stand me now upon, —
He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother;
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes;
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such cozenage — is't not perfect conscience
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?

HORATIO.
It must be shortly known to him from England
What is the issue of the business there.

HAMLET.
It will be short: the interim is mine;
And a man's life is no more than to say One.
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself;
For by the image of my cause I see
The portraiture of his: I'll court his favours:
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.

HORATIO.
Peace; who comes here?

[Enter Osric.]

OSRIC.
Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

HAMLET.
I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know this water-fly?

HORATIO.
No, my good lord.

HAMLET.
Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to know him. He
hath much land, and fertile: let a beast be lord of beasts, and
his crib shall stand at the king's mess; 'tis a chough; but, as I
say, spacious in the possession of dirt.

OSRIC.
Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should
impart a thing to you from his majesty.

HAMLET.
I will receive it with all diligence of spirit. Put your
bonnet to his right use; 'tis for the head.

OSRIC.
I thank your lordship, t'is very hot.

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

OSRIC.
It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.

HAMLET.
Methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion.

OSRIC.
Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, — 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
matter, —

HAMLET.
I beseech you, remember, —
[Hamlet moves him to put on his hat.]

OSRIC.
Nay, in good faith; for mine ease, in good faith. 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; for you shall find in him the
continent of what part a gentleman would see.

HAMLET.
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you; — though, I
know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy the arithmetic of
memory, and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail.
But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great
article, and his infusion of such dearth and rareness as, to make
true diction of him, his semblable is his mirror, and who else
would trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.

OSRIC.
Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.

HAMLET.
The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gentleman in our more
rawer breath?

Continued on next page...

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