[Hamlet moves him to put on his hat.]
OSRIC: Nay, good my lord, for my case, in good faith.
Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes, believe me,
an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differ-
ences, 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 dozy th' 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,
OSRIC: Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
HAMLET: The concernancy, sir? Why do we wrap
the gentleman in our more rawer breath? 
HORATIO: Is't not possible to understand in another
tongue? You will to't, sir, really.
HAMLET: What imports the nomination of this gentle-
OSRIC: Of Laertes?
HORATIO:[Aside to Hamlet] His purse is empty
already: all's golden words are spent.
HAMLET: Of him, sir.
OSRIC: I know you are not ignorant -- 
HAMLET: I would you did, sir, yet, in faith, if you did,
it would not much approve me. Well, sir?
OSRIC: You are not ignorant of what excellence
Laertes is --
HAMLET: I dare not confess that, lest I should compare 
with him in excellence, but to know a man well were
to know himself.
OSRIC: I mean, sir, for his weapon, but in the imputa-
tion laid on him by them, in his meed he's un-
HAMLET: What's his weapon?
OSRIC: Rapier and dagger.
HAMLET: That's two of his weapons -- but well.
OSRIC: The King, sir, hath wagered with him six
Barbary horses, against the which he has impawned, 
as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their
assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so. Three of the
carriages, in faith, are very dear to fancy, very re-
sponsive to the hilts, most delicate carriages, and of
very liberal conceit. 
HAMLET: What call you the carriages?
HORATIO: [Aside to Hamlet] I knew you must be
edified by the margent ere you had done.
OSRIC: The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
HAMLET: The phrase would be more germane to the 
matter if we could carry a cannon by our sides; I
would it might be hangers till then. But on: six Bar-
bary horses against six French swords, their assigns,
and three liberal-conceited carriages; that's the
French bet against the Danish. Why is this all im- 
pawned, as you call it?
OSRIC: The King, sir, hath laid, sir, that in a dozen
passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed
you three hits; he hath laid on twelve for nine; and it
would come to immediate trial, if your lordship 
would vouchsafe the answer.
HAMLET: How if I answer no?
OSRIC: I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person
HAMLET: Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please 
his Majesty, it is the breathing time of day with me.
Let the foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and
the King hold his purpose, I will win for him and I can;
if not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd
OSRIC: Shall I deliver you so?
HAMLET: To this effect, sir -- after what flourish your
OSRIC: I commend my duty to your lordship.
HAMLET: Yours, yours. Exit Osric. 'A does well to 
commend it himself, there are no tongues else for 's
HORATIO: This lapwing runs away with the shell on
HAMLET: 'A did comply, sir, with his dug before 'a 
sucked it. Thus has he, and many more of the same
breed that I know the drossy age dotes on, only got the
tune of the time, and out of an habit of encounter, a
kind of yesty collection, which carries them through
and through the most profound and winnowed opinions, 
and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are
Enter a LORD.
LORD: My lord, his Majesty commended him to you
by young Osric, 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.
HAMLET: 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.
HAMLET: In happy time.
LORD: The Queen desires you to use some gentle enter-
tainment to Laertes before you fall to play.
HAMLET: She well instructs me. 
HORATIO: You will lose, my lord.
HAMLET: I do not think so; since he went into France
I have been in continual practice. I shall win at the
odds. Thou wouldst not think how ill all's here
about my heart -- but it is no matter. 
HORATIO: Nay, good my lord --
HAMLET: It is but foolery, but it is such a kind of gain-
giving, as would perhaps trouble a woman.
HORATIO: If your mind dislike any thing, obey it. I
will forestall their repair hither, and say you are not fit. 
HAMLET: Not a whit, we defy augury. There is 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 of aught he leaves knows, what is't to leave 
betimes? Let be.
A table prepared, and flagons of wine on it.
Enter Trumpets, Drums, and Officers with cushions, foils,
daggers; KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, OSRIC, and all
KING: Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
[The King puts Laertes' hand into Hamlet's.]
HAMLET: Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong,
But pardon't as you are a gentleman.
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 wronged 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 wronged, 
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Sir, in this audience,
Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house 
And hurt my brother.