Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 4

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HAMLET

It will be short. The interim’s mine.
And a man’s life’s no more than to say “one.”
80But 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 favors.
But sure the bravery of his grief did put me
85Into a towering passion.

HAMLET

Soon enough. But I have the meantime. A human life is hardly long enough to count to one in. But I really feel bad, Horatio, about losing control of myself with Laertes. His situation is very much like my own. I’ll be nice to him. It was just that the showiness of his grief sent me into a fury.

HORATIO

Peace.—Who comes here?

HORATIO

Hang on a minute—who are you?
Enter young OSRIC, a courtier, hat in hand
OSRIC, a young courtier, enters with his hat in his hand.

OSRIC

Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

OSRIC

Welcome back to Denmark, my lord.

HAMLET

I humbly thank you, sir. (aside to HORATIO) Dost know this water-fly?

HAMLET

Thank you kindly, sir. (speaking so that only HORATIO can hear) Do you know this insect?

HORATIO

(aside to HAMLET) No, my good lord.

HORATIO

(speaking so that only HAMLET can hear) No, my lord.

HAMLET

(aside to HORATIO) 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.

HAMLET

(speaking so that only HORATIO can hear) You’re lucky, since knowing him is most unpleasant. He owns a lot of good land. Give an animal a lot of money, and he’ll be welcome at the king’s table. He’s a jerk, but he owns a whole lot of dirt, so he’s treated well.

OSRIC

Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should impart a thing to you from His Majesty.

OSRIC

My lord, if you have a free moment, I have a message from His Majesty.

HAMLET

I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use. 'Tis for the head.

HAMLET

I’ll hang on every word you say. Put your hat back on, where it belongs: it’s for your head, not for your hands to hold.

OSRIC

I thank your lordship. It is very hot.

OSRIC

No thank you, my lord. It’s very hot.