Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 2

page Act 5 Scene 2 Page 8

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HAMLET

How if I answer “No”?

HAMLET

But what if my answer’s no?

OSRIC

165I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.

OSRIC

I mean, if you’d agree to play against Laertes, sir.

HAMLET

Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please His Majesty, ’tis 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 an I can. If not, I will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits.

HAMLET

Sir, I’m going to go for a walk in the hall here whether the king likes it or not. It’s my exercise time. Bring in the swords, if the king still wants to go through with it and if Laertes is still willing. I’ll have the king win his bet if I can. If not, I’ll only have suffered some embarrassment and a few sword hits.

OSRIC

Shall I redeliver you e'en so?

OSRIC

Shall I quote you in those exact words, sir?

HAMLET

To this effect, sir, after what flourish your nature will.

HAMLET

Just get the point across, however flowery you want to be.

OSRIC

I commend my duty to your lordship.

OSRIC

My services are at your command.

HAMLET

Yours, yours.

HAMLET

Thank you.
Exit OSRIC
OSRIC exits.
He does well to commend it himself. There are no tongues else for ’s turn.
It’s a good thing he’s here to recommend himself. No one else would.

HORATIO

This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.

HORATIO

That crazy bird’s only half-hatched.

HAMLET

He did comply, sir, with his dug before he sucked it. Thus has he—and many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy age dotes on—only got the tune of the time and outward habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.

HAMLET

He used to praise his mother’s nipple before he sucked it. He’s like so many successful people in these trashy times—he’s patched together enough fancy phrases and trendy opinions to carry him along. But blow a little on this bubbly talk, and it’ll burst. There’s no substance here.
Enter a LORD
A LORD enters.