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Will you walk out of the air, my lord? I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter. My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.
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My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz!
Good lads, how do ye both? Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours? In the secret parts of Fortune? What news? Then is doomsday near; but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular: what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. Shall we to the court? No such matter; I will not sort you with the rest of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended.
But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore? Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation?
Come, come, deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak. Why anything, but to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour: I know the good king and queen have sent for you. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for or no!
If you love me, hold not off.
How Noble in Reason
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they coming, to offer you service. Someone who is cheering for the death of humanity, a monster, to him it is the most natural thing in the world. It is just an illusion caused by my change in perspective? Were we always that way, and I never saw it?
Were there monsters among my camp, praising death and unreason, and I never noticed? Or has there been some strange sea-change in the last four years, and the reasonable atheists are retired or dead, and their places in the public forum taken up by the zealots of some perverted secular death-cult? If you think I am reading too much into this one article, let me reinforce the point from the comments section of the same article. One reader writes in:. The truly hilarious thing in this thread is that those offended by the article actually imagine that they or the human race in general are important or worthwhile or are more deserving of existence on Earth than a Grizzly Bear or a mosquito or a Blue-Footed Booby.
What a howler. You have no more value or worth than anything else, but you do have gigantic egos and a twisted perspective. Ooga Booga! What irony! Let me see if I got this straight, Johnny Swift. And you are claiming that I am the one who is irrational for holding human life to be of value? If the life of a man means no more than the life of a pig, than the comments of a man, including yours, sir, mean no more than the squealing of a swine. Now, if that sounds like I just insulted you, then you do not, deep down, really believe your own thesis. The offence comes if and only if you are told something lower than you is a brother to you.
Likewise, the act of valuation is a rational act: only a rational creature can change the value he places on things. Ergo to place a low value on rationality, or on a rational species, is a manifest self-contradiction, since the reasoning faculty must be valued in order to be used, and must be used in order to make the valuation. If rocks could talk, they might have a right to scoff at the egotism of animate matter; if pigs could reason, they could argue that human life was no more valuable than swine-life; but only in Fairytale-land can rocks and pigs talk. Here is a man who has adopted the case of Fairytale-land, explaining how and why he knows God made the world for worms and not for us; or perhaps he means that blind Nature made it.
But unless he knows the mind and intention of God, we have no reason to believe him. And if he pretends to know the mind and intention of blind nature, which by definition has neither mind nor intention, they he is merely indulging in a droll paradox. There is either an objective chain of valuation or there is not.
If there is, then humans do not lack the capacity to perceive it and discover their place in it, which, from the testimony of all the sages of all the ages, from the evident throne of our victory, is high. If there is not, then the question of valuation is simply moot, and we may assign what value to human life we will, high or low, as suits our self-interest rightly understood.
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! » John C. Wright's Journal
But the pursuit of self-interest governed by the understanding is itself a rational act, and cannot be served by undervaluation. Trek Survivor , Jul 15, Joined: Mar 15, I forget whether it was the first or second Wells episode, but he quoted "In apprehension how like a god," and interpreted "apprehension" in the sense of anxiety or nervous anticipation, rather than the intended sense of understanding and intellect literally "grasp".
The real Wells would've known better. I always winced when I heard that line. Christopher , Jul 15, Lance , Jul 15, Ah, okay. I did miss the line where Picard says that.
This Quote Is From
Still, I think it is actually a mistake to use it. Taking things out of context is poor form. I think you're reading too much into it. In the context of the scene, Q is using mangled Shakespeare quotes to justify his own arrogant dismissal of human worth, and specifically cites Hamlet. So Picard responds by using a Hamlet quote. That doesn't mean he literally lives his life according to that quote; it just means it was applicable to that particular discussion. You're also forgetting what Picard said after he quoted that passage:. Picard could be wrong in his assessment. While Q is an ass, sometimes there is method in his madness and he does do the right thing to teach people, such as alerting Picard to the Borg in order to kick him in the arse for being arrogant.