That’s the French bet Against the Danish.

This sounds very much like a reference to something that we no longer know what the points of reference are. Like – probably there was some joke about the French versus the Danish. Because that’s a thing. Yes.
Those swords are French. But Laertes is Danish. And Claudius may be Danish – but Barbary horses aren’t. Maybe these particular Barbary horses were born in Denmark but their Danishness is not their most important point. It feels like there must have been some bet or joke or something between those two countries round about when Shakespeare was writing this.


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