Shakespeare!

Could someone help me understand something Hamlet says to Polonius?

For the satirical rogue says here that old men
have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes
purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they
190 have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak
hams—all which, sir, though I most powerfully and
potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set
down; for yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab
you could go backward.


I just really don't understand the last part about going backward? I'm reading the archaic text next to the modern just in case, but the modern is pretty similar to it. And since this precedes such a famous line, I'd really like to know this part. Thanks in advance.


This site discusses various interpretations of this line.

http://bardseyeviewblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/hamlet-8-madness-yet-theres-method.html

For the satirical rogue says here that old men
have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes
purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they
have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak
hams—
He is describing what "the satirical rogue" says old men should be like.
all which, sir, though I most powerfully and
potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set
down;
But Hamlet doesn't believe it is true of all old men.
for yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if like a crab
you could go backward.
If Polonius could go backward in time, he would be like Hamlet is.

So ... who is that satirical rogue? And do you think Hamlet is speaking what he really thinks? Or is he making fun of Polonius in a cutting way? Remember that he is pretending to be "mad" in this section of the play.

??

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