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An Apartment in Polonius' House.

Enter Polonius, meeting OPHELIA. Pol. How now, Ophelia ? what is the matter? Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so af

frighted ? Pol. With what, in the name of Heaven?

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, Lord Hamlet,—with his doublet all unbrac’d, No hat upon his head, his stockings fould, Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his

ankle, Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,He comes before me.

Pol. Mad for thy love?

Oph. My lord, I do not know; But, truly, I do fear it.

Pol. What said he?
Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard ;

he to the length of all his arm,
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face,
As he would draw it. Long staid he so ;
At last,—a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,-
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,
And end his being: That done, he lets me go;
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
For out o’doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.


Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the King. This is the very ecstacy of love. What, have you given him any hard words of late ?

Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did command, I did repel his letters, and denied His access to me.

Pol. That hath made him mad. Come, go we to the King: This must be known; which, being kept close, might


More grief to hide, than hate to utter love. [Exeunt.


The Palace.

Enter King, QUEEN, RosenCRANTZ,

GUILDEN STERN, BERNARDO, and FRANCISCO. King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guilden

stern! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need, we have to use you, did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard, Of Hamlet's transformation: What it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you both, That you

rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus, That, open'd, lies within our remedy. Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of

you; And, sure I am, two men there are not living,

vouchsafe your

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To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
So to expend your time with us a while,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.

Ros. Both your majesties
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,

your dread pleasures more into command Than to entreaty.

Guil. But we both obey; And here give up ourselves, in the full bent, To lay our service freely at your feet. King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guilden

stern. Queen. I do beseech you instantly to visit My too much changed son.-Go, some of you, And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is. [Exeunt GUILDENSTERN, ROSENCRANTZ, FRANcisco, and BERNARDO.

Pol. I now do think, (or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the train of policy so sure
As it hath us’d to do,) that I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

King. O, speak of that; that I do long to hear.

Pol. My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time:
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief: Your noble son is mad :
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't, but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

Queen. More matter, with less art.

Pol. Madam, I swear, I use no art at all. That he is mad, 'tis true; 'tis true, 'tis pity;

And pity’tis, 'tis true:-A foolish figure;
But farewell it; for I will use no art:--
Mad let us grant him then: and now remains,
That we find out the cause of this effect;
Or, rather


the cause of this defect; For this effect, defective, comes by cause: Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend, I have a daughter; have, while she is mine; Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath given me this: Now gather, and surmise. [Reads.] To the celestial, and my souls idol, the most beautified Ophelia, That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile phrase; but you

shall hear :- Thus:
[Reads.] In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.-

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good madam, stay a while; I will be faith-

[Reads.] Doubt thou, the stars are fire;

Doubt, that the sun doth move ;
Doubt truth to be a liar ;

But never doubt, I love. O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I have not art to reckon my groans : but, that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this

machine is to him, Hamlet.
This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me:
And, more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

King. But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?

Pol. What do you think of me?
King. As of a man faithful and honourable.
Pol. I would fain prove so.

But what might you



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When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
(As I perceiv'd it, I must tell you that,
Before my daughter told me,) what might you,
Or my dear majesty, your queen here, think,
If I had play'd the desk, or table-book ;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight?
What might you think? No, I went round to work,
And my young mistress thus I did bespeak;
Lord Hamlet is a prince ; out of thy sphere ;
This must not be: and then I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens :
Which done, she took the fruits of my

And he, repelled, (a short tale to make,
Fell into a sadness ;
Thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness; and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.

King. Do you think, 'tis this?
Queen. It may be, very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know

That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it prov'd otherwise?

King. Not that I know.
Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise.

[Pointing to his head and shoulder.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

King. How may we try it further?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks for hours to-

gether, Here in the lobby.

Queen. So he does, indeed.

Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him; Mark the encounter: if he love her not,

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