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Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ankle;'

Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other; And with a look so piteous in purport,

As if he had been loosed out of hell,

To speak of horrors, he comes before me.

Pol. Mad for thy love?

But, truly, I do fear it.

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My lord, I do not know;


What said he?

Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard;
Then goes 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 stay'd 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,1o

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 help,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.

Pol. Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love;
Whose violent property fordoes itself,"
And leads the will to desperate undertakings,
As oft as any passion under heaven,
That does afflict our natures. I am sorry,
What! have you given him any hard words of late?

9 Hanging down like the loose cincture which confines the fetters or gyves round the ankles.

10 That is, his breast. "The bulke or breast of a man, Thorax, la poitrine." BARET.

i To fordo and to undo were synonymous.

Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did com


I did repel his letters, and denied

His access to me.

Pol. That hath made him mad. I am sorry, that with better heed and judgment, I had not quoted him: 12 I fear'd he did but trifle, And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!

It seems it is as proper to our age 13

To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,

As it is common for the younger sort

To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king: This must be known; which, being kept close, might


More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.11


SCENE II. A Room in the Castle.

Enter the King, the Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Attendants.

King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern!

12 To quote is to note, to mark, or observe.

13 The folio substitutes It seems for By Heaven, of the quartos. Coleridge here makes the following remark: "In this admirable scene, Polonius, who is throughout the skeleton of his own former skill in state-craft, hunts the trail of policy at a dead scent, supplied by the weak fever-smell in his own nostrils."


14 This must be made known to the king, for the hiding Hamlet's love might occasion more mischief to us from him and the queen, than the uttering or revealing it will occasion hate and resentment from Hamlet." Johnson, whose explanation this is, attributes the obscurity to the Poet's "affectation of concluding the scene with a couplet." There would surely have been more affectation in deviating from the universally established custom.The quartos add Come, after the closing couplet.

Moreover that we much did long to see you,'
The need we had to use you did provoke
Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
Of Hamlet's transformation; so I call it,
Since nor th' exterior nor the inward man
Resembles that it was. What it should be,
More than his father's death, that thus hath put him
So much from th' understanding of himself,

I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
That,-being of so young days brought up with him,
And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and hu-


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That you Vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Some little time; so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather,
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.

Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of



And, sure I am, two men there are not living,
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To show us so much gentry and good will,
As to expend your time with us awhile,
For the supply and profit of our hope,*
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.


Both your majesties

1 We do not recollect another instance of moreover that used in this way. Of course, the sense is the same as besides that, or "over and above the fact that," &c.


2 So the quartos; the folio, "deem of." In the next line but the quartos have haviour instead of humour.



3 Gentry for gentle courtesy.- The last line but one, in the preceding speech, is not in the folio.


4 Supply and profit is aid and advantage.


Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
Put your dread pleasures more into command
Than to entreaty.


But we both obey;
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet,

To be commanded.

King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guilden


Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosen

crantz :

And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too-much-changed son. - Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our prac-
Pleasant and helpful to him!


Ay, amen! [Exeunt Ros. GUIL. and some Attendants.


Pol. Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,

Are joyfully return'd.

King. Thou still hast been the father of good

Assure you, my good


Pol. Have I, my lord?


I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,

Both to my God, and to my gracious king;
And I do think (or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the trail 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 do I long to hear.

Pol. Give, first, admittance to th' ambassadors; My news shall be the fruit to that great feast. King. Thyself do.grace to them, and bring them in.[Exit POLONIUS. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son's distemper. Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main; His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage."



King. Well, we shall sift him.- Welcome, my good friends!

Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Vol. Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress

His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
But, better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your highness: whereat griev'd,—
That so his sickness, age, and impotence,
Was falsely borne in hand,® sends out arrests
On Fortinbras; which he in brief obeys,
Receives rebuke from Norway, and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle never more
To give th' assay of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;"
And his commission, to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack :

So the folio; the quartos have hasty instead of o'erhasty.


6 To bear in hand is to lead along by assurances or expectations. See Measure for Measure, Act i. sc. 5, note


7 That is, the king gave his nephew a feud or fee in land of that annual value.

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