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Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.

Pol. 'Faith no; but breathe his faults so quaintly, That they may seem the taints of liberty:

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind;

A savageness in unreclaimed blood,

Of general assault.'

Pol. Wherefore should you do this?


But, my good lord,

Ay, my lord,

Marry, sir, here's my drift;


I would know that.


And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant:

You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the' working,
Mark you,

He closes with you in this consequence;
Good sir, or so; or friend, or gentleman,-
According to the phrase or the addition,
Of man, and country.


Very good, my lord.

Pol. And then, sir, does he this,-He doesWhat was I about to say?-By the mass, I was about to say something :-Where did I leave?

Rey. At, closes in the consequence.

Pol. At, closes in the consequence,—Ay, marry ; He closes with you thus: I know the gentleman; I saw him yesterday, or t'other day,

Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say, There was he gaming.—

See you now;

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:

And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlaces, and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out;

So, by former lecture and advice,

Shall you, my son: You have me, have you not?

Such as youth in general is liable to.

God be wi' you; fare you well.

Rey. My lord, I have.

Rey. Good my lord,

Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself.

Rey. I shall, my lord.

Pol. And let him ply his musick.


Well, my lord.



Pol. Farewell!-How now, Ophelia? what's the matter?

Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
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 foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
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?

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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 staid he so;

At last, a little shaking of mine arm,

And thrice his head thus waving up and down,—
He raised 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:

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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;

Whose violent property foredoes' 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? Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did command, I did repel his letters, and denied

His access to me.


That hath made him mad.

I am sorry, that with better heed and judgement,
I had not quoted him: 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

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.


SCENE II.-A room in the castle.

[move [Exeunt.

Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENstern, and Attendants.


King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and GuildenMoreover 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; so I call it,




marked, observed.

Since not the 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 humour,-
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 talked of
And, sure I am, two men there are not living, [you;
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 a while,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.

Both your majesties

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 GuildenQueen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle RosenAnd I beseech you instantly to visit

[crantz :

My too much changed son.-Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

1 courtesy.

2 Utmost extremity of exertion. The allusion is to a bow bent as far as it will go.

Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our pracPleasant and helpful to him!


[tices, Ay, amen! [Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendants.


Pol. Th'embassadors from Norway, my good lord, Are joyfully return'd.

King. Thou still hast been the father of good news. Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good liege, 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' embassadors;
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tells, 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


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

His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd


The trail is the course of an animal pursued by the scent.
Upon our first report.

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