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[reads.] To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most ACT II beautified OpheliaSc. II
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, etc.
QUEEN. Came this from Hamlet to her?
POLO. Good Madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.
Doubt thou the Stars are fire;
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
This, in obedience, hath my daughter shewn me;
But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?
POLO. I would fain prove so. But what might you think,
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, dear Majesty your Queen here, think,
If I had play'd the desk or table-book;
Or given my heart a winking,1 mute and dumb;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
What might you think? No; I went round to work,
Lord Hamlet is a Prince, out of thy Star;2
This must not be. And then I precepts gave her,
1 blinded my heart.
And he, repulsed (a short tale to make)
And all we mourn for.
POLO. Hath there been such a time (I'd fain know that)
When it prov'd otherwise?
Not that I know.
POLO. [pointing to his head and shoulder.] Take this from this, if this be otherwise.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.
How may we try it further?
So he does, indeed.
POLO. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him:
POLO. Away, I do beseech you,
Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
And be not from his reason fall'n thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a State,
Enter HAMLET, reading.
[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, and Attendants.
O, give me leave :
How does my good Lord Hamlet?
HAM. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
POLO. Not I, my
HAM. Then I would you were so honest a man.
POLO. Honest, my Lord!
HAM. Ay, Sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be
one man pick'd out of ten thousand.
POLO. That's very true, my Lord.
HAM. For, if the Sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion1- Have you a daughter? POLO. I have, my Lord.
HAM. Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing; but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to 't.
POLO. How say you by that? [aside.] Still harping on my daughter: yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffer'd much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you read, my Lord?
HAM. Words, words, words.
POLO. What is the matter, my Lord?
HAM. Between who?
POLO. I mean, the matter that you read, my Lord.
method in 't. Will you walk out of the air, my Lord? HAM. Into my grave ?
POLO. Indeed, that is out o' the air. [aside.] How
pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that soften madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be deliver'd of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter. My honourable Lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
1 i.e. a carrion good to kiss.
HAM. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal-except my life, except my life, except my life.
POLO. Fare you well, my Lord.
HAM. These tedious old fools!
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
POLO. You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is. 220
GUILD. My honour'd Lord!
How dost thou, Good Lads, how
ROSEN. As the indifferent children of the Earth.
On Fortune's cap we are not the very button.
ROSEN. Neither, my Lord.
HAM. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?
GUILD. 'Faith, her privates we.
HAM. In the secret parts of Fortune? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What's the news?
ROSEN. None, my Lord, but that the world's grown honest.
HAM. Then is Doomsday near: but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular: What have you, my good Friends, deserv'd at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
GUILD. Prison, my Lord!
HAM. Denmark's a prison.
ROSEN. Then is the World one.
HAM. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst. ROSEN. We think not so, my Lord.
HAM. Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
ROSEN. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 'tis too ACT II
HAM. O God, I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and
GUILD. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the
HAM. A dream itself is but a shadow.
ROSEN. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
HAM. Then are our beggars bodies, and our Monarchs
We'll wait upon you.
HAM. No such matter: I will not sort you with the rest
HAM. Why, any thing-but to the purpose. You were
ROSEN. To what end, my Lord?
HAM. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you,
ROSEN. [aside to GUILD.] What say you
2 i.e. frank speech.