Imatges de pÓgina


And his commiflion to employ thofe soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack :
With an entreaty, herein further shewn,
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprize,
On such regards of fafety and allowance,
As therein are set down.

King. It likes us well ;
And at our more confi ier'd time we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Mean time, we thank


for well-took labour. Go to your reft; at night we'll feast together. Most welcome home!

[Exe. Ambas. Pol. This business is well ended. My Liege, and Madam, to expoftulate 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's the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourites, 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 farewel it; for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him then ; and now remains
That we find out the cauíe of this effect;
Or rather say, 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.

[He [He opens a letter, and reads.] To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beatified (14) Ophelia.

That's an ill phrase, a vile phrafe : beatified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear Thefe to her excellent white bofom, thefe.

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to ber?
Pol. Good Madam, stay a while, I will be faithful.

Doubt thou, the stars are fire, [Reading
Doubt, that the sun doth move ;
Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt, I love. Oh, dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans ; but that I love thee best, oh moft beft, believe it.

Thine evermore, most dear Lady, whilft

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

King. But how hath she receiv’d his love ?

(14) To the Celestial, and my Soul's Idol, the most beautified Ophelia. } I have ventured at an Emendation here, against the Authority of all the Copies; but, I hope, upon Examination it will appear probable and reasonable. The Word beautified may carry two distinct Ideas, either as applied to a Woman made up of artificial Beauties, or to one rich in native Charms. As Sbakejpeare has therefore chose to use it in the latter Acceptation, to express natural Comeliness; I cannot imagine, that here, he would make Polonius except to the Phiase, and call it a vile one. But a stronger Objection fill, in my Mind, lies against it. As Celestial and Scul's Idol are the introductory Characteristicks of Ophelia, what a creadful Anticlimax is it to descend to such an Epithet as beautified? On the other hand, bearified, as I have conjectured, raises the Image: bur Polonius might very well, as a Roman Catholick, call it a vile Phrase, i. e. favouring of Profana ion; fince the Epithet is peculiarly made an Adjunct to the Virgin Mary's Honour, and therefore ought not to be employed in the Praife of a mere Mortal,


Pd. What do you think of me?
King. As of a man, faithful and honourable.

Pol. 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,
Or my dear Majesty your Queen here, think?
If I had play'd the desk or table-book,
Or giv'n my heart a working, mute and dumb,
Or look'd upon this love with idle fight;
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 relort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens :
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
And he repulsed, a short tale to make,
Fell to a fadness, then into a fast,
Thence to a watching, thence into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we wail for.

King. Do you think this ?
Queen. It may be very likely.

Pol. Hath there been such a time, I'd fain know that,
That I have positively said, 'tis fo,
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 center.
King. How may we try it further ?

Pol. You know, sometimes hewalks four hours together, Here in the lobby.

Queen. So he does, indeed.

Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him; Be you

and I behind an arras then,
Mark the encounter : If he love her not,
And be not from his reason fall’n thereon,
Let me be no affiftant for a state,
But keep a farm and carters.

King. We will try it.

Enter Hamlet reading.

Queen. But, look, where, fadly the poor wretch comes

reading. Pol. Away, I do beseech you,


away. I'll board him presently. [Exe. King and Queen. Oh, give me leave.-How does my good Lord Hamlet ?

Ham. Well, God o' mercy.
Pol. Do you

know me, my Lord,
Ham. Excellent well ; you are a fifhmonger.
Pol. Not I, my Lord,
Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my Lord ?

Ham. Ay, Sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man pick'd out of ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my Lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, Being a good kissing carrionHave you a daughter?.

Pol. I have, my Lord.

Ham. Let her not walk i'th' sun; conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't. Pol. How say you by that ? ftill harping on my

daughter! Yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fishmonger. He is far gone; and, truly, in my youth, [ Afide. I suffer'd much extremity for love; Very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you

Lord? Ham. Words, words, words.


read, my

Pol. What is the matter, my Lord ?
Ham. Between whom ?
Pol. I mean the matter that you read, my Lord.

Ham. Slanders, Sir: for the satirical flave says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumtree gum: and that they have a plentiful lack of wit ; together with most weak hams. All which, Sir, tho' I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for yourfelf, Sir, Mall be as old as I am, if, like a crab


could go

backward. Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't: Will

you walk out of the air, my Lord ? Ham. Into my grave.

Pol. Indeed, that is out oth' air :
How pregnant (sometimes) his replies are ?
A happiness that often madness hits on,
Which fanity and reason could not be
So prosp'rously deliver'd of. I'll 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.

Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that
I will more willingly part withal, except my life.
Pol. Fare you

well; my

Lord. Ham. These tedious old fools ! Pol. You go to seek Lord Hamlet; there he is. [Exit.

Enter Rosincrantz and Guildenstern.

Rof. God save you, Sir.
Guil. Mine honour'd Lord !
Rof. My most dear Lord !
Ham. My excellent good friends! How doft thou

Oh, Rofincrantz, good lads! how do ye both?

Rof. As the indifferent children of the earth.

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