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And his commiflion to employ thofe soldiers,
King. It likes us well ;
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 :
[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?
Doubt thou, the stars are fire, [Reading
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.
this Machine is to him, Hamlet,
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?
Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you think?
King. Do you think this ?
Pol. Hath there been such a time, I'd fain know that,
King. Not that I know,
[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder.
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,
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.
know me, 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.
Pol. What is the matter, 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
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 :
Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that
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.
Rof. As the indifferent children of the earth.