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To shew 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.
Rosencrantz. Both your Majesties
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
Put your dread pleasures more into command
Than to entreaty.
Guildenstern. [But] we both obey;
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet,
To be commanded. •
Ring. Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guilden-
Stern. - -
Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosen-
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
Queen. [Ay, amen
[Eaceunt RoSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and
Pol. Th’ ambassadors from Norway, my good - lord, . Are joyfully return'd. Ring. Thou still hast been the father of good - IleWS. Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good
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.
Ring. 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.
He tells me, my sweet Queen, that 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.
Enter Polonius, with VoI.TIMAND and CoRNELIUs.
Ring. Well, we shall sift him. — Welcome, my good friends.
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 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;
With an entreaty, herein farther shewn,
. [Giving a paper
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprise,
On such regards of safety, and allowance,
As therein are set down.
King. It likes us well;
And, at our more consider'd time, we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business:
Meantime, we thank you for your well-took labour.
Go to your rest; at night we’ll feast together:
Most welcome home.
[Eveunt VoI.TIMAND and CoRNELIUs.
Pol. This business is well ended.—
My Liege, and Madam ; to expostulate
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 is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
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 farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him, then ; and now remains,
That we find out the cause 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.
I have a daughter; have, whilst she is mine;
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this. Now gather, and surmise. [Reads.
“To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia.”
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,” &c. —
Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ? Pol. Good Madam, stay a while ; I will be faithful. — [Reads.
“ Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move ;
Doubt truth to be a liar,
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 machine is to him, HAMLET,”
This in obedience hath my daughter shewn me;
And more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.
King. But how hath she
Receiv'd his love *
Pol. What do you think of me?
Ring. 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 given my heart a winking, mute and dumb ;
Or look’d upon this love with idle sight;
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 star;
This must not be : ” and then I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;
And he, repuls'd, (a short tale to make,)
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast;
Thence to a watch; 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 'tis this 2
Queen. It may be, very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, I’d fain know that, That I have positively said, ‘’Tis so,’ 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 centre.
King. How may we try it farther.
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours
Here in the lobby.
VOL. XI. E