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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. Mean time, we thank you for your well-took labour : Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together : Most welcome home!

[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. Pol.

This business is well ended. My liege, and madam, to expostulate 16 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. 16 i. e. to inquire. "Polonius is a man bred in courts, exercised in business, stored with observation, confident in his knowledge, proud of his eloquence, and declining into dotage. His mode of oratory is designed to ridicule the practice of those times, of prefaces that made no introduction, and of method that embarrassed rather than explained. This part of his character is accidental, the rest natural. Such a man is positive and confident, because he knows that his mind was once strong, and knows not that it is become weak. Such a man excels in general principles, but fails in particular application. He is knowing in retrospect, and ignorant in foresight. While he depends upon his memory, and can draw from his depositaries of knowledge, he utters weighty sentences, and gives useful counsel ; but as the mind in its enfeebled state cannot be kept long busy and intent, the old man is subject to the dereliction of his faculties, he loses the order of his ideas, and entangles himself in his own thoughts, till he recover the leading principle, and fall into his former train. The idea of dotage encroaching upon wisdom, will solve all the phenomena of the character of Polonius.'Johnson,

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.
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.

- To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified 17 Ophelia, That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear.—Thus :

In her excellent white bosom, these, &c. 18
Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ?
Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faith-

ful.-
Doubt thou, the stars are fire;

[Reads.
Doubt, that the sun doth move :
Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.

17 Vile as Polonius esteems the phrase, from its equivocal meaning, Shakspeare has used it again in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

Seeing you are beautified

With goodly shape,' &c. Nash, in his dedication of Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, 1594: - To the most beautified Lady Elizabeth Cary.' It is not uncommon in dedications and encomiastic verses of the poet's age.

18 See note on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act iii. Sc. 1. Formerly the word these was usually added at the end of the superscription of letters. The folio reads :- These in her excellent white bosom these.'

O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, О most best, belicve it. Adieu.

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst

this machine is to him, Hamlet.

This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown 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?

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?tis pity;

Queen. More matter, with less art.

Pol. Madam, I swear I use no art at all. That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true, 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. Perpend. I have a daughter; have, while she is mine ; Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,

O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, О most best, belicve it. Adieu.

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst

this machine is to him, Hamlet.

This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown 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 bath she
Receiv'd his love?
Pol.

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,

the wing

When I had seen this hot love
(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 19;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
What might you think? no, I went round 20 to work,
And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;

19

6

If I had play'd the desk, or table-book ;

Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb.' That is ‘If I had acted the part of depositary of their secret loves, or given my heart a hint to be mute about their passion.' The quartos read given my heart a working,' and the modern editors follow this reading : I prefer the reading of the folio. • Conviventia, a winking at; a sufferance; a feigning not to see or know.' The pleonasm, mute and dumb, is found in the Rape of Lucrece:

• And in my hearing be you mute and dumb.' 20 Plainly, roundly, without reserve. Polonius, in the third act, says, ' be round with him.'

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