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220

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 Volt. and Cor.

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.-

230
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 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 daugliter; have, whilst she is mine;
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, 240
Hath given me this: Now gather, and surmise.

T.

To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified
Ophelia--
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase ; beautify'd
Is a vile phrase ; but you shall hear :-

These in her excellent white bosom, these, &c.
Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good madam, stay a while; I will be faith-'

ful.

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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, 260
All given to mine ear.

King. But how hath 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,
Eij

When

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, 270
If I had play'd the desk, or table-book;
Or given my heart a working, 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 sphere;
This must not be: and then I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens. 279
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice:
And he, tepulsed (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 mourn for.

King. Do you think, 'tis 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 so,

290 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

300

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

King. How may we try it further ?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks 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 fallen thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm, and carters.
King. We will try it.

Enter HAMLET, reading.
Queen. But look, where sadly the poor wretch comes

reading. Pol. Away, I do beseech you,

both

away; I'll board him presently :-0, give me leave.- 310

[Exeunt King, and Queen. How does my good lord Hamlet?

Ham. Well, god-a'-mercy.
Pol. Do

you

know Ham. Excellent well; You are a fishmonger.

Pal. Not I, my lord.
Ham. Their I would you were so honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my lord ?
Ham. Ay, sir; to be honest as this world goes,
Eiij

Is

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me, my lord?

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Is to be one man pick'd out of ten thousand.

320 Pol. That's very true, my

lord. Ham. For if the sun breeds maggots in a dead dog, Being a god, kissing carrion,--Have you a daughter?

Pol. 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.

Pol. 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 ?

333 Ham. Words, words, words! Pol. What is the matter, my lord ? Ham. Between who? *Pol. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

Ham. Slanders, sir : for the satirical rogue says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: All which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down ; for yourself, sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

346 Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't.

[ Aside Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

Ham.

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