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POL.

Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!

[Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS.

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. (14)
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. :
[Reads] To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the
most beautified (15) 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, (16) &c.'
QUEEN, Came this from Hamlet to her?

expostulate] To expostulate is to discuss, to put the pros and cons, to answer demands upon the question. Expose is an old term of similar import.

Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faith.

ful.

[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, О most best, (17) believe 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, (18)

• solliciting. As they fell out by time, by means, and place,

1623, 33. Al 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,
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; (19)
What might you think? no, I went round to .

work, (20)
And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;

I am ill at these numbers] No talent for. • Whilst this machine is to him] Belongs to, obeys bis impulse ; so long as he is "a sensible warm motion,” M. for M.

4tos.

mourn, 4tos.

like 4to.

* sphere, Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy *star,
4to. 1632.
prescripts 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, repulsed, (a short tale to make,)
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast ;(21)
Thence to a watch ;c thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness; and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we waile* 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,
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 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 :

a out of thy star] Is, as a constellation of a higher class or order. This is also the reading of the 4to. 1611. :

b Which done, she took the fruits of my advice ;] She took the fruits of advice when she obeyed advice, the advice was then made fruitful. Johnson.,

watch] Sleepless state.

Be you and I behind an arrasa 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,
And * keep a farm, and carters.
King.

We will try it.

. But, tos.

Enter Hamlet, reading.

Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch

comes reading. Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away; I'll boord* him presently:b_O, give me leave.- . bord. 4tos

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

HAM. Well, god-'a-mercy.
Pol. Do you know me, my lord ?

HAM. Excellent, excellent well; you are a fishmonger. .

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 picked out of two * thousand. ten, 4tos.

Pol. That's very true, my lord.

HAM. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion, - Have you a daughter?

Pol. I have, my lord. · Ham. Let her not walk i’the sun: conception is

behind an arras] Hangings of the room. See I. H. IV. Pr. Hen. II. 4.

I'll boord him presently] Accost, address. See Tw. N. I. 3. Sir Tob.

i

E

a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive,friend, look to't. (22)

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 suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again. What do you read, my lord ?

HAM. Words, words, words.
Pol. What is the matter, my lord ?

HAM. Between who? • read 4tos. Pol. I mean, the matter that you mean,* my

lord. rogue 4tos. HAM. Slanders, sir: for the satirical slave * 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 of 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.

POL. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [Ăside.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord ?

HAM. Into my grave?

Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.---How preg. nant sometimes his replies a are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will 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.

• how pregnant his replics] Big with meaning. We have “ dull and unpregnant" at the end of this scene. Haml. “Quick and pregnant capacities.” Puttenham's Arte of Poesie. p. 154.

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