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Receives rebuke from Norway; and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle, never more
To give the assay? of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;a
And his commission, to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack:
With an entreaty, herein further shown, [Gives a Paper.
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprize;
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!

[Ereunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS. Pol.

This business is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulateb
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,

z To give the assay—] To take the assay was a technical expression, originally applied to those who tasted wine for princes and great men.-MALONE.

fee;] i. e. Reward.
to expostulate-] i. e. To discuss.

a

b

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 souls idol, the most beautified
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.-
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, О most best, 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, 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?
King. As of a man faithful and honourable.

beautified-] For beautiful. Vile as this' phrase may ba, it was certainly a common one in those times, particularly in the addresses of letters.NABES.

- whilst this machine is to him,] This phrase seems to have a French construction. Pendant que cette machine est à lui.-STEEVENS.

- more above, ]-is, moreover, besides.

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 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 did I 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. 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; 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, 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 to-

gether, Here in the lobby.

"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.

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 hims presently :-0, give me leave.--

[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 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 ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed 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 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 suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.--What do you read,

my lord ?

Ham. Words, words, words!

& I'll board him---] i.e. Accost, address bim.

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

Ham. Into my grave?

Pol. Indeed, that is out o'the air.-How pregnant sometimes his replies are !h 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.

Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !

Enter ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.

Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is.
Ros. God save you, sir !

[T. POLONIUS.

[Exit Polonius. Guil. My honour'd lord ! Ros. My most dear lord

Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both ?

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pregnant-] i. e. Ready, dexterous, apt.

Rosencrantz—] There was an embassador of that name in England about the time when this play was written.-STEEVENS.

i.

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