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392

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.

[ACT IL

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.
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 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 awhile ; I will be faithful.-

Doubt thou the stars are fire; [Reads.

Doubt, that the sun doth move ;
Duubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.

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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.

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."

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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
Received his love?
Pol.

What do you think of me?
King. As of a man faithful and honorable.
Pol. I would fain prove so.

But what might you
think,
When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
(As I perceived 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 played the desk or table-book ;
Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb;'
Or looked 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 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, 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,) 1 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

2 Plainly, roundly, without reserve. 3 This was changed to sphere in the 4to. 1632, and that reading is followed by the modern editions. 56 Out of thy star," is placed above thee by destiny.

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294

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.

[ACT I

That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it proved 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. 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.

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

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

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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.
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 gray 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, should 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! 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

1 The old copies read_“ being a gond kissing carrion.” The emen dation is Warburton's. The same kind of expression occurs in Cymbeline :--Common-kissing Titan." And Malone has adduced the following passage from the play of King Edward III., 1596, which Shakspeare had certainly seen:

“ The freshest summer's day doth soonest taint
The loathed carrion that it seems to kiss."

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296

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.

[ACT II

1

and my daughter.—My honorable 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 !

nter 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 honored lord ! Ros. My most dear lord !

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

Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth.

Guil. Happy, in that we are not overhappy;
On fortune's cap we are not the very button.

Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe?
Ros. Neither, my lord.

Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors ?

Guil. Faith, her privates we.

Ham. In the secret parts of fortune ? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What news?

Ros. None, my lord ; but that the world is grown honest.

Ham. Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true.” [Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

Guil. Prison, my lord !
Ham. Denmark's a prison.

1 This speech is abridged thus in the quartos :

56 I will leave him and my daughter. My lord,

I will take my leave of you.' 2 All within crotchets is wanting in the quarto copies.

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