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To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather,
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,
That, open'd, lies within our remedy.

QUEEN. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd

of you ;


And, sure I am, two men there are not living,
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To show us so much gentry," and good will,
As to expend your time with us a while,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.

Both your majesties
Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
Put your dread pleasures more into command
Than to entreaty.

· But we both obey ; And here give up ourselves, in the full bent, o To lay our service freely at your feet, To be commanded. King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guil

denstern. QUEEN. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Ro

sencrantz : And I beseech you instantly to visit My too much changed son. Go, some of you, And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is. GUIL. Heavens make our presence, and our

practices, Pleasant and helpful to him!


gentry] Gentle courtesy.

For the supply and profit] In aid and furtherance. c of us] Is over us.

d in the full bent] To the full stretch and range. It is a term derived from archery. See M. ado &c. II. 3. Bened.

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and some Attendants.


Pol. The embassadors from Norway, my good

Are joyfully return'd.

King. Thou still hast been the father of good

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Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good

I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Both to my God, and to my gracious king :
And I do think, (or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the trail of policy (") so sure
As it hath us’d to do,) that I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

King. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.

POL. Give first admittance to the embassadors ; My news shall be the fruit *b to that great feast. King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.

[Exit POLONIUS. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all


son's distemper. QUEEN. I doubt it is no other but the main; His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.


1623, 32.


a the father of good news] He, from whom it sprung or was derived.

My news shall be the fruit] Fruit is the reading of the quartos. By news must be meant the talk or leading topic

at, &c.

grace] The honours.

Re-enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and Cor


King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome, my

good friends! Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?

Volt. Most fair return of greetings, and desires. Upon our first, he sent out to suppress His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack; But, better look'd into, he truly found It was against your highness: Whereat griev'd, That so his sickness, age, and impotence, Was falsely borne in hand, (12)—sends out arrests On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys; 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, 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 ;(13) And, at our more consider'd time,' we'll read, Answer, and think


this business. Mean time, we thank you for your well-took labour :

* Upon our first] i. e. audience, or opening of our business.

three thousand crowns in annual fee] A feud or fee (in land) of that yearly value. Ritson. See “pin's fee." 1. 4. Haml.

At our considered time.] The past used for that which is in prospect: “ when we have more time for considering.”

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


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 thelimbs 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



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, 0 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)


1623, 33.
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?

What do


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 his impulse ; so long as he is "a sensible warm motion," M. for M.

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