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• sphere, Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy *star, *
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Do you think, 'tis this?
Not that I know.
[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder.
How may we try it further ?
So he does, indeed.
* 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.
cuatch] Sleepless state.
Be you and I behind an arrasa then ;
We will try it.
• But, 4tos.
Enter Hamlet, reading.
Pol. Do you
QUEEN. But, look, where sadly the poor
wretch comes reading Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away ; I'll boord* him presently:"-O, give me leave.- • bord. Atos
[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants. How does my good lord Hamlet ? HAM. Well, god-'a-mercy.
know me, my lord ? Ham. Excellent, excellent well; you are a fishmonger. POL. Not I,
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.
Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead
Pol. I have, my lord,
• I'll boord him presently] Accost, address. See Tw. N. I. 3. Sir Tob.
* ten, Atos,
-Have you a
a blessing; but as your daughter may conceive,friend, look to't. (22)
Pol. How say you by that? [Aside.] Still harp. ing 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. 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
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the air,
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 and my daughter.--My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
• how pregnant his replies) 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.
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.
Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
ye both ?
Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is. Ros. God save you, sir! [To 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
Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth..
Guil. Happy, in that we are not overhappy;
HAM. Nor the soles of her shoe?
HAM. Then you live about her *waist, or in the wast,o.C. middle of her favours ?
Guil. 'Faith, her privates we.
HAM. In the secret parts of fortune ? O, most true; she is a strumpet.
• the indifferent children of the earth] Who, not lifted too high, are, as is said, indifferentlywell off.
Faith, her privates we] One sense at least here is the military one, of not being in authority or command.
HAM. Then is dooms-day 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. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.
Ros. We think not so, my lord.
Ham. Why, then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one ; 'tis too narrow for your mind.
HAM. O God! I could be bounded in a nut. shell, and count myself a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams.
Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. (23)
HAM. A dream itself is but a shadow.
Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.
HAM. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs, and outstretch'd heroes, the beggars' shadows:- Shall we to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
a Then are our beggars bodies—and our outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows] At this rate, and, if it be true, that lofty aims are no more than air, our beggars only have the nature of substance; and our monarchs and those who are blazoned so far abroad, as to be thought materially to fill so much space, are in fact shadows, and in imagination only gigantic.