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King. Thou still hast been the father of good news. Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good liege, I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Both to my God, and to my gracious king:
As it hath us'd to do,) that I have found
King. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main;
Re-enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and COR
King. Well, we shall sift him.-Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Was falsely borne in hand,-sends out arrests
To give the assay of arms against your majesty.
[Gives a paper.
That it might please you to give quiet pass
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!
[Excunt Voltimand and Cornelius.
My liege, and madam 36, to expostulate
Why day is day, night, night, and time is time,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,-
Mad call I it: for, to define true madness,
More matter, with less art.
Pol. Madam, I swear, I use no art at all.
Mad let us grant him then: and now remains,
I have a daughter; have, while she is mine;
Hath given me this: Now gather, and surmise.
-To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified
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.
Doubt thou, the stars are fire;
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, O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
Receiv'd his love?
But how hath she
What do you think of me?
King. As of a man faithful and honourable.
When I had seen this hot love
(As I perceiv'd it, I must tell
on the wing,
Before my daughter told me,) what might you,
Or my dear majesty your queen here, think,
37 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,
This must not be: and then I precepts gave her,
Fell into a sadness; then into a fast 58
Thence to a watch; thence into a weakness;
Thence to a lightness; and, by this declension,
And all we mourn for.
Do you think, 'tis this?
Queen. It may be, very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know
That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it prov'd otherwise?
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
How may we try it further?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours
Here in the lobby,
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.
We will try it.