And todiousness 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? 98 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.
I have a daughter-have while she is mine-
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this. Now gather, and

[Reads. “To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most 110 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, etc.” Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her? 115 Pol. Good madam, stay awhile. I will be faithful.



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 120
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.” 125
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? 130
King. As of a man faithful and honourable.
Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you

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 185

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 140

to work,

ACT II. Sc. ii.)



C. 11.]



And my young mistress thus I did bespeak: “Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star. This must not be;" and then I prescripts

gave her,

That she should lock herself from his resort, 145 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.

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 8o,"

When it proved otherwise?

Not that I know. Pol. [Pointing to his head and shoulder.] Take

this from this, if this be otherwise. 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

together Here in the lobby. Queen.

So he does, indeed.





Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to

Be you and I behind an arras then.
Mark the encounter. If he love her not 165
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. . Queen. But look where sadly the poor wretch

comes reading. Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away. I'll board him presently.

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.

Enter Hamlet, reading. 0, give me leave, 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, 180

is to be one man pick'd out of ten thousand. Pol. That's very true, my lord. Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead

dog, being a good kissing carrion, -Have you

a daughter? Pol. I have, my lord. Ham. Let her not walk i’ the sun. Conception


185 195

is a blessing, but not as your daughter may

conceive. Friend, look to 't. 190 Pol. [Aside.] How say you by that? 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? 200 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 plum-tree gum and that they have à plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams; all 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 grow old as I am, if like a 210 crab you could go backward. Pol. [Aside.] Though this be madness, yet there

is method in't.-Will you walk out of the

air, my lord? Ham. Into my grave? 215 Pol. Indeed, that is out o'th' air. [Aside.]

How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which



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