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 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 faith-

Doubt thou, the stars are fire; [Reads.

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,
O most lest, 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,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

more above,] is, moreover, besides.


But how hath she
Receiv'd his love?

What do you think of me?
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 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 working, mute and dumb;
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight;
What might you think?s no, I went round to work,
And my young mistress thus did I bespeak;
Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy sphere;
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

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,

s 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?] i. e. If either I had conveyed intelligence between them, and been the confident of their amours (play'd the desk or table-book,] or had connived at it, only observed them in secret, without acquainting my daughter with my discovery [giving my heart a mute and dumb working ;] or lastly, been negligent in observing the intrigue, and overlooked it [looked upon this love with idle sight;] or concealed it, what would you have thought of me?

6 Which done, she took the fruits of my advice;] She took the fruits of advice when she obeyed advice, the advice was then niade fruitful.

And all we mourn for.


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 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 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 ?

? I'll board him-] i. e, accost, address him.

-Have you a

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, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god, kissing carrion, 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 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 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 !8 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.

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!


Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is. Ros. God save you, sir ! [To POLONIUS.

[Èxit 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 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 favours?

Guil. ’Faith, her privates we.

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

How pregnant, &c.) Pregnant is ready, dexterous, apt.

9 Rosencrantz-] There was an embassador of that name in England about the time when this play was written.

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