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ACT II.

Fib-1941257

SCENE I. Hamlet ha low put on his counterfeit madness. He visits Ophelia in this “ antio gaise," and the affrighted maiden narrates to her father the circumstances attending nis visit.

OPHELIA.–POLONIUS.
Pol. How now, Ophelia ? what's the matter ?
Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted !
Pol. With what, in the name of heaven.

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet,—with his doublet all unbrac'd;
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
He comes before me.

Pol. Mad for thy love ?
Oph.

My lord, I do not know ;
But, truly, I do fear it.
Pol.

What said he ?
Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard ;
Then goes he to the length of all his arm ;
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face,
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
At last,-A little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,
And end his being: That done, he lets me go:
And, with his head over his shoulder turn’d,
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes ;
For out o'doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.

Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love;
What, have you given him any hard words of late ?

Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did command,
I did repel his letters, and denied
His access to me.
Pol.

That hath made him mad.
Come, go we to the king :
This must be known; which, being kept close, might move
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-A Room in the Castle. Enter King, QUEEN, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Attendants.

King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern! Moreover that we much did long to see you,

The need, we have to use you, did provoke
Our hasty sending: Something have you heard
Of Hamlet's transformation; so I call it,
Since not the exterior nor the inward man
Resembles that it was: What it should be,
More than his father's death, that thus hath put him
So much from the understanding of himself,
I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
That

you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Some little time: so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather,
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
So to expend your time with us a while,
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.
Ros.

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

But we both obey ;
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet,
To be commanded.

King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guildenstern.

Queen. And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed son.—Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendanta.

Enter POLONIUS.
Pol. I now 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. 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 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:
But let that go.

Queen.

More matter, with less art. Pol. Madam, I swear, I use nɔ art at all. That he is mad, '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. 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. -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 eccellent white bosom, these, &c.Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ? Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.- [Reads.

Doudi 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, О most best, 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.
King.

But how hath she
Receiv'd his love ?
Pol.

What do you think of me?
King. As of a man faithful and honorable.

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 working, mute and dumb,
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight ;
What might you think ? 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 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.
King.

Do you think, 'tis this ?
Queen. It may be, very likely.

Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know that,)
That I have positively said, 'Tis so,
When it prov'd otherwise ?
King.

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 for 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. Excellent well.
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, 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,Have you a daughter ?

leave of you.

Pol. (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 gray 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 hord 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 soinetimes 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 honorable lord, I will most humbly take my

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 !

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Pol. You go to seek the lord Hamlet; there he is.
Ros. Heaven save you, sir !

[To POLONIUS.

[Èxit POLONIUS. Guil. My honor'd lord ! Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern ? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both? What news ?

Ros. None, my lord; but that the world's grown honest.

Ham. Then is doomsday near : But your news is not true. But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore ?

Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come ; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?

Ham. Any thing—but to the purpose. You were sent for ; and „here is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to color: 'I know, the good king and queen have sent for you.

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