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And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
What company, at what expense; and finding,
By this encompassment, and drift of question,
That they do know my son, come you more nearer
Than your particular demands will touch it.

Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
As thus, I know his father, and his friends,
And, in part, him.—Do you mark this, Reynaldo?
Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.

Pol. And, in part, him;—but, you may say, not well;

But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild ;
Addicted so and so;-and there put on him
What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
As may dishonor him; take heed of that;
But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips,
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.


As gaming, my lord.

Pol. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling, Drabbing-you may go so far.

Rey. My lord, that would dishonor him.

Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge. You must not put another scandal on him,

That he is open to incontinency;

That's not my meaning. But breathe his faults so quaintly,

That they may seem the taints of liberty;
The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind;
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.

But, my good lord,— Pol. Wherefore should you do this?



I would know that.

Ay, my lord,

1 "The cunning of fencers is now applied to quarrelling; they thinke themselves no men, if for stirring of a straw, they prove not their valure uppon some bodies fleshe."-Gosson's Schole of Abuse, 1579.

"A wildness of untamed blood, such as youth is generally assailed



Marry, sir, here's my drift ;
And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant.
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soiled i' the working,
Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breathe of, guilty, be assured,
He closes with you in this consequence;
Good sir, or so; or friend, or gentleman,-
According to the phrase, or the addition,
Of man and country.


Very good, my lord.

Pol. And then, sir, does he this,-He doesWhat was I about to say?-By the mass, I was about to say something.-Where did I leave?

Rey. At, closes in the consequence.

Pol. At, closes in the consequence,-Ay, marry; He closes with you thus:-I know the gentleman; I saw him yesterday, or t'other day,

Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say, There was he gaming; there o'ertook in his rouse ; There falling out at tennis; or, perchance,

I saw him enter such a house of sale, (Videlicet, a brothel,) or so forth.

See you now;

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth;
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlaces, and with assays of bias,3

By indirections find directions out;
So, by my former lecture and advice,

Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
Rey. My lord, I have.


God be wi' you; fare you well.

Rey. Good my lord,-
Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself.3

1 So, for so forth, as in the last act:-"Six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hanger, and so."

2 i. e. by tortuous devices and side essays.

3 i. e. in your own person; personally add your own observations of his conduct to these inquiries respecting him.


I shall, my lord.

Pol. And let him ply his music.


Well, my lord.


Enter OPHElia.

Pol. Farewell!-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 unbraced;
No hat upon his head; his stockings fouled,
Ungartered and down-gyved' to his ankle;
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
And with a look so piteous in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,

To speak of horrors, he comes before me.
Pol. Mad for thy love?

But, truly, I do fear it.


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 staid he so;
At last,―a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,—
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk, 2

And end his being. That done, he lets me go;
And, with his head over his shoulder turned,
He seemed to find his way without his eyes;
For out o' doors he went without their help,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.

My lord, I do not know;

1 Hanging down like the loose cincture which confines the fetters or gyves round the ankles.

2 i. e. his breast. "The bulke or breast of a man; thorax, la poitrine.”— Baret.

Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king. This is the very ecstasy of love; Whose violent property foredoes1 itself, And leads the will to desperate undertakings, As oft as any passion under heaven, That does afflict our natures. I am sorry,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.


That hath made him mad. I am sorry, that with better heed and judgment, I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle, And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy! It seems, it is as proper to our age

To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,

As it is common for the younger sort

To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king.

This must be known, which, being kept close, might


More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.3


SCENE II. A Room in the Castle.

Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTz, Guildenstern, and Attendants.

King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guilden


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,

1 To foredo and to undo were synonymous.

2 To quote is to note, to mark.

3 "This must be made known to the king, for (being kept secret) the hiding Hamlet's love might occasion more mischief to us from him and the queen, than the uttering or revealing it will occasion hate and resentment from Hamlet."

4 Folio omits come.

Since not1 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 dream2 of. I entreat you both,
That,-being of so young days brought up with him;
And, since, so neighbored to his youth and humor,3-
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,
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,"
That, opened, lies within our remedy.

Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of


And, sure I am, two men there are not living,
To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
To show us so much gentry and good will,
As to expend your time with us awhile,
For the supply and profit of our hope, 6
Your visitation shall receive such thanks
As fits a king's remembrance.


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


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 Guilden


Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosen


1 Quarto sith nor.

3 Quarto-havior.

4 This line is omitted in the folio.

5 Gentry for gentle courtesy. "Gentlemanlinesse or gentry, kindness,

2 Folio-deem.

or natural goodness; generositas."-Baret.

6 Supply and profit is aid and advantage.

7 i. e. over us.

9 i. e. to the utmost of inclination or disposition.



8 Folio omits but.

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