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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 bid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.
King.

How may we try it further ?
Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours to-

gether, Here in the lobby.

Queen. So he has, 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,
And 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 boord a bim 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 ?
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 two thousand. Pol. That 's very true, my lord.

a Boord, bourd, or board, is to accost.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion,a —Have you a daughter?

Pol. I have, my lord.

Ham. Let her not walk i’ the sun : conception is a blessing; but not 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 slave says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled ; their eyes purging thick amber, or plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, toge ther with weak hams : All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not ho nesty to have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir, should be old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

Pol. Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the air, my lord ?

#am. Into my grave?

Pol. Indeed, that is out o' the air. How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often mad

a The ordinary reading, which was suggested by Warburton, is, “ being a god, kissing carrion.” The text, as we give it, is that of the quartos and the folios. We fear that this “noble emendation," as Johnson calls it, cannot be sustained by what follows. The carrion is good at kissing-ready to return the kiss of the sin—" Common kissing Titan,”-and in the hitterness of his satire Hamlet associates the idea with the daughter of Polonius.

ness 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 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, my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !

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

[ To POLONIUS.

[Èxit POLONIUS. Guil. Mine 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 favour?

Guil. 'Faith, her privates we.

Ham. In the secret parts of fortune ? 0, most true ; she is a strumpet. What 's the news ?

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

Ham. Then is dooms-day near : But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular : What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

Guil. Prison, my lord ?
Ham. Denmark 's a prison.
VOL. VII.

Ros. Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one of the worst.

Ros. We think not so, my lord.

Ham. Why, then 't is none to you: for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one; 't is too narrow for your mind.

Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count myself a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream,

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow.

Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow,

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs and outstretch'd heroes the beggars' shadows : Shall we to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.

Ros., Guil. We 'll wait upon you.

Ham. No such matter : I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. 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 : and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a half-penny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come; deal justly with me : come, come; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we say, my lord ?

Ham. Why anything. But to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to

colour: I know, the good king and queen have sent for you.

Ros. To what end, my lord ?

Ham. That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no ? Ros. What say you ?

[To Guild. Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you ; [Aside. ] if you love me, hold not off.

Guil. My lord, we were sent for.

Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery of your secrecy to the king and queen. Moult no feather. I have of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises : and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you,—this brave o'erhanging &- this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, no, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.

Ros. My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.

a In the quarto (B), we read, “this brave o'erhanging firmament." Using o'erhanging as a substantive, and omitting firma ment, the reading of the folio,) the sentence is, perhaps, less eloquent, but more coherent.

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