|The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark|
| Act 2, Scene 1
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Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDOLORD POLONIUS
Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.REYNALDO
I will, my lord.LORD POLONIUS
You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,REYNALDO
Before you visit him, to make inquire
Of his behavior.
My lord, I did intend it.LORD POLONIUS
Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,REYNALDO
Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
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?
Ay, very well, my lord.LORD POLONIUS
'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:REYNALDO
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 dishonour 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.LORD POLONIUS
Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,REYNALDO
Drabbing: you may go so far.
My lord, that would dishonour him.LORD POLONIUS
'Faith, no; as you may season it in the chargeREYNALDO
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,--LORD POLONIUS
Wherefore should you do this?REYNALDO
Ay, my lord,LORD POLONIUS
I would know that.
Marry, sir, here's my drift;REYNALDO
And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd 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.LORD POLONIUS
And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was IREYNALDO
about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
something: where did I leave?
At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'LORD POLONIUS
At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;REYNALDO
He closes 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 a' gaming; there o'ertook in's 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 windlasses and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out:
So by my former lecture and advice,
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
My lord, I have.LORD POLONIUS
God be wi' you; fare you well.REYNALDO
Good my lord!LORD POLONIUS
Observe his inclination in yourself.REYNALDO
I shall, my lord.LORD POLONIUS
And let him ply his music.REYNALDO
Well, my lord.LORD POLONIUS
Enter OPHELIAHow now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!LORD POLONIUS
With what, i' the name of God?OPHELIA
My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,LORD POLONIUS
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
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.
Mad for thy love?OPHELIA
My lord, I do not know;LORD POLONIUS
But truly, I do fear it.
What said he?OPHELIA
He took me by the wrist and held me hard;LORD POLONIUS
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 raised 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.
Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.OPHELIA
This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property fordoes 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?
No, my good lord, but, as you did command,LORD POLONIUS
I did repel his fetters 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 fear'd he did but trifle,
And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
By heaven, 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.
| Act 2, Scene 1
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