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What is't, but to be nothing else but mad?
Queen. More matter, with less art.
Pol. Madam, I swear I use no art at all :
[He opens a letter and reads.] To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia. That's an ill phrafe, a vile phrafe, beautified is a vile phrase ; but you shall hear These to her excellent white bosom, these
Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Doubt thou, the stars are fire, [Reading
But never doubt, I love. Ob dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers ; I have not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee best, ob most beft, believe it. Adieu. Thine evermore, most dear Lady, whilst this
Machine is to him, Hamlet.
King. But how hath she receiv'd his love?
King. As of a man, faithful and honourable.
Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you think? When I had seen his 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 light, What might you think? no, I went round to work, And my young mittress thus I did bespeak; Lord Hemlet is a Prince out of thy sphere, This must not be; and then I precepts gave her, That she should lock her self from his resort, Admit no messengers, receive no cokens : Which done, she took the fruits of my advice, And he repulsed, a short tale to make, Fell to a sadness, then into a faft, Thence to a watching, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and by this declension Into the madness wherein now he raves, And all we wail for. King. Do you think this? Queen. It may be very likely.
Pol. Hath there been such a time, I'd fain know that,
King. Not that I know.
[Pointing to bis bead and body.
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. Ac such a time I'll loose my daughter to him;
King. We will try it.
Enter Hamlet reading.
Ham. Well, God-a-mercy.
Ham. Ay, Sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one pick'd out of ten thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my Lord.
Ham. For if the fun breed maggots in a dead dog,
Pol. I have, my Lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i'th' sun ; conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't.
Pol. How say you by that? still harping on my daughter Yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a filhmonger. He is far gone ; and truly in my youth, [Aside. I suffer'd much extremity for love ;
Very 8 good ... Warb. emend.
Very near this. I'll speak to him again.
Ham. Words, words, words.
Ham. Slanders, Sir: for the fatyrical Nave says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled ; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumbtree gum ; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams. All which, Sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down : for, your self, Sir, shall be but as old as I am, if like a crab you could go backward.
Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't: Will you walk out of the air, my Lord ?
Ham. Inco my grave ?
Pol. Indeed that is out o'th' air:
Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal, except my life.
Pol. Fare you well, my Lord.
S C Ε Ν Ε VI.
Enter Rosincrofle and Guildenstern,
Ror le as
Rof. My most dear Lord !
[denstern? Ham. My excellent good friends! how dost thou, GuilOh, Rosincrone! good lads, how do ye both?
Rof. As the indifferent children of the earth.
Guil. Happy in that we are not over-happy;
Ham. Nor the foals of her shoe.
Ham. Then you live about her waste, or in the middle of her favours ?
Guil. 'Faith, in her privates we.
Ham. In the secret parts of fortune? oh, most true; she is a strumpet. What news ?
Rof. 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 the sends you to prison hither?
Guil. Prison, my Lord !
Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons ; Denmark being one o'ch' worst.
Rof. We think not so, my Lord.
Ham. Why then, 'cis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it fo: to me it is a prison.
Ros. Why then your ambition makes it one : 'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. Oh God, I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count my felf 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 meerly the shadow of a dream.
Ham. A dream it self 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 2 3