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This must be known; which, being kept close,
might move § More grief to hide, than hate to utter love. Come. [Ereunt. SCENE II.
Enter King, Queen, Ros EN cRANtz, 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,
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, being of so young days brought up with him:
And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and hu-
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, 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
To show us so much gentry," and good will,
As to expend your time with us a while,
For the supply and profit of our hope,
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 entreaty.
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 Guilden-
Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosen-
And I beseech you instantly to visit
My too much changed son.—Go, some of you,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.
Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our prac-
Pleasant and helpful to him!
Queen. Ay, amen!
[Ereunt Ros EN cRANTz, GUILD ENSTERN, and
Pol. The embassadors from Norway, my good lord, Are joyfully return'd.
King. Thou still hast been the father of good news. Pol. Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good liege, I hold my duty, as I hold my soul, Both to my God, and to my gracious king: And I 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. Ring. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear. Pol. Give first admittance to the embassadors ; My news shall be the fruit" to that great feast. King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in. [Erit Po LoN I Us. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son's distemper. Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main; His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.
Re-enter Polo N I Us, with Volt IMAN D and CoRN ELI U.S.
King. Well, we shall sift him.—Welcome, my good friends !
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Volt. Most fair return of greetings, and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;”
But, better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your highness: Whereat griev'd,—
That so his sickness, age, and impotence,
Was falsely borne in hand,3—sends out arrests
On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;
Receives rebuke from Norway; and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle, never more
To give the assay of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;
And his commission, to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack:
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
[Gives a Paper.
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprize;
On such regards of safety, and allowance,
As therein are set down.
King. It likes us well :
And, at our more consider'd time, we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Mean time, we thank you for your well-took labour:
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home! -
[Ereunt VoltiMAND and CoRN ELIUs.
Pol. This business is well ended.
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 no art at all.
That he is mad, 'tis true: '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.
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 beauti-
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile
phrase; but you shall hear.—Thus:
In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.
Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful—
Doubt thou, the stars are fire; [Reads.
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, O most best, believe it. Adieu. Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet.