Hamlet* by William Shakespeare § 2.1

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ACT II
SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.
[Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO]
1205 LORD POLONIUS.
Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
REYNALDO.
I will, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
1210 You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before you visit him, to make inquire
Of his behavior.
REYNALDO.
My lord, I did intend it.
1215 LORD POLONIUS.
Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
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
1220 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,
1225 And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?
REYNALDO.
Ay, very well, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
1230 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
1235 As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.
REYNALDO.
As gaming, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
1240 Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Drabbing: you may go so far.
REYNALDO.
My lord, that would dishonour him.
LORD POLONIUS.
1245 '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,
1250 The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.
REYNALDO.
But, my good lord,--
1255 LORD POLONIUS.
Wherefore should you do this?
REYNALDO.
Ay, my lord,
I would know that.
1260 LORD POLONIUS.
Marry, sir, here's my drift;
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,
1265 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,'
1270 According to the phrase or the addition
Of man and country.
REYNALDO.
Very good, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
1275 And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was I
about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
something: where did I leave?
REYNALDO.
At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
1280 and 'gentleman.'
LORD POLONIUS.
At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
He closes thus: 'I know the gentleman;
I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
1285 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.
1290 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:
1295 So by my former lecture and advice,
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
REYNALDO.
My lord, I have.
LORD POLONIUS.
1300 God be wi' you; fare you well.
REYNALDO.
Good my lord!
LORD POLONIUS.
Observe his inclination in yourself.
1305 REYNALDO.
I shall, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
And let him ply his music.
REYNALDO.
1310 Well, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS.
Farewell!
[Exit REYNALDO]
[Enter OPHELIA]
1315 How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
OPHELIA.
O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
LORD POLONIUS.
With what, i' the name of God?
1320 OPHELIA.
My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
1325 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.
LORD POLONIUS.
1330 Mad for thy love?
OPHELIA.
My lord, I do not know;
But truly, I do fear it.
LORD POLONIUS.
1335 What said he?
OPHELIA.
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,
1340 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
1345 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,
1350 And, to the last, bended their light on me.
LORD POLONIUS.
Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property fordoes itself
1355 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?
OPHELIA.
1360 No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
I did repel his fetters and denied
His access to me.
LORD POLONIUS.
That hath made him mad.
1365 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
1370 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
move
More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
1375 [Exeunt]

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