Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Hamlet > Act II, scene I

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LORD POLONIUS: Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

REYNALDO: I will, my lord.

LORD POLONIUS: You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
	Before you visit him, to make inquire
	Of his behavior.

REYNALDO:                   My lord, I did intend it.

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
	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?

REYNALDO: Ay, very well, my lord.

LORD POLONIUS: 'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
	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.

REYNALDO: As gaming, my lord.

LORD POLONIUS: Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
	Drabbing: you may go so far.

REYNALDO: My lord, that would dishonour him.

LORD POLONIUS: '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,
	The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
	A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
	Of general assault.

REYNALDO: But, my good lord,--

LORD POLONIUS: Wherefore should you do this?

REYNALDO: Ay, my lord,
	I would know that.

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,
	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.

REYNALDO: Very good, my lord.

LORD POLONIUS: 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,'
	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,
	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?

REYNALDO: 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.



	[Enter OPHELIA]

	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?

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;
	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: Mad for thy love?

OPHELIA:                   My lord, I do not know;
	But truly, I do fear it.

LORD POLONIUS: 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,
	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.

LORD POLONIUS: Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
	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?

OPHELIA: 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.
	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.



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