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Home > Hamlet > ACT II - SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.

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ACT II - SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.
Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO

LORD POLONIUS
1    Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
REYNALDO
2    I will, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
3    You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
4    Before you visit him, to make inquire
5    Of his behavior.
REYNALDO
6    My lord, I did intend it.
LORD POLONIUS
7    Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
8    Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
9    And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
10   What company, at what expense; and finding
11   By this encompassment and drift of question
12   That they do know my son, come you more nearer
13   Than your particular demands will touch it:
14   Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
15   As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
16   And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?
REYNALDO
17   Ay, very well, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
18   'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
19   But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
20   Addicted so and so:' and there put on him
21   What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
22   As may dishonour him; take heed of that;
23   But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
24   As are companions noted and most known
25   To youth and liberty.
REYNALDO
26   As gaming, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
27   Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
28   Drabbing: you may go so far.
REYNALDO
29   My lord, that would dishonour him.
LORD POLONIUS
30   'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge
31   You must not put another scandal on him,
32   That he is open to incontinency;
33   That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly
34   That they may seem the taints of liberty,
35   The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
36   A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
37   Of general assault.
REYNALDO
38   But, my good lord,--
LORD POLONIUS
39   Wherefore should you do this?
REYNALDO
40   Ay, my lord,
41   I would know that.
LORD POLONIUS
42   Marry, sir, here's my drift;
43   And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
44   You laying these slight sullies on my son,
45   As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
46   Your party in converse, him you would sound,
47   Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
48   The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
49   He closes with you in this consequence;
50   'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
51   According to the phrase or the addition
52   Of man and country.
REYNALDO
53   Very good, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
54   And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was I
55   about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
56   something: where did I leave?
REYNALDO
57   At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
58   and 'gentleman.'
LORD POLONIUS
59   At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
60   He closes thus: 'I know the gentleman;
61   I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
62   Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
63   There was a' gaming; there o'ertook in's rouse;
64   There falling out at tennis:' or perchance,
65   'I saw him enter such a house of sale,'
66   Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.
67   See you now;
68   Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
69   And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
70   With windlasses and with assays of bias,
71   By indirections find directions out:
72   So by my former lecture and advice,
73   Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
REYNALDO
74   My lord, I have.
LORD POLONIUS
75   God be wi' you; fare you well.
REYNALDO
76   Good my lord!
LORD POLONIUS
77   Observe his inclination in yourself.
REYNALDO
78   I shall, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
79   And let him ply his music.
REYNALDO
80   Well, my lord.
LORD POLONIUS
81   Farewell!
Exit REYNALDO
Enter OPHELIA
82   How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
OPHELIA
83   O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
LORD POLONIUS
84   With what, i' the name of God?
OPHELIA
85   My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
86   Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
87   No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
88   Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
89   Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
90   And with a look so piteous in purport
91   As if he had been loosed out of hell
92   To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.
LORD POLONIUS
93   Mad for thy love?
OPHELIA
94   My lord, I do not know;
95   But truly, I do fear it.
LORD POLONIUS
96   What said he?
OPHELIA
97   He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
98   Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
99   And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
100  He falls to such perusal of my face
101  As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
102  At last, a little shaking of mine arm
103  And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
104  He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
105  As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
106  And end his being: that done, he lets me go:
107  And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
108  He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
109  For out o' doors he went without their helps,
110  And, to the last, bended their light on me.
LORD POLONIUS
111  Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
112  This is the very ecstasy of love,
113  Whose violent property fordoes itself
114  And leads the will to desperate undertakings
115  As oft as any passion under heaven
116  That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.
117  What, have you given him any hard words of late?
OPHELIA
118  No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
119  I did repel his fetters and denied
120  His access to me.
LORD POLONIUS
121  That hath made him mad.
122  I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
123  I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,
124  And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
125  By heaven, it is as proper to our age
126  To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
127  As it is common for the younger sort
128  To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
129  This must be known; which, being kept close, might
130  move
131  More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE VACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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