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To lack discretion. Come; go we to the King.
This muft be known; which, being kept close, might
More grief to hide, than hate to utter, love. [Exeunt.


SCENE changes to the Palace. Enter King, Queen, Rofincrantz, Guildenstern, Lords

and other Attendants.

King ELCOME, dear Rofincrantz, and Guil

Moreover that we much did long to see you,
The need, we have to use you, did provoke
Our hafty sending. Something you have heard
Of Hamlet's transformation ; fo I call it,
Since not th' 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 th' 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 humour,
That you vouchfafe


Rest here in our Court
Some little time ; fo by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather,
So much as from occafions you may glean,
If aught, to us unknown, amięts 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 Thew us so much ģentry and good will,
As to extend 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,

Rof. Both your Majesties
Might, by the fovoreign power you

have of us, Put your dread pleasures more into command


Than to entreaty:

Guil. But we both obey,
And here give up our selves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet.

. King. Thanks, Rofincrantz, and gentle Guildenstern. Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rofin

And, I beseech you, instantly to visit
My too much changed son. Go, fome of ye,
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

Guil. Heav'ns make our presence and our practices Pleasant and helpful to him! [Exeunt Rof. and Guil. Queen. Amen.

Enter Polonius.
Pol. Th'ambssadors from Norway, my good lord,
Are joy fully return'd.

King. Thou still haft been the father of good news.

Pol, Have I, my lord ? affure you, my good liege, I hold my duty, as I hold my foul, 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 fo sure As I have us'd to do) that I have found The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

King. Oh, fpeak of that, that do I long to hear.

Pol. Give first admittance to th' ambassadors : My news shall be the fruit to that great feast. King. Thy self do grace to them, and bring them in.

[Ex. Pol. He tells me, my sweet Queen, that he hath found The head and source of all your son's diftemper.

Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main, His father's death, and our o'er-hasty marriage. Re-enter Polonius, with Voltimand, and Cornelius. King. Well, we shall fift him. -Welcome, my good

friends! Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway? Volt. Most fair return of Greetings, and Defires.


Upon our first, he sent out to fuppress
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 fickness, age, and impotence
Was falsely borne in hand, 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 th'affay of arms against your Majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him threescore thousand crowns in annual fee; (13)

(13) Gives him three thousand Crowns in annual Fee.] This Reading first obrain'd in the Edition put out by the Players. But all the old Quarto's (from 160s, downwards,) read, as I have reform'd the Text. I had hinted, that threescore thouSand Crowns seem'd a much more suitable Donative from a King to his own Nephew, and the General of an Army, than so poor a Pittance as three thousand Crowns, a Pension scarce large enougb. for a dependent Courtier. I therefore restor’d,

Gives him threescore thousand CrownsTo this Mr. Pope, (very archly critical, as he imagines ;) has only replyed, which in his Ear is a Verso. I own, it is ; and I'll venture to prove to this great Master in Numbers, that 2 Syllables may, by Pronunciation, be resolv'd and melted into one, as easily as two Notes are pur'd in Mufick: and a Redundance of a Syllable, that may be fo supk, has never been a Breach of Harmony in any Language. We must pronounce, and scan, as if 'twere written ;

Gi's'm three l score thou | Sand crowns 1 Mr. Pope would advance a false Nicety of Ear against the Licence of Shakespeare's Numbers; nay, indeed, against the Licence of all English Versification, in common with That of other Languages. Three Syllables, thus liquidated into Two, are in Scanlon plainly an Anapeft; and equal to a Spondee, or Foot of two Syllables. I could produce at least two thousand of our Poet's Verses, that would be difurb'd by this modern, Nereasonable, Chafteness of Metro,


And his Commission to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack :
With an entreaty, herein further shewn,
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


welltook labour.
Go to your Reft; at night we'll feast together.
Most welcome home!

[Ex, Ambaf: Pol. This business is well ended. My Liege, and Madam, to expoftulate 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's the foul 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 farewel 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.—Perpend. I have a daughter ; have, whilst she is mine ; Who in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath giv'n me this; now gather, and surmise.

[He opens a letter, and reads.] To the celestial, and my foul's idol, the most beari

fied (14) Ophelia.

That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase: beatified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear These to ber excellent white bofom, these.

Queen, Came this from Hamlet to her ?
Pol. Good Madam, stay a while, I will be faithful.

Doubt thou, the stars are fire, [Reading
Doubt, that the Sun doth move ;
Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt, I love. Oh, dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I bave not art to reckon my groans; but that I love thee bej, ob mojt beft, believe it.

Thine evermore, most dear Lady, whilf

this Machine is to him, Hamlet.
This in obedience hath my daughter shewn me:
And, more above, hath his follicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

King. But how hath she receiv'd his love ?

(14) To tbe Celestial, and my Soul's Idol, the most beautified Ophelia.) I have ventur'd at an Emendation here, against the Authority of all the Copies ; but, I hope, upon Examination it will appear probable and reasonable. The Word beautified may carry two diftin& Ideas, either as applied to a Woman made up of artificial Beauties, or to one rich in native Charms. As Shakespeare has therefore chose to use it in the latter Acceptation, to express natural Comeliness , I cannot imagine, that, here, he would make Polonius except to the Phrase, and call it a vile one. But a stronger Obje&ion ftill, in my Mind, lies against it. As Celestial and Soul's Idol are the introductory Characteristics of Ophelia, what a dreadful Anticlimax is it to descend to such an Epithet as beautified ? On the other hand, beatified, as I have conjeâur'd, raises the Image : but Polenius might very well, as a Roman Catholick, call it a vile Phrase, i. e. favouring of Prophanation ; since the Epithet is peculiarly made an Adjunct to the Virgin Mary's Honour, and therefore ought not to be employ'd in the Praise of a meer Mortal.


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