Hamlet Act 2

Polonius Addicted so and so:’ and there put on himWhat 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.
Polonius Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
Polonius By indirections find directions out:
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 purportAs if he had been loosed out of hellTo speak of horrors,–he comes before me.
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 faceAs he would draw it. Long stay’d he so;At last, a little shaking of mine armAnd thrice his head thus waving up and down, He raised a sigh so piteous and profoundAs it did seem to shatter all his bulkAnd 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.
Polonius Come, go with me: I will go seek the king. This is the very ecstasy of love,
Ophelia No, my good lord, but, as you did command,I did repel his fetters and deniedHis access to me.
Polonius That hath made him mad.I am sorry that with better heed and judgmentI had not quoted him: I fear’d he did but trifle,
Polonius Come, go we to the king:This must be known; which, being kept close, might moveMore grief to hide than hate to utter love.
Claudius Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet’s transformation; so call it,Sith nor 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 sith so neighbour’d to his youth and havior, That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companiesTo 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.
Gertrude Your visitation shall receive such thanks As fits a king’s remembrance.
Polonius As it hath used to do, that I have found The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.
Polonius Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
Gertrude More matter, with less art.
Polonius And he, repulsed–a short tale to make–Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension, Into the madness wherein now he raves,And all we mourn for.
Polonius Take this from this, if this be otherwise:
Polonius Do you know me, my lord?
Hamlet Excellent well; you are a fishmonger.
Hamlet Have you a daughter?
Hamlet Let her not walk i’ the sun: conception is a blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to ‘t.
Polonius What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet Words, words, words.
Polonius Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Happy, in that we are not over-happy;On fortune’s cap we are not the very button.
Hamlet Nor the soles of her shoe?
Hamlet Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ‘Faith, her privates we.
Hamlet Denmark’s a prison.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Why then, your ambition makes it one
Hamlet I have bad dreams.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the verysubstance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
Hamlet A dream itself is but a shadow.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
Hamlet Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs andoutstretched heroes the beggars’ shadows. Shall we to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
Hamlet Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern What should we say, my lord?
Hamlet There is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern My lord, we were sent for.
Hamlet but my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.
Hamlet I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
Polonius The actors are come hither, my lord.
Hamlet Buz, buz!
Polonius Upon mine honour,–
Hamlet Then came each actor on his ass,–
Polonius The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.
Hamlet O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!
Hamlet Come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate speech.
Hamlet One speech in it I chiefly loved: ’twas Aeneas’ tale to Dido; and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam’s slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin at this line: let me see, let me see–
Hamlet Follow him, friends: we’ll hear a play to-morrow.Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the Murder of Gonzago?
Hamlet I’ll have these players Play something like the murder of my fatherBefore mine uncle: I’ll observe his looks;I’ll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,I know my course.

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