Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

I doubt it is no other but the main, —
His father's death and our o'erhasty marriage.

Well, we shall sift him.

[Enter Polonius, with Voltimand and Cornelius.]

Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?

Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
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 sickness, 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' assay of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;
And his commission to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack:
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
[Gives a paper.]
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprise,
On such regards of safety and allowance
As therein are set down.

It likes us well;
And at our more consider'd time we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.]

This business is well ended. —
My liege, and madam, — to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul 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.

More matter, with less art.

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 farewell 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.
I have a daughter, — have whilst she is mine, —
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this: now gather, and surmise.
'To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified
Ophelia,' —
That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beautified' is a vile
phrase: but you shall hear. Thus:
'In her excellent white bosom, these, &c.'

Came this from Hamlet to her?

Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.
'Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
'O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to
reckon my groans: but that I love thee best, O most best, believe
it. Adieu.
'Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him,
This, in obedience, hath my daughter show'd me;
And more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

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