Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

POLONIUS.
Away, I do beseech you, both away
I'll board him presently: — O, give me leave.

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.]

[Enter Hamlet, reading.]

How does my good Lord Hamlet?

HAMLET.
Well, God-a-mercy.

POLONIUS.
Do you know me, my lord?

HAMLET.
Excellent well; you're a fishmonger.

POLONIUS.
Not I, my lord.

HAMLET.
Then I would you were so honest a man.

POLONIUS.
Honest, my lord!

HAMLET.
Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man
picked out of ten thousand.

POLONIUS.
That's very true, my lord.

HAMLET.
For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god-kissing
carrion, — Have you a daughter?

POLONIUS.
I have, my lord.

HAMLET.
Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing, but not
as your daughter may conceive: — friend, look to't.

POLONIUS.
How say you by that? — [Aside.] Still harping on my daughter: — yet
he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger: he is far
gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity
for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again. — What do you
read, my lord?

HAMLET.
Words, words, words.

POLONIUS.
What is the matter, my lord?

HAMLET.
Between who?

POLONIUS.
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

HAMLET.
Slanders, sir: for the satirical slave says here that old men
have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes
purging thick amber and plum-tree gum; and that they have a
plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams: all which,
sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it
not honesty to have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir,
should be old as I am, if, like a crab, you could go backward.

POLONIUS.
[Aside.] Though this be madness, yet there is a method in't. —
Will you walk out of the air, my lord?

HAMLET.
Into my grave?

Continued on next page...

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