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    Act 2. Scene I

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    Chapter 6
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    SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.

    Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO
    LORD POLONIUS
    Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

    REYNALDO
    I will, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
    Before you visit him, to make inquire
    Of his behavior.

    REYNALDO
    My lord, I did intend it.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
    Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
    And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
    What company, at what expense; and finding
    By this encompassment and drift of question
    That they do know my son, come you more nearer
    Than your particular demands will touch it:
    Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
    As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
    And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?

    REYNALDO
    Ay, very well, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
    But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
    Addicted so and so:' and there put on him
    What 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.

    REYNALDO
    As gaming, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
    Drabbing: you may go so far.

    REYNALDO
    My lord, that would dishonour him.

    LORD POLONIUS
    'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge
    You must not put another scandal on him,
    That he is open to incontinency;
    That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly
    That they may seem the taints of liberty,
    The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
    A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
    Of general assault.

    REYNALDO
    But, my good lord,--

    LORD POLONIUS
    Wherefore should you do this?

    REYNALDO
    Ay, my lord,
    I would know that.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Marry, sir, here's my drift;
    And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
    You laying these slight sullies on my son,
    As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
    Your party in converse, him you would sound,
    Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
    The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
    He closes with you in this consequence;
    'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
    According to the phrase or the addition
    Of man and country.

    REYNALDO
    Very good, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was I
    about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
    something: where did I leave?

    REYNALDO
    At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
    and 'gentleman.'

    LORD POLONIUS
    At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
    He closes thus: 'I know the gentleman;
    I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
    Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
    There was a' gaming; there o'ertook in's rouse;
    There falling out at tennis:' or perchance,
    'I saw him enter such a house of sale,'
    Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.
    See you now;
    Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
    And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
    With windlasses and with assays of bias,
    By indirections find directions out:
    So by my former lecture and advice,
    Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

    REYNALDO
    My lord, I have.

    LORD POLONIUS
    God be wi' you; fare you well.

    REYNALDO
    Good my lord!

    LORD POLONIUS
    Observe his inclination in yourself.

    REYNALDO
    I shall, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    And let him ply his music.

    REYNALDO
    Well, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Farewell!

    Exit REYNALDO

    Enter OPHELIA

    How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?

    OPHELIA
    O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

    LORD POLONIUS
    With what, i' the name of God?

    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 purport
    As if he had been loosed out of hell
    To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Mad for thy love?

    OPHELIA
    My lord, I do not know;
    But truly, I do fear it.

    LORD POLONIUS
    What said he?

    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 face
    As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
    At last, a little shaking of mine arm
    And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
    He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
    As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
    And 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.

    LORD POLONIUS
    Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
    This is the very ecstasy of love,
    Whose violent property fordoes itself
    And leads the will to desperate undertakings
    As oft as any passion under heaven
    That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.
    What, have you given him any hard words of late?

    OPHELIA
    No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
    I did repel his fetters and denied
    His access to me.

    LORD POLONIUS
    That hath made him mad.
    I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
    I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,
    And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
    By heaven, it is as proper to our age
    To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
    As it is common for the younger sort
    To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
    This must be known; which, being kept close, might
    move
    More grief to hide than hate to utter love.

    Exeunt
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