Polon. With what, in the name of Heauen? Ophe. My Lord, as I was sowing in my Chamber, Lord Hamlet with his doublet all vnbrac'd, No hat vpon his head, his stockings foul'd, Vngartred, and downe giued to his Anckle, Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other, And with a looke so pitious in purport, As if he had been loosed out of hell, To speake of horrors: he comes before me

Polon. Mad for thy Loue? Ophe. My Lord, I doe not know: but truly I do feare it

Polon. What said he? Ophe. He tooke me by the wrist, and held me hard; Then goes he to the length of all his arme; And with his other hand thus o're his brow, He fals to such perusall of my face, As he would draw it. Long staid he so, At last, a little shaking of mine Arme: And thrice his head thus wauing vp and downe; He rais'd a sigh, so pittious and profound, That it did seeme to shatter all his bulke, And end his being. That done, he lets me goe, And with his head ouer his shoulders turn'd, He seem'd to finde his way without his eyes, For out adores he went without their helpe; And to the last, bended their light on me

Polon. Goe with me, I will goe seeke the King, This is the very extasie of Loue, Whose violent property foredoes it selfe, And leads the will to desperate Vndertakings, As oft as any passion vnder Heauen, That does afflict our Natures. I am sorrie, What haue you giuen him any hard words of late? Ophe. No my good Lord: but as you did command, I did repell his Letters, and deny'de His accesse to me

Pol. That hath made him mad. I am sorrie that with better speed and iudgement I had not quoted him. I feare he did but trifle, And meant to wracke thee: but beshrew my iealousie: It seemes it is as proper to our Age, To cast beyond our selues in our Opinions, As it is common for the yonger sort To lacke discretion. Come, go we to the King, This must be knowne, being kept close might moue More greefe to hide, then hate to vtter loue.


Scena Secunda.

Enter King, Queene, Rosincrane, and Guildensterne Cum alijs.

King. Welcome deere Rosincrance and Guildensterne. Moreouer, that we much did long to see you, The neede we haue to vse you, did prouoke Our hastie sending. Something haue you heard Of Hamlets transformation: so I call it, Since not th' exterior, nor the inward man Resembles that it was. What it should bee More then his Fathers death, that thus hath put him So much from th' vnderstanding of himselfe, I cannot deeme of. I intreat you both, That being of so young dayes brought vp with him: And since so Neighbour'd to his youth, and humour, That you vouchsafe your rest heere in our Court Some little time: so by your Companies To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather So much as from Occasions you may gleane, That open'd lies within our remedie

Qu. Good Gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you, And sure I am, two men there are not liuing, To whom he more adheres. If it will please you To shew vs so much Gentrie, and good will, As to expend your time with vs a-while, For the supply and profit of our Hope, Your Visitation shall receiue such thankes As fits a Kings remembrance

Rosin. Both your Maiesties Might by the Soueraigne power you haue of vs, Put your dread pleasures, more into Command Then to Entreatie

Guil. We both obey, And here giue vp our selues, in the full bent, To lay our Seruices freely at your feete, To be commanded

King. Thankes Rosincrance, and gentle Guildensterne

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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