Qu. Thankes Guildensterne and gentle Rosincrance. And I beseech you instantly to visit My too much changed Sonne. Go some of ye, And bring the Gentlemen where Hamlet is

Guil. Heauens make our presence and our practises Pleasant and helpfull to him. Enter.

Queene. Amen. Enter Polonius.

Pol. Th' Ambassadors from Norwey, my good Lord, Are ioyfully return'd

King. Thou still hast bin the father of good Newes

Pol. Haue I, my Lord? Assure you, my good Liege, I hold my dutie, as I hold my Soule, Both to my God, one to my gracious King: And I do thinke, or else this braine of mine Hunts not the traile of Policie, so sure As I haue vs'd to do: that I haue found The very cause of Hamlets Lunacie

King. Oh speake of that, that I do long to heare

Pol. Giue first admittance to th' Ambassadors, My Newes shall be the Newes to that great Feast

King. Thy selfe do grace to them, and bring them in. He tels me my sweet Queene, that he hath found The head and sourse of all your Sonnes distemper

Qu. I doubt it is no other, but the maine, His Fathers death, and our o're-hasty Marriage. Enter Polonius, Voltumand, and Cornelius.

King. Well, we shall sift him. Welcome good Frends: Say Voltumand, what from our Brother Norwey? Volt. Most faire returne of Greetings, and Desires. Vpon our first, he sent out to suppresse His Nephewes Leuies, which to him appear'd To be a preparation 'gainst the Poleak: But better look'd into, he truly found It was against your Highnesse, whereat greeued, That so his Sicknesse, Age, and Impotence Was falsely borne in hand, sends out Arrests On Fortinbras, which he (in breefe) obeyes, Receiues rebuke from Norwey: and in fine, Makes Vow before his Vnkle, neuer more To giue th' assay of Armes against your Maiestie. Whereon old Norwey, ouercome with ioy, Giues him three thousand Crownes in Annuall Fee, And his Commission to imploy those Soldiers So leuied as before, against the Poleak: With an intreaty heerein further shewne, That it might please you to giue quiet passe Through your Dominions, for his Enterprize, On such regards of safety and allowance, As therein are set downe

King. It likes vs well: And at our more consider'd time wee'l read, Answer, and thinke vpon this Businesse. Meane time we thanke you, for your well-tooke Labour. Go to your rest, at night wee'l Feast together. Most welcome home.

Exit Ambass.

Pol. This businesse is very well ended. My Liege, and Madam, to expostulate What Maiestie should be, what Dutie is, Why day is day; night, night; and time is time, Were nothing but to waste Night, Day, and Time. Therefore, since Breuitie is the Soule of Wit, And tediousnesse, the limbes and outward flourishes, I will be breefe. Your Noble Sonne is mad: Mad call I it; for to define true Madnesse, What is't, but to be nothing else but mad. But let that go

Qu. More matter, with lesse Art

Pol. Madam, I sweare I vse no Art at all: That he is mad, 'tis true: 'Tis true 'tis pittie, And pittie it is true: A foolish figure, But farewell it: for I will vse no Art. Mad let vs grant him then: and now remaines That we finde out the cause of this effect, Or rather say, the cause of this defect; For this effect defectiue, comes by cause, Thus it remaines, and the remainder thus. Perpend, I haue a daughter: haue, whil'st she is mine, Who in her Dutie and Obedience, marke, Hath giuen me this: now gather, and surmise.

The Letter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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