Act 2, Scene 1

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[Enter Polonius with his servant Reynaldo.]

Polonius

Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
[He hands Reynaldo money and papers.]

Reynaldo

I will, my lord.

Polonius

You shall do marvelous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before you visit him, to make inquiry
Of his behavior.

Reynaldo

                             My lord, I did intend it.

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.

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 dishonor 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. 

Polonius

Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing,
Quarreling, drabbing — you may go so far.

Reynaldo

My lord, that would dishonor him!

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 unreclaimèd blood,
Of general assault.

Reynaldo

                                   But, my good lord ...

Polonius

Wherefore should you do this?

Reynaldo

                                                          Ay, my lord,
I would know that.

Polonius

                                  Marry sir, here's my drift —
And I believe it is a fetch of warrant,
You laying these slight sallies on my son
As 'twere a thing a little soiled i'th' 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. 

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."

Polonius

At "closes in the consequence." Ay, marry, 
He closes with you thus: "I know the gentleman,
I saw him yesterday, or th' other day,
Or then, or then, with such and such, and as you say,
There was he 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. 

Polonius 

                             God buy you; fare you well.

Reynaldo

Good my lord.

Polonius

Observe his inclination in yourself.

Reynaldo

I shall, my lord.

Polonius

                             And let him ply his music.

Reynaldo

Well, my lord.

Polonius

Farewell.
[Exit Reynaldo, enter Ophelia.]

Polonius

How now Ophelia, what's the matter? 

Ophelia

Alas, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

Polonius   

With what, in the name of heaven?

Ophelia

My lord, as I was sewing in my chamber,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
Ungartered, and down-gyvèd to his ankle,     
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosèd out of hell
To speak of horrors, he comes before me.     

Polonius

Mad for thy love? 

Ophelia

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

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 stayed 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
That 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 turned,
He seemed to find his way without his eyes.
For out of doors he went without their help,
And to the last bended their light on me.     

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 letters and denied
His access to me.    

Polonius

                               That hath made him mad.
I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
I had not quoted him. I fear he did but trifle
And meant to wreck thee. But beshrew my jealousy!    
It seems 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.    
[Exit.]