Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 1
A room in POLONIUS' house.
Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO
Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.
I will, my lord.
You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
Before you visit him, to make inquire
Of his behavior.
My lord, I did intend it.
Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
What company, at what expense; and finding
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
And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?
Ay, very well, my lord.
'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
But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and
As gaming, my lord.
Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
Drabbing: you may go so far.
My lord, that would dishonour him.
'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge
You must not put another scandal on him,
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,
But, my good lord,
Wherefore should you do this?
Ay, my lord,
I would know that.
Marry, sir, here's my drift;
And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
You laying these slight sullies on my
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
ever seen in the prenominate crimes
The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
He closes with you in
'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
According to the phrase or the addition
man and country.
Very good, my lord.
And then, sir, does he thishe doeswhat was I
about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
did I leave?
At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
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
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
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?
My lord, I have.
God be wi' you; fare you well.
Good my lord!
Observe his inclination in yourself.
I shall, my lord.
And let him ply his music.
Well, my lord.
How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?
O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
With what, i' the name of God?
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
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.
Mad for thy love?
My lord, I do not know;
But truly, I do fear it.
What said he?
He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face
As he would draw it. Long stay'd
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
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
o' doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.
Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property
And leads the will to desperate undertakings
As oft as any passion under heaven
afflict our natures. I am sorry.
What, have you given him any hard words of late?
No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
I did repel his fetters and denied
His access to me.
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
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
More grief to hide than
hate to utter love.