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My lord, I do not know ; But, truly, I do fear it. Pol.
What said he? Oph. 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 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 rais’d 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.
Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king: This is the very ecstasy of love ; Whose violent property foredoes itself,' And leads the will to desperate undertakings, As oft as any passion under heaven, That does allict our natures.
I am sorry;
That hath made him mad.
all his bulk,] i. e. all his body,
foredoes itself,] To foredo is to destroy * I had not quoted him:) i. e. observed him,
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
A Room in the Castle.
Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDEN
STERN, and Attendants. King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guil
denstern! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need, we have to use you, did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet's transformation ; so I call it, Since not the exterior nor the inward man Resembles that it was : What it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put
him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
it is as proper to our age, &c.] This is not the remark of a weak man. The vice of age is too much suspicion. Men long accustomed to the wiles of life cast commonly beyond them selves, let their cunning go farther than reason can attend it. This is always the fault of a little mind, made artful by long commerce with the world. JOHNSON. * This must be known ; which, being kept close, might move
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.] i. e. this must be made known to the King, for (being kept secret) the hiding Hamlet's love might occasion more mischief to us from him and the Queen, than the uttering or revealing of it will occasion hate and resentment from Hamlet.
That,-being of so young days brought up with
him: And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and hu
rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures ; and to gather, So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus, That, open'd, lies within our remedy. Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of
you; And, sure I am, two men there are not living, To whom he more adheres. If it will please you To show us so much gentry,' and good will, As to expend your time with us a while, For the supply and profit of our hope, Your visitation shall receive such thanks As fits a king's remembrance. Ros.
Both your majesties Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, Put your dread pleasures more into command Than to entreaty. Guil.
But we both obey ; And here give up ourselves, in the full bent, To lay our service freely at your feet, To be commanded. King. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guil
denstern. Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Ro
sencrantz: And I beseech you instantly to visit
To show us so much gentry,] Gentry, for complaisance. 6 For the supply, &c.] That the hope which your arrival has raised may be completed by the desired effect. JOHNSON.
1- in the full bent,] The full bent, is the utmost extremity of exertion. The allusion is to a bow bent as far as it will go.
My too much changed son.-Go, some of you, And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is. Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our prac
tices, Pleasant and helpful to him! Queen.
Ay, amen! [Exeunt RoSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and
Enter POLONIUS. Pol. The embassadors from Norway, my good
lord, Are joyfully return'd. King. Thou still hast been the father of good
news. Pol. Have I, my lord ? Assure you, my good liege, I hold my duty, as I hold my soul, Both to my God, and to my gracious king: And I do think, (or else this brain of mine Hunts not the trail of policy so sure As it hath us’d to do,) that I have found The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
King. O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
Pol. Give first admittance to the embassadors; My news shall be the fruit' to that great feast. King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
[Exit POLONIUS. He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son's distemper.
Queen. I doubt, it is no other but the main ; His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.
the trail of policy-] The trail is the course of an animal pursued by the scent.
the fruit-] The desert after the meat.
Re-enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and COR
NELIUS. King. Well, we shall sift him.-Welcome, my
good friends! Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Volt. Most fair return of greetings, and desires, Upon our first, he sent out to suppress His nephew's levies , which to him appear'd To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack ; But, better look'd into, he truly found It was against your highness : Whereat griev'd, That so his sickness, age, and impotence, Was falsely borne in hand, -sends out arrests On Fortinbras ; which he, in brief, obeys; Receives rebuke from Norway ; and, in fine, Makes yow before his uncle, never more To give the assay of arms against your majesty. Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy, Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee ; And his commission, to employ those soldiers, So levied as before, against the Polack; With an entreaty, herein further shown,
[Gives a Paper.
It likes us well
for your well-took labour:
-borne in hand,] i. e. deceived, imposed an. 2 To give the assay-] To take the assay was a technical ex. pression, originally applied to those who tasted wine for princes and great mene