Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


Prince of Denmarke.
My Liege and Maddam, to expostulate
What maiestie should be, what dutie is,
1115Why day is day, night, night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to wast night, day, and time,
Therefore breuitie is the soule of wit,
And tediousnes the lymmes and outward florishes,
I will be briefe, your noble sonne is mad:
1120Mad call I it, for to define true madnes,
What ist but to be nothing els but mad,
But let that goe.
Quee. More matter with lesse art.
Pol. Maddam, I sweare I vse no art at all,
1125That hee's mad tis true, tis true, tis pitty,
And pitty tis tis true, a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will vse no art.
Mad let vs graunt him then, and now remaines
That we find out the cause of this effect,
1130Or 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 while she is mine,
Who in her dutie and obedience, marke,
1135Hath giuen me this, now gather and surmise,
To the Celestiall and my soules Idoll, the most beau-
tified Ophelia, that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase,
beautified is a vile phrase, but you shall heare: thus in
1140her excellent white bosome, these &c.
Quee. Came this from Hamlet to her?
Pol. Good Maddam stay awhile, I will be faithfull,
Doubt thou the starres are fire,
Letter.
1145Doubt that the Sunne doth moue,
Doubt truth to be a lyer,
But neuer doubt I loue.
O deere Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers, I haue not art to recken
my grones, but that I loue thee best, ô most best belieue it, adew.
Thine euermore most deere Lady, whilst this machine is to him.
Pol. This in obedience hath my daughter showne me,
And more about hath his solicitings
As