Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Folio)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Folio)

    Enter Polonius and Reynaldo.
    890Polonius Give him his money, and these notes, Reynaldo.[He gives money and papers.]
    Reynaldo I will, my lord.
    Polonius You shall do marvel's wisely, good Reynaldo,
    Before you visit him you make inquiry
    Of his behavior.
    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,
    900What 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,
    905And 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,
    910Addicted 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
    915To 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.
    920Polonius 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,
    925The 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.
    930Polonius Marry sir, here's my drift,
    And I believe it is a fetch of warrant.
    You laying these slight sullies on my son
    As 'twere a thing a little soiled i'th' working,
    Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound,
    935Having 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 and the addition
    940Of man and country.
    Very good, my lord.
    Polonius And then, sir, does he this,
    He does--what was I about to say?
    I was about to say something. Where did I leave?
    945Reynaldo 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 t'other day,
    950Or 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,
    955Your 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
    960Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?
    My lord, I have.
    God buy you; fare you well.
    Reynaldo Good my lord.
    Polonius Observe his inclination in yourself.
    965Reynaldo I shall, my lord.
    Polonius And let him ply his music.
    Reynaldo Well, my lord.
    Enter Ophelia.
    Polonius Farewell.-- 970How 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,
    975No 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
    980To 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.
    985Then 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,
    990And 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 shoulders turned
    995He seemed to find his way without his eyes,
    For out o' doors he went without their help,
    And to the last bended their light on me.
    Polonius Go with me. I will go seek the King.
    This is the very ecstasy of love,
    1000Whose 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?
    1005Ophelia No, my good lord, but as you did command
    I did repel his letters, and denied
    His access to me.
    That hath made him mad.
    I am sorry that with better speed and judgment
    1010I had not quoted him. I fear he did but trifle
    And meant to wrack 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
    1015To 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.