Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 1


           Enter old POLONIUS with his
           man [REYNALDO].  Full Summary

      POLONIUS
  1   Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

      REYNALDO
  2   I will, my lord.

      POLONIUS
  3   You shall do marvel's wisely, good Reynaldo,
  4   Before you visit him, to make inquire
  5   Of his behavior.

      REYNALDO
  5                             My lord, I did intend it.

      POLONIUS
  6   Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
  7   Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
  8   And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
  9   What company, at what expense; and finding
 10   By this encompassment and drift of question
 11   That they do know my son, come you more nearer
 12   Than your particular demands will touch it:
 13   Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
 14   As thus, "I know his father and his friends,
 15   And in part him." Do you mark this, Reynaldo?

      REYNALDO
 16   Ay, very well, my lord.

      POLONIUS
 17   "And in part him—but," you may say "not well.
 18   But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
 19   Addicted so and so," and there put on him
 20   What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
 21   As may dishonor him; take heed of that;
 22   But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
 23   As are companions noted and most known
 24   To youth and liberty.

      REYNALDO
 24                                      As gaming, my lord.

      POLONIUS
 25   Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
 26   Drabbing: you may go so far.

      REYNALDO
 27   My lord, that would dishonor him.

      POLONIUS
 28   'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.
 29   You must not put another scandal on him,
 30   That he is open to incontinency;
 31   That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly
 32   That they may seem the taints of liberty,
 33   The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
 34   A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
 35   Of general assault.

      REYNALDO
 35                                  But, my good lord—

      POLONIUS
 36   Wherefore should you do this?

      REYNALDO
 36                                           Ay, my lord,
 37   I would know that.

      POLONIUS
 37                                   Marry, sir, here's my drift;
 38   And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
 39   You laying these slight sullies on my son,
 40   As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working,
 41   Mark you,
 42   Your party in converse, him you would sound,
 43   Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
 44   The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
 45   He closes with you in this consequence;
 46   "Good sir," or so, or "friend," or "gentleman,"
 47   According to the phrase or the addition
 48   Of man and country.

      REYNALDO
 48                                   Very good, my lord.

      POLONIUS
 49   And then, sir, does he this—he does—what was I about to say?
 50   By the mass, I was about to say something.
 51   Where did I leave?

      REYNALDO
 51                                  At "closes in the consequence."

      POLONIUS
 52   At "closes in the consequence," ay, marry;
 53   He closes thus: "I know the gentleman;
 54   I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
 55   Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
 56   There was a' gaming; there o'ertook in's rouse;
 57   There falling out at tennis:" or perchance,
 58   "I saw him enter such a house of sale,"
 59   Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth. See you now;
 60   Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
 61   And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
 62   With windlasses and with assays of bias,
 63   By indirections find directions out:
 64   So by my former lecture and advice,
 65   Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

      REYNALDO
 66   My lord, I have.

      POLONIUS
 66                            God buy you; fare ye well.

      REYNALDO
 67   Good my lord!

      POLONIUS
 68   Observe his inclination in yourself.

      REYNALDO
 69   I shall, my lord.

      POLONIUS
 70   And let him ply his music.

      REYNALDO
 70                                         Well, my lord.

      POLONIUS
 71   Farewell!

           Exit Reynaldo.

           Enter OPHELIA.  Full Summary

 71                         How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?

      OPHELIA
 72   O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

      POLONIUS
 73   With what, i' the name of God?

      OPHELIA
 74   My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
 75   Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
 76   No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
 77   Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ankle;
 78   Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
 79   And with a look so piteous in purport
 80   As if he had been loosed out of hell
 81   To speak of horrors—he comes before me.

      POLONIUS
 82   Mad for thy love?

      OPHELIA
 82                                 My lord, I do not know;
 83   But truly, I do fear it.

      POLONIUS
 83                                       What said he?

      OPHELIA
 84   He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
 85   Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
 86   And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
 87   He falls to such perusal of my face
 88   As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
 89   At last, a little shaking of mine arm
 90   And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
 91   He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
 92   As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
 93   And end his being: that done, he lets me go:
 94   And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
 95   He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
 96   For out o' doors he went without their helps,
 97   And, to the last, bended their light on me.

      POLONIUS
 98   Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
 99   This is the very ecstasy of love,
100   Whose violent property fordoes itself
101   And leads the will to desperate undertakings
102   As oft as any passion under heaven
103   That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.
104   What, have you given him any hard words of late?

      OPHELIA
105   No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
106   I did repel his letters and denied
107   His access to me.

      POLONIUS
107                                 That hath made him mad.
108   I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
109   I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,
110   And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
111   By heaven, it is as proper to our age
112   To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
113   As it is common for the younger sort
114   To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
115   This must be known; which, being kept close, might move
116   More grief to hide than hate to utter love.
117   Come.

           Exeunt.