Page:Hamlet - The Arden Shakespeare - 1899.djvu/98

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SC. II.]



On such regards of safety and allowance[b 1]
As therein are set down.

King. It likes us well, 80
And at our more consider'd time[b 2] we'll read,
Answer, and think upon this business.
Meantime we thank you for your well-took[a 1] labour;
Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
Most welcome home!

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius.

Pol. This business is well[a 2] ended.— 85
My liege, and madam, to expostulate[b 3]
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since[a 3] brevity is the soul of wit,[b 4] 90
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness.
What is 't but to be nothing else but mad?[a 4][b 5]
But let that go.

Queen. More matter, with less art. 95

  1. 83. well-took] well-look't Ff 2–4.
  2. 85. well] Q, very well F.
  3. 90. since] F, omitted Q.
  4. 94. mad?] Qq 4–6, mad, Q, mad. F.
  1. 79. regards . . . allowance] safe and allowable conditions. Clar. Press: "terms securing the safety of the country, and regulating the passage of the troops through it."
  2. 81. consider'd time] time for consideration.
  3. 86. expostulate] discuss, as in Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. i. 251. Hunter quotes from A Brief Relation of the Shipwreck of Henry May, 1593: "How these isles came by the name of the Bermudas . . . I will not expostulate."
  4. 90. wit] understanding. Staunton explains it as wisdom; Clar. Press, knowledge, as in Merchant of Venice, II. i. 18.
  5. 93, 94. for . . . mad] to attempt a definition of madness were to be mad oneself. Or does Polonius give "to be mad" as his definition of madness?