Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

REYNALDO

  Very good, my lord.

REYNALDO

Yes, sir.

POLONIUS

And then, sir, does he this, he does— What was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something. Where did I leave?

POLONIUS

And then he’ll … he’ll … wait, what was I about to say? Good God, I was about to say something. What was I saying?

REYNALDO

At “closes in the consequence,” at “‘friend,’
Or so” and “‘gentleman.’”

REYNALDO

At, “It will be natural for him to agree with you … he’ll call you ‘sir,’ ‘friend,’” et cetera.

POLONIUS

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

POLONIUS

“It will be natural for him to agree with you.” Ah, yes, that’s right. If he agrees he’ll say something like this: “Yes, I know the gentleman you’re referring to. I just saw him yesterday,” or “the other day,” or whenever it is, you know, “and there he was gambling,” or “there he was, totally wasted, or fighting with somebody about a tennis match, or going into a house of ill repute”—that means a whorehouse, you know—or whatever. Make sure your little lie brings out the truth. We’re doing this wisely and intelligently, indirectly, finding out things by roundabout means. That’s how you’ll find out what my son is up to in Paris. You get my point, don’t you?

REYNALDO

My lord, I have.

REYNALDO

Yes, I do, sir.

POLONIUS

  God be wi' you. Fare you well.

POLONIUS

God bless you. Have a safe trip.

REYNALDO

Good my lord.

REYNALDO

Thank you, sir.

POLONIUS

70Observe his inclination in yourself.

POLONIUS

Don’t forget to see what he’s up to with your own eyes. Don’t trust gossip.

REYNALDO

I shall, my lord.

REYNALDO

I will, sir.