2. Scene II. A room in the Castle.
Th' ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
Are joyfully return'd.
Thou still hast been the father of good news.
Have I, my lord? Assure you, my good liege,
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Both to my God and to my gracious king:
And I do think,--or else this brain of mine
Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
As it hath us'd to do,--that I have found
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.
O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.
Give first admittance to the ambassadors;
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.
Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.
He tells me, my sweet queen, he hath found
The head and source of all your son's distemper.
I doubt it is no other but the main,--
His father's death and our o'erhasty marriage.
Well, we shall sift him.
[Enter Polonius, with Voltimand and Cornelius.]
Welcome, my good friends!
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?
Most fair return of greetings and desires.
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
But, better look'd into, he truly found
It was against your highness; whereat griev'd,--
That so his sickness, age, and impotence
Was falsely borne in hand,--sends out arrests
On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;
Receives rebuke from Norway; and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle never more
To give th' assay of arms against your majesty.
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee;
And his commission to employ those soldiers,
So levied as before, against the Polack:
With an entreaty, herein further shown,
[Gives a paper.]
That it might please you to give quiet pass
Through your dominions for this enterprise,
On such regards of safety and allowance
As therein are set down.