As I perceived it, I must tell you that, Before my daughter told me –

Lightbulb! These words always ran past my hearing as Polonius playing language games, getting lost in his thoughts, pulling a “By the mass, I was about to say something” sort of things but now that I look at, he’s actually saying something here. He’s implying that he knew something was up between Hamlet and Ophelia before she told him about it. This is important because it increases Polonius’ reputation as a wise perceiver.
He’s fluffing up his perceptive reputation perhaps because he is making a case for a theory. He’s very adamant about his explanation here. He makes a case for it like a lawyer, or a politician, using all marks of surety and a confidence man. I’m not sure WHY, though. What does Polonius stand to gain from making this particular case? Does he gain political favor with Claudius? Is there some way he’s perceived that Claudius would really like to have Hamlet off his back and this exploration would relieve him and win Polonius more favor in the court? He’s crafty, Polonius, and I wouldn’t put much past him.

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