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Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 't is kin.

Ros. Tell us where 't is; that we may take it thence,
And bear it to the chapel.

Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?
Ham. That I can keep your coun

unsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son of a king?

Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord? |

Ham. Ay, Sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his 163 rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: he keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed, to be last swallowed: when he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.

Ros. I understand you not, my lord.
Ham. I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a foolish

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Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king.

Ham. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing

Guil. A thing, my lord!

Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.

[Exeunt. | SCENE III.

-164

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Another Room in the Same.

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Enter King, and two or three.
King. I have sent to seek him, and to find the body.
How dangerous is it, that this man goes loose!
Yet must not we put the strong law on him:
He's lov'd of the distracted multitude
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes:
And where 't is so, th' offender's scourge is weigh’d,
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even,
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause; diseases, desperate grown,
By desperate appliance are reliev'd,

Enter ROSENCRANTZ.
Or not at all. How now? what hath befallen?

Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.
King.

But where is he?
Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
King. Bring him before us.

Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord. | 165

Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN.
King. Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Ham.

At supper.
King.
At supper? Where?

?
Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is
your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us,
and we fat ourselves for maggots: your fat king, and your
lean beggar, is but variable service, two dishes, but to one
table: that's the end.

King. Alas, alas!

Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

King. What dost thou mean by this?

Ham. Nothing, but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.

King. Where is Polonius? | 166

Ham. In heaven: send thither to see; if your messenger find him not there, seek him i' the other place yourself. But, indeed,

if
you

find him not within this month, you shall nose
him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
King. Go seek him there.

[To some Attendants. Ham. He will stay till you come. [Exeunt Attendants.

King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,
Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve
For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence
With fiery quickness: therefore, prepare thyself.
The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
Th' associates tend, and every thing is bent
For England.

Ham. For England
King.

Ay, Hamlet.
Ham.

Good.
King.

So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for
England! – Farewell, dear mother.

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King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.

Ham. My mother: father and mother is man and wife, man 167 and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England.

[Exit.

King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard :
Delay it not, I'll have him hence to - night.
Away, for every thing is seal’d and done,
That else leans on th' affair: pray you, make haste.

[Exeunt Ros, and Gurl.
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,
(As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Pays homage to us) thou may'st not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
By letters congruing to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me.

Till I know 't is done,
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun. [Exit. 1

SCENE IV.

168

A Plain in Denmark.

Enter FORTINBRÀS, and Forces, marchiny.
For. Go, captain; from me greet the Danish king:
Tell him, that by his licence Fortinbras
Craves the conveyance of a promis'd march
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
If that his majesty would aught with us,
We shall express our duty in his eye;
And let him know so.
Сар.

I will do 't, my lord.
For. Go softly on.

[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces.
Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, go.
Ham. Good Sir, whose powers are these?
Cap. They are of Norway, Sir,
Ham.

How purpos'd, Sir,
I pray you?

Cap. Against some part of Poland.

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Ham.

Who
Commands them, Sir?

Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras. 1. 169 Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, Sir, Or for some frontier?

Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
We go to gain a little patch of ground,
That hath in it no profit but the name.
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Nor will it yield to Norway, or the Pole,
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.

Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Cap. Yes, 't is already garrison'd.

Ham. Two thousand souls, and twenty thousand ducats,
Will not debate the question of this straw :
This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, Sir.
Cap. God be wi' you, Sir.

[Exit Captain. Ros.

Will’t please you go, my lord? Ham. I'll be with you straight. Go a little before. I 170

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time,
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason,
To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event,
A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom,
And ever three parts coward , I do not know
Why yet I live to say, “This thing 's to do;"

Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means, 171 To do’t. | Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:

Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Exposing what is mortal and unsure,
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,

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Even for an egg-shell.' Rightly to be great,
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
When honour's at the stake. How stand I, then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause;
Which is not tomb enough and continent,
To hide the slain? O! from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

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[Exit.

SCENE V.

172

Elsinore. A Room in the Castle.

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Enter Queen, HORATIO, and a Gentleman.
Queen. I will not speak with her.

Gent. She is importunate; indeed, distract:
Her mood will needs be pitied.
Queen.

What would she have?
Gent. She speaks much of her father; says, she hears,
There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her heart;
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt,
That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
The hearers to collection; they aim at it,
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield them,
Indeed would make one think, there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.

Hor. ’T were good she were spoken with, for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
Let her come in. |

Queen. To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss:
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

173

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