Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 2)


[4.3]
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;
2665He's loved of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment but their eyes,
And where 'tis so, th'offender's scourge is weighed,
But never the offense. To bear all smooth and even,
This sudden sending him away must seem
2670Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.
Enter Rosencrantz and all the rest.
King
How now, what hath befall'n?
Rosencrantz Where the dead body is bestowed, my lord,
2675We cannot get from him.
King
But where is he?
Rosencrantz Without, my lord, guarded, to know your pleasure.
King
Bring him before us.
2680Rosencrantz
[Calling] Ho! Bring in the lord.
They [Guildenstern and Guards] enter [with Hamlet].
King Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Hamlet At supper.
King At supper? Where?
2685Hamlet Not where he eats, but where 'a 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.
2690.1King Alas, alas!
Hamlet 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?
Hamlet Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.
King Where is Polonius?
2695Hamlet In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him i'th'other place yourself. But if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
King [To some attendants] Go seek him there.
2700Hamlet 'A 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.
Therefore prepare thyself,
2705The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
Th'associates tend, and everything is bent
For England.
Hamlet For England!
King Ay, Hamlet.
2710Hamlet Good.
King So is it if thou knew'st our purposes.
Hamlet I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England! Farewell, dear mother.
King Thy loving father, Hamlet.
2715Hamlet My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, so, my mother. Come, for England!
Exit.
King Follow him at foot.
Tempt him with speed aboard.
2720Delay it not. I'll have him hence tonight.
Away! For everything is sealed and done
That else leans on th'affair. Pray you, make haste.
[Exeunt all but the King.]
And England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,
As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
2725Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
Pays homage to us, thou mayst not coldly set
Our sovereign process, which imports at full
By letters congruing to that effect
2730The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England,
For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
And thou must cure me. Till I know 'tis done,
Howe'er my haps, my joys will ne'er begin.
Exit.