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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Editor's Version)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Editor's Version)

    2660.1 [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;
    2665 He'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 ne'er the offense. To bear all smooth and even,
    This sudden sending him away must seem
    2670 Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
    By desperate appliance are relieved,
    Or not at all.
    Enter Rosencrantz.
    King
    How now, what hath befall'n?
    Rosencrantz
    Where the dead body is bestowed, my lord,
    2675 We cannot get from him.
    King
    But where is he?
    Rosencrantz
    Without, my lord, guarded, to know your pleasure.
    King
    Bring him before us.
    2680 Rosencrantz
    [Calling] Ho, Guildenstern! Bring in my lord.
    Enter Hamlet and Guildenstern [with Guards].
    King
    Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?
    Hamlet
    At supper.
    King
    At supper? Where?
    2685 Hamlet
    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 2690but to one table. That's the end.
    2690.1 King
    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?
    2695 Hamlet
    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.
    2700 Hamlet
    'A will stay till you come.
    [Exeunt attendants.]
    King
    Hamlet, this deed of thine, 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.
    2705 The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
    Th'associates tend, and everything is bent
    For England.
    Hamlet
    For England!
    King
    Ay, Hamlet.
    2710 Hamlet
    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.
    2715 Hamlet
    My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother. Come, for England!
    Exit.
    King
    Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard.
    2720 Delay 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,
    2725 Since 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
    2730 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 'tis done,
    Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun.
    Exit.