Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE III_ELSINORE

ANOTHER ROOM IN THE CASTLE

Enter King, attended

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 'tis 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,
Or not at all.

Enter ROSENCRANTZ

Ros.

King Ros. King

How now ! what hath befall'n?
Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.

But where is he?
Without, my lord ; guarded, to know your pleasure.
Bring him before us.
Ho, Guildenstern ! bring in my lord.

Ros.

Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN

Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?

King
Ham.

At supper.

King
Ham.

At supper ! where?
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten ; a certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your

worm

King Ham.

King

Ham.

King

Ham.

is

your only emperor for diet ; we fat all creatures else to fát us, and we fat ourselves for maggots : your fat king and your lean beggar are but variable service, two dishes, but to one table : that's the end. Alas, alas! Look

you, a man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and a beggar eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm. What dost thou mean by this ? Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. Where is Polonius? 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. [To some Attendants] Make haste-go seek him there. Nay, do you hear ?

hear? Do not make too much haste ; I'll warrant

you
he'll

you come.

[Exeunt Attendants]
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 :
The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
Th’associates tend, and every thing is bent
For England. You shall aboard to-night.
For England ?
Ay, Hamlet.

Good.

King

Ham.

stay till

King

Ham.

King
Ham.

King

So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.

Ham.

King Ham.

King

I see a cherub that sees them. But, come ; for England !
Farewell, dear mother.
Thy loving father, Hamlet.
My mother I say : father and mother is man and wife ;
Man and wife is one flesh, so, (my mother) farewell :
Come, for England !

[Exit Hamlet]
Follow him at foot-
Tempt him with speed aboard-
Delay it not, I'll have him hence to-night.
Away! for every thing is seald and done
That else leans on th'affair : pray you, make haste.-

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]
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,

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 King and Attendants]

SCENE IV-DENMARK

A PLAIN ON THE FRONTIER

For.

Enter FortinBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching
Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king;
Tell him, that by his license, Fortinbras
Craves the conveyance of a promised march
Over his kingdom. You know the rendevous.

If that his majesty would aught with us,
We shall express our duty in his eye ;
And let him know so.

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

(Exeunt Fortinbras and Soldiers]

Сар. .

For.

Ham.

Сар. . Ham.

Сар. Ham.

Сар. .

Ham.

Сар.

Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others
Good sir, whose powers are these ?
They are of Norway, sir.
How purposed, sir, I pray you ?
Against some part of Poland.
Who commands them, sir?
The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier ?
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.
Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Yes, it is already garrison'd.
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.
God be wi'

you,
sir.

[Exit Captain] Will’t please you go, my lord ?

Ham.

Cap.
Ham.

Сар.

Ros.

Ham.

I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.

[Exeunt all except Hamlet]
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 god-like reason
To fust in us unused. 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,
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,
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? Oh, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth !

[Exit Hamlet]

« PreviousContinue »