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Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt,"
This mad young man: but, so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit;
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore,
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.
King. O, Gertrude, come away!

The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
We must, with all our majesty and skill,
Both countenance and excuse.-Ho! Guildenstern!

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.

Friends both, go join you with some further aid:
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him:
Go, seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.
[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL.
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends;
And let them know, both what we mean to do,
And what's untimely done: so, haply, slander,-
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,"

Transports his poison'd shot,-may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air.-O come away!
My soul is full of discord, and dismay.

[Exeunt.

out of haunt,] i. e. out of company.

Among a mineral-] Minerals are mines.

7

cannon to his blank,] The blank was the white mark at which shot or arrows were directed.

5

[blocks in formation]

SCENE II.

Another Room in the same.

Enter HAMLet.

Ham.Safely stowed,-[Ros. &c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet!] But soft,-what noise? who calls on Hamlet? O, here they come.

Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.

Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?

Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin. Ros. Tell us where 'tis; 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 counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! -what replication should be made by the son of a king?

8

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

Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his 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 ear.

like an ape,] i. e. as an ape does an apple.

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 thingGuil. A thing, my lord?

Ham. Of nothing: bring me to him. and all after."

SCENE III.

Another Room in the same.

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, the 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,

Hide fox, [Exeunt.

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.

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King.

But where is he?

Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know

pleasure.

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Hide fox, &c.] There is a play among children called, Hide fox, and all after.

your

King. Bring him before us.
Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.

Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTÉRŃ.

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 politick 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 progress1 through the guts of a beggar.

King. Where is Polonius?

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,

go a progress-] Alluding to the royal journeys of state, always styled progresses; a familiar idea to those who, like our author, lived during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I.

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,2
The associates tend, and every thing is bent
For England.

For England?

Ham.

Ay, Hamlet.

King.
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.

King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.

Ham. 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;

Delay it not, I'll have him hence to-night:
Away; for every thing is seal'd and done

That else leans on the affair: Pray you, make haste.
[Exeunt Ros, and GUIL.
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 set3
Our sovereign process; which imports at full,
By letters conjuring to that effect,

The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectick 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.

4

2 the wind at help,] i. e. at hand, ready.

thou may'st not coldly set] i. e. set at nought,

3

4 Howe'er my haps,] i. e. whatever befall me.

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