[Stage] Claudius enters with two or three attendants.
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 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
Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.
[Stage] Rosencrantz enters.
How now, what hath befall’n?
Where the dead body is bestowed, 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.
[Stage] Guildenstern enters with Hamlet.
Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?
At supper where?
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain
convocation of politic worms are e’en at him.
is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else
to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots.
king and your lean beggar is but variable service—two
dishes, but to one table. That’s the end.
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king,
and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
What dost you 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 hither to see. If your messenger find
him not there, seek him i’ th’ other place yourself.
if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall
nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
[to attendants] Go seek him there.
[Stage] Some attendants exit.
He will stay till ye come.
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 everything is bent
So is it, if thou knew’st our purposes.
I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for England.
Farewell, dear mother.
Thy loving father, Hamlet.
My mother. Father and mother is man and wife, man and
wife is one flesh, and so, my mother.—Come, for England!
[Stage] Hamlet exits.
Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard.
Delay it not. I’ll have him hence tonight.
Away! For everything is sealed and done
That else leans on the affair. Pray you, make haste.
[Stage] Everyone except Claudius exits.
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 mayst 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 ’tis done,
Howe’er my haps, my joys were ne’er begun.
[Stage] Claudius exits.