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?

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.

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 thing

Guil. A thing, my lord ?

Ham. Of nothing : bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.b

[Exeunt. 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 't is 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,

a Demanded of-demanded by. b The name of a boyish sport-“ All hid."

Or not at all.-How now? what hath befallen ?

Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.

But where is he?
Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your

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

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 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


King. Alas, alas!

Ham. A man may fish with the worin 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 progress 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 if the other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not 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. (Ex. Attendants. King. Hamlet, this deed of thine, for thine especial


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,
The associates tend, and everything is bent
For England.

Ham. For England ?

Ay, Hamlet.

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

Ham. I see a cherub, that sees him.-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 everything 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 set
Our sovereign process; which imports at full,
By letters conjuring to that effect,
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
For like the hectic in my blood le rages,
And thou must cure me: Till I know 't is done,
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun. (Exit.

SCENE IV.-A Plain in Denmark.
Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching.
For. Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king;

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Tell him, that by his licence, Fortinbras
Claims the conveyance of a promis'd march
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous.
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.
For. Go safely on. [Exeunt For. and Forces.

Ham. Good sir, whose powers are these ?
Cap. They are of Norway, sir.

How proposed, sir,
I pray you?

Cap. Against some part of Poland.

Ham. Commands them, sir?

Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.

Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Or for some frontier ?

Cap. 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.

Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Cap. Yes, 't is already garrison'd.
Ham. Two thousand souls, and twenty thousand

Will not debate the question of this straw:
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace;
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.— I humbly thank you, sir.
.. Cap. God be wi' you, sir.

[Exit Captain. Ros.

Will 't please you go, my lord ? Ham. I will be with you straight. Go a little before.

[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.

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 godlike reason
To fusta in ns unus'd. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the 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 ?-0, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! [Exit.

a To fust--to become mouldy.

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