Act IV, Scene 2 Another room in the castle.

Enter HAMLET

 

HAMLET Safely stowed.
ROSENCRANTZ:

GUILDENSTERN:
|
| [Within] Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
|
HAMLET What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come.
  [Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]
ROSENCRANTZ What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
HAMLET Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
ROSENCRANTZ Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
HAMLET Do not believe it.
ROSENCRANTZ Believe what?
HAMLET 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?
ROSENCRANTZ Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
HAMLET 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.
ROSENCRANTZ I understand you not, my lord.
HAMLET I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
foolish ear.
ROSENCRANTZ My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
with us to the king.
HAMLET The body is with the king, but the king is not with
the body. The king is a thing--
GUILDENSTERN A thing, my lord!
HAMLET Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
  [Exeunt]

 

Act IV, Scene 3 Another room in the castle.

Enter KING CLAUDIUS, attended

 

KING CLAUDIUS 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, 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 relieved,
Or not at all.
  [Enter ROSENCRANTZ]
  How now! what hath befall'n?
ROSENCRANTZ Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
We cannot get from him.
KING CLAUDIUS But where is he?
ROSENCRANTZ Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
KING CLAUDIUS Bring him before us.
ROSENCRANTZ Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.
  [Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN]
KING CLAUDIUS Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
HAMLET At supper.
KING CLAUDIUS At supper! where?
HAMLET 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 end.
KING CLAUDIUS Alas, alas!
HAMLET A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
king, and cat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
KING CLAUDIUS What dost you mean by this?
HAMLET Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
progress through the guts of a beggar.
KING CLAUDIUS Where is Polonius?
HAMLET In heaven; send hither 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 CLAUDIUS Go seek him there.
  [To some Attendants]
HAMLET He will stay till ye come.
  [Exeunt Attendants]
KING CLAUDIUS 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,
The associates tend, and every thing is bent
For England.
HAMLET For England!
KING CLAUDIUS Ay, Hamlet.
HAMLET Good.
KING CLAUDIUS 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 CLAUDIUS Thy loving father, Hamlet.
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 CLAUDIUS 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 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 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.
  [Exit]

 

To view other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 2 A hall in the castle.
Act I, Scene 1 Elsinore. A platform before the castle. Act III, Scene 3 A room in the castle.
Act I, Scene 2 A room of state in the castle Act III, Scene 4 The Queen's closet.
Act I, Scene 3 A room in Polonius' house. Act IV, Scene 1 A room in the castle.
Act I, Scene 4 The platform. Act IV, Scene 2 Another room of the castle./Act IV, Scene 3 Another room of the castle.
Act I, Scene 5 Another part of the platform. Act IV, Scene 4 A plain of Denmark/Act IV, Scene 5 Elsinore. A room in the castle.
Act II, Scene 1 A room in Polonius' house. Act IV, Scene 6 Another room of the castle./Act IV, Scene 7 Another room of the castle.
Act II, Scene 2 A room in the castle. Act V, Scene 1 A churchyard.
Act III, Scene 1 A room in the castle. Act V, Scene 2 A hall in the castle.

 

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Main Play Page      Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis     Character Directory     Commentary  

 

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All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

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