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Hamlet - Act 4, scene 3
Last updated: Tue, Jun 02, 2020
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Navigate this workHamlet - Act 4, scene 3
Act 4, scene 3
Hamlet is brought to Claudius, who tells him that he is to leave immediately for England. Alone, Claudius reveals that he is sending Hamlet to his death.Enter King and two or three.
2754 I have sent to seek him and to find the body.
2755 How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!
2756 Yet must not we put the strong law on him.
2757 He’s loved of the distracted multitude,
2758 5 Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
2759 And, where ’tis so, th’ offender’s scourge is weighed,
2760 But never the offense. To bear all smooth and even,
2761 This sudden sending him away must seem
2762 Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown
2763 10 By desperate appliance are relieved
2764 Or not at all.
2765 How now, what hath befallen?
2766 Where the dead body is bestowed, my lord,
2767 We cannot get from him.
KING 2768 15 But where is he?
2769 Without, my lord; guarded, to know your pleasure.
2770 Bring him before us.
ROSENCRANTZ 2771 Ho! Bring in the lord.
They enter ⌜with Hamlet.⌝
KING 2772 Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?
HAMLET 2773 20At supper.
p. 197KING 2774 At supper where?
HAMLET 2775 Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A
2776 certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at
2777 him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We
2778 25 fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves
2779 for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is
2780 but variable service—two dishes but to one table.
2781 That’s the end.
[KING 2782 Alas, alas!
HAMLET 2783 30A man may fish with the worm that hath eat
2784 of a king and eat of the fish that hath fed of that
KING 2786 What dost thou mean by this?
HAMLET 2787 Nothing but to show you how a king may go a
2788 35 progress through the guts of a beggar.
KING 2789 Where is Polonius?
HAMLET 2790 In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger
2791 find him not there, seek him i’ th’ other
2792 place yourself. But if, indeed, you find him not
2793 40 within this month, you shall nose him as you go up
2794 the stairs into the lobby.
KING, ⌜to Attendants.⌝ 2795 Go, seek him there.
HAMLET 2796 He will stay till you come.⌜Attendants exit.⌝
2797 Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety
2798 45 (Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve
2799 For that which thou hast done) must send thee
2801 ⟨With fiery quickness.⟩ Therefore prepare thyself.
2802 The bark is ready, and the wind at help,
2803 50 Th’ associates tend, and everything is bent
2804 For England.
HAMLET 2805 For England?
KING 2806 Ay, Hamlet.
HAMLET 2807 Good.
2808 55 So is it, if thou knew’st our purposes.
2809 I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for
2811 Farewell, dear mother.
KING 2812 Thy loving father, Hamlet.
2813 60 My mother. Father and mother is man and wife,
2814 Man and wife is one flesh, ⟨and⟩ so, my mother.—
2815 Come, for England.He exits.
2816 Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard.
2817 Delay it not. I’ll have him hence tonight.
2818 65 Away, for everything is sealed and done
2819 That else leans on th’ affair. Pray you, make haste.
⌜All but the King exit.⌝
2820 And England, if my love thou hold’st at aught
2821 (As my great power thereof may give thee sense,
2822 Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
2823 70 After the Danish sword, and thy free awe
2824 Pays homage to us), thou mayst not coldly set
2825 Our sovereign process, which imports at full,
2826 By letters congruing to that effect,
2827 The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England,
2828 75 For like the hectic in my blood he rages,
2829 And thou must cure me. Till I know ’tis done,
2830 Howe’er my haps, my joys will ne’er begin.