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King. Bring him before us.

: Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! bring in my lord.

Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN. 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 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 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




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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.

233 Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve For that which thou hast done,-must send thee

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.

Ham. For England ?

Ay, Hamlet.

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 seald 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 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. [Erit.

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

thou may'st not coldly set] i. e. set at nought. * Howe'er my haps,] i e, whatever befall me.




A Plain in Denmark.

Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching. For. Go, captain, from me greet the Danish kings Tell him, that, by his licence, Fortinbras Craves 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. Сар.

I will do't, my lord. For. Go softly on.

[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces.


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

How purpos’d, sir, I pray you ?

Сар. Against some part of Poland.

Who 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, sir, and with no addition, We go to gain a listle 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,


in his eye,] i. e, in his presence. The phrase appears to have been formularly,

A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.

Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Cap. Yes, 'tis 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 fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be

, Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruples Of thinking too precisely on the event, A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part wis.

dom, 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,


-chief good, and market of his time, &c.] If his highest good, and that for which he sells his time, be to sleep and feed.

1 large discourse,] Such latitude of comprehension, such power of reviewing the past, and anticipating the future.

some craven scruple-] Some cowardly scruple.





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 2-0, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!




Elsinore. A Room in the Castle. .

Enter Queen and HORATIO.
Queen. I will not speak with her.

Hor. She is importunate ; indeed, distract;
Her mood will needs be pitied.

What would she have ?
Hor. She speaks much of her father ; says, she



Rightly to be great, Is, not to stir without, &c.] But then, honour is an argument, or subject of debate, sufficiently great, and when honour is at stake, we must find cause of quarrel in a straw.

a plot] A piece, or portion.

continent, ] Continent, in our author, means that which. comprehends or encloses.

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