Act 4, Scene 1

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[Gertrude in her chambers, enter Claudius.]

Claudius

There's matter in these sighs, these profound heaves.
You must translate; 'tis fit we understand them.
Where is your son?

Gertrude

Ah, my good lord, what have I seen tonight!

Claudius   

What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

Gertrude

Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
He whips his rapier out, and cries, "A rat, a rat!"
And in his brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man.

Claudius

                                             Oh, heavy deed! 
It had been so with us had we been there.
His liberty is full of threats to all,
To you yourself, to us, to everyone.
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?
It will be laid to us, whose providence 
Should have kept short, restrained, and out of haunt
This mad young man. But so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit,
But like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, lets it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Gertrude

To draw apart the body he hath killed, 
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure. He weeps for what is done.

Claudius   

Oh, Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence. And this vile deed,
We must with all our majesty and skill
Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern!
[Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Friends both, go join you with some further aid
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
And from his mother's closets hath he dragged him.
Go seek him out, speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this.
[Exit Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]
Come, Gertrude, we'll call up our wisest friends 
And let them know both what we mean to do
And what's untimely done. Oh, come away!
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
[Exit.]