Act 4, Scene 3

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[Enter Claudius.]

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, th' offender's scourge is weighed,
But ne'er the offense. 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 bestowed, my lord,
We cannot get from him.

Claudius

                                          But where is he? 

Rosencrantz

Without, my lord, guarded — to know your pleasure.

Claudius   

Bring him before us.

Rosencrantz   

[Calling] Ho! Bring in my lord.
[Enter Hamlet and Guildenstern.]

Claudius   

Now Hamlet, where's Polonius?

Hamlet

At supper.

Claudius   

At supper? Where?

Hamlet

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain 
convocation of 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 to dishes but
to one table. That's the end.

Claudius   

Alas, alas!

Hamlet

A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a 
king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

Claudius   

What dost thou mean by this?

Hamlet

Nothing but to show you how a king may go
a progress through the guts of a beggar.

Claudius   

Where is Polonius?

Hamlet

In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger 
find him not there, seek him i'th' other place yourself. But
if indeed you find him not within this month, you shall
nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.

Claudius   

[To some attendants]  Go seek him there.

Hamlet   

He will stay till you come. 
[Exit attendants.]

Claudius

Hamlet, this deed of thine — 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.
Th' associates tend and everything is bent
For England.

Hamlet   

For England! 

Claudius   

Ay, Hamlet.

Hamlet   

Good.

Claudius

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

Hamlet

I see a cherub that sees them. But come, for
England! [To Claudius] Farewell, dear mother.

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.]

Claudius

Follow him at foot. Tempt him with speed aboard. 
Delay it not; I'll have him hence tonight.
Away! For everything is sealed and done
That else leans on th' affair. Pray you, make haste.
[Exit all but Claudius.]
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 conjuring 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.]