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And where 'tis so, th' offender's scourge is weigh’d,
Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
But where is he?
pleasure. King. Bring him before us. Ros. Ho, Guildenstern! bring in
Enter HAMLET and GUILDENSTERN.
Ham. 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. 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.
1 - and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.] This speech and the preceding interjections, obviously necessary to the sense, are not contained in the folio. In Hamlet's previous speech it omits“ politic.”
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.
Ham. For England ?
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
[Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
? Hamlet, this deed,] The folio inserts of thine after “ deed,” unnecessarily to the sense, and injuriously to the metre. Lower down, “With fiery quickness" is only in the folio. It also reads, “at bent” for “ is bent” of the quartos, at the conclusion of the speech.
* — that sees THEM.] The folio has him for “ them ” of the quartos : him seems to have no reference, unless Hamlet be mentally adverting to his father.
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,
Till I know 'tis done,
A Plain in Denmark.
Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching.
For. Go, captain; from me greet the Danish king : Tell him, that by his licence Fortinbras Claims 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. Cap.
I will do't, my lord. For. Go softly on'.
[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces.
* By letters CONJURING—] All the quartos have congruing. The same word occurs in the quartos of “Henry V.” (See Vol. iv. p. 476, note 7) which the folio there alters to congreeing. The text of the folio seems preferable, although the quartos may be right.
5 — were ne'er begun.] So the folio, and so the rhyme requires: the quartos, “ will ne'er begin.”
6 Claims the conveyance-] “ Crares the conveyance" in the quartos.
? Go softly on.] These words are probably addressed to his troops, and in the quarto, 1603, we have, “Go, march away,” instead of them. The folio prints "softly” safely.
Enter Hamlet, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, 8c.8
How purpos’d, sir,
Who Commands them, sir?
Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
рау five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
[Exit Captain. Ros.
Will't please you go, my lord ? Ham. I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. 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,
& Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, &c.] The folio omits all the rest of this scene, and there is no trace of it in the quarto, 1603.
Looking before and after, gave us not
9 And ever three parts coward,-) Schlegel, in his work, Ueber dramatische Kunst und Litteratur, iii. p. 149, quotes this passage as a sort of key to Hamlet's character, and the omission of such an important soliloquy, in connexion with what immediately precedes it, would convince us, even if we had no other reason for thinking so, that the abbreviation of this tragedy for the stage, as we find it in the folio, 1623, was the work of the players, and not of the poet.