Hamlet* by William Shakespeare § 4.2

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ACT IV
SCENE II. Another room in the castle.
3465 [Enter HAMLET]
HAMLET.
Safely stowed.
ROSENCRANTZ:.
GUILDENSTERN:.
3470 [Within] Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
HAMLET.
What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come.
[Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]
3475 ROSENCRANTZ.
What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
HAMLET.
Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
ROSENCRANTZ.
3480 Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
HAMLET.
Do not believe it.
ROSENCRANTZ.
3485 Believe what?
HAMLET.
That I can keep your counsel and not mine own.
Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! what
replication should be made by the son of a king?
3490 ROSENCRANTZ.
Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
HAMLET.
Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his
rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
3495 king best service in the end: he keeps them, like
an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to
be last swallowed: when he needs what you have
gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you
shall be dry again.
3500 ROSENCRANTZ.
I understand you not, my lord.
HAMLET.
I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
foolish ear.
3505 ROSENCRANTZ.
My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go
with us to the king.
HAMLET.
The body is with the king, but the king is not with
3510 the body. The king is a thing--
GUILDENSTERN.
A thing, my lord!
HAMLET.
Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.
3515 [Exeunt]

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