ACT 4, SCENE 2: The Castle.


HAMLET: Safely stowed.

GENTLEMEN: Within. Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!

HAMLET: But soft, what noise? Who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come.


ROSENCRANTZ: What have you done, my lord, with                                [5]
the dead body?

HAMLET: Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.

ROSENCRANTZ: Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence,
And bear it to the chapel.

HAMLET: Do not believe it.                                                                                 [10]

ROSENCRANTZ: 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?

ROSENCRANTZ: Take you me for a sponge, my lord?                               [15]

HAMLET: Ay, sir, that soaks up the King's counten-
ance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do
the King best service in the end: he keeps them, like an
ape an apple, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed, to be last
swallowed. When he needs what you have gleaned,                        [20]
it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry

ROSENCRANTZ: I understand you not, my lord.

HAMLET: I am glad of it, a knavish speech sleeps in a
foolish ear.                                                                                                   [25]

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 the body. The King is a thing --

GUILDENSTERN: A thing, my lord?                                                                 [30]

HAMLET: Of nothing, bring me to him. Hide fox,
and all after.


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