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Scene II.
Elsinore. A passage in the Castle.

Enter Hamlet.

Ham. Safely stow'd.
Gentlemen. (within) Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
Ham. But soft! What noise? Who calls on Hamlet? O, here they

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
Ros. Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
And bear it to the chapel.
Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?
Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides,
to be
demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the
of a king?
Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the King's countenance, his
his authorities. But such officers do the King best service
the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his
first mouth'd, to be last swallowed. When he needs what you
glean'd, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be
Ros. I understand you not, my lord.
Ham. I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with us
the King.
Ham. The body is with the King, but the King is not with the
The King is a thing-
Guil. A thing, my lord?
Ham. Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after.

The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare
English Drama
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