Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Hamlet > Act IV, scene II

Jump to: the first appearance of besides,_to_be_demanded_of_a_sponge!_what




	[Enter HAMLET]

HAMLET: Safely stowed.


ROSENCRANTZ:: |
	|   [Within]  Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!
GUILDENSTERN:: |


HAMLET: What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
	O, here they come.

	[Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN]

ROSENCRANTZ: What have you done, my lord, with 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.

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?

HAMLET: Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his
	rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
	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.

ROSENCRANTZ: I understand you not, my lord.

HAMLET: I am glad of it: a knavish speech sleeps in a
	foolish ear.

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!

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

	[Exeunt]




	HAMLET






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