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    Act 4. Scene II

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    Chapter 13
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    SCENE II. Another room in the castle.

    Enter HAMLET
    HAMLET
    Safely stowed.

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

    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
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