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  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Folio)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Folio)

    2630[4.2]
    Enter Hamlet.
    Hamlet
    Safely stowed.
    GentlemenWithin
    Hamlet, Lord Hamlet!
    Hamlet
    What noise? Who calls on Hamlet?Oh, here they come.
    Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
    2635Rosencrantz
    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.
    2640Rosencrantz
    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?
    2645Hamlet
    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 2650squeezing 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, 2655and 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 2660after!
    Exeunt.