Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 2)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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, Quarto 2)

    Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and others.
    Hamlet Safely stowed. But soft, what noise? Who calls on Hamlet? Oh, here they come.
    Rosencrantz What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
    Hamlet Compound[ed] 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] an apple 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, and go with us 2655to 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.