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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

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    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

    Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and others.
    Safely stowed. But soft, what noise? Who calls on Hamlet? Oh, here they come.
    What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
    Compound[ed] it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.
    Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence
    And bear it to the chapel.
    Do not believe it.
    Believe what?
    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?
    Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
    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.
    I understand you not, my lord.
    I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
    My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us 2655to the King.
    The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body. The King is a thing.
    A thing, my lord?
    Of nothing. Bring me to him.