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SCENE II

Another room in the castle.
Enter HAMLET.

Ham.
Safely stowed.

Ros. and Guil.
[Within]
Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!

Ham.
What noise? who calls on Hamlet?
O, here they come. Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.

Ros.
What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?

Ham.
Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.

Ros.
Tell us where 'tis, that we may take it thence

And bear it to the chapel.

Ham.
Do not believe it. (10)

Ros.
Believe what?

Ham.
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?

Ros.
Take you me for a sponge, my lord?

Ham.
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.

Ros.
I understand you not, my lord.

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

Ros.
My lord, you must tell us where the
body is, and go with us to the king.

Ham.
The body is with the king, but the
king is not with the body. The king is a thing— (31)

Guil.
A thing, my lord!

Ham.
Of nothing: bring me to him. Hide
fox, and all after. [Exeunt.

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