Hamlet


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Hamlet


HAMLET

Safely stowed.


GENTLEMEN

(within)

Hamlet! Lord Hamlet!


HAMLET

But soft, what noise? Who calls on Hamlet?

O, here they come.

Enter Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and attendants


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.
counsel (n.) 7 secret, inmost thought, confidence

Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication
demand (v.) 1 request to tell, question, ask [about]
replication (n.) 1 reply, answer, response

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,
countenance (n.) 6 favour, patronage, approval

his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the
authority (n.) 3 authoritative influence, dictatorial opinion

King best service in the end. He keeps them, like an ape

an apple, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed, to be
first (adv.) 1 at first
mouth (v.) 1 take into the mouth

last swallowed. When he needs what you have gleaned,
glean (v.) collect, scrape together, gather up
last (adv.) at last

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
knavish (adj.) rascally, mischievous, roguish

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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