William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act IV, Scene II
Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
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?
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.
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