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Ham. How long is that since?
1 Clo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that. It was the very day that young Hamlet was born; he that is mad, and sent into England.
Ham. Ay, marry; why was he sent into England?
1 Clo. Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 't is no great matter there. Ham. Why?
. 1 clo. ’T will not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he. | Ham. How came he mad?
209 1 Clo. Very strangely, they say. Ham. How strangely? | Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits. Ham. Upon what ground?
1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark: I have been sexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.
Ham. How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
1 Clo. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many pocky corses now - a - days, that will scarce hold the laying in ) he will last you some eight year, or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
Ham. Why he more than another?
1 Clo. Why, Sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while, and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here 's
a scull now; this scull hath lain you i' the earth three and twenty years. Ham. Whose was it?
210 1 Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
Ham. Nay, I know not.
1 Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! he poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same scull, Sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's jester. Ham. This?
[Takes the Scull. 1 Clo. E'en that. Ham. Let me see.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio : a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now,
how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips, that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your
flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chapfallen? Now, get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make
her laugh at that. Pr’ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing. I 211 Hor. What's that, my lord?
Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander looked o' this fashion
[Puts down the Scull. Hor. E’en so, my lord.
Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
Hor. ’T were to consider too curiously, to consider so.
Ham. No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried , Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam, and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel ?
Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay,
Should patch a wall t expel the winter's flaw! | 212 But soft! but soft awhile! here comes the king, Enter Priests, fc. in Procession; the Corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES
and Mourners following; King, Queen, their Trains, &c.
[Retiring with HORATIO.
That is Laertes,
Laer. What ceremony else?
1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd
Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
Laer. Must there no more be done?
No more be done.
Lay her i' the earth;
What! the fair Ophelia ?
0! treble woe
[Leaping into the Grave.
Ham. [Advancing.] What is he, whose grief
[Leaping into the Grave.
[Grappling with him. Ham.
Thou pray'st not well.
King. Pluck them asunder.
Hamlet! Hamlet !
Good my lord, be quiet. 215
[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the
Queen. O my son, what theme?
Ham. I lov'd Ophelia : forty thousand brothers
What wilt thou do for her?
Ham. 'Swounds! show me what thou 'lt do;
I'll rant as well as thou. 216 Queen.
This is mere madness:
Hear you, Sir:
[Exit. King. I pray you, good Horatio,
A Hall in the Castle.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO.
Ham. So much for this, Sir: now shall you see the other. – You do remember all the circumstance,
Hor. Remember it, my lord ?
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
That is most certain.
Is 't possible?
I beseech you. 1
Being thus benetted round with villains,