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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

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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
i' the earth?
Hor.

E'en so.
Ham. And smelt so? pah!

[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,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
0! that that earth, which kept the world in awe,

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.
The queen, the courtiers. Who is that they follow,
And with such maimed rites ? This doth betoken,
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life: 't was of some estate.
Couch we a while, and mark.

[Retiring with HORATIO.
Laer. What ceremony else?
Ham.

That is Laertes,
A very noble youth: mark.

Laer. What ceremony else?

1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd
As we have warranty: her death was doubtful;
And but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd,
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her;

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Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial. |

Laer. Must there no more be done?
1 Priest.

No more be done.
We should profane the service of the dead,
To sing a requiem, and such rest to her
As to peace - parted souls.
Laer.

Lay her i' the earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A ministering angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.
Ham.

What! the fair Ophelia ?
Queen. Sweets to the sweet: farewell. [Scattering flowers.
I hop'd thou should'st have been my Hamlet's wife.
I thought thy bride- bed to have deck’d, sweet maid ,
And not to have strew'd thy grave.
Laer.

0! treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms.

[Leaping into the Grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
To o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.

Ham. [Advancing.] What is he, whose grief
Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand,
Like wonder - wounded hearers? this is I,
Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaping into the Grave.
Laer.
The devil take thy soul!

[Grappling with him. Ham.

Thou pray'st not well.
I pr’ythee, take thy fingers from my throat;
For though I am not splenetive and rash,
Yet have I in me something dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.

King. Pluck them asunder.
Queen.

Hamlet! Hamlet !
All. Gentlemen,

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Hor.

Good my lord, be quiet. 215

[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the

Grave.
Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme,
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.

Queen. O my son, what theme?

Ham. I lov'd Ophelia : forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum.

What wilt thou do for her?
King. O! he is mad, Laertes.
Queen. For love of God, forbear him.

Ham. 'Swounds! show me what thou 'lt do;
Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?
Woul't drink up Nilus? eat a crocodile?
I'll do 't. Dost thou come here to whine?
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I:
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us; till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou 'lt mouth,

I'll rant as well as thou. 216 Queen.

This is mere madness:
And thus a while the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His silence will sit drooping.
Ham.

Hear you, Sir:
What is the reason that you use me thus?
I lov'd you ever: but it is no matter;
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, the dog will have his day.

[Exit. King. I pray you, good Horatio,

him.

[Exit HORATIO.
To
[TO LAERTES.] Strengthen your patience in our last night's

speech;
We'll put the matter to the present push.
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
This grave shall have a living monument:
An hour of quiet thereby shall we see;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be.

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SCENE II.

217

A Hall in the Castle.

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO.

218

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 would not let me sleep! methought, I lay
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
And prais'd be rashness for it, Let us know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us,
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
Hor.

That is most certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,
My sea- gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
Grop'd I to find out them; had my desire; |
Finger'd their packet; and, in fine, withdrew
To mine own room again : making so bold,
My fears forgetting manners, to unfold
Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,
O royal knavery! an exact command,
Larded with many several sorts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
That on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.
Hor.

Is 't possible?
Нат. Here 's the commission: read it at more leisure.
But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed?
Hor.

I beseech you. 1
Ham.

Being thus benetted round with villains,
Or I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play, :- I sat me down,

,
Deyis'd a new commission; wrote it fair.
I once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much

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