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Ham. What woman then?
Graved. For none neither.
Ham. Who is to be buried in't?

Graved. One, that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul! she's dead.

Ham. How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

Graved. Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.

Ham. How long is that since?

Graved. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: It was that very day, that young Hamlet was born: he that is mad, and sent into England.

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England? Graved. Why, because he was mad : he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

Ham. Why?

Graved. "Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.

Ham. How came he mad?

Graved. Very strangely, they say.
Ham. How strangely?

Graved. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

Ham. Upon what ground?

Graved. 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?

Gravd. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, he will last you some eight year, or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.

Ham. Why he more than another?

Graved. Why, sir, his hide is so tann'd 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 has lain you i' the earth three and twenty years.

Ham. Whose was it?


Graved. A whoreson mad fellow's it was:- -Whose
you think it was?
Ham. Nay, I know not.

Graved. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! he pour'd a flaggon of Rhenish on my head once. This same scull, sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's jester. Ham. This? [Taking the Scull.

Graved. E'en that.

Ham. 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: here hung those lips, that I have kiss'd I know not how oft; and now, how abhorr'd in my imagination it is! Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap fall'n? 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.

Hor. What's that, my lord?

Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander look'd o' this fashion i' the earth?

Hor. E'en so.

Ham. And smelt so ? pah!

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. "Twere to consider too curiously, to consider

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 beerbarrel?

Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay, Might stop a hole, to keep the wind away: O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw !— [A Bell tolls. the

-Aside; here comes

But soft! but soft! king,

The queen, the courtiers:-Who is this they follow?

And with such maimed rites!-This doth betoken,
The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate:
Couch we a while, and mark.
[Retiring with HORATIO.-Bell tolls.


Bell tolls.

Laer. What ceremony else?
Ham. That is Laertes,
A very noble youth.

Laer. What ceremony else?

Friar. 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


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?

Friar. 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!-

[They put the Coffin in the Grave.

I tell thee, churlish priest,

A minst'ring 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 have strew'd thy grave.

Laer. O, treble woe

Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,

Whose wicked deed the most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of!-

[The GRAVEDIGGER about to throw the Earth into
the Grave.

Hold off the earth a while,

Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:

[LAERTES leaps into the Grave. Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;

Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head

Of blue Olympus.

[Exit GRAVEDIGger.

Ham. [Advancing.] What is he whose grief Bears such an emphasis? Whose phrase of sorrow

Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,

Hamlet the Dane.

Laer. The devil take thy soul!

[Springing out of the Grave, and seizing HAMLET.

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 something in me dangerous,

Which let thy wisdom fear: Hold off thy hand.
King. Pluck them asunder.

[They are parted by HORATIO and


Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet!

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?
Queen. O, he is mad, Laertes.

Ham. Come, show me what thou❜lt do :

Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?

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 thoul't mouthe,
I'll rant as well as thou.

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,

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