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i Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits. Ham. Upon what ground?

i 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?

i 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?

i 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 hath lain you

i'the earth three-and-twenty years.

Ham. Whose was it?

i Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was; Whose do you think it was?

Ham. Nay, I know not.

i 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. i Clo. E'en that.

Ham. Alas, poor Yorick !- I knew him, Horatio ; a fellow of intinite 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 a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen ? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favours 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 looked o'this fashion i'the earth?

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

[Throws 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. 'Twere to consider too curiously, to cons sider 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: o, that the earth, which kept the world in awe,

Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw ! But soft! but soft! aside ;-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 this they follow? And with such maimed rites !? This doth betoken, The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand

5 6

to this favour-] i.e. to this countenance or complexion.
winter's flaw!] Winter's blast.
maimed rites!) Imperfect obsequies.

7

Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate:
Couch we a while, and mark.

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

That is Laertės, A very noble youth: Mark.

Laer. What ceremony else?

i 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,
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 ministring angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.
Ham.

What, the fair Ophelia ! Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell !

[Scattering Flowers.

2

& Fordo its own life.) To fordo is to undo, to destroy.

some estate : Some person of high rank. Shards,] i.e. broken pots or tiles, called pot-sherds, tilesherds.

1 allow'd her virgin crants,] Evidently corrupted from chants, which is the true word.

3 To sing a requiem,] A requiem, is a mass performed in Popish churches for the rest of the soul of a person deceased.

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 thy most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of !-Hold off the earth a while,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms :

[Leaps 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 wand'ring stars, and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers i this is I, Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaps into the Grave. Laer.

The devil take thy soul!

[Grappling with him.
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
I prythee, 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,
Hor.

Good my lord, be quiet. [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. 'Zounds, show me what thou'lt do:
Woul't weep? woul't fight? woult fast? woul't tear

thyself?
Woul't drink up Esil ?* 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.
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, and dog will have his day.

[Exit. King. I pray thee, good Horatio, . wait

upon him.

[Exit Horatio. Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;

[TO LAERTES. We'll put the matter to the present push.Good Gertrude set some watch over your son.This grave shall have a living monument:

4 Woult drink up Esil?] This is understood by some of the commentators to mean a river so called, or to mean only rinegar.

5 When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,] To disclose was anciently used for to hatch.

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