Enter two Clowns, with spades, &c
Is she to be buried in Christian burial thatwilfully seeks her own salvation?
I tell thee she is: and therefore make her gravestraight: the crowner hath sat on her, and finds
How can that be, unless she drowned herself in herown defence?
Why, 'tis found so.
It must be 'se offendendo;' it cannot be else. Forhere lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly,it
argues an act: and an act hath three branches: itis, to act, to do, to perform: argal, she drownedherself
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,
Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: herestands the man; good; if the man go to this water,and
drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, hegoes, mark you that; but if the water come to himand drown him, he
drowns not himself: argal, hethat is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
But is this law?
Ay, marry, is't; crowner's quest law.
Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not beena gentlewoman, she should have been buried out
Why, there thou say'st: and the more pity thatgreat folk should have countenance in this world
todrown or hang themselves, more than their evenChristian. Come, my spade. There is no ancientgentleman
but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers:they hold up Adam's profession.
Was he a gentleman?
He was the first that ever bore arms.
Why, he had none.
What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand theScripture? The Scripture says 'Adam digged:'could
he dig without arms? I'll put anotherquestion to thee: if thou answerest me not to thepurpose, confess
What is he that builds stronger than either themason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives athousand tenants.
I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallowsdoes well; but how does it well? it does well tothose
that do in: now thou dost ill to say thegallows is built stronger than the church: argal,the gallows may do
well to thee. To't again, come.
'Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, ora carpenter?'
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Marry, now I can tell.
Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dullass will not mend his pace with beating; and,
whenyou are asked this question next, say 'agrave-maker: 'the houses that he makes last tilldoomsday.
Go, get thee to Yaughan: fetch me astoup of liquor.
Exit Second Clown
He digs and sings
In youth, when I did love, did love,Methought it was very sweet,To contract, O, the time, for, ah,
my behove,O, methought, there was nothing meet.
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that hesings at grave-making?
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment haththe daintier sense.
SingsBut age, with his stealing steps,Hath claw'd me in his clutch,And hath shipped me intil
the land,As if I had never been such.
Throws up a skull
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it
wereCain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder! Itmight be the pate of a politician, which this assnow o'er-
reaches; one that would circumvent God,might it not?
It might, my lord.
Or of a courtier; which could say 'Good morrow,sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?' This
mightbe my lord such-a-one, that praised my lordsuch-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it
Ay, my lord.
Why, e'en so: and now my Lady Worm's; chapless, andknocked about the mazzard with a sexton's
spade:here's fine revolution, an we had the trick tosee't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding,but
to play at loggats with 'em? mine ache to think on't.A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,For and a shrouding
sheet:O, a pit of clay for to be madeFor such a guest is meet.
Throws up another skull
There's another: why may not that be the skull of alawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his
quillets,his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does hesuffer this rude knave now to knock him about
thesconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him ofhis action of battery? Hum! This fellow might bein's
time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,his recoveries: is
this the fine of his fines, andthe recovery of his recoveries, to have his finepate full of fine dirt? will his
vouchers vouch himno more of his purchases, and double ones too, thanthe length and breadth of a
pair of indentures? Thevery conveyances of his lands will hardly lie inthis box; and must the inheritor
himself have no more, ha?
Not a jot more, my lord.
Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.
They are sheep and calves which seek out assurancein that. I will speak to this fellow. Whosegrave's
O, a pit of clay for to be madeFor such a guest is meet.
I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is notyours: for my part, I do not lie in't, and yet it is mine.
'Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it is thine:'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou
'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away gain, from me toyou.
What man dost thou dig it for?
For no man, sir.
What woman, then?
For none, neither.
Who is to be buried in't?
One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
How absolute the knave is! we must speak by thecard, or equivocation will undo us. By the
Lord,Horatio, these three years I have taken a note ofit; the age is grown so picked that the toe of thepeasant
comes so near the heel of the courtier, hegaffs his kibe. How long hast thou been agrave-maker?
Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that daythat our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
How long is that since?
Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: itwas the very day that young Hamlet was born; he
thatis mad, and sent into England.
Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his witsthere; or, if he do not, it's no great matter
'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the menare as mad as he.
How came he mad?
Very strangely, they say.
Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
Upon what ground?
Why, here in Denmark: I have been sexton here, manand boy, thirty years.
How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
I' faith, if he be not rotten before he dieas wehave many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarcehold
the laying inhe will last you some eight yearor nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
Why he more than another?
Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, thathe will keep out water a great while; and your
wateris a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.Here's a skull now; this skull has lain in the earththree
and twenty years.
Whose was it?
A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
Nay, I know not.
A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured aflagon of Rhenish on my head once. This
same skull,sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Let me see.
Takes the skull
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellowof infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hathborne
me on his back a thousand times; and now, howabhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims atit.
Here hung those lips that I have kissed I knownot how oft. Where be your gibes now? yourgambols?
your songs? your flashes of merriment,that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not onenow, to mock
your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, lether paint an
inch thick, to this favour she mustcome; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tellme one thing.
What's that, my lord?
Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'the earth?
And smelt so? pah!
Puts down the skull
E'en so, my lord.
To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why maynot imagination trace the noble dust of
Alexander,till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither withmodesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: asthus: Alexander
died, Alexander was buried,Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; ofearth we make loam; and
why of that loam, whereto hewas converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?Imperious Caesar, 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 flaw!But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
Enter Priest, &c. in procession; the Corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES and Mourners following; KING
CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, their trains, &c
The queen, the courtiers: who is this they follow?And with such maimed rites? This doth betokenThe
corse they follow did with desperate handFordo its own life: 'twas of some estate.Couch we awhile, and
Retiring with HORATIO
What ceremony else?
That is Laertes,A very noble youth: mark.
Her obsequies have been as far enlargedAs we have warrantise: her death was doubtful;And,
but that great command o'ersways the order,She should in ground unsanctified have lodgedTill 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 homeOf bell and burial.
Must there no more be done?
No more be done:We should profane the service of the deadTo sing a requiem and such rest to
herAs to peace-parted souls.
Lay her i' the earth:And from her fair and unpolluted fleshMay violets spring! I tell thee, churlish
priest,A ministering angel shall my sister be,When thou liest howling.
What, the fair Ophelia!
Sweets to the sweet: farewell!
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet
maid,And not have strew'd thy grave.
O, treble woeFall ten times treble on that cursed head,Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious
senseDeprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,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'ertop
old Pelion, or the skyish headOf blue Olympus.
Advancing What is he whose griefBears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrowConjures
the wandering stars, and makes them standLike wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,Hamlet the Dane.
The devil take thy soul!
Grappling with him
Thou pray'st not well.I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;For, though I am not splenitive
and rash,Yet have I something in me dangerous,Which let thy wiseness fear: hold off thy hand.
Pluck them asunder.
Good my lord, be quiet.
The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave
Why I will fight with him upon this themeUntil my eyelids will no longer wag.
O my son, what theme?
I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothersCould not, with all their quantity of love,Make up my
sum. What wilt thou do for her?
O, he is mad, Laertes.
For love of God, forbear him.
'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do:Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?Woo't
drink up eisel? 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 throwMillions 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.
This is mere madness:And thus awhile the fit will work on him;Anon, as patient as the female
dove,When that her golden couplets are disclosed,His silence will sit drooping.
Hear you, sir;What is the reason that you use me thus?I loved you ever: but it is no matter;Let
Hercules himself do what he may,The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
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 shortly
shall we see;Till then, in patience our proceeding be.
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