Page images
PDF
EPUB

i Clo. For no man, sir.
HAM. What woman then ?

1 Clo, For none neither.
· Ham. Who is to be buried in't?

1 Clo. 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, (18) or equivocation will undo us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked, (19) that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe. How long hast thou been a grave-maker?

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

Ham. How long's that since ?

1 Clo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: It was that very day that young Hamlet was born :(20) he that is mad, and sent into England.

HAM. Ay, marry, why was he sent into Eng. land?

I Clo. Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

HAM. Why?

1 Clo. 'Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.

HAM. How came he mad ? :
i Clo. Very strangely, they say.
HAM. How strangely?
1 Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

How absolute the knave is] Peremptory, strictly and tyran. nously precise.

sixeteene, 1623. sexcstone, 1632.

Ham. Upon what ground?

1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark. I have been So 4tos. sexton* here, man and boy, thirty years.

Ham. How long will a man lie i'the earth ere he rot?

i Cio. '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,21)) he will last you some eight year, or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.

HAM. Why he more than another?

I CLÓ. Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep out water å great while ; and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here's a scull now : this scull has lain in the earth three-and-twenty years.

HAM. Whose was it?

1 CLO. A whoreson mad fellow's it was ; Whose do you think it was ? Ham. Nay, I know not.

Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! (23) 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. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Hora. tio; 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.(24) 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

jeering?* quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my grinning, 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

4tos.

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 bunghole?

HOR. 'Twere 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 loảm: And why of thất loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?

Imperial 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 !(25)
But soft! but soft! aside; Here comes the king,

favour] Feature. See M. N. Dr. İ. 1. Helena.

'Twere to consider too curiously) Be pressing the argument with too much critical nicety, to dwell upon mere possibilities. See Tam, of Shr. IV. 4. Pedant.

Enter Priests, fc. in Procession ; the Corpse of

OPHELIA, LAERTES and Mourners following ;
King, Queen, their Trains, &c.

1632.

• #this, 4tos, The queen, the courtiers : Who is that * they fol. is't, that.

low ?.
And with such maimed rites !a This doth betoken,
The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. 'Twas some estate :
Couch we awhile, and mark.

[Retiring with HORATIO.
LAER. What ceremony else?
HAM.

That is Laertes,
A very noble youth : Mark.

LAER. What ceremony else ?
I PRIEST. Her obsequies have been as far en-

larg'd
As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the or-

der,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged,
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, (26) Aints, and pebbles, should be thrown on

her,
Yet here she is allowed her virgin rites, (27)

.maimed rites] Curtailed, imperfect.

• Fordo its own life] Destroy. “ Wold to God it might be leful for me to fordoo myself, or to make an end of me.” Acolastus, 1549. STEEVENS. See M. N. Dr. V. 2. Puck.

c'Twas some estate] High personage, of rank or station. As, “ your greatness, and this noble state.Tr, and Cr. I. 3. Patroci. The quartos read “ 'Twas of some estate."

d command o'ersways the order] The course, which ecclesiastical rules prescribe.

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial..

LAER. Must there no more be done?
I PRIEST.

No more be done:
We should profane the service of the dead,
To sing sage requiem, and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls. (28)
LAER.

Lay her i'the earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,
May violets spring ! (29) —I tell thee, churlish

priest, (30)
A ministring angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.
HAм.

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 * . So atoe. Fall ten times trebleb* on that cursed head, Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense wooer,

1623, 32. Depriv'd thee of!-Hold off the earth a while, Till I have caught her once more in mine arms: 4tos.

[Leaps into the grate.
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. .

terrible woer and

• double,

bringing home of bell and burial] Conveying to her last home with these accustomed forms of the church, and this sepulture in consecrated ground. . Fall ten times treble] See “ treble in silence.” 1. 2. Haml. • ingenious sense] Life and sense. .

L

« PreviousContinue »