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Ham. How strangely?
1 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 scarce will 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 skull now hath lain you i' 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.
1 Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue, he poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
Ham. This ?
1 Clo. E'en that.
[Takes the skull.
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; 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 favor she must come; make her laugh at that.-'Prythee, 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!
Hor. E'en so, my lord.
[Throws down the skull.
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. VOL. IV.-36
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 turned 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, &c. in procession; the corpse of OPHELIA,
The queen, the courtiers! Who is this they follow,
Laer. What ceremony else?
A very noble youth. Mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?
[Retiring with HORATIO.
That is Laertes,
1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Laer. Must there no more be done?
No more be done!
We should profane the service of the dead,
Lay her i' the earth;—
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,
May violets spring!-I tell thee, churlish priest,
What, the fair Ophelia !
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
[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.
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.
The devil take thy soul!
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
[Leaps into the grave.
[Grappling with him.
I pry'thee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.
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 loved 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.
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 throw
Millions of acres on us; till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
This is mere madness;
And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
Hear you, sir;
What is the reason that you use me thus?
Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;
We'll put the matter to the present push.―
SCENE II. A Hall in the Castle.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO.
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
When our deep plots do pall; and that should teach us,
That is most certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,
My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,
Ham. Here's the commission; read it at more leisure. But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed?
Hor. Ay, 'beseech you.
Ham. Being thus benetted round with villanies,
A baseness to write fair, and labored much
Ay, good my lord.
As love between them like the palm might flourish;
And many such like as's of great charge,-
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
How was this sealed?
Ham. Why, even in that was Heaven ordinant; I had my father's signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal;
Folded the writ up in form of the other;
Subscribed it; gave't the impression; placed it safely, The changeling never known. Now, the next day Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent Thou know'st already.
Hor. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
They are not near my conscience; their defeat