Imatges de pÓgina

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,
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
Foredo its own life. 'Twas of some estate:
Couch we awhile, and mark.

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
As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her;
Yet here she is allowed 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.


Lay her i' the earth;—

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,

May violets spring!-I tell thee, churlish priest,
A ministering angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.

Queen. Sweets to the sweet. Farewell!

What, the fair Ophelia !

[Scattering flowers.

I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
And not have strewed thy grave.

O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Deprived 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'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;
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.


All. Gentlemen,


Hamlet, Hamlet!

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

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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.


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, the dog will have his day. [Exit.
King. I pray thee, 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.

SCENE II. A Hall in the Castle.



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
That would not let me sleep; methought I lay
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
And praised be rashness for it,-Let us know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,

When our deep plots do pall; and that should teach us,
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.


That is most certain.

Ham. Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarfed about me, in the dark
Groped I to find out them; had my desire;
Fingered their packet; and, in fine, withdrew
To mine own room again; making so bold,

My fears forgetting manners, to unseal

Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio,
A royal knavery; an exact command,-
Larded with many several sorts of reasons,-
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,-
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.


Is't possible?

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,
Or could I make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play.-I sat me down;
Devised a new commission; wrote it fair:
I once did hold it, as our statists do,

A baseness to write fair, and labored much
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote ?


Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king,—
As England was his faithful tributary;

As love between them like the palm might flourish;
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear,
And stand a comma 'tween their amities;

And many such like as's of great charge,-
That, on the view and knowing of these contents,
Without debatement further, more, or less,

He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Not shriving time allowed.


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
Does by their own insinuation grow.

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