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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.
[Takes the skull.
1 Clo. E'en that.
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!
[Throws down the skull.
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. 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,
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,
[Retiring with HORATIO.
Laer. What ceremony else?
That is Laertes,
A very noble youth. Mark.
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 'the earth;-
What, the fair Ophelia ! Queen. Sweets to the sweet. Farewell!
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
Ham. [Advancing.] What is he, whose grief
[Leaps into the grave.
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
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?
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?
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I.
Millions of acres on us; till our ground,
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. 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.-
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 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,
Ham. Up from my cabin,
When our deep plots do pall; and that should teach us,
Rough-hew them how we will.
That is most certain.
My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
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;
Hor. 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.