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Ham. Thou dost lie in't, to be in't, and say it is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.

1st Clo. 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away again, from me to you. Ham. What man dost thou dig it for?

1st Clo. For no man, sir.

Ham. What woman, then?

1st Clo. For none neither.

Ham. Who is to be buried in't?

1st 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, or equivocation will undo us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked, 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?

1st 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?

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

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?

1st Clo. Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

Ham. Why?

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

Ham. How came he mad?

1st Clo. Very strangely, they say.

Ham. How strangely?

1st Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

Ham. Upon what ground?

1st 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?

1st Clo. Why, sir, here's a skull now hath lain you i' the earth three-and-twenty years.

Ham. Whose was it?

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

1st Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! he poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same kull, sir, was Yorick's

skull, the king's jester.

Ham. This ?

[Takes the skull.

1st 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. 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 chapfallen? 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.-Pr'ythee, 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 bung-hole?

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 returned 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 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!
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?

[Retiring with HORATIO.

That is Laertes.

A very noble youth: Mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?

1 Priest. Her obsequies have been so far enlarg'd
As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd
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 minist'ring angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.

Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !

Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell:
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.

O, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Depriv'd thee of!-Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:

[Scattering flowers.

[Leaps into the grave.

Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead;
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
To o'er-top 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 wand'ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers? this is I,
Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaps into the grave. [Grappling with him.


The devil take thy soul!
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.

I pr'ythee, 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.

Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet!
All. Gentlemen,-


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.

Ham. Zounds, show me what thou❜lt do:

Woul't weep? woul't fight? woul't fast? woul't tear thyself?
Wonl't drink up Esil? 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,
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 disclos'd,
His silence will sit drooping.


Hear you, sir;
What is the reason, that you use me thus?
I lov'd you ever: But it is no matter;
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.
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.


Hamlet has learned the intentions of the King, in sending him to England, and while consulting with Horatio how to act, a messenger comes from Claudius inviting the Prince to a "trial of skill" in fencing, with Laertes; Hamlet accepts the challenge, and the scene changes to a Hall in the Palace where the court are assembled to witness the encounter.

SCENE the last.-A Hall in the Castle.

Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attendants with foils, &c.

King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

[The KING puts the hand of LAERTES into that of HAMLET. Ham. Give me your pardon, sir: I have done you wrong; But pardon it as you are a gentleman. Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil Free me so far in your most generous thoughts, That I have shot my arrow o'er the house, And hurt my brother.


I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most
To my revenge :

I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.


I embrace it freely;

And will this brother's wager frankly play.—
Give us the foils; come on.


Come, one for me.

Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine ignorance
Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,
Stick fiery off indeed.

You mock me, sir.


Ham. No, by this hand.

King. Give them the foils, young Osric.-Cousin Hamlet, You know the wager?

Very well, my lord;
Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side.
King. I do not fear it: I have seen you both :-
But since he's better'd, we have therefore odds.

Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another.

Ham. This likes me well: These foils have all a length?

Osr. Ay, my good lord.

King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that table :-
If Hamlet give the first or second hit,
Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire;
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
And in the cup an union shall he throw,
Richer than that which four successive kings
In Denmark's crown have worn; Give me the cups;
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,

The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.-Come, begin;—
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.

Ham. Come on, sir,

Laer. Come, my lord.




Osr. A hit, a very palpable hit.

[They prepare to play.



[They play.



King. Stay, give me drink: Hamlet, this pearl is thine; Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup.

[Trumpets sound; and cannon shot off within. Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by awhile. Come.-Another hit; What say you?

[They play.

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess.

King. Our son shall win.

Queen. The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Ham. Good madam,


Gertrude, do not drink.

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