Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)


The Tragedie of Hamlet
Ham. How long will a man lie i'th earth ere he rot?
Clow. Fayth if a be not rotten before a die, as we haue many poc-
3355kie corses, that will scarce hold the laying in, a will last you som eyght
yeere, or nine yeere. A Tanner will last you nine yeere.
Ham. Why he more then another?
Clow. Why sir, his hide is so tand with his trade, that a will keepe
3360out water a great while; & your water is a sore decayer of your whor-
son dead body, heer's a scull now hath lyen you i'th earth 23. yeeres.
Ham. Whose was it?
Clow. A whorson mad fellowes it was, whose do you think it was?
Ham. Nay I know not.
Clow. A pestilence on him for a madde rogue, a pourd a flagon of
Renish on my head once; this same skull sir, was sir Yoricks skull, the
Kings Iester.
3370Ham. This?
Clow. Een that.
Ham. Alas poore Yoricke, I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite
iest, of most excellent fancie, hee hath bore me on his backe a thou-
sand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is: my gorge
3375rises at it. Heere hung those lyppes that I haue kist I know not howe
oft, where be your gibes now? your gamboles, your songs, your fla-
shes of merriment, that were wont to set the ta
ble on a roare, not one
now to mocke your owne grinning, quite chopfalne. Now get you
3380to my Ladies table, & tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this fa-
uour she must come, make her laugh at that.
Prethee Horatio tell me one thing.
Hora. What's that my Lord?
3385Ham. Doost thou thinke Alexander lookt a this fashion i'th earth?
Hora. Een so.
Ham. And smelt so pah.
Hora. Een so my Lord.
3390Ham. To what base vses wee may returne Horatio? Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till a find it stopping
a bunghole?
Hor. Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.
Ham. No faith, not a iot, but to follow him thether with modesty
3395enough, and likelyhood to leade it. Alexander dyed, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth vvee
make Lome, & why of that Lome whereto he was conuerted, might
they