Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Other. Will you ha the truth on't: if this had not
    beene a Gentlewoman, shee should haue beene buried
    out of Chri stian Buriall.
    3215 Clo. Why there thou say' st. And the more pitty that
    great folke should haue countenance in this world to
    drowne or hang themselues, more then their euen Chri sti-
    an. Come, my Spade; there is no ancient Gentlemen,
    but Gardiners, Ditchers and Graue-makers; they hold vp
    3220 Adams Profe s sion.
    Other. Was he a Gentleman?
    Clo. He was the fir st that euer bore Armes.
    Other. Why he had none.
    Clo. What, ar't a Heathen? how dost thou vnder-
    3225 stand the Scripture? the Scripture sayes Adam dig'd;
    could hee digge without Armes? Ile put another que-
    stion to thee; if thou answere st me not to the purpose, con-
    fe s s e thy selfe---
    Other. Go too.
    3230 Clo. What is he that builds stronger then either the
    Mason, the Shipwright, or the Carpenter?
    Other. The Gallowes maker; for that Frame outliues a
    thousand Tenants.
    Clo. I like thy wit well in good faith, the Gallowes
    3235does well; but how does it well? it does well to those
    that doe ill: now, thou do st ill to say the Gallowes is
    built stronger then the Church: Argall, the Gallowes
    may doe well to thee. Too't againe, Come.
    Other. Who builds stronger then a Mason, a Ship-
    3240wright, or a Carpenter?
    Clo. I, tell me that, and vnyoake.
    Other. Marry, now I can tell.
    Clo. Too't.
    Other. Ma s s e, I cannot tell.

    3245 Enter Hamlet and Horatio a farre off .
    Clo. Cudgell thy braines no more about it; for your
    dull A s s e will not mend his pace with beating; and when
    you are ask't this que stion next, say a Graue-maker: the
    Houses that he makes, la sts till Doomesday: go, get thee
    3250to Yaughan, fetch me a stoupe of Liquor.
    In youth when I did loue, did loue,
    me thought it was very sweete:
    To contract O the time for a my behoue,
    3255 O me thought there was nothing meete.
    Ham. Ha's this fellow no feeling of his bu sine s s e, that
    he sings at Graue-making?
    Hor. Cu stome hath made it in him a property of ea-
    sine s s e.
    3260 Ham. 'Tis ee'n so; the hand of little Imployment hath
    the daintier sense.
    Clowne sings.
    But Age with his stealing steps
    hath caught me in his clutch:
    3265 And hath shipped me intill the Land,
    as if I had neuer beene such.
    Ham. That Scull had a tongue in it, and could sing
    once: how the knaue iowles it to th' grownd, as if it
    were Caines Iaw-bone, that did the fir st murther: It
    3270might be the Pate of a Polititian which this A s s e o're Of-
    fices: one that could circumuent God, might it not?
    Hor. It might, my Lord.
    Ham. Or of a Courtier, which could say, Good Mor-
    row sweet Lord: how do st thou, good Lord? this
    3275might be my Lord such a one, that prais'd my Lord such
    a ones Horse, when he meant to begge it; might it not?
    Hor. I, my Lord.
    Ham. Why ee'n so: and now my Lady Wormes,
    Chaple s s e, and knockt about the Mazard with a Sextons
    3280Spade; heere's fine Reuolution, if wee had the tricke to
    see't. Did these bones co st no more the breeding, but
    to play at Loggets with 'em? mine ake to thinke
    Clowne sings.
    A Pickhaxe and a Spade, a Spade,
    for and a shrowding-Sheete:
    O a Pit of Clay for to be made,
    for such a Gue st is meete.
    Ham. There's another: why might not that bee the
    3290Scull of a Lawyer? where be his Quiddits now? his
    Quillets? his Cases? his Tenures, and his Tricks? why
    doe's he suffer this rude knaue now to knocke him about
    the Sconce with a dirty Shouell, and will not tell him of
    his Action of Battery? hum. This fellow might be in's
    3295time a great buyer of Land, with his Statutes, his Recog-
    nizances, his Fines, his double Vouchers, his Recoueries:
    Is this the fine of his Fines, and the recouery of his Reco-
    ueries, to haue his fine Pate full of fine Dirt? will his
    Vouchers vouch him no more of his Purchases, and dou-
    3300ble ones too, then the length and breadth of a paire of
    Indentures? the very Conueyances of his Lands will
    hardly lye in this Boxe; and mu st the Inheritor himselfe
    haue no more? ha?
    Hor. Not a iot more, my Lord.
    3305 Ham. Is not Parchment made of Sheep-skinnes?
    Hor. I my Lord, and of Calue-skinnes too.
    Ham. They are Sheepe and Calues that seek out a s s u-
    rance in that. I will speake to this fellow: whose Graue's
    this Sir?
    3310 Clo. Mine Sir:
    O a Pit of Clay for to be made,
    for such a Gue st is meete.
    Ham. I thinke it be thine indeed: for thou lie st in't.
    Clo. You lye out on't Sir, and therefore it is not yours:
    3315for my part, I doe not lye in't; and yet it is mine.
    Ham. Thou do st lye in't, to be in't and say 'tis thine:
    'tis for the dead, not for the quicke, therefore thou
    lye st.
    Clo. 'Tis a quicke lye Sir, 'twill away againe from me
    3320to you.
    Ham. What man do st thou digge it for?
    Clo. For no man Sir.
    Ham. What woman then?
    Clo. For none neither.
    3325 Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
    Clo. One that was a woman Sir; but re st her Soule,
    shee's dead.
    Ham. How absolute the knaue is? wee mu st speake
    by the Carde, or equiuocation will vndoe vs: by the
    3330Lord Horatio, these three yeares I haue taken note of it,
    the Age is growne so picked, that the toe of the Pesant
    comes so neere the heeles of our Courtier, hee galls his
    Kibe. How long ha st thou been a Graue-maker?
    Clo. Of all the dayes i'th' yeare, I came too't that day
    3335that our la st King Hamlet o'recame Fortinbras.
    Ham. How long is that since?
    Clo. Cannot you tell that? euery foole can tell that:
    It was the very day, that young Hamlet was borne, hee
    that was mad, and sent into England.
    3340 Ham. I marry, why was he sent into England?
    Clo. Why, because he was mad; hee shall recouer his
    wits there; or if he do not, it's no great matter there.