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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    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    Not Peer Reviewed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