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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. 277
    Other. Will you ha the truth on't: if this had not
    beene a Gentlewoman, shee should haue beene buried
    out of Christian Buriall.
    3215Clo. 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 Christi-
    an. Come, my Spade; there is no ancient Gentlemen,
    but Gardiners, Ditchers and Graue-makers; they hold vp
    3220Adams Profession.
    Other. Was he a Gentleman?
    Clo. He was the first that euer bore Armes.
    Other. Why he had none.
    Clo. What, ar't a Heathen? how dost thou vnder-
    3225stand the Scripture? the Scripture sayes Adam dig'd;
    could hee digge without Armes? Ile put another que-
    stion to thee; if thou answerest me not to the purpose, con-
    fesse thy selfe---
    Other. Go too.
    3230Clo. 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 dost 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. Masse, I cannot tell.

    3245 Enter Hamlet and Horatio a farre off.
    Clo. Cudgell thy braines no more about it; for your
    dull Asse will not mend his pace with beating; and when
    you are ask't this question next, say a Graue-maker: the
    Houses that he makes, lasts 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 businesse, that
    he sings at Graue-making?
    Hor. Custome hath made it in him a property of ea-
    3260Ham. '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 first murther: It
    3270might be the Pate of a Polititian which this Asse 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 dost 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,
    Chaplesse, and knockt about the Mazard with a Sextons
    3280Spade; heere's fine Reuolution, if wee had the tricke to
    see't. Did these bones cost 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 Guest 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 must the Inheritor himselfe
    haue no more? ha?
    Hor. Not a iot more, my Lord.
    3305Ham. 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 assu-
    rance in that. I will speake to this fellow: whose Graue's
    this Sir?
    3310Clo. Mine Sir:
    O a Pit of Clay for to be made,
    for such a Guest is meete.
    Ham. I thinke it be thine indeed: for thou liest 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 dost lye in't, to be in't and say 'tis thine:
    'tis for the dead, not for the quicke, therefore thou
    Clo. 'Tis a quicke lye Sir, 'twill away againe from me
    3320to you.
    Ham. What man dost thou digge it for?
    Clo. For no man Sir.
    Ham. What woman then?
    Clo. For none neither.
    3325Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
    Clo. One that was a woman Sir; but rest her Soule,
    shee's dead.
    Ham. How absolute the knaue is? wee must 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 hast thou been a Graue-maker?
    Clo. Of all the dayes i'th' yeare, I came too't that day
    3335that our last 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.
    3340Ham. 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.