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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)

    Enter two Clownes.
    3190Clown. Is she to bee buried in Christian buriall, that
    wilfully seekes her owne saluation?
    Other. I tell thee she is, and therefore make her Graue
    straight, the Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Chri-
    stian buriall.
    3195Clo. How can that be, vnlesse she drowned her selfe in
    her owne defence?
    Other. Why 'tis found so.
    Clo. It must be Se offendendo, it cannot bee else: for
    heere lies the point; If I drowne my selfe wittingly, it ar-
    3200gues an Act: and an Act hath three branches. It is an
    Act to doe and to performe; argall she drown'd her selfe
    Other. Nay but heare you Goodman Deluer.
    Clown. Giue me leaue; heere lies the water; good:
    3205heere stands the man; good: If the man goe to this wa-
    ter and drowne himsele; it is will he nill he, he goes;
    marke you that? But if the water come to him & drowne
    him; hee drownes not himselfe. Argall, hee that is not
    guilty of his owne death, shortens not his owne life.
    3210Other. But is this law?
    Clo. I marry is't, Crowners Quest Law.
    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.
    278 The Tragedie of Hamlet.
    Ham. Why?
    Clo. 'Twill not be seene in him, there the men are as
    3345mad as he.
    Ham. How came he mad?
    Clo. Very strangely they say.
    Ham. How strangely?
    Clo. Faith e'ene with loosing his wits.
    3350Ham. Vpon what ground?
    Clo. Why heere in Denmarke: I haue bin sixeteene
    heere, man and Boy thirty yeares.
    Ham. How long will a man lie 'ith' earth ere he rot?
    Clo. Ifaith, if he be not rotten before he die (as we haue
    3355many pocky Coarses now adaies, that will scarce hold
    the laying in) he will last you some eight yeare, or nine
    yeare. A Tanner will last you nine yeare.
    Ham. Why he, more then another?
    Clo. Why sir, his hide is so tan'd with his Trade, that
    3360he will keepe out water a great while. And your water,
    is a sore Decayer of your horson dead body. Heres a Scull
    now: this Scul, has laine in the earth three & twenty years.
    Ham. Whose was it?
    Clo. A whoreson mad Fellowes it was;
    3365Whose doe you thinke it was?
    Ham. Nay, I know not.
    Clo. A pestlence on him for a mad Rogue, a pou'rd a
    Flaggon of Renish on my head once. This same Scull
    Sir, this same Scull sir, was Yoricks Scull, the Kings Iester.
    3370Ham. This?
    Clo. E'ene that.
    Ham. Let me see. Alas poore Yorick, I knew him Ho-
    ratio, a fellow of infinite Iest; of most excellent fancy, he
    hath borne me on his backe a thousand times: And how
    3375abhorred my Imagination is, my gorge rises at it. Heere
    hung those lipps, that I haue kist I know not how oft.
    VVhere be your Iibes now? Your Gambals? Your
    Songs? Your flashes of Merriment that were wont to
    set the Table on a Rore? No one now to mock your own
    3380Ieering? Quite chopfalne? Now get you to my Ladies
    Chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thicke, to this
    fauour she must come. Make her laugh at that: pry-
    thee Horatio tell me one thing.
    Hor. What's that my Lord?
    3385Ham. Dost thou thinke Alexander lookt o'this fa-
    shion i'th' earth?
    Hor. E'ene so.
    Ham. And smelt so? Puh.
    Hor. E'ene so, my Lord.
    3390Ham. To what base vses we may returne Horatio.
    Why may not Imagination trace the Noble dust of A-
    lexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole.
    Hor. 'Twere to consider: to curiously to consider so.
    Ham. No faith, not a iot. But to follow him thether
    3395with modestie enough, & likeliehood to lead it; as thus.
    Alexander died: Alexander was buried: Alexander re-
    turneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make
    Lome, and why of that Lome (whereto he was conuer-
    ted) might they not stopp a Beere-barrell?
    3400Imperiall Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keepe the winde away.
    Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
    Should patch a Wall, t'expell the winters flaw.
    But soft, but soft, aside; heere comes the King.
    3405 Enter King, Queene, Laertes, and a Coffin,
    with Lords attendant.
    The Queene, the Courtiers. Who is that they follow,
    And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken,
    The Coarse they follow, did with disperate hand,
    3410Fore do it owne life; 'twas some Estate.
    Couch we a while, and mark.
    Laer. What Cerimony else?
    Ham. That is Laertes, a very Noble youth: Marke.
    Laer. What Cerimony else?
    3415Priest. Her Obsequies haue bin as farre inlarg'd.
    As we haue warrantis, her death was doubtfull,
    And but that great Command, o're-swaies the order,
    She should in ground vnsanctified haue lodg'd,
    Till the last Trumpet. For charitable praier,
    3420Shardes, Flints, and Peebles, should be throwne on her:
    Yet heere she is allowed her Virgin Rites,
    Her Maiden strewments, and the bringing home
    Of Bell and Buriall.
    Laer. Must there no more be done?
    3425Priest. No more be done:
    We should prophane the seruice of the dead,
    To sing sage Requiem, and such rest to her
    As to peace-parted Soules.
    Laer. Lay her i'th' earth,
    3430And from her faire and vnpolluted flesh,
    May Violets spring. I tell thee (churlish Priest)
    A Ministring Angell shall my Sister be,
    When thou liest howling?
    Ham. What, the faire Ophelia?
    3435Queene. Sweets, to the sweet farewell.
    I hop'd thou should'st haue bin my Hamlets wife:
    I thought thy Bride-bed to haue deckt (sweet Maid)
    And not t'haue strew'd thy Graue.
    Laer. Oh terrible woer,
    3440Fall ten times trebble, on that cursed head
    Whose wicked deed, thy most Ingenious sence
    Depriu'd thee of. Hold off the earth a while,
    Till I haue caught her once more in mine armes:
    Leaps in the graue.
    3445Now pile your dust, vpon the quicke, and dead,
    Till of this flat a Mountaine you haue made,
    To o're top old Pelion, or the skyish head
    Of blew Olympus.
    Ham. What is he, whose griefes
    3450Beares such an Emphasis? whose phrase of Sorrow
    Coniure the wandring Starres, and makes them stand
    Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
    Hamlet the Dane.
    Laer. The deuill take thy soule.
    3455Ham. Thou prai'st not well,
    I prythee take thy fingers from my throat;
    Sir though I am not Spleenatiue, and rash,
    Yet haue I something in me dangerous,
    Which let thy wisenesse feare. Away thy hand.
    3460King. Pluck them asunder.
    Qu. Hamlet, Hamlet.
    Gen. Good my Lord be quiet.
    Ham. Why I will fight with him vppon this Theme.
    Vntill my eielids will no longer wag.
    3465Qu. Oh my Sonne, what Theame?
    Ham. I lou'd Ophelia; fortie thousand Brothers
    Could not (with all there quantitie of Loue)
    Make vp my summe. What wilt thou do for her?
    King. Oh he is mad Laertes,
    3470Qu. For loue of God forbeare him.
    Ham. Come show me what thou'lt doe.
    Woo't weepe? Woo't fight? Woo't teare thy selfe?
    Woo't drinke vp Esile, eate a Crocodile?
    The Tragedie of Hamlet. 259
    Ile doo't. Dost thou come heere to whine;
    3475To outface me with leaping in her Graue?
    Be buried quicke with her, and so will I.
    And if thou prate of Mountaines; let them throw
    Millions of Akers on vs; till our ground
    Sindging his pate against the burning Zone,
    3480Make Ossa like a wart. Nay, and thoul't mouth,
    Ile rant as well as thou.
    Kin. This is meere Madnesse:
    And thus awhile the fit will worke on him:
    Anon as patient as the female Doue,
    3485When that her golden Cuplet are disclos'd;
    His silence will sit drooping.
    Ham. Heare you Sir:
    What is the reason that you vse me thus?
    I loud' you euer; but it is no matter:
    3490Let Hercules himselfe doe what he may,
    The Cat will Mew, and Dogge will haue his day. Exit.
    Kin. I pray you good Horatio wait vpon him,
    Strengthen you patience in our last nights speech,
    Wee'l put the matter to the present push:
    3495Good Gertrude set some watch ouer your Sonne,
    This Graue shall haue a liuing Monument:
    An houre of quiet shortly shall we see;
    Till then, in patience our proceeding be. Exeunt.