Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element ; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink.
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Lae. Alas, then is she drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.
Lae. Too much of water hast thou, poor
And therefore I forbid my tears : but yet
It is our trick ; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will : when these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord :
I have a speech of fire that fain would blaze,
But that this folly doubts it. Exit.
King. Let 's follow, Gertrude :
How much I had to do to calm his rage !
Now fear I this will give it start again ;
Therefore let 's follow. Exeunt.
Scene I. A Churchyard.
Enter two Cloivns, ivith spades, fyc.
1 Clown. Is she to be buried in Christian burial
that wilfully seeks her own salvation ?
2 Clown. I tell thee she is ; and therefore make
her grave straight : the crowner hath sat on her,
and finds it Christian burial.
1 Clown. How can that be, unless she drowned
herself in her own defence ?
2 Clown. Why, 'tis found so.
1 Clown. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be
else. For here lies the point : if I drown myself
wittingly, it argues an act, and an act hath three
branches : it is, to act, to dp and to perform :
argal, she drowned herself wittingly.
2 Clown. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver.
1 Cloivn. Give me leave. Here lies the water;
good : here stands the man ; good : if the man
go to this water and drown himself, it is, will he
nill he, he goes ; mark you that ; but if the water
come to him and drown him, he drowns not
himself : argal, he that is not guilty of his own
death shortens not his own life.
ACT V., Sc. 1.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
2 Clown. But is this law ?
1 Clown. Ay, marry, is't; Crowner's Quest
%'down. Will you ha' the truth ou't? If this
had not been a gentlewoman, she should have
been buried out o' Christian burial.
1 Clown. Why, there thou say'st : and the
more pity that great folk should have countenance
in this world to drown or hang themselves, more
than their even Christian. Come, my spade.
There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners,
ditchers and grave-makers : they hold up Adam's
2 Clown. Was he a gentleman ?
1 Clown. A' was the first that ever bore arms.
2 Clown. Why, he had none.
1 Clown. What, art a heathen ? How dost
thou understand the Scripture ? The Scripture
says Adam digged : could he dig without arms ?
I '11 put another question to thee : if thou an-
swerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself
2 Clown. Go to.
1 Clown. What is he that builds stronger than
either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
2 Clown. The gallows-maker; for that frame
outlives a thousand tenants.
1 Clown. I like thy wit well, in good faith :
the gallows does well ; but how does it well ? it
does well to those that dp ill: now thou dost
ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the
church : argal, the gallows may do well to thee.
To 't again, come.
2 Clown. Who builds stronger than a mason,
a shipwright, or a carpenter?
1 Clown. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
2 Cloivn. Marry, now I can tell.
1 Clown. To 't.
2 Clown. Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio, afar off.
1 Clown. Cudgel thy brains no more about _it,
for your dull ass will not mend his pace with
beating ; and, when you are asked this question
next, say a grave-maker? the houses that he
makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee to
Yaughan : fetch me a stoup of liquor.
Exit Second Clown.
[He digs, and sings.']
In youth, when I did love, did love,
Methought it was very sweet,
To contract, oh ! the time, for, ah ! my behove,
Oh, methought, there was nothing meet.
Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his busi-
ness, that he sings at grave-making ?
Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property
Ham. 'Tis e'en so : the hand of little employ-
ment hath the daintier sense.
1 Cloivn. [Sings.]
But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.
Throivs up a skull.
Ham. That skull had a tongue in it, and could
sing once : how the knave jowls it to the ground,
as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the^ first
murder ! It might be the pate of a politician,
which this ass now o'er-reaches ; one that would
circumvent God, might it not ?
Hor. It might, my lord.
Ham. Or of a courtier ; which could say Good-
morrow, sweet lord ! How dost thou, siueet lord ?
This might be my lord Such-a-one, that praised
my lord Such-a-one's horse, when he meant to
beg it ; might it not ?
Hor. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Why, e'en so : and now my Lady
Worm's ; chapless, and knocked about the mazzard
with a sexton's spade : here 's fine revolution, an
we had the trick to see 't. Did these bones cost
no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with
'em ? mine ache to think on 't.
1 Clown. [Sings.']
A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
For and a shrouding sheet :
0, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
Throws up another skull.
Ham. There 's another : why may not that be
the. skull of a lawyer ? Where be his quiddities
now, his quillets,, his cases, his tenures and his
tricks ? why does he suffer this rude knave now
to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel,
and will not tell him of his action of battery ?
Hum ! This fellow might be in 's time a great
buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances,
his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries : is
this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his
recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt?
will his vouchers vouch him no more of his
purchases, and double ones too, than the length
and breadth of a pair of indentures ? The very
conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this
box; and must the inheritor himself have no
more, ha ?
Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.
Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins ?
Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins top.
Ham. They are sheep and calves which seek
out assurance in that. I will speak to this
fellow. Whose grave 's this, sirrah ?
1 Clown. Mine, sir.
[Sings.'] 0, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
Ham. I think it be thine, indeed : for thou
liest in 't.
1 Clown. You lie out on 't, sir, and therefore
'tis not yours : for my part, I do not lie in 't, and
yet it is mine.
Ham. Thou dost lie in 't, to be in 't and say it
is thine : 'tis for the dead, not for the quick ;
therefore thou liest.
1 Cloivn. 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away again,
from me to you.
Ham. What man dost thou dig it for ?
1 Cloivn. For no man, sir.
Ham, What woman, then ?
1 Clown. For none, neither.
Ham. Who is to be buried in 't ?
1 Clown. One that was a woman, sir; but, rest
her soul, she 's dead.
Ham. How absolute the knave is! we must
speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
By the Lord, Horatio, this three years I have
taken note of it ; the age is grown so picked that
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
ACT V., Sc. 1.
the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of
the courtier, he galls his kibe. How long hast
thou been a grave-maker ?
1 Clown. Of all the days i' the year, I came
to 't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame
Ham. How long is that since ?
1 Clown. Cannot you tell that ? every fool can
tell that : it was the very day that young Hamlet
was born ; he that is mad, and sent into England.
Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent mto Eng-
1 Clown. Why, because a' was mad : a' shall
recover his wits there ; or, if a' do not, it 's no
great matter there.
1 Clown. 'Twill not be seen in him there;
there the men are as mad as he.
Ham. How came he mad ?
1 Cloivn. Very strangely, they say.
Ham. How strangely ?
1 Clown. Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
Ham. Upon what ground ?
1 Clown. Why, here in Denmark : I have been
sexton here, man and boy, thirty years.
Ham. How long will a man lie i' the earth ere
he rot ?
1 Cloivn. I' faith, if a' be not rotten before a*
die, a' will last you some eight year or nine year :
a tanner will last you nine year.
Ham. Why he more than another ?
1 Clown. Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with
his trade, that a' will keep out water a great
while, and your water is a sore decayer of your
dead body. Here's a skull now ; this skull has
lain in the earth three and twenty years.
Ham. Whose was it?
1 Cloivn. A mad fellow's it was : whose do you
think it was ?
Ham. Nay, I know not.
1 Clown. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue !
a' poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once.
This same skull, sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's
1 Clown. E'en that.
Ham. Let me see. [Takes the skull.'] Alas,
poor Yorick ! I knew him, Horatio : a fellow of
infinite jest, of most excellent fancy : he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times ; and now
how abhorred in my imagination it is ! my gorge
rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have
kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes
now ? your gambols ? your songs ? your flashes
of merriment, that were wont to set the table on
a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grin-
ning ? quite chop-fallen ? Now get you to my
lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch
thick, to this favour she must come ; make her
laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell me one
Hor. What 's that, my lord?
Ham. Dost thou think Alexander looked o'
this fashion i' the earth ?
Hor. E'en so.
Ham. And smelt so ? pah !
Puts down the sJcull.
Hor. E'en so, my lord.
Ham. To what base uses we may return,
Horatio ! Why may not imagination trace the
noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a
Hor. 'Twere to consider too curiously, to con-
Ham. No, faith, not a jot ; but to follow him
thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to
lead it : as thus : Alexander died, Alexander was
buried, Alexander returneth into dust ; the dust
is earth ; of earth we make loam ; and why of
that loam, whereto he was converted, might they
not stop a beer-barrel ?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away :
Oh that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw !
But soft ! but soft ! aside ! Here comes the king.
Enter Priests, fyc. in procession ; the Corpse of
Ophelia, Laertes and Mourners following;
King, Queen, their trains, 8fc.
The queen, the courtiers : who is this they follow ?
And with such maimed rites ? This doth betoken
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life : 'twas of some estate.
Couch we awhile, and mark.
Retiring with Horatio.
Lae. What ceremony else ?
Ham. That is Laertes, a very noble youth :
Lae. What ceremony else ?
1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far en-
As we have warrantise : her death was doubtful ;
And, but that great command o'ersways the
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on
Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.
Lae. Must there no more be done ?
1 Priest. No more be done :
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.
Lae. Lay her i' the earth :
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring ! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A ministering angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.
Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !
Queen. Sweets to the sweet : farewell !
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet
And not have strew' d thy grave.
Lae. 0, treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
Deprived thee of ! Hold off the earth awhile,
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:
Leaps into the grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
ACT V., Sc. 2.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyisli head
Of blue Olympus.
Ham. [Advancing .] What is he whose grief
Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them
Like wonder- wounded hearers ? This is I,
Hamlet the Dane. Leaps into the grave.
Lae. The devil take thy soul !
Grappling with him.
Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat ;
For, though I am not splenitive and rash,
Yet have I something in me dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear : hold off thy hand.
King. Pluck them asunder.
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet !
Hor. Good my lord, be quiet.
The Attendants part them, and they come
out of the grave.
Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Queen. O my son, what theme ?
Ham. I loved Ophelia : forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
King. O, he is mad, Laertes.
Queen. For love of God, forbear him.
Ham. 'S wounds, show me what thou 'It do :
Woo 't weep ? woo 't fight ? woo 't fast ? woo 't
tear thyself ?
Woo 't drink up eisel ? eat a crocodile ?
I '11 do 't. Dost thou come here to whine ?
To outface me with leaping in her grave ?
Be buried quick with her, and so will I :
And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing its pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart ! Nay, an thou 'It mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.
Queen. This is mere madness :
And thus awhile the fit will work on him ;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
His silence will sit drooping.
Ham. Hear you, sir ;
What is the reason that you use me thus ?
I loved you ever. But it is no matter ;
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
King. I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
[To Laertes.'] Strengthen your patience in our last
night's speech ;
We '11 put the matter to the present push.
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
This grave shall have a living monument :
An hour of quiet shortly shall we see ;
Till then, in patience our proceeding be. Exeunt.
Scene II. A Hall in the Castle.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
Ham. So much for this, sir : now shall you see
the other ;
You do remember all the circumstance ?
Hor. Remember it, my lord !
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of
That would not let me sleep : methought I lay
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
And praised be rashness for it, let us know,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
When our deep plots do pall : and that should
There 's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
Hor. That is most certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarf 'd about me, in the dark
Groped I to find out them ; had my desire,
Fingered their packet, and in fine withdrew
To mine own room again ; making so bold,
My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
Their grand commission ; where I found,
royal knavery ! an exact command,
Larded with many several sorts of reasons
Importing Denmark's health and England's too,
With, ho ! such bugs and goblins in my life,
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.
Hor. Is 't possible ?
Ham. Here 's the commission : read it at more
But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed ?
Hor. I beseech you.
Ham. Being thus be-netted round with vil-
Or I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play, I sat me down,
Devised a new commission, wrote it fair :
1 once did hold it, as our statists do,
A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much
How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
The effect of what I wrote ?
Hor. Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them like the palm might
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
And many such-like As es of great charge,
That, on the view and knowing of these con-
Without debatement further, more or less,
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Not shriving-time allow' d.
Hor. How was this sealed ?
Ham. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
I had my father's signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal ;
Folded the writ up in the form of the other,
Subscribed it, gave 't the impression, placed it
The changeling never known. Now, the next
Was our sea-fight ; and what to this was sequent
Thou kuow'st already.
Hor. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to 't.
Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
ACT V., Sc. 2.
They are not near my conscience ; their defeat
Does by their own insinuation grow :
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.
Hor. ' Why, what a king is this !
Ham. Does it not, thinks 't thee, stand me now
He that hath kill'd my king and stained my
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such cozenage is 't not perfect con-
To quit him with this arm ? and is 't not to be
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil ?
Hor. It must be shortly known to him from
What is the issue of the business there.
Ham. It will be short : the interim is mine ;
And a man's life 's no more than to say One.
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself ;
For, by the image of my cause, I see
The portraiture of his : I '11 court his favours :
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.
Hor. Peace ! who comes here ?
Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to
Ham. I humbly thank you, sir. Dost know
this water-fly ?
Hor. No, my good lord.
Ham. Thy state is the more gracious ; for 'tis
a vice to know him. He hath much land, and
fertile : let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib
shall stand at the king's mess : 'tis a chough,
but, as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt.
Os?-. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at lei-
sure, I should impart a thing to you from his
Ham. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence
of spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use ; 'tis
for the head.
Osr. I thank your lordship, it is very hot.
Ham. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind
Osr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
Ham. But yet methinks it is very sultry and
hot, for my complexion
Osr. Exceedingly, my lord ; it is very sultry,
as 'twere, I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his
majesty bade me signify to you that he has laid
a great wager on your head: sir, this is the
Ham. I beseech you, remember
Hamlet moves him to put on his hat.
Osr. Nay, good my lord ; for mine ease, in good
faith. Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes ;
believe me, an absolute gentleman, full of most
excellent differences, of very soft society and great
showing : indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is
the card or calendar of gentry, for you shall find
in him the continent of what part a gentleman
Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition
in you ; though, I know, to divide him inven-
torially would dizzy the arithmetic of memory,
and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick
sail. But, in the verity of extolment I take him
to be a soul of great article ; and his infusion of
such dearth and rareness, as, to make true dic-
tion of him, his semblable is his mirror, and
who else would trace him, his umbrage, nothing
Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of
Ham. The concernancy, sir ? why do we wrap
the gentleman in our more rawer breath ?
Hor. Is 't not possible to understand in another
tongue ? You will do 't, sir, really.
Ham. What imports the nomination of this
Osr. Of Laertes ?
Hor. His purse is empty already ; all 's golden
words are spent.
Ham. Of him, sir.
Osr. I know you are not ignorant
Ham. I would you did, sir ; yet, in faith, if you
did, it would not much approve me. Well, sir ?
Osr. You are not ignorant of what excellence
Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should
compare with him in excellence ; but, to know a
man well, were to know himself.
Osr. I mean, sir, for his weapon ; but in the
imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he 's
Ham. What 's his weapon ?
Osr. Eapier and dagger.
Ham. That 's two of his weapons : but, well.
Osr. The king, sir, hath wagered with him
six Barbary horses : against the which he has
imponed, as I take it, six French rapiers and
poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers,
and so : three of the carriages, in faith, are very
dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most
delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit.
Ham. What call you the carriages ?
Hor. I knew you must be edified by the margent
ere you had done.
Osr. The carriages, sir, are the hangers.
Ham. The phrase would be more germane to
the matter, if we could carry a cannon by our
sides : I would it might be hangers till then.
But, on : six Barbary horses against six French
swords, their assigns, and three liberal-conceited
carriages; that's the French bet against the
Danish. Why is this imponed, as you call it?
Osr. The king, sir, hath laid, sir, that in a
dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall
not exceed you three hits : he hath laid on twelve
for nine ; and it would come to immediate trial,
if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer.
Ham. How if I answer No ?
Os?\ I mean, my lord, the opposition of your
person in trial.
Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall : if it
please his majesty, it is the breathing time of day
with me ; let the foils be brought, the gentleman
willing and the king hold his purpose, I will win
for him an I can ; if not, I will gain nothing but
my shame and the odd hits.
ACT V., Sc. 2.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Osr. Shall I redeliver you e'en so ?
Ham. To this effect, sir, after what flourish
your nature will.
Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship.
Ham. Yours, yours. [Exit Osric.'] He does well
to commend it himself ; there are no tongues else
for 's turn.
Hor. This lapwing runs away with the shell on
Ham. He did comply with his dug before he
sucked it. Thus has he and many more of the
same breed that I know the drossy age dotes on
only got the tune of the time and outward habit
of encounter ; a kind of yesty collection, which
carries them through and through the most fond
and winnowed opinions ; and do but blow them
to their trial, the bubbles are out.
Enter a Lord.
Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to
you by young Osric, who brings back to him, that
you attend him in the hall : he sends to know if
your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that
you will take longer time.
Ham. I am constant to my purposes; they
follow the king's pleasure : if his fitness speaks,
mine is ready ; now or whensoever, provided I be
so able as now.
Lord. The king and queen and all are coming
Ham. In happy time.
Lord. The queen desires you to use some gentle
entertainment to Laertes before you fall to
Ham. She well instructs me. Exit Lord.
Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord.
Ham. I do not think so : since he went into
France, I have been in continual practice ; I shall
win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think
how ill all 's here about my heart : but it is no
Hor. Nay, good my lord,
Ham. It is but foolery ; but it is such a kind
of gain-giving, as would perhaps trouble a
Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it.
I will forestall their repair hither, and say you
are not fit.
Ham. Not a whit; we defy augury: there is
special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it
be now, 'tis not to come ; if it be not to come, it
will be now ; if it be not now, yet it will come :
the readiness is all. Since no man has aught