SCENE I. A churchyard.
Enter two Clowns, with spades
Is she to be buried in Christian burial that wilfully seeks her own salvation?
Why, ’tis found so.
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 do, to perform: argal, she drowned herself wittingly.
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,–
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.
But is this law?
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 profession.
Was he a gentleman?
He was the first that ever bore arms.
Why, he had none.
What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says ‘Adam digged:’
Could he dig without arms? I’ll put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the Purpose, confess thyself–
I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows does well; but how does it well? it does well to those that do 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.
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Marry, now I can tell.
Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance
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 in: 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, O, the time, for, ah, my behove,
O, methought, there was nothing meet.
But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw’d me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me in til the land,
As if I had never been such.
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?
It might, my lord.
Or of a courtier which could say ‘Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good 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?
Ay, my lord.
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.
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?
Not a jot more, my lord.
O, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
‘Tis a quick lie, sir. ‘Twill away again, from me to you.
For no man, sir.
What woman, then?
For none, neither.
Who is to be buried in’t?
How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord,
Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of it. The age is grown so picked that 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?
How long is that since?
How came he mad?
Very strangely, they say.
Faith, e’en with losing his wits.
Upon what ground?
I’ faith, if he be not rotten before he die–as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in–he will last you some eight year or nine year. A tanner will last you nine year.
Why he more than another?
Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while; and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here’s a skull now. This skull has lain in the earth three and twenty years.
Whose was it?
Nay, I know not.
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 grinning? Quite chap-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 thing.
What’s that, my lord?
Puts down the skull
E’en so, my lord.
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 turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
But soft! But soft! Aside. Here comes the king.
Enter Priest, & c. in procession; the Corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES and Mourners following; KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, their trains, & c
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
What ceremony else?
What ceremony else?
Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
As we have warrantise. Her death was doubtful.
And, but that great command o’ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers,
Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her;
Yet here she is allow’d her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.
Must there no more be done?
What, the fair Ophelia!
I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife.
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck’d, sweet maid,
And not have strew’d thy grave.
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
To o’ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head
Of blue Olympus.
The devil take thy soul!
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 wiseness fear. Hold off thy hand.
Pluck them asunder.
Good my lord, be quiet.
Why I will fight with him upon this theme
Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
O my son, what theme?
O, he is mad, Laertes.
For love of God, forbear him.
‘Swounds, show me what thou’lt do:
Woo’t weep? woo’t fight? woo’t fast? woo’t tear thyself?
Woo’t drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?
I’ll 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 his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou’lt mouth,
I’ll rant as well as thou.
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.
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.
I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
Strengthen your patience in our last night’s speech;
We’ll 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.