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Scene One 

A churchyard


[Enter two Clownswith spadesc]

First Clown

Is she to be buried in Christian burial that

wilfullyseeks her own salvation

Second Clown

I tell theeshe isand therefore make her grave

straightthe crownerhath sat on herand finds I

tChristian burial

First Clown

How can that beunless she drowned herself in her

own defence

Second Clown

Why>tis found so

First Clown

It must be'seoffendendo>it cannot be elseFor

here lies the pointif I drown myself wittingly

it argues an actand an act hath three branchesit isto act

to doto performargalshe drowned

herself wittingly

Second Clown

Naybut hear yougoodman delver,——

First Clown

Give me leaveHere lies the watergood here

stands the mangoodif the man go to this water

and drown himselfit iswill henillhehe

goes,——mark you thatbut if the water come to him

and drown himhe drowns not himselfargalhe

that is not guiltyof his own death shortens not his own life

Second Clown

But is this law

First Clown


Second Clown

Will you ha>the truth on>tIf this had not been

a gentlewomanshe should have been buried out o>

Christian burial

First Clown

Whythere thou say'stand the more pity that

great folk should have countenancein this world to

drown or hang themselvesmore than their even

Christian Comemy spadeThere is no ancient

gentleman but gardenersditchersand grave-makers

they hold up Adam's profession

Second Clown

Was he a gentleman

First Clown

He was the first that ever bore arms

Second Clown

Whyhe had none

First Clown

Whatarta heathenHow dost thou understand the

ScriptureThe Scripture says >Adam digged>

could he dig without armsI>ll put another

question to theeif thou answerestme not to the


Second Clown

Go to

First Clown

What is he that builds stronger than either the

masonthe shipwrightor the carpenter

Second Clown

The gallows-makerfor that frameoutlivesa

thousand tenants

First Clown

I like thywitwellin good faiththe gallows

does wellbut how does it wellit does well to

those that do innow thou dostill to say the

gallows is built stronger than the churchargal

the gallows may do well to theeTo>t againcomeSecond Clown

>Who builds stronger than a masona shipwrightora carpenter>

First Clown

Aytell me thatand unyoke

Second Clown

Marrynow I can tell

First Clown


Second Clown

MassI cannot tellEnter HAMLET and HORATIOat a distance]

First Clown

Cudgelthy brains no more about itfor your dull

asswill not mendhis pace with beatingandwhen

you are asked this question nextsay>a

grave-maker>the houses that he makes lasttill

doomsdayGoge thee to Yaughanfetch me a

stoupof liquor

[Exit Second Clown]

[He digs and sings]

In youthwhen I did lovedid love

Methoughtit was very sweet

To contractOthe timeforahmy behove

Omethoughtthere was nothing meet


Has this fellowno feeling of his businessthat he

sings at grave-making


Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness


>Tis e>ensothe hand of little employmenthath

the daintiersense

First Clown


But agewith his stealing steps

Hath claw'dme in his clutch

And hath shippedme intilthe land

As if I had never been such

[Throws up a skull]


That skull had a tongue in itand could sing once

how the knavejowlsit to the groundas if it were

Cain's jaw-bonethat did the first murderIt

might be the pateof a politicianwhich this ass

now o>er-reachesone that would circumventGod

might it not


It mightmy lord


Or of a courtierwhich could say>Good morrow

sweet lordHow dost thougood lord

This might be my lord such-a-one,,that praised my lord

such-a-one's horsewhen he meant to beg itmight it not


Aymy lord


Whye>ensoand now my Lady Worm'schaplessand

knocked about the mazzardwith a sexton's spade

here's fine revolutionan we had the trick to

see>tDid these bones cost no more the breeding

but to play at loggatswith>emmine ache to think on>t

A pick-axeand a spadea spade

For and a shroudingsheet

Oa pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet

[Throws up another skull]


There's anotherwhy may not that be the skull of a

lawyerWhere be his quidditiesnowhis quillets

his caseshis tenuresand his trickswhy does he

suffer this rude knavenow to knock him about the

sconcewith a dirty shoveland will not tell him of

his action of batteryHumThis fellow might be

in's timea great buyer of landwith his statutes

his recognizanceshis fineshis double vouchers

his recoveriesis this the fine of his finesand

the recovery of his recoveriesto have his fine

patefull of fine dirtwill his vouchers vouchhim

no more of his purchasesand double ones toothan

the length and breadth of a pair of indenturesThe

very conveyancesof his lands will hardly lie in

this boxand must the inheritor himself have no moreha


Not a jot moremy lord


Is not parchment made of sheepskins


Aymy lordand of calf -skins too


They are sheep and calveswhich seek out assurance

in thatI will speak to this fellowWhose

grave's this sirrah

First Clown



Oa pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet


I think it be thineindeedfor thou liest in>t

First Clown

You lie out on>tsirand therefore it is not

yoursfor my partI do not lie in>tand yet it is mine


>Thou dostlie in>tto be in>t and say it is thine

>tis for the deadnot for the quicktherefore thou liest

First Clown

>Tis a quick liesir>twill away gainfrom me to you


What man dost thou dig it for

First Clown

For no mansir


What womanthen

First Clown

For noneneither


Who is to be buried in>t

First Clown

One that was a womansirbut rest her soul she's dead


How absolute the knave is we must speak by the

card or equivocation will undo usBy the Lord

Horatiothese three years I have taken a note of

itthe age is grown so pickedthat the toe of the

peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he

gaffs his kibeHow long hast thou been a


First Clown

Of all the days i> the yearI came to>t that day

that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras


How long is that since

First Clown

Cannot you tell thatevery fool can tell thatit

was the very day that young Hamlet was bornhe that

is madand sent into England


Aymarrywhy was he sent into England

First Clown

Whybecause he was madhe shall recover his wits

thereorif he do not it's no great matter there



First Clown

>Twilla not be seen in him therethere the men

are as mad as he


How came he mad

First Clown

Very strangelythey say


How strangely

First Clown

Faithe>enwith losing his wits


Upon what ground

First Clown

Whyhere in DenmarkI have been sexton hereman

and boythirty years


How long will a man lie i> the earth ere he rot

First Clown

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 yeara tanner will last you nine year


Why he more than another

First Clown

Whysirhis hide is so tanned with his tradethat

he will keep out water a great whileand your water

is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body

Here's a skull nowthis skull has lain in the earth

three and twenty years


Whose was it

First Clown

A whoreson mad fellow's it was whose do you think it was


NayI know not

First Clown

A pestilenceon him for a mad roguea>poured a

flagon of Rhenish on my head onceThis same skull

sirwas Yorick's skullthe king's jester



First Clown

E>en that


Let me see

[Takes the skull]

Alaspoor YorickI knew himHoratioa fellow

of infinite jestof most excellent fancyhe hath

borne me on his back a thousand timesand nowhow

abhorredin my imagination it is my gorgerimsat

itHere hung those lips that I have kissed I know

not how oftWhere be your gibes now your

gambolsyour songs your flashes of merriment

that were wont to set the table on a roarNot one

nowto mock your own grinningquite chap-fallen

Now get you to my lady's chamber and tell herlet

her paint an inch thickto this favour she must

come make her laugh at thatPrithee Horatiotell

me one thing


What's that my lord


Dost thou think Alexander looked o>this fashion i>

the earth


E>en so


And smelt sopah

[Puts down the skull]


E>en somy lord


To what base we may returnHoratioWhy may

not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander

till he find it stopping a bung-hole


>Twere to consider too curiouslyto consider so


Nofaithnot a jotbut to follow him thither with

modesty enoughand likelihood to lead itas

thus Alexander died Alexander was bured

Alexander returnethinto dustthe dust is earthof

earth we make loamand why of that loamwhereto he

was convertedmight they not stop a beer-barrel

ImperiousCaesardead and turn'd to clay

Might stop a hole to keep the wind awey

Othat 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 Priestcin processionthe Corpse of OPHELIA LAERTES and Mourners followingKING CLAUDIUSQUEEN GERTRUDEtheir trains]

The queenthe 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 awhileand mark

[Retiring with HORATIO]


What ceremony else


That is Laertes

A very noble youthmark


What ceremony else

First Priest

Her obsequies have been as far enlarged

As we have warrantiseher death was doubtful

Andbut that great command o>ersways the order

She should in ground unsanctifiedhave lodged

Till the last trumpet for charitable prayers

shardflintsand pebblesshould be thrown on her

Yet here she is allow'd her virgincrants

Her maiden strewments and the bringing home

Of bell and burial


Must there no more be done

First 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


Lay her i> the earth

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

May violets springI tell theechurlish priest

A ministering angel shall my sister be

When thou l>iest howling


Whatthe fair Ophelia


Sweets to the sweetfarewell

[Scattering flowers]

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


Otreble woe

Fall ten times treble on that cursed head

Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense

Deprived thee ofHold 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

To o>ertop old Pelionor the skyish head

Of blue Olympus


[Advancing] What is he whose grief

Bears such an emphasis whose phrase of sorrow

Conjures the wandering starsand makes them stand

Like wonder wounded hearers This is I

Hamlet the Dane

[Leaps into the grave]


The devil take thy soul

[Grappling with him


Thou pray'st not well

I pritheetake thy fingers from my throat

Forthough I am not splenitive and rash

Yet have I something in me dangerous

Which let thy wiseness fearhold off thy hand


Pluck them asunder






Good my lord be quiet

The Attendants part them and they come out of the grave


Why I will fight with him upon this theme

Until my eyelids will no longer wag


O my sonwhat theme


I loved Opheliaforty thousand brothers

Could notwith all their quantity of love

Make up my sum What wilt thou do for her


Ohe is madlaertes


For love of Godforbear him


'swoundsshow me what thou>lt do

Woo>tweep woo>t fight woo>t fast woo>t tear thyself

Woo>t drink up eisel eat a crocodile

I>ll do>tDost thou come here to whine

To outfaceme with leaping in her grave

Be buried quick with her and so will I

Andif thou prateof mountainslet them throw

Millions of acres on ustill our ground

Singeing his patce 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 femaledove

When that her golden couplets are disclosed

His silence will sit drooping


Hear yousir

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 mewand dog will have his day



I pray yougood Horatiowait upon him



Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech

We>ll put the matter to the present push

Good Gertrudeset some watch over your son

This grave shall have a living monument

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see

Till thenin patience our proceeding be



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