Page images

Ham. How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot ? 1 Clo. '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. Ham. Why he more than another? 1 Clo. Why, sir, his bide 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 scull now: this scull has lain in the earth three-and

twenty years HAM. Whose was it? 1 Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was ; Whose do you think it was ? Ham. Nay, I know not. 1 Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a poured a flagon of Rhenish on

my head once. This same scull, sir; this same scull, sir b, was Yorick's

scull, the king's jester. Ham. This? 1 Clo. E'en that. Ham. Let me see. (Takes the scull.] 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 my imagination is d! 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 jeeringe ? 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. 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? puh!

[Puts down the scull. 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 bung-hole? HOR. 'T were to consider too curiously, to consider so. 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 ?

* So the folio. The quartos read, “ Here's a scull now hath lyen you i' the earth,” &c.

The repetition does not occur in the quartos.
Let me see, is not in the quartos. It supersedes the stage-direction of " takes the scull.”

* So the folio. The reading of the quarto (B) is, “ and how abhorred in my imagination it is." Abhorred is used in the sense of disgusted.

Jeering, in the folio; in the quartos, grinning.

Imperial a Cæsar25, 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's flaw!
But soft! but soft! aside :—Here comes the king,

Enter Priests, de., in procession ; the corpse of Ophelia, LAERTES and Mourners

following; KING, QUEEN, their Trains, dc.
The queen, the courtiers : Who is that they follow?
And with such maimed rites! This doth betoken,
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. 'T was of some estáte :
Couch we a while, and mark.

[Retiring with HORATIO. LAER. What ceremony else? Ham.

This is Laertes,
A very noble youth: Mark.
LAER. What ceremony else?
1 PRIEST. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd

As we have warranties : Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways' the orderb,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers',
Shards 4, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her,
Yet here she is allowed her virgin ritese,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

Of bell and burial.
LAER. Must there no more be done?

No more be done!
We should profane the service of the dead,
To sing sage 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 spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist'ring angel shall my sister be,

a Imperial, in the folio; in the quartos, imperious.

Order-rule, canon, of ecclesiastical authority, For charitable prayers—instead of charitable prayers.

# Shards. A shard is a thing shared—divided. Shards are therefore fragments of warerubbish.

Rites. So the folio. The reading of the quarto, which is usually followed, is crants, which means garlands. But the "maiden strewments” are the flowers, the garlands, which piety scatters over the bier of the young and innocent. The rites included these, and “ the bringing home of bell and burial"-with bell and burial.

Sage requiem, in the folio; in the quartos, a requiem. Sage is said to be used for grave, solemn We suspect some corruption.

[ocr errors]

When thou liest howling. Ндм. .

What, the fair Ophelia ! QUEEN. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell!

[Scattering flowers. I hop'd thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife; I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,

And not t' have strew'd thy grave. LAER.

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 a while,
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'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head

Of blue Olympus.
Ham. (Advancing.] What is he, whose grief

Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase of sorrow
Conjures the wand'ring stars, and makes them stand
Like wonder-wounded hearers ? this is I,
Hamlet the Dane.

[Leaps into the grave, LAER. The devil take thy soul !

(Grappling with him. Ham. Thou pray'st not well.

I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
Sir, though I am not splenetive and rash,
Yet have I something in me dangerous,

Which let thy wiseness b fear: Away e thy hand.
KING. Pluck them asunder.

Hamlet, Hamlet !
GENTLEMEN. Good my lord, be quiet d.

[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave. Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme,

Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
QUEEN. O my son! what theme?
HAM. I lov'd 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. Come, show me what thou 'lt do:

Woul't weep? woul't fight? [woul't fast?) woul't tear thyself?
Woul't drink up Esil 2!? eat a crocodile ?

a Something in me. So the follo; the quartos, in me something.
• Wiseness, in the folio; in the quartos, wisdom.
* Away, in the folio; in the quartos, hold off.

In the folio, this entreaty is given to Horatio; and " Gentlemen" is ejaculated by All.


I'll do 't. - Dost thou come here to whine?
To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Be buried quick a 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 a while the fit will work on him;
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,

His silence will sit drooping $.

Hear you, sir;
What is the reason that you use me thus ?
I lov'd 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.-

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.

[Exit. [Exit HORATIO.



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Ham. So much for this, sir : now let me see the other ;

You do remember all the circumstance?
Hor. Remember it, my lord ?
HAM. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,

That would not let me sleep: methought, I lay
Worse than the mutines d in the bilboes Rashly,

And prais'd be rashness for it, -Let us know, a Quick-alive.

• In the folio, this speech is given to the King; in the quartos, to the Queen. We think that the assignment in the folio of so beautiful and tender an image as that of " the female dove" to a man drawn by the poet as a coarse sensualist proceeds from a typographical error, which not unfrequently occurs.

Let me, in the folio; in the quartos, shall you.
a Mutines-mutineers.
Bilboes—a bar of iron with fetters attached to it.

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
When our dear & plots do pall; and that should teach us,
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will нов. .

That is most certain.
HAM. Up from my cabin,

My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark
Grop'd I to find out them: had my desire ;
Finger'd 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, Horatio,
O royal knavery, an exact command,
Larded with many several sorts of reason,
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.

Is 't possible ?
Ham. Here's the commission; read it at more leisure.

But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed ?
Hor. Ay, 'beseech you.
Ham. Being thus benetted round with villains,

Ere I could make a prologue to my brains,
They had begun the play ; I sat me down ;
Devis'd a new commission; wrote it fair:
I 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 effects of what I wrote ?

Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king,-

As England was his faithful tributary ;
As love between them as the palm should flourish;
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear,
And stand a comma 'tween their amities ;
And many such like as's of great charge, -
That on the view and know of these contents,
Without debatement further, more, or less,

He should the bearers put to sudden death, a Dear, in the folio; in the quartos, deep.

Caldecott explains this—"continue the passage or intercourse of amity between them, and prevent the interposition of a period to it.”

« PreviousContinue »