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2 Clo. Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?

1 Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.'

2 Clo. Marry, now I can tell.

1 Clo. To't.

2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.

Enter HAMLET and Horatio, at a distance.

1 Clo. 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 dooms-day. Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor. [Exit 2 Clown.

1 Clown digs, and sings.

In youth, when I did love, did love,
Methought, it was very sweet.

Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business? he sings at grave-making.

Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

Ham. 'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.

1 Clo. But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,

And hath shipped me into the land,
As if I had never been such.

[Throws up a scull.

Ham. That scull 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! This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'er-reaches.

Hor. It might, my lord.

Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, Goodmorrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord? This might be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord

be released from further questioning.

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 them? mine ache to think on't.


1 Clo. A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
For-and a shrouding sheet :
O, a pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet.


[Throws up a scull.

Ham. There's another: Why may not that be the scull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits 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? Humph! This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. 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. I will speak to this fellow :-Whose grave's this, sirrah?

1 Clo. Mine, sir.

O, a pit of clay for to be made

For such a guest is meet.

Ham. What man dost thou dig it for?

1 Clo. For no man, sir. ·

Ham. What woman, then?


The scull that was my lord such-a-one's, is now my lady



loggats, skittles.

3 quiddits, subtleties.

4 quillets, nice and frivolous distinctions.

1 Clo. For none neither.

Ham. Who is to be buried in it?

1 Clo. 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, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked,3 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?

1 Clo. Of all the days i' th' year, I came to't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras. Ham. How long's that since?

1 Clo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: It was that very day that young Hamlet was born: he that is mad, and sent into England?

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England? 1 Clo. Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

Ham. Why?

1 Clo. "Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.

Ham. How came he mad?

1 Clo. Very strangely, they say.

Ham. How strangely?

1 Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits.

Ham. Upon what ground?

1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark; I have been sexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.

Ham. How long will a man lie i' th' 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


absolute, peremptory.

We must speak with the same precision and accuracy as is observed in marking the true distances of coasts, &c. in a seachart, which, in Shakspeare's time, was called a card.

3 so spruce,

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 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 scull now hath lain you i' th' 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! he poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. same scull, sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's jester. Ham. This? [Takes the scull.

1 Clo. E'en that.

Ham. 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.-Pr'ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing.

Hor. What's that, my lord?

Ham. Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i' th' earth?

Hor. E'en so.

Ham. And smelt so? pah! [Throws down the scull. Hor. E'en so, my lord.

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Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horatio ! But soft ! but soft! aside; Here comes the king,

Enter Priests, fc. in procession; the corpse of
OPHELIA, LAERTES and Mourners following; King,
Queen, 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
Fordo2 its own life. 'Twas of some estate:
Couch we a while, and mark.

[Retiring with HORATIO.

Laer. What ceremony else?

A very noble youth : Mark.
Laer. What ceremony else?

That is Laertes,

1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd
As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers,
Shards,3 flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on her,
Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,1

Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.

Laer. 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.


Lay her i' th' earth ;

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,

May violets spring!-I tell thee, churlish priest,

A minist ring angel shall my sister be,
When thou liest howling.


1 imperfect obsequies.

What, the fair Ophelia !

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3 shards, broken pieces of earthenware.

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