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ing; and, when you are ask'd this question next,) | Ham. There's another. Why may not that be say, a grave-maker; the houses that he makes, the scull of a lawyer: Where be his quiddits* now, Jast 'till doomsday. Go, get thee to Youghan, and his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? fetch me a stoop of liquor.
[Exit 2 Clown. why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock He digs, and sings!
5 him about the sconce' with a dirty shovel, and will
not tell him of bis action of battery? Hum! This In youth when I did loce, did love,
fellow might be in 's time a great buyer of land, İlethought, it was very sweet,
with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his i To contract, 0, the time, for, ah, my behore,
double vouchers, his recoveries: Is this the fine 0, methought there was nothing meet. 10 of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business? have his tine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchhe sings at grave-making.
ers vouch him no more of his purchases, and douHor. Custom hath made it in him a property ble ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of easiness.
of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands Ham. 'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employ- 15/will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor ment hath the daintier sense.
himself have no more? ha? Clown sings.
Hor. Not a jot more, my lord. But age, with his stealing steps,
Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins ? Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calves-skins too.
20 And hath shipped me into the land,
Ham. They are sheep, and calves, which seek As if I had never been such.
out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow: [Throws up a scull.
Whose grave's this, sirrah?
Clown. Mine, sir. Ham. That scull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: How the knave jowls it to the ground, 25 as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first
0, a pit of clay for to be made murder! This might be the pate of a politician,
For such a guest is meet. which this ass now o'er-reaches; one that would
Ham. I think it be thine indeed; for thou ly'st circumvent God, might it not?
in't. Hor. It might, my lord.
30 Clorun. You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is Ham. Or of a courtier, which could say, 'Goodmorrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?'
not yours: for my part, I do not lie in 't, yet it is
mine. This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais’d Ham. Thou dost lie in't, to be in't, and say it my lord such-a-one's horse, when he meant to
is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; beg it; might it not?
35 therefore thou ly’st, Hor. Ay, my lord. Ham. Why, e'en so: and now my lady worm's?;)
Clorun. 'Tis a quick lye, sir; 'twill away again,
\from me to you. chapless, and knock'd about the mazzard with a
Ham. What man dost thou dig it for? sexton's spade: Here's fine revolution, an we had
Clown. For no man, sir. the trick to see't. Did these bones cost no more 40 Ham. What woman, then? the breeding, but to play at loggats 'with them?
Clown. For none neither. mine ache to think on't.
Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
Clown. One that was a woman, sir; but, rest A pick-are, and a spade, a spade,
her soul, she's dead. For--and a shrowding sheet:
45] Hum. How absolute the knave is! we must 0, a pit of clay for to be made
speak by the card', or equivocation will undo us. For such a guest is meet.
By the Lord, Horatio, these three years I have ? The three stanzas, sung here by the grave-digger, are extracted, with a slight variation, from a little poem, called The aged Lorer renounceth Lore', written by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, who flourished in the reign of King Henry VIII. and who was beheaded in 1547, on a strained accisation of treason. The entire song is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Antient English Poetry: ? i.e. The scull that was my lord Such-a-one's, is now my lady Worm's.
3 Dr. Johnson says, this is a play, in which pins are set up to be beaten down with a bowl. We have been informed, however, that the reverse is true; that the bowl is the mark, and the pins are pitched at it; and that the game is well known in the neighbourhood of Norwich. Mr. Steevens observes, that "this is a game played in several parts of England even at this time.--A stake is fixed into the ground; those who play, throw lngrats at it; and he that is nearest the stake, wins :- I have seen it played in different counties at their sheep-shearing feasts, where the winner was entitled to a black feece, which he afterwards presented to the farmer's maid to spin for the purpose of making a peiticoat, and on condition that she knelt down on the fleece to be kissed by all the rustics present.' * i. e. subtilties. 5 i. e. the head. • A quibble is intended.-Deeds, which are usually written on parchment, are called the common assurances of the kingdom. The card is the paper on which the different points of the compass were described. To doʻuny thing by the card, is, to do it with nice observation.
taken note of it; the age is grown so picked', that Jyour flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of Jihe table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your the courtier, he galls his kibe.- How long hast own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you thou been a grave-maker?
to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint Clown. Of all the days i' the year, I came to'y 5 an inch thick, to this favour she must come; that day that our last king Hamlet overcame For- make her laugh at that.-Pr’ythee, Horatio, tell tinbras.
me one thing. Ham. How long is that since ?
Hor. What's that, my lord ? Clown. Cannot you tell that? every fool can Ham. Dost thou think, Alexander look'd o' tell that : It was that very day that young Hamlet 10 this fashion i' the earth? was born; he that is mad, and sent into England. Hor. E'en so.
Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into En- Ham, And smelt so? pah! gland?
Hor. E'en so, my lord. Clown. Why, because he was mad: He shall Ham. To what base uses we may return, Horecover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no 15 ratio ! Why may not imagination trace the noble great matter there.
dust of Alexander, till he tind it stopping a bungHam. Why?
hole? Clown. 'Twill not be seen in him there; there Hor. It were to consider too curiously to conthe men are as mad as he.
sider so. Hum. How came he mad?
Ham. No, 'faith, not a jot; but to follow him Clown. Very strangely, they say.
thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to Hlum. How strangely?
llead it: As thus; Alexander died, Alexander was Clown. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits. buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is Ham. Upon what ground?
carth; of earth we make loam: And why of that Clown. Why, here in Denmark: I have been 25|loam, whereto he was converted, might (hey not sexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.
stop a beer-barrel? Ham. How long will a man lie if the earth ere Imperial Cæsar, dead, and turn’d to clay, be rot?
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away: Clown. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, O, that tiiat earth, which kept the world in awe, (as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, that30 Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw?! will scarce hold the laying in) he will last you But soft! but soft! aside:-Here comes the king; some eight year, or nine year: a tanner will last Enter King, Queen, Laertes, the corpse of Ophelia, you nine year.
with Lords and Priests attending. Ham. Why he more than another?
The queen, the courtiers: Who is this they follow? Clorun. Why, sir, his hide is so tann’d with 35 And with such mained rites?! This doth betoken, his trade, that he will keep out water a great The corse, they follow, did with desperate hand while; and your water is a sore decayer of your Fordo * its own life. 'T'was of some estates: whoreson dead body. Here's a scull now has Couch we a while, and mark. lain you i’ the earth three-and-twenty years,
Laer. What ceremony else? Ham. Whose was it?
40 Ham. That is Laertes, Clown. A whoreson mad fellow's it was; A
very noble youth : Mark. Whose do you think it was?
Laer. What ceremony else? Ham. Nay, I know not.
Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd Clown. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! As we have warranty: Her death was doubtful; he pour'd a tlaggon of Rhenish on my head once. 45 And, but that great commando'ersways the order, This same scull, sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's She should in ground unsanctify'd have lodg'd jester.
Till the last trumpet; for charitable prayers, [her: Ham. This ?
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on Clown. E'en that.
Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants ', Ham. Alas, poor Yorick!—I knew him, Ho-50 [1er maiden strewments, and the bringing home ratio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent Of bell and burial?. fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand Laer. Must there no more be done? times; and now, how abhorr'd in my imagination Priest. No more be done; it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips, We should protane the service of the dead, that I have kiss'd I know not how oft. Where 55 To sing a requiem”, and such rest to her be your gibes now ? your gambols ? your songs: Jas to peace-parted souls.
So smart, so sharp, says Hanmer, very properly; but there was, Dr. Johnson thinks, about that time, a picked shoe, that is, a shoe with a long pointed toe, in fashion, to which the allusion seems likewise to be made. "Every man now is smart; and every man now is a man of fashion. 2 Winter's blast. * i. e. imperfect obsequies, * To fordo, is to undo, to destroy. si.e. some person of high rank. "Crants is the German word for gurlands, and it was probably retained by us from the Saxons
. To carry garlands before the bier of a maiden, and to hang them over her grave, is still the practice in rural parishes. ? Burial, here, signifies interment in consecrated ground. A Requiem is a mass performed in Popish churches for the rest of the soul of a person deceased.
Laer. Lay her i' the earth ;
Ham. I lov'd Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
Could not with all their quantity of love May violets spring !—I tell thee, churlish priest, Make up iny sum.--What wilt thou do for her? A ministering angel shall my sister be,
King. O, he is mad, Laertes. When thou liest howling:
5 Queen. For love of God, forbear him. Ham. What, the fair Ophelia!
Ham. Shew me what thou'lt do: Queen. Sweets to the sweet: Farewell!
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't [Scattering flowers.
tear thyself? I hop'd, thou should'st have beenmy Hainlet'swife; Woo't drink
Esil'? eat a crocodile? I thought thybride-bed to havedeck'd,sweetmaid, 10 L 'll do't-Dost thou come here to whine? And not have strew'd thy grave.
To out-face me with leaping in her grave? Laer. O, treble woe
Be buried quick with her, and so will I :
[Laertes leaps into the grave. I'll rant as well as thou.
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd?,
[Hamlet leaps into the grave. Let Hercules himself do what he may, Hamlet the Dane.
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. Laer. The devil take thy soul!
(Erit. [Grappling with him. King. I pray thce, good Horatio, wait upon Ham. Thou pray'st not well.
[Erit Hor. I pr’ythee take thy fingers from my throat; Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech; For though I am not splenetive and rash,
[To Laertes Yet have I in'nie something dangerous,
We'll put the matter to the present push.Which let thy wisdom fear: Hold off thy hand. Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.King. Pluck them asunder.
135 This grave shall have a living monument: Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet!
An hour of quiet shortly shall we see; All. Gentlemen,
'Till then, in patience our proceeding be. Exeunt. Hor. Good my lord, be quiet. [The attendants part them.
SCENE II. Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this 40
A Hall in the Palace. theme,
Enter Hamlet and Horatio. Until my eye-lids will no longer wag.
Ham. So much for this, sir: now shall you see Queen. O my son ! what theine?
Mr. Theobald comments on this passage thus: “ This word has through all the editions been distinguished by Italie characters, as if it were the proper name of some river; and so, I dare say, all the editors have from time to time understood it to be. But then this must be some river in Denmark; and there is none there so called; nor is there any near it in name, that I know of, but Yssel, from which the province of Overyssel derives its title in the German Flanders. Besides, Hamlet is not proposing any impossibilities to Laertes, as the drinking up a river would be: but he rather seems to mean, wilt thou resolve to do things the most shocking and distast-ul to human nature and, behold, I am as resolute. The poet wrote: Wilt drink up Eisel ! eat a crocodile ? i.e. wilt thou swallow down large draughts of vinegar ? The proposition, indeed, is not very grand: but the doing it might be as distasteful and unsavoury, as eating the flesh of a crocodile.". -On this comment Mr. Steevens remarks as follows: “ Hamlet certainly meant (for he says he will rant) to dare Laertes to attempt any thing, however difficult or unnatural; and might safely promise to follow the example his antagonist was to set, in draining the channel of a river, or trying his teeth on an animal whose scales are supposed to be impenetrable. Had Shakspeare meant to make Hamlet say—Wilt thou drink rinegar? he probably would not have used the term drink up; which means totally to exhaust ; neither is that challenge very magnificent, which only provokes an adversary to hazard a fit of the heart-burn or the cholic. The commentator's Yssel would serve Hamlet's turn or mine. In an old Latin account of Denmark and the neighbouring provinces I find the names of several rivers little differing from Esil, or Elsill, in spelling or pronunciation. Such are the Essa, the Esil, and some others." * Mr. Steevens says, to disclose was anciently used for to hatc:. To exclude is the technical term at present.—During three days after the pigeon has hatched her couplets, (for she lays no more than two eggs,) she never quits her nest, except for a few moments in quest of a little food for herself; as all ber young require in that early state, is to be kept warm, an office which she never entrusts to the male. 1
You You do remember all the circumstance?
Devis'd a new commission; wrote it fair: Hor. Remember it, my lord !
I once did hold it, as our statists & do, Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of A baseness to write fair, and labour'd much fighting,
How to forget that learning; but, sir, now That would not let me sleep; methought, I lay 5 It did me yeoman's service’: Wilt thou know Worse than the mutines in the bilboes' Rashly, The effect of what I wrote? And prais'd be rashness for it-Let us know, Hor. Ay, good my lord. Our indiscretion sometime serves us well,
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king, -When our deep plots do fail : and that should As England was his faithful tributary; (rish, teach us,
10 As love between them like the palm night flouThere's a divinity that shapes our ends, As peace should still her wheaten garland wear, Rough-hew them how we will?.
And stand a comma: 'tween their amities; Hor. That is most certain.
And many such-like as's of great charge,Ham. Cp from my cabin,
That on the view and knowing of these contents, My sea-gown scarf'd about me, in the dark 15 Without debatement further, more, or less, Grop'd I to find out them: had my
desire; He should the bearers put to sudden death, Finger'd their packet; and, in fine, withdrew Not shriving-time allow'd. To mine own room again: making so bold, Hor. How was this seal'd? My fears forgetting inanners, to unseal
Ham. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant; Their grand commission; where I found, Iloratio, 201 had my father's signet in my purse, A royal knavery; an exact command,--- Which was the model of that Danish seal: Larded with many several sorts of reasons, Folded the writ up in form of the other; (safely; Importing Denmark's health, and England's too, Subscrib'd it; gave't the impression; plac'd it With, ho! such bugs' and goblins in my life. The changeling never known: Now, the next That, on the supervise, no leisure bated“, 25
day No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent My head should be struck off.
Thou know'st already. Hor. Is't possible?
Hor. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't. Ham. Here's the commission; read it at more Hum. Why, man, they did make love to this leisure
employment; But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed? They are not near my conscience; their defeat Flor. Ay, 'beseech you.
[lainies, Doth by their own insinuation 'o grow : Ham. "Being thus benetted round with vil- 'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes Ere I could make a prologue to my brains, Between the pass and fell incensed points They had begun the play ;-I sat me down; 35 Of nighty opposites.
? Mutines, the French word for seditious or disobedient fellows in an army or fleet: Bilboes, the ship’s prison.—Mr. Steevens adds, that “the bilboes is a bar of iron with fetters annexed to it, by which mutinous or disorderly sailors were anciently linked together. The word is derived from Bilboa, a place in Spain where instruments of steel were fábricated in the utmost perfection. To understand Shakspeare's allusion completely, it should be known, that as these fetters connect the legs of the offenders very close together, their attempts to rest must be as fruitless as those of Hamlet, in whose mind there was a kind of fighting that would not let him sleep. Every motion of one must disturb his partner in continement." ? Dr. Johnson comments on this passage ihus: Hamlet, delivering an account of his escape, begins with saying, That he rashly---and then is carried into a reflection upon the weakness of human wisdom. I rashly--praised be rashness for it---Let us not think these events casual; but let us know, that is, take notice and remember, that we sometimes succeed by indiscretion, when we fail by deep plots, and infer the perpetual superintendance and agency of the Divinity. The observation is just, and will be allowed by every human being who shall reflect on the course of his own life.” was no less a terrific being than a goblin. We call it at present a bugbear. * Bated, for allowed. To abate signifies to deduct ; this deduction, when applied to the person in whose favour it is made, is called an allowance: Hence our author takes the liberty of using bated for allozed. 5 Dr. Johnson explains the following lines thus: “ Hamlet is telling how luckily every thing fell out; he groped out their comniission in the dark without waking them; he found himself doomed to immediate destruction. Something was to be done for his preservation. An expedient occurred, not produced by the comparison of one method with another, or by a regular deduction of consequences, but before he could make a prologue to his brains, they had begun the play: Before he could summon his faculties, and propose to himself what should be done, a complete scheme of action presented itself to him: His mind operated before he had excited it." A statist is a statesmun. 'í.e. did me emninent service. 8 Dr. Johnson explains this expression thus: “The comma is the note of connection and continuity of sentences; the period is the note of abruption and disjunction. Shakspeare had it perhaps in his mind to write That unless England complied with the mandate, car should put a period to their amity; he altered his mode of diction, and thought that, in an opposite sense, he might put, that Peuce should stand a comma between their umities." -This (he adds) is not an easy style; but is it not the style of ShakSpcare?" A changeling is a child which the fairies are supposed to leave in the room of that which they steal. 10. Insinuation, for corruptly obtruding themselves into his service.
Hor. Why, what a king is this !
great wager on your head: Sir, this is the matter, Ham. Does it not, think thee, stand me now Hum. I beseech you, rememberupon ?
[Hamiet mores him to put on his hat. He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mo- Osr. Nay, good my lord; for iny ease, in good Popt in between the election and my hopes; 5 faith.---Sir, here is newly come to court, Laertes: Thrown out his angle for my proper life, (science, believe me, an absolute gentleman, full of most And with such cozenage; is 't not perfect con- excellent differences', of very soft society, and To quit ' him with this arm; and is 't not to be great shewing: Indeed, to speak feelingly of him, damn'd,
he is the card or calendar of gentry •; for you To let this canker of our nature come
10 shall find in him the continent of what part a genIn further evil?
[England, tleman would see? Hor. It must be shortly known to him from Ham. “Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in What is the issue of the business there.
you ;-though, I know, to divide hini inventoriHam. It will be short: the interim is mine; ally, would dizzy the arithmetic of memory; and And a man's life's no more than to say, one. 15 yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick sail'. But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be That to Laertes I forgot myself;
a soul of great article ; and his infusion of such For, by the image of my cause, I see
dearth and rareness, as, to make true diction of The portraiture of his : I'll count his favours ?: him, his semblable is his mirrour; and, who else But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me 20 would trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.. Into a towering passion.
Osr. Your lordshipspeaksmost infallibly of him. Hor. Peace; who comes here?
Ham. The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap Enter Osrick.
the gentleman in our more rawer breath? Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Osr. Sir? Denmark.
23 Hor. Ist not possible to understand in another Ham. I humbly thank you, sir. -Dost know tongue? You will do't, sir, really. this water-fly'?
Ham. What imports the noinination of this Hor. No, my good lord.
gentleman? Ham. Thy state is the more gracious: for 'tis a Osr. Of Laertes? vice to know him: He hath much land, and fer-30 Hor. His purse is empty already; all's golden tile: let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall
words are spent. stand at the king's mess: 'Tis a chough ~; but, Ham. Of him, sir. as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt.
Osr. I know, you are not ignorantOsr. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at lei- Ham. I would, you did, sir; yet, in faith, if you sure, I should impart a thing to you from his ma-35 did, it would not much approve o me:-Well, sir. jesty.
Osr. You are not ignorant of what excellence Ham. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of Laertes is. spirit: Put your bonnet to bis right use ; 'uis for Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should comthe head.
Ipare with him in excellence; but, to know a man Osr. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot. 40 well, were to know himself.
Ham. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind Ost. I mean, sir, for his weapon ; but in the is northerly.
imputation laid on him by them, in his meed" Osr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. he's unfellow'd. Ham. But yet, inethinks, it is very sultry and
Ham. What's his weapon? hot; or my complexion
145 Osr. Rapier and dagger. Osr. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very sultry, Hum. That's two of his weapons : but, well. as 'twere I cannot tell how. My lord, his ma- Osr. The king, sir, hath wager'd with him six jesty bade me signify to you, that he has laid al Barbary horses: against the which he has impon'd",
' i. e. to requite him; to pay him his due. a Or, I will make account of them, i. e. reckon upon them, value them. * A water-tly skips up and down upon the surface of the water, without any ap parent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler. A kind of jackdaw peculiar to Cornwall. 5 i. e. full of distinguishing excellencies. o i.e. the general preceptor of elegance; the card by which a gentleman is to direct his course; the calendar by which he is to choose his time, that what he does may be both excellent and seasonable. ' i.e. You shall find him containing and comprising every quality which a gentleman would desire to contemplate for imitation. Dr. Warburton says, this is designed as a specimen and ridicule of the court-jargon amongst the précieux of that time. T'he sense in English is, “Sir, he suiters nothing in your account of him, though to enumerate his good qualities particularly would be endless; yet when we had done our best, it would still come short of him. However, in strictness of truth, he is a great genius, and of a character so rarely to be met with, that to find any thing like bim we must look into his mirrour, and his imitators will appear no more than his shadows." · Raw signifies unripe, immature; thence unformed, imperfeci, unskilful.-The best account of him would be imperfect, in respect of his quick sail. The phrase quick sail was, I suppose, a proverbial term for activity of mind. 10 To approve, is to recommend to approbution.".e. in his excellence. 12 Dr. Johnson conjectures that imponed is pledged, impuwned, so spelt to ridicule the affectation of uttering English words with French pronunciation.