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Home > Hamlet > ACT V - SCENE I. A churchyard.

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ACT V - SCENE I. A churchyard.
Enter two Clowns, with spades, &c

First Clown
1    Is she to be buried in Christian burial that
2    wilfully seeks her own salvation?
Second Clown
3    I tell thee she is: and therefore make her grave
4    straight: the crowner hath sat on her, and finds it
5    Christian burial.
First Clown
6    How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her
7    own defence?
Second Clown
8    Why, 'tis found so.
First Clown
9    It must be 'se offendendo;' it cannot be else. For
10   here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly,
11   it argues an act: and an act hath three branches: it
12   is, to act, to do, to perform: argal, she drowned
13   herself wittingly.
Second Clown
14   Nay, but hear you, goodman delver,--
First Clown
15   Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: here
16   stands the man; good; if the man go to this water,
17   and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, he
18   goes,--mark you that; but if the water come to him
19   and drown him, he drowns not himself: argal, he
20   that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life.
Second Clown
21   But is this law?
First Clown
22   Ay, marry, is't; crowner's quest law.
Second Clown
23   Will you ha' the truth on't? If this had not been
24   a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o'
25   Christian burial.
First Clown
26   Why, there thou say'st: and the more pity that
27   great folk should have countenance in this world to
28   drown or hang themselves, more than their even
29   Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient
30   gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers:
31   they hold up Adam's profession.
Second Clown
32   Was he a gentleman?
First Clown
33   He was the first that ever bore arms.
Second Clown
34   Why, he had none.
First Clown
35   What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the
36   Scripture? The Scripture says 'Adam digged:'
37   could he dig without arms? I'll put another
38   question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the
39   purpose, confess thyself--
Second Clown
40   Go to.
First Clown
41   What is he that builds stronger than either the
42   mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
Second Clown
43   The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
44   thousand tenants.
First Clown
45   I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows
46   does well; but how does it well? it does well to
47   those that do in: now thou dost ill to say the
48   gallows is built stronger than the church: argal,
49   the gallows may do well to thee. To't again, come.
Second Clown
50   'Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or
51   a carpenter?'
First Clown
52   Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Second Clown
53   Marry, now I can tell.
First Clown
54   To't.
Second Clown
55   Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance

First Clown
56   Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull
57   ass will not mend his pace with beating; and, when
58   you are asked this question next, say 'a
59   grave-maker: 'the houses that he makes last till
60   doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan: fetch me a
61   stoup of liquor.
Exit Second Clown
He digs and sings
62   In youth, when I did love, did love,
63   Methought it was very sweet,
64   To contract, O, the time, for, ah, my behove,
65   O, methought, there was nothing meet.
66   Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he
67   sings at grave-making?
68   Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
69   'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath
70   the daintier sense.
First Clown
71   But age, with his stealing steps,
72   Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
73   And hath shipped me intil the land,
74   As if I had never been such.
Throws up a skull

75   That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:
76   how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were
77   Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It
78   might be the pate of a politician, which this ass
79   now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
80   might it not?
81   It might, my lord.
82   Or of a courtier; which could say 'Good morrow,
83   sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?' This might
84   be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord
85   such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
86   Ay, my lord.
87   Why, e'en so: and now my Lady Worm's; chapless, and
88   knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade:
89   here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to
90   see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding,
91   but to play at loggats with 'em? mine ache to think on't.
First Clown
92   A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
93   For and a shrouding sheet:
94   O, a pit of clay for to be made
95   For such a guest is meet.
Throws up another skull

96   There's another: why may not that be the skull of a
97   lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,
98   his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he
99   suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the
100  sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of
101  his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be
102  in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,
103  his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,
104  his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and
105  the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
106  pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him
107  no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than
108  the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The
109  very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in
110  this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
111  Not a jot more, my lord.
112  Is not parchment made of sheepskins?
113  Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.
114  They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance
115  in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose
116  grave's this, sirrah?
First Clown
117  Mine, sir.
118  O, a pit of clay for to be made
119  For such a guest is meet.
120  I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
First Clown
121  You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not
122  yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, and yet it is mine.
123  'Thou dost lie in't, to be in't and say it is thine:
124  'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
First Clown
125  'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away gain, from me to
126  you.
127  What man dost thou dig it for?
First Clown
128  For no man, sir.
129  What woman, then?
First Clown
130  For none, neither.
131  Who is to be buried in't?
First Clown
132  One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
133  How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the
134  card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord,
135  Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of
136  it; the age is grown so picked that the toe of the
137  peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he
138  gaffs his kibe. How long hast thou been a
139  grave-maker?
First Clown
140  Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day
141  that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
142  How long is that since?
First Clown
143  Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: it
144  was the very day that young Hamlet was born; he that
145  is mad, and sent into England.
146  Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
First Clown
147  Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits
148  there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there.
149  Why?
First Clown
150  'Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men
151  are as mad as he.
152  How came he mad?
First Clown
153  Very strangely, they say.
154  How strangely?
First Clown
155  Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
156  Upon what ground?
First Clown
157  Why, here in Denmark: I have been sexton here, man
158  and boy, thirty years.
159  How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?
First Clown
160  I' faith, if he be not rotten before he die--as we
161  have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce
162  hold the laying in--he will last you some eight year
163  or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.
164  Why he more than another?
First Clown
165  Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that
166  he will keep out water a great while; and your water
167  is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.
168  Here's a skull now; this skull has lain in the earth
169  three and twenty years.
170  Whose was it?
First Clown
171  A whoreson mad fellow's it was: whose do you think it was?
172  Nay, I know not.
First Clown
173  A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
174  flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull,
175  sir, was Yorick's skull, the king's jester.
176  This?
First Clown
177  E'en that.
178  Let me see.
Takes the skull
179  Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
180  of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
181  borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
182  abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
183  it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
184  not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
185  gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
186  that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
187  now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
188  Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
189  her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
190  come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
191  me one thing.
192  What's that, my lord?
193  Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this fashion i'
194  the earth?
195  E'en so.
196  And smelt so? pah!
Puts down the skull

197  E'en so, my lord.
198  To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
199  not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
200  till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
201  'Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
202  No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
203  modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as
204  thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
205  Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of
206  earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he
207  was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
208  Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
209  Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
210  O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
211  Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
212  But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.
213  The queen, the courtiers: who is this they follow?
214  And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken
215  The corse they follow did with desperate hand
216  Fordo its own life: 'twas of some estate.
217  Couch we awhile, and mark.
Retiring with HORATIO

218  What ceremony else?
219  That is Laertes,
220  A very noble youth: mark.
221  What ceremony else?
First Priest
222  Her obsequies have been as far enlarged
223  As we have warrantise: her death was doubtful;
224  And, but that great command o'ersways the order,
225  She should in ground unsanctified have lodged
226  Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers,
227  Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her;
228  Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants,
229  Her maiden strewments and the bringing home
230  Of bell and burial.
231  Must there no more be done?
First Priest
232  No more be done:
233  We should profane the service of the dead
234  To sing a requiem and such rest to her
235  As to peace-parted souls.
236  Lay her i' the earth:
237  And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
238  May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
239  A ministering angel shall my sister be,
240  When thou liest howling.
241  What, the fair Ophelia!
242  Sweets to the sweet: farewell!
Scattering flowers
243  I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
244  I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid,
245  And not have strew'd thy grave.
246  O, treble woe
247  Fall ten times treble on that cursed head,
248  Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense
249  Deprived thee of! Hold off the earth awhile,
250  Till I have caught her once more in mine arms:
Leaps into the grave
251  Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead,
252  Till of this flat a mountain you have made,
253  To o'ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head
254  Of blue Olympus.
255   What is he whose grief
256  Bears such an emphasis? whose phrase of sorrow
257  Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand
258  Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,
259  Hamlet the Dane.
Leaps into the grave

260  The devil take thy soul!
Grappling with him

261  Thou pray'st not well.
262  I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat;
263  For, though I am not splenitive and rash,
264  Yet have I something in me dangerous,
265  Which let thy wiseness fear: hold off thy hand.
266  Pluck them asunder.
267  Hamlet, Hamlet!
268  Gentlemen,--
269  Good my lord, be quiet.
The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave

270  Why I will fight with him upon this theme
271  Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
272  O my son, what theme?
273  I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
274  Could not, with all their quantity of love,
275  Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?
276  O, he is mad, Laertes.
277  For love of God, forbear him.
278  'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do:
279  Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself?
280  Woo't drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?
281  I'll do't. Dost thou come here to whine?
282  To outface me with leaping in her grave?
283  Be buried quick with her, and so will I:
284  And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
285  Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
286  Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
287  Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou'lt mouth,
288  I'll rant as well as thou.
289  This is mere madness:
290  And thus awhile the fit will work on him;
291  Anon, as patient as the female dove,
292  When that her golden couplets are disclosed,
293  His silence will sit drooping.
294  Hear you, sir;
295  What is the reason that you use me thus?
296  I loved you ever: but it is no matter;
297  Let Hercules himself do what he may,
298  The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

299  I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.
300  Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech;
301  We'll put the matter to the present push.
302  Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son.
303  This grave shall have a living monument:
304  An hour of quiet shortly shall we see;
305  Till then, in patience our proceeding be.

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Scene Index

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

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