« PreviousContinue »
And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet
I have a speech of fire that fain would blaze,
[Earit. KING. Let's follow, Gertrude; How much I had to do to calm his rage! Now fear I this will give it start again; Therefore let's follow. [Ereunt. ACT W.
* Douts, in the folio; in the quartos, drowns.
[“There is a willow grows aslant a brook."]
SCENE I.—A Church-Yard.
1 CLo. Is she to be buried in christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation? 2 CLo. I tell thee, she is; and therefore make her grave straight": the crowner hath sate on her, and finds it christian burial. 1 CLo. How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defence 2 2 C.Lo. Why, 'tis found so. 1 CLo. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies the point: If I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act: and an act hath three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to perform: argal, she drowned herself wittingly. 2 CLo. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver. 1 CLo. Give me leave. Here lies the water; good; here stands the man; good: If the man go to this water, and drown himself, it is, will he, mill he, he goes; mark you that? but if the water come to him, and drown him, he drowns not himself: argal, he, that is not guilty of his own death, shortens not his own life.
2 CLo. But is this law?
1 CLo. Ay, marry is 't; crowner's-quest law”.
2 Clo. Will you ha’ the truth on 't? If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out of christian burial.
1 CLo. Why, there thou say'st: And the more pity, that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves, more than their even christian”. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profession.
2 CLo. Was he agentleman”?
1 CLo. He was the first that ever bore arms.
2 Clo. Why, he had none.
1 CLo. What, art a heathen 2 How dost thou understand the scripture? The scripture says, Adam digged; Could he dig without arms ? I'll put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself—
2 CLo. Go to.
1 CLo. What is he, that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
2 CLo. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
1 CLo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the gallows does well: But how does it well? it does well to those that do ill: now thou dost ill to say, the gallows is built stronger than the church; argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To 't again; come.
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 gravemaker; the houses that he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan; fetch me a stoup of liquor. [Eacit 2 Clown.
1 Clown digs, and sings.
In youth, when I did love, did love,
To contract, (0,) the time, for, (ah,) my behove,
* Even christian—fellow-christian, equal christian. The expression is used by Chancer. Mr. Hunter gives examples of the phrase from Strype's ‘Memorials’ and Wilson’s “Rhetorique." * Unyoke—finish your work; unyoke your team.
HAM. Hath this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at gravemaking?
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,
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 murther! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches"; one that could circumvent God, might it not? HoR. It might, my lord. HAM. Or of a courtier; which could say, “Good-morrow, sweet lord ' How dost thou, good lord?” This might be my lord Such-a-one, that praised my lord 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, if 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,
HAM. There's another! Why might 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: Is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? 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. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins?
HoR. Ay, my lord, and of calves'-skins too.
* Caught, in folio; in quartos, claw'd.
TRAGEDIES.-WOL. I. O
HAM. They are sheep, and calves, that seek out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow:—Whose grave's this, sir? 1 CI.o. Mine, sir.—
O, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. IHAM. I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in 't. 1 CLo. You lie out on 't, sir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I do not lie in 't, and yet it is mine. HAM. Thou dost lie in 't, to be in 't, and say it is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest. 1 CLO. T is a quick lie, sir; 't will away again, from me to you. HAM. What man dost thou dig it for? 1 CLo. For no man, sir. HAM. What woman, then? 1 CLo. For none neither. HAM. Who is to be buried in 't 2 1 CIO. 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", 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' the year, 1 came to 't that day that our last king Hamlet o'ercame Fortinbras. HAM. How long is that since? 1 CLo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: It was the very day that young Hamlet was born : he that was 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, it's no great matter there. HAM. Why? 1 CLo. T will not be seen in him; 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, een with losing his wits. HAM. Upon what ground? 1 CLo. Why, here in Denmark. I have been sexton here, man and boy, thirty years.
* The card—“the seaman's card" of “Macbeth.’ A sea-chart in Shakspere's time was called a card. But the drawing of the points of the compass is also called the card. Steevens and Malone differ as to whether a compass-card or a chart is here meant.
* Picked, is spruce, affected, smart; to pick being the same as to trim. Some, however, think that the word was derived from picked, peaked boots, which were extravagantly long—and hence the association with the “toe of the peasant.”