Imagens das páginas


Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke ;
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulld the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

Alas then, she is drown'd?
Queen. Drown'd, drown'd.

Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet It is our trick; nature her.custom holds, Let shame say what it will: when these are gone, The woman will be out.!--Adieu, my lord ! I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze, But that this folly drowns it.

[Exit. 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.


SCENE I. A Church Yard.


Enter Two Clowns, with Spades, fc. 1 Clo. Is she to be buried in christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation?

8 As one incapable of her own distress,] As one having no understanding or knowledge of her danger. 9 The woman will be out.] i. e. tears will flow.

2 Clo. I tell thee, she is ; therefore make her grave straight:' the crowner hath set on her, and finds it christian burial.

i Clo. How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defence ?

2 Clo. Why, 'tis found so.

i 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.

i 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, nill 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 ?
i 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.

i Clo. Why, there thou say'st: And the more pity ; that great folks shall 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 a gentleman ?

[ocr errors]


make her grave straight :] i. e. immediately.

an act hath three branches : it is, to act, to do, and to perform :) Ridicule on scholastick divisions without distinction; and of distinctions without difference. WARBURTON.

3 — their even christian.] An old English expression for fellow-christian.

i Clo. He was the first that ever bore arms. 2 Clo. Why, he had none.

i Clo. What, art a heathen? 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.

i 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.

i Clo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the gallows does well : But how does it well? it do 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?

i Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
2 Clo. Marry, now I can tell.
] Clo. To't.
2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance.

i 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, lasť till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor.

[Exit 2 Clown.
i Clown digs, and sings.
In youth, when I did love, did love,

Methought it was very sweet,
To contract, 0, the time, for, ah, my behove
O, methought, there was nothing meet.

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 sculi. 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; one that would circumvent God, might it not?

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 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

4 In youth when I did love, &c.] The three stanzas, sung here by the Grave-Digger, are extracted, with a slight variation, from

poem, called The aged Lover renounceth Love, written by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, but it has been since attributed to Lord Vaux; and Mr. T. Warton says, that there is in the British Museum, a copy of Vaux's poem, beginning, I lothe that I did love, with the title, “ A dyttie or sonet made by the lord Vaus, in the time of the noble quene Marye, representing the image of death."

The entire Song is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.

a little

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.

i Clo. A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade, [Sings.

For-and a shrouding sheet: 0, 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 hiin 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



[ocr errors]

s to play at loggats with them?] 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 loggats or pins of wood at it, and he that is nearest the stake wins.

quiddits, &c.] i. e. subtilties. his quillets,] Quillets are nice and frivolous distinctions. the sconce-] i. e. the head.

his double vouchers, &c.] A recovery with double voucher is the one usually suffered, and is so denominated from two persons (the latter of whom is always the common cryer, or some such inferior person,) being successively voucher, or called upon, to warrant the tenant's title. Both fines aird recoveries are fictions of law, used to convert an estate tail into a fee simple. Staa tutes are (not acts of parliament, but) statutes-merchant and staple, particular modes of recognizance or acknowledgment for securing debts, which thereby become a charge upon the party's land. Statutes and recognizances ere constantly mentioned together in the covenants of a purchase deed.

« AnteriorContinuar »