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To show yourself in deed your father's son
More than in words?


To cut his throat i' the church.
King. No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize;
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes,
Will you do this, keep close within your chamber;
Hamlet, returned, shall know you are come home.
We'll put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame

The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, together,
And wager o'er your heads. He, being remiss,
Most generous and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated,2 and in a pass of practice,3
Requite him for your father.

I will do't;
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that but dip a knife in it,

Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue

Under the moon, can save the thing from death,
That is but scratched withal. I'll touch my point
With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death."

King. Let's further think of this;

Weigh, what convenience, both of time and means, May fit us to our shape. If this should fail,

And that our drift look through our bad performance, 'Twere better not assayed; therefore this project Should have a back, or second, that might hold,

1 He being not vigilant; or incautious.

2 i. e. unblunted; to bate, or rather to rebate, was to make dull.

3 Pass of practice is an insidious thrust.

4 In the old quarto of 1603, this contrivance originates with the king:

"When you are hot in midst of all your play,

Among the foils shall a keen rapier lie,

Steeped in a mixture of deadly poison,
That if it draws but the least dram of blood
In any part of him, he cannot live."

If this should blast in proof.-Soft, let me see ;-
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,'
I ha't.

When in your motion you are hot and dry,


(As make your bouts more violent to that end,)
And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepared him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venomed stuck,
Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what noise ?4

Enter Queen.

How now, sweet queen?


Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow.-Your sister's drowned, Laertes. Laer. Drowned! O where?


Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook, That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream; Therewith fantastic garlands did she make Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them: There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds 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, awhile they bore her up: Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes;8

1 Cunning is skill.

2 The quarto reads prefared; the folio prepared. The modern editors read preferred.

3 Á stuck is a thrust (stoccata, Ital.).

4 These four words are not in the folio.

5 Ascaunt, thus the quarto; the folio reads aslant. Ascaunce is the same as askew, sideways, overthwart (a travers, Fr.).

6 The ancient botanical name of the long purples was testiculis morionis, or orchis priapiscus. The grosser name to which the queen alludes, is sufficiently known in many parts of England. It had kindred appellations in other languages. In Sussex it is said to be called dead men's hands. Its various names may be seen in Lyte's Herbal, 1578, or in Cotgrave's Dictionary.

7 i. e. licentious.

8 The quarto reads "snatches of old lauds," i. e. hymns.


As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued 2

Unto that element; but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.


Alas, then, she is drowned?

Queen. Drowned, drowned.

Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears.


But yet3

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.


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, &c.

1 Clo. Is she to be buried in Christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation?

2 Clo. I tell thee she is; therefore make her

1 i. e. unsusceptible of it.


2 Indued was anciently used in the sense of endowed. Shakspeare may, however, have used it for habited, accustomed.

3 Thus the quarto 1603:

"Therefore I will not drown thee in my tears,
Revenge it is must yield this heart relief,
For woe begets woe, and grief hangs on grief."

4 The folio reads doubts it.

straight. The crowner hath set on her, and finds it Christian burial.

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

2 Clo. 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, 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?

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 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?

1 Clo. He was the first that ever bore arms. 2 Clo. Why, he had none.3

1 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

1 Warburton says that this is a ridicule on scholastic divisions without distinction, and of distinctions without difference. Shakspeare certainly aims at the legal subtilties used upon occasion of inquests.

2 Even-Christian, for fellow-Christian, was the old mode of expression ; even, like, and equal, were synonymous.

3 This speech and the next, as far as arms, is not in the quarto.

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.1 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 doomsday. 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,2
Methought it was very sweet,

To contract, O, the time, for, ah, my behove,
O, methought there was nothing meet.

1 "Ay, tell me that, and unyoke." This was a common phrase for giving over or ceasing to do a thing.

2 The original ballad from whence these stanzas are taken, is attributed to lord Vaux, and is printed by Dr. Percy in the first volume of his Reliques of Antient Poetry. The ohs and the ahs were most probably meant to express the interruption of the song by the forcible emission of

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