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

2 Clown. Why, 'tis found so.

1 Clown. 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 drown'd herself wittingly.

2 Clown. Nay, but hear you, goodman Delver.

i Clown. 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 Clown. But is this law?
i Clown. Ay, marry is't, crowner's quest-law.

2 Clown. Will you ha' the truth on't? if this had * not been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out of chriftian burial.

1 Clown. Why, there thou fay'ft. And the more pity, that great folk fhould have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves, more than other christians. Come, my spade; there is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers ; they hold up Adam's profeffion.

2 Clown. Was he a gentleman ?
i Clown. He was the first, that ever bore arms.
2 Clown. Why, he had none.

i Clown. What, art a heathen? how dost thou understand the Scripture ? the Scripture says, Adam diggd; could he dig without arms ? I'll put another question to thee; if thou answereft me not to the purpose, confess thyself

2 Clown. Go to.

i Clown. What is he that builds stronger than cither the mason, the ship-wright, or the carpenter ?

2 Clown. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.


i Clown. 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 Clown. Whò builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter ?

1 Clown. Ay, tell me that, and unyokep,
2 Clown. Marry, now I can tell,
I Clown. To't.
2 Clown. Mals, I cannot tell.


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Enter Hamlet and Horatio, at a distance.

i Clown. Cudgel, thy brains no more about it; for your dull ass will not mend his

pace with beating; and, when you are alk'd this question next, say, a grave*maker. The houses, he makes, last 'till dooms-day :. go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor.

[Exit 2 Clows.

He digs, and fings.


In youth when I did love, did love, (28)

Methought, it was very sweet ;
To contract, oh, the time for, a, my behove;

Oh, methought, there was nothing meet.
Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that
he fings at Grave-making ?

Hor. Custom hath made it to him a property of eafia ness.

Ham. 'Tis e'en fo; the hand of little employment hath the daintier fense:

(28) In Youth, when I did love, &c.] The three Stanza's, fung bere by the Grave-digger, are extracted, with a Night Variation, from a little Poem, called, The Aged Lover renounceth Love: written by Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, who Aourished in the Reign of King Henry VII, and who was beheaded in 1547, on a strained Accusation of Treason.


Ham. That in

Clown sings,
But age, with his fealing steps,

Hath claw'd me in his clutch :
:D and hath shipped me into the land,

As if I had never been such.

skull had a tongue in it, and could fing once ; how the knave jowles it to the ground, as if it. were Cain's jaw bone, that did the firft murder ! this might be the pate of a politician, which this afs o'eroffices are

that would circumvent God, might it not? Hor. It might, my Lord, Ham, Or of a courtier, which could say, good

morrow, íweet Lord; how doft thou, good Lord?this might be my Lord fuch-a-one, that prais'd my Lord fuch-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?

Hor. Ay, my Lord.

Ham. Why, e'en fo: and now my lady. Worm's chapless, and knockt about the mazzard with a fexton's spade. Here's a fine revolution, if we had the trick to see't. Did these bones coft no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with 'em ? mine ake to, think on't.

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Clown fings.
A pick-axe and a spade, a spade,

For,- and a shrouding sheet!
O, a pit of clay for to be made.

For such a guest is meet.

Ham. There's another : why may not that be the fculi 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 thovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? hum ! 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 fullof fine dirt ? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, then 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 calve-skins too.

Ham. They are sheep and calves that seek out afsu. rance in that. I will speak to this fellow : Whose Grave's this, Sirrah ?

Clown. Mine, Sir

O, a pit of clay for to be made

For such a Guest is meet.

Ham. I think, it be thine, indeed, for thou lieft in't.

Clown. You lye out on't, Sir, and therefore it is not yours ; for my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is mine.

Ham. Thou doit lye in't, to be in't, and say, 'tis thine : 'tis for the dead, not for the quick, therefore thou ly'st.

Clorun. 'Tis a quick lie, Sir, 'twill away again from me to you.

Ham. What man doit thou dig it for ?
Clown. For no man, Sir.
Ham. What woman then ?
Clown. For none neither.
Ham. Who is to be buried in't?

Clown. One that was a woman, Sir; but, reft her foul, 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 our courtier, he galls his kibe. How long haft thou been a grave-maker?



Clown. Of all the days i'th' year, I came to bat day that our last King Hamlet o'ercame Fortinbras.

Ham. How long is that since ?

Clown. Cannot you tell that ? every fool can tell that: it was that very day that young Hamlet was born, he that was mad, and sent into England.

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?

Clown. Why, because he was mad; he shall recover his wits there ; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there.

Ham. Wly.

Clown. 'Twill not be seen in him ; there the men are as mad as he.

Ham. How came he mad ?
Clown. Very strangely, they say.
Ham. How ftrangely?
Clown. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits.
Ham. Upon what ground ?

Clown. Why, here, in Denmark. I have been sexton here, man and boy, thirty years.

Ham. How long will a man lie i'th' earth ere he rot ?

Clown. I'faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many pocky coarses now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in) he will last you fome eight year, or nine year; a tanner will last


nine years. Ham. Why he, more than another?

Clown. Why, Sir, his hide is so tann'd with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while. And your water is a fore decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here's a scull now has lain in the earth three and twenty years.

Ham. Whose was it ?
Clown. A whorefon mad fellow's it

think it was?

Ham. Nay, I know not.

Clown. A peftilence on him for a mad rogue ! he pour'd a flaggon of Rhenish on my head once. This (ame scull, Sir, was Yorick's scull, the King's jefter,

Ham. This ?
Clown. E'en that,


whose do you

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