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Here was a gentleman of Normandy,
I have seen myself, and serv'd against, the French,
Come short of what he did.
King. A Norman.
A Norman, was't?
Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.
The very same.
Laer. I know him well: he is the brooch, indeed, And gem of all the nation.
King. He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,
If one could match you; the scrimers3 of their nation,
If you oppos'd them: Sir, this report of his
What out of this, my lord?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?
Why ask you this?
King. Not that I think you did not love your father; But what would you undertake,
I could not contrive so many proofs of dexterity as he could
a in the science of defence.
3 the fencers.
To show yourself in deed your father's son
To cut his throat i' th' church.
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, together,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm3 so rare,
Under the moon, can save the thing from death,
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,
' not blunted, as foils are by a button fixed to the end.
2 a thrust for exercise.
may enable us to assume proper characters, and to act our part.
5 A metaphor taken from the proving of fire-arms, which often blast, or burst, in the proof.
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,—
When in your motion you are hot and dry,
But stay, what noise?
How now, sweet queen ?
Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow:- Your sister's drown'd, Laertes. Laer. Drown'd! O, where?
Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook,
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be,
Laer. 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
the express purpose.
3 insensible to.
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
Let's follow, Gertrude :
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 grave 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 i. e. tears will flow.
2 i. e. immediately.
3 for se defendendo.
• Ridicule on scholastic divisions without distinction, or of distinctions without difference.
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.
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 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.
speak'st to the purpose.
2 their fellow-Christians.