Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 1

ACT V.

Scene I. A churchyard.

[Enter two Clowns, with spades, &c.]

1 CLOWN.
Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she wilfully
seeks her own salvation?

2 CLOWN.
I tell thee she is; and therefore make her grave straight: the
crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian burial.

1 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 drowned herself wittingly.

2 CLOWN.
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver, —

1 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?

1 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 o' Christian burial.

1 CLOWN.
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 CLOWN.
Was he a gentleman?

1 CLOWN.
He was the first that ever bore arms.

2 CLOWN.
Why, he had none.

1 CLOWN.
What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture?
The Scripture says Adam digg'd: could he dig without arms? I'll
put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the
purpose, confess thyself, —

2 CLOWN.
Go to.

1 CLOWN.
What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the
shipwright, or the carpenter?

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

1 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.

Continued on next page...

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