Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

Prince of Denmarke.
3205man, good, if the man goe to this water & drowne himselfe, it is will
he, nill he, he goes, marke you that, but if the water come to him, &
drowne him, he drownes not himselfe, argall, he that is not guilty of
his owne death, shortens not his owne life.
3210Other. But is this law?
Clowne. I marry i'st, Crowners quest law.
Other. Will you ha the truth an't, if this had not beene a gentlewo-
man, she should haue been buried out a christian buriall.
3215Clowne. Why there thou sayst, and the more pitty that great folke
should haue countnaunce in this world to drowne or hang thēselues,
more then theyr euen Christen: Come my spade, there is no aunci-
ent gentlemen but Gardners, Ditchers, and Grauemakers, they hold
vp Adams profession.
Other. Was he a gentleman?
Clowne. A was the first that euer bore Armes.
Ile put another question to thee, if thou answerest me not to the pur-
pose, confesse thy selfe.
Other. Goe to.
3230Clow. What is he that builds stronger then eyther the Mason, the
Shypwright, or the Carpenter.
Other. The gallowes maker, for that out-liues a thousand tenants.
Clowne. I like thy wit well in good fayth, the gallowes dooes well,
3235but howe dooes it well? It dooes well to those that do ill, nowe thou
doost ill to say the gallowes is built stronger then the Church, argall,
the gallowes may doo well to thee. Too't againe, come.
Other. VVho buildes stronger then a Mason, a Shipwright, or a
Clowne. I, tell me that and vnyoke.
Other. Marry now I can tell.
Clowne. Too't.
Other. Masse I cannot tell.
Clow. Cudgell thy braines no more about it, for your dull asse wil
not mend his pace with beating, and when you are askt this question
next, say a graue-maker, the houses hee makes lasts till Doomesday.
Goe get thee in, and fetch mee a soope of liquer.
In youth when I did loue did loue,
Me thought it was very sweet
To contract ô the time for a my behoue,
3255O me thought there a was nothing a meet.