Imatges de pàgina

1. Clown. How can that be, unless the drown'd herfelf in her own defence ?

2. Clown. Why, 'tis found so.

1. Clown. It must be fe 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.

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-qucft law 4.

2. Clown. Again, in Hamlet, Act III. sc. iv. “ Pol. He will come fraigbr.". Again, in the Merry Wives of Windsor : " -- we'll come and dress you Araighr.” Again, in Orbells:

« Farewell, my Desdemona, I will come to thee Araigbr." STEEV. Again, in Troilus and Cressida : “ Let us make ready straight.

MALONE. - an act bab ibre: branches; it is to a£t, to do, and to perform :} Ridicule on fcholaftic divisions without distinction; and of distinctions without difference. WAR BURTON,

- crowner's quest-law.] I strongly suspect that this is a ridicule on the case of Dame Hales, reported by Plowden in his Commentaries, as determined in 3 Eliz.

It seems, her husband Sir James Hales had drowned himself in a' river; and the question was, whether by this act a forfeiture of a lease from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, which he was possessed of, did not accrue to the crown : an inquisition was found before the coroner, which found him felo de se. The legal and logical subtleties, arising in the course of the argument of this case, gave a very fair op: portunity for a sneer at crowner's quest-law. The expression, a little before, that an aet barb ebree brancbes, &c. is fo pointed an allufion: to the cafe I mention, that I cannot doubt but that Shakspeare was acquainted with and meant to laugh at it.

It may be added, that on this occafion a great deal of subtilty was used, to ascertain whether Sir James was the agent or the patient ; or, in other words, whether be went to the water, or be water came to bim. The cause of Sir James's madness was the circumstance of his having been the judge who condemned lady Jane Gray. Sir J. Hawk. VOL. IX.




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

1. Clown. Why, there thou fay't: And the more pity; that great folks should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves,

more than their even christian'. Come; my spade. There is no anciens gentlemen but gardiners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profeffion.

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

1. Clown. What, art a heathen? How doft thon understand the scripture! The scripture says, Adam digg'd; Could he dig without arms: I'll put another question to thee: if thou answer'ft me not to the purpose, confess thyself

2. Clown. Go to.

1. Clown. What is he, that builds (tronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?

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

If Shakspeare meant to allude to the case of Dame Hales, (which indeed seems not improbable,) he must have heard of that case in conversation ; for it was determined before he was born, and Plowden's Commentaries, in which it is reported, were not translated into English till a few years ago. Our authour's ftudy was probably not much encumbered with old French Reports. MALONE.

s - sbeir even cbriftiax.) So all the old books, and rightly. As old English expression for fellow-christians. THIRLBY.

So, in Chaucer's Jack Upland : “ If freres cannot or mow not excuse 'hem of these questions asked of 'hem, it femeth that they be horrible giltie against God, and iber even cbriftian;" &c. STLEVENS.

So King Henry the Eighth in his answer to parliament in 1546 : 4.-you might say that I, beyng put in fo fpeciall a trust as I am in this case, were no trustie frende to you, nor charitable man to minc sven christian,-," Hall's Cbronicle, fol. 261. MALONE.

6.2. Clown.] This speech, and the next as far as--without arms, is not in the quartos.

STEEVENS. - confessebyself-] and be bang'd, the clown, I suppose, would have said, if he had not been interrupted. This was a common proverbial sentence. See Orbello, Act IV. sc. i.He might, however, have intended to say, confess sbyself an ass. MALONE.

1. Clown.

1. Clown. I like thy wit well, in good faith ; the gal. lows does well: But how does it well ? it does well to those that do ill: now thou doft 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. Who builds stronger than a mason, a tipwright, or a carpenter?

i Clown. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke 7.
2. Clown. Marry, now I can tell.
1. Clown, To't.
2. Clown. Mass, I cannot tell.

Enter HAMLET, and HORATIO, at a distance. 1. Clown. Cudgel thy brains no more about it 8 ; for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating: and, when you are ask'd this question next, say, a gravemaker; the houses that he makes, last till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of li. quor,

[Exit 2. Clown.
He digs, and fings.
In youth when I did love, did love",

Methought, it was very sweet,
To contract, 0, the time, for, ah, my behove

0, methought, there was not bing meet'. 7 Ay, tell me tbat, and unyoke.] If it be not sufficient to say, with Dr. Warburton, that the phrale might be taken from husbandry, without much depth of reading, we may produce it from a dittie of the workmen of Dover, preserved in the additions to Holindhed, p. 1546:

“ My bow is broke, I would unyoke,

“ My foot is fore, I can worke no more.” FARMER. Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, at the end of Song I.

“ Here I'll unyoke a while and turne my steeds to meat." Again, in P. Holland's Translation of Pliny's Nar. Hif. p. 593 : -in the evening, and when thou doft unyoke.". STEEVENS.

& Cudgel oby brains no more about it ;] So, in Tbe Maydes Metamor. pbofis, by John Lily, 1600 :

" In vain, I fear, I beate my brains about,

« Proving by search to find my mistresle out." MALONE, 9 In youth wben I did love, &c.] The three stanzas, sung here by the grave.digger, are extracted, with a light variation, from a littie poem, called The Aged Lover renouncerb love, written by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, who fourished in the reign of king Henry VIII. and who was beheaded in 1547, on a Atrained accusation of treason.



Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business ? he fings at grave-making.

Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property of eafiness.

Ham. Tis e'en fo: the hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.. 1. Clown. But age, with his ftealing feps, [fings.'

Hath clawd me in his clutch,
And hath shipped me into the land,

Asif I had never been such? [throws up a scull. Ham. That scull had a tongue in it, and could fing once : How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the firit murder! This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'erreaches 3 ; one that would circumvent God, might it not?


1 - norbing meet.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1604, reads:

O me thought there a was nothing a meet. MALONE. The original poem from which this ftanza is taken, like the other succeeding ones, is preserved among lord Surrey's poems; though, as Dr. Percy has observed, it is attributed to lord Vaux by George Galcoigne. See an epiftle prefixed to one of his poems, printed with the reft of his works, 1575. By others it is supposed to bave been written by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

I lorbe obat I did love;

In yourbibat I tbought swete:
As time requires for my bebove,

Methinks ikey are not mete. All these difficulties, however, (says the Rev. Thomas Warton, Hift. of English Poetry, Vol. III. p. 45.) are at once adjusted by Mss. Harl. in the British Museum, 1713–25, in which we have a copy of Vaux's poem, beginning, I lotbe ibat I did love, with this title: “ A dytrie or fonet made by the lord Vaus, in the time of the noble quene Marye, representing the image of death.”

The entire fong is publithed by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. STEEVENS. 2 As if I bad never been fuch.) Thus, in the original :

For age with fealing steps

Harb claude me witb bis crowcb;
And lufy youtbe away be leapes,

As i bere bad bene none furb. STEEVENS. 3 - which rbis ass now o'er-reaches ; ] Thus the quarto, 1604. The folio reads-o'er-offices. MALONE.



Hor. It might, my lord.

Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, Good-morrow, sweet lord! How doft thou, good lord? This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais'd my lord such-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'ss; chapless, and knock'd about the mazzard with a sexton's {pade : Here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to sée't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with them ©? mine ache to think on't.

1. Clown.




Over-reacbes agrees better with the sentence: it is a strong exaggeration to remark, that an ass can over-reach him who would once have tried to circumcent, I believe both the words were Shakspeare's. An author in revising his work, when his original ideas have faded from his mind, and new observations have produced new sentiments, casily introduces images which have been more newly impressed upon him, without observing their want of congruity to the general texture of his original design. JOHNSON

4 Tbis migbt be my lord sucb-a-one, toat prais'd my lord sucb-a one's berje, wben be meant so beg it ;] So, in Timon of Aibens, Aa I. :

- my lord, you gave
" Good words the other day of a bay courser
“ I rode on; it is yours, because

lik'd it." STEEVENS. 5- and now my lady Worm's;] The scull that was my lord Suck-sere's, is now my lady Worm's. JOHNSON.

- to play at loggats with ebem?] So Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, A& IV. sc. vi.

« Now are they tofling of his legs and arms,

Like loggars at a pear-tree.' So, in an old collection of epigrams, satires, &c.

“ To play at loggars, nine holes, or ten pinnes." It is one of the unlawful games enumerated in the statute of 33 of Henry VIII, STEEVENS.

Laggeting in i be fields is mentioned for the first time among other “ new and crafty games and plays," in the statute 33 Henry VIII. c. 9. Not being mentioned in former acts against unlawful games, it was probably not practised long before the statute of Henry the Eighth was made. MALONE.

A loggat.ground, like a skittle-ground, is strewed with ashes, but is more extensive. A bowl much larger than the jack of the game of bowls is thrown first. The pins, which I believe are called loggats, are much thinner and lighter at one extremity than the other. The bowl being first thrown, the players take the pins up by the thinner Сс 3


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