Clown fings.


A pick-axe, and a Spade, a spade,
For-and a forowding sheet:
O, a pit of clay for to be made
For fuch a guest is meet.

Ham. There's another: Why may not that be the fcull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cafes, his tenures, and his tricks ? why does he fuffer this rude knave now to knock. him about the fconce with a dirty fhovel, 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 ftatutes; 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 full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchafes, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lye in, this box; and muft the inheritor himfelf have no more? ha?

Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.

Ham. Is not parchment made of fheep-fkins?
Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calves-fkins too.


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Ham. They are fheep, and calves, which feek out affurance in that. I will speak to this fellow: ==== Whofe grave's this, firrah?


5 Quiddits, &c.] i. e. fubtilties. So, in Soliman and Perfeda z Iam wife, but quiddits will not aniwer death." Again, in Ram-Ailey, or Merry Tricks, 1611:

"Nay, good Sir Throat, forbear your quillits now.” STEEVENS.

the fconce] i. e. the head. See vol. ii. p. 181.


7 Is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries,] Omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.


affurance in that ] A quibbie is intended. Deeds, which




Clown. Mine, fir.—

O, a pit of clay for to be made-
For fuch a guest is meet,

Ham. I think it be thine, indeed; for thou ly'st in't.

Clown. You lie out on't, fir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is mine.. Ham. Thou doft lie in't, to be in't, and say it is thine 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou ly'st.

Clown, 'Tis a quick lie, fir; 'twill away again, from me to you.


Ham. What man doft thou dig it for?
Clown. For no man, fir.

Ham. What woman then?

Clown. For none neither.

Ham. Who is to be buried in't?

Clown. One, that was a woman, fir; but, rest her foul, fhe's dead.

Ham, How abfolute 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 fo picked, that the toe of the


are ufually written on parchment, are called the common afuranceș of the kingdom. MALONE.


by the card,-] The card is the paper on which the different points of the compafs were defcribed. To do any thing by the card, is, to do it with nice obfervation. JOHNSON.

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The card is a fea-chart, ftill fo termed by mariners: and the word is afterwards ufed by Ofrick in the fame fenfe. Hamlet's meaning will therefore be, we must speak directly forward, in ą fraight line, plainly to the point. REMARKS.

So, in Macbeth:

"And the very ports they blow, &c,
"On the fhipman's card." STEEVENS.

the age is grown fo picked.-] So Smart, fo Sharp, fuys Hanmer, very properly; but there was, I think, about that time, a picked fhoe, that is, a fhoe with a long pointed toe, in fashion, to



the peasant comes fo near the heel of the courtier' he galls his kibe.-How long haft thou been a grave”

maker ?

Clown. Of all the days i' the year, I came to't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras. Ham. How long is that fince?


Clown. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that It was that very day that young Hamlet was born; he that is mad, and fent into England.

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he fent into England? Clown. Why, because he was mad he fhall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.

Ham. Why?

Clown. "Twill not be feen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.

Ham. How came he mad?

Clown. Very strangely, they fay.

Ham. How ftrangely?

Clozen. 'Faith, e'en with lofing his wits.

which the allufion feems likewife to be made. Every man now is Smart; and every man now is a man of fashion. JOHNSON.

This fashion of wearing fhoes with long pointed toes was car ried to fuch excefs in England, that it was reftrained at laft by proclamation fo long ago as the fifth year of Edward IV. when it was ordered, "that the beaks or pykes of fhoes and boots fhould "not pafs two inches, upon pain of curfing by the clergy, and "forfeiting twenty fhillings, to be paid one noble to the king, "another to the cordwainers of London, and the third to the "chamber of London ;-and for other countries and towns the "like order was taken. Before this time, and fince the year 1382, the pykes of fhoes and boots were of fuch length, that "they were fain to be tied up to the knee with chains of filver, "and gilt, or at least with filken laces." STEEVENS.


that young Hamlet was born.] By this fcene it appears that Hamlet was then thirty years old, and knew Yorick well, who had been dead twenty-two years. And yet in the begin ning of the play he is fpoken of as a very young man, one that defigned to go back to fchool, i. e. to the university of Wittenberg, The poet in the fifth a&t had forgot what he wrote in the first. BLACKSTONE.



Ham. Upon what ground?

Cleton. Why, here in Denmark: I have been fexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.

Ham, How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot?


Clown. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many pocky corfes now-a-days, that will fcarce hold the laying in) he will last you fome eight year, or nine year a tanner will last you you nine Hale. Why he more than another? Cloton. Why, fir, his hide is fo tann'd with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while; and your water is a fore decayer of your whorefon dead body. Here's a fcull now has lain you 'the earth three-and-twenty years.

Ham. Whofe was it?

Clown. A whorefon mad fellow's it was; Whofe do you think it was?

Lam, Nay, I know not.


Clown. A peftilence on him for a mad rogue he pour'd a flaggon of Rhenifh on my head once, This fame fcull, fir, was Yorick's fcull, the king's jefter.

Ham. This ?

Clown. E'en that.

Ham. Alas, poor Yorick !-I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jeft, of moft excellent fancy: he hath bone me on his back a thoufand times; and now, how abhorr'd in my imagination it is! my gorge rifes at it. Here hung thoie lips, that I have kifs'd I know not how oit. Where be your gibes now ? your gambols your fongs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to fet the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite-chapfallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber3, and tell

3 my lady's chamber,] Thus the folio. The quartos readmy lady's table, meaning, I fuppofe, her dreffing-table.



her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour the muft come; make her laugh at that,-Pr'ythee, Horatio, tell me one thing.

Hor. What's that, my lord?

Ham. Doft thou think, Alexander, look'd o' this fafhion i' the earth?

Hor. E'en fo.

Ham. And finelt fo? pah!

Hor. E'en fo, my lord.

Ham. To what bale ufes we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble duft of Alexander, 'till he find it stopping a bung-hole?

Hor. 'Twere to confider too curioufly, to confider fo. Ham. No, 'faith, not a jot; but to follow. him thither with modefty enough, and likelihood to lead it: As thus; Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to duft; the duft is earth; of earth we make loam; And why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel? Imperial Cæfar, dead, and turn'd to clay, Might ftop a hole to keep the wind away : O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw! But foft! but foft, afide ;-Here comes the king,


Enter King, Queen, Laertes, the corpfe of Ophelia, with Lords and Priests attending.

The queen, the courtiers: Who is this they follow? And with fuch maimed rites! This doth betoken, The corfe, they follow, did with defperate hand

4-winter's flow!] Winter's blaft. JOHNSON.

So, in Marius and Sylla, 1594:


-no doubt this formy flaw, "That Neptune fent to caft us on this fhore." The quartos read-to expel the water's flaw.



maimed rites! Imperfect obfequies. JOHNSON.


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