Enter Gravedigger and Another.
Is she to be buried in Christian burial,
when she willfully seeks her own salvation?
I tell thee she is. Therefore make her grave
straight. The crowner hath sat on her and finds it
How can that be, unless she drowned
herself in her own defense?
Why, ’tis found so.
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, to perform. Argal, she
drowned herself wittingly.
Nay, but hear you, goodman delver—
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
But is this law?
Ay, marry, is ’t—crowner’s ’quest law.
Will you ha’ the truth on ’t? If this had not been
a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o’
Why, there thou sayst. And the more
pity that great folk should have count’nance in this
world to drown or hang themselves more than
their even-Christian. Come, my spade. There is no
ancient gentlemen but gard’ners, ditchers, and
grave-makers. They hold up Adam’s profession.
Was he a gentleman?
He was the first that ever bore arms.
Why, he had none.
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—
What is he that builds stronger than
either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
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.
“Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright,
or a carpenter?”
Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
Marry, now I can tell.
Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio afar off.
Cudgel thy brains no more about it,
for your dull ass will not mend his pace with
beating. And, when you are asked this question
next, say “a grave-maker.” The houses he makes
lasts till doomsday. Go, get thee in, and fetch me a
stoup of liquor.
The Other Man exits and the Gravedigger digs and sings.