There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb’ring to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indu’d
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Alas, then she is drown’d?
Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears: but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
The woman will be out.—Adieu, my lord:
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
But that this folly douts it.
Let’s follow, Gertrude;
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
Now fear I this will give it start again;
Therefore let’s follow.
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.