Laer. I will doo't. And for that purpose Ile annoint my Sword: I bought an Vnction of a Mountebanke So mortall, I but dipt a knife in it, Where it drawes blood, no Cataplasme so rare, Collected from all Simples that haue Vertue Vnder the Moone, can saue the thing from death, That is but scratcht withall: Ile touch my point, With this contagion, that if I gall him slightly, It may be death

Kin. Let's further thinke of this, Weigh what conuenience both of time and meanes May fit vs to our shape, if this should faile; And that our drift looke through our bad performance, 'Twere better not assaid; therefore this Proiect Should haue a backe or second, that might hold, If this should blast in proofe: Soft, let me see Wee'l make a solemne wager on your commings, I ha't: when in your motion you are hot and dry, As make your bowts more violent to the end, And that he cals for drinke; Ile haue prepar'd him A Challice for the nonce; whereon but sipping, If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck, Our purpose may hold there; how sweet Queene. Enter Queene.

Queen. One woe doth tread vpon anothers heele, So fast they'l follow: your Sister's drown'd Laertes

Laer. Drown'd! O where? Queen. There is a Willow growes aslant a Brooke, That shewes his hore leaues in the glassie streame: There with fantasticke Garlands did she come, Of Crow-flowers, Nettles, Daysies, and long Purples, That liberall Shepheards giue a grosser name; But our cold Maids doe Dead Mens Fingers call them: There on the pendant boughes, her Coronet weeds Clambring to hang; an enuious sliuer broke, When downe the weedy Trophies, and her selfe, Fell in the weeping Brooke, her cloathes spred wide, And Mermaid-like, a while they bore her vp, Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes, As one incapable of her owne distresse, Or like a creature Natiue, and indued Vnto that Element: but long it could not be, Till that her garments, heauy with her drinke, Pul'd the poore wretch from her melodious buy, To muddy death

Laer. Alas then, is she drown'd? Queen. Drown'd, drown'd

Laer. Too much of water hast thou poore Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my teares: but yet It is our tricke, Nature her custome holds, Let shame say what it will; when these are gone The woman will be out: Adue my Lord, I haue a speech of fire, that faine would blaze, But that this folly doubts it. Enter.

Kin. Let's follow, Gertrude: How much I had to doe to calme his rage? Now feare I this will giue it start againe; Therefore let's follow.


Enter two Clownes.

Clown. Is she to bee buried in Christian buriall, that wilfully seekes her owne saluation? Other. I tell thee she is, and therefore make her Graue straight, the Crowner hath sate on her, and finds it Christian buriall

Clo. How can that be, vnlesse she drowned her selfe in her owne defence? Other. Why 'tis found so

Clo. It must be Se offendendo, it cannot bee else: for heere lies the point; If I drowne my selfe wittingly, it argues an Act: and an Act hath three branches. It is an Act to doe and to performe; argall she drown'd her selfe wittingly

Other. Nay but heare you Goodman Deluer

Clown. Giue me leaue; heere lies the water; good: heere stands the man; good: If the man goe to this water and drowne himselfe; it is will he nill he, he goes; marke you that? But if the water come to him & drowne him; hee drownes not himselfe. Argall, hee that is not guilty of his owne death, shortens not his owne life

Other. But is this law? Clo. I marry is't, Crowners Quest Law

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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