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to West, in a direct line parallel to the church; not from North to South, athwart the regular line." The frequency of the above mode of expression in Shakspeare's plays sufficiently indicates that if he had alluded to the mode of burial contended for by Dr. Johnson, he would have adopted some other. It has occurred upwards of a hundred times already in the sense of immediately. Nor would it be easy to show that to make a grave straight, or in a direct line, was to make it East and West; or that it was the designation of Christian burial. The first clown rather adverts to the place where the grave should be made than to its form. Suicides were buried on the North side of the church, in ground purposely unconsecrated.
Much of this scene has been imitated in the Valiant Welshman, by R. A. [q. Robert Armin] 1663. See Act iv.
Sc. 1. p. 299.
2 CLO. If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been bury'd out of Christian burial.
We have here a manifest satire on the partial ver
dicts of coroners' juries, where the suicide has been above the common condition of life. Judge Blackstone has hinted at them in his Commenta. ries. Nothing, however, but the partiality is reprehensible; the rest is an amiable tenderness towards the living, calculated to resist a law that justly deserves to be abhorred for a savage and impotent revenge so far as it regards the dead.
Sc. 1. p. 299.
1 CLO. Come; my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profession.
2 CLO. Was he a gentleman?
1 CLO. He was the first that ever bore arms.
This is undoubtedly in ridicule of heraldry. Gerard Leigh, one of the oldest writers on that subject, speaks of "Jesus Christ, a gentleman of great linage, and king of the Jewes." And again, "For that it might be known that even anon after the creation of Adam, there was both gentlenes, and ungentlenes, you shall understand that the second man that was born was a gentleman, whose name was Abell. I say a gentleman both of vertue and of lignage, with whose sacrifice God was much pleased. His brother Cain was un
gentle, for he offered God the worst of his fruites," &c. Accedence of armorie, 1591, 4to, fo. 13. Another morsel of satire against the above science lurks in the very ancient proverbial saying: "When Adam delv'd and Eve span,
Where was then the gentleman?"
which is found in almost every European language. It was the text on which the rebel priest John Balle preached his sermon during the insurrection of Wat Tyler. Although the first clown afterwards explains why Adam bore arms, by means of a punning allusion to his digging with arms, there is still a concealed piece of wit with respect to the spade. Adam's spade is set down. in some of the books of heraldry as the most ancient form of escutcheons: nor is it improbable that the lower part of this utensil suggested the well known form of the old triangular shields; whilst from the spindle of Eve might have originated the lozenge-like escutcheon on which the arms of females are usually emblazoned.
Sc. 1. p. 308.
age is grown so picked, that the toe of the peasant, &c.
Mr. Malone's note, in exclusion of the others,
is sufficiently satisfactory. The fashion of wearing pointed shoes, to which Hamlet had been supposed to allude, had ceased long before the time of Shakspeare; nor is it probable that he would have transferred it to the age of Hamlet. still say a person treads close on the heels of another, in the same signification as in the text.
Sc. 1. p. 310.
1 CLO. This same scull, sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's jester.
The frequency of such names as Eric and Roric in the Danish history, might have suggested that of the jester in question, but in a manner that may not very easily be discovered. Roric was the name of the king of Denmark contemporary with Hamlet, according to Saxo Grammaticus.
Sc. 1. p. 311.
HAM. Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.
There is good reason for supposing that Shakspeare borrowed this thought from some print or picture that he had seen. There are several
which represent a lady at her toilet, and an old man presenting a scull before the mirror. A print by Goltzius exhibits Vanity as a lady sitting in her chamber with jewels, &c. before her, and surprised by the appearance of Death. In one of Henry the Eighth's wardrobe accounts, a picture at Westminster is thus described: "Item a table with the picture of a woman playing upon a lute, and an olde manne holding a glasse in th'one hande and a deadde mannes headde in th'other hande." Harl. MS. No. 1419.
In a poem written by Anthony Scoloker, a printer, entitled Daiphantus, or The passions of love, comicall to reade, but tragicall to act, as full of wit, as experience, 1604, 4to, and recently quoted in p. 245, there are the following allusions to the play of Hamlet. In a quaint dedication he says; "It [the epistle] should be like the never-too-well read Arcadia, where the prose and verse (matter and words) are like his mistresses eyes, one still excelling another and without Corivall: or to come home to the vulgars element, like friendly Shake-speare's tragedies, where the commedian rides, when the tragedian stands on tiptoe: Faith it should please all, like