Shakespeare Quotes

Thrift, thrift, Horatio

Horatio:
My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Hamlet:
I prithee do not mock me, fellow studient,
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

Horatio:
Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.

Hamlet:
Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral bak'd-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 2, 176–181

Hamlet isn't the only one who has noticed how hastily his mother has remarried after her husband's death [see FRAILTY, THY NAME IS WOMAN]. Horatio, a fellow "studient" (student) at the University of Wittenberg, agrees that the wedding followed "hard upon" the funeral. Hamlet's "Thrift, thrift, Horatio," adopted into modern English as a sort of recommendation, is actually an ironic condemnation. With the usual dose of black humor, he explains the hastiness of the marriage as an attempt to economize: the leftovers from the funeral (the "bak'd-meats") could be served cold at the wedding feast. What state these meats would be in after almost a month is left to our imagination.

Themes: anger, family, melancholy

Speakers: Hamlet, Horatio