My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
I prithee do not mock me, fellow studient,
I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
Hamlet:Hamlet Act 1, scene 2, 176–181
Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral bak'd-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
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.
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