2 Clown. Was he a gentleman?
1 Clown. He was the first that ever bore arms.
2 Clown. Why, he had none.
1 Clown. What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digg’d: could he dig without arms? I’ll put another question to thee: if thou answerest me not to the purpose, confess thyself,—
2 Clown. Go to.
1 Clown. What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
2 Clown. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
1 Clown. I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows does well; but how does it well? it does well to those that do ill: now, thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church; argal, the gallows may do well to thee. To’t again, come.
2 Clown. Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?
1 Clown. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
2 Clown. Marry, now I can tell.
1 Clown. To’t.
2 Clown. Mass, I cannot tell.
[Enter Hamlet and Horatio, at a distance.]
1 Clown. Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating; and when you are asked this question next, say ‘a grave-maker;’ the houses he makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan; fetch me a stoup of liquor.
[Exit Second Clown.]
[Digs and sings.]
In youth when I did love, did love,
Methought it was very sweet;
To contract, O, the time for, ah, my behove,
O, methought there was nothing meet.
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
’Tis e’en so: the hand of little employment hath the daintier
But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw’d me in his clutch,
And hath shipp’d me intil the land,
As if I had never been such.
[Throws up a skull.]
Ham. That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the ground,as if ’twere Cain’s jawbone, that did the first murder! This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o’erreaches; one that would circumvent God, might it not?
It might, my lord.
Ham. Or of a courtier, which could say ’Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?’ This might be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord such-a-one’s horse when he meant to beg it,—might it not?
Ay, my lord.
Ham. Why, e’en so: and now my Lady Worm’s; chapless, and knocked about the mazard with a sexton’s spade: here’s fine revolution, an we had the trick to see’t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggets with ’em? mine ache to think on’t.