Hamlet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 125 pages of information about Hamlet.

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

1 Clown.
   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.

Project Gutenberg
Hamlet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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