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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 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.

Ham. 
Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at
grave-making?

Hor. 
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

Ham. 
’Tis e’en so:  the hand of little employment hath the daintier
sense.

1 Clown.
[Sings.]
   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?

Hor. 
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?

Hor. 
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.

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