Hamlet By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 1

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.

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

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

HAMLET.
'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.]

HAMLET.
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?

HORATIO.
It might, my lord.

HAMLET.
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?

HORATIO.
Ay, my lord.

HAMLET.
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.

Continued on next page...

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