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HAMLET, not been a gentlewoinan, she should have been bury'd out of christian burial.
i Clo. Why, there thou say'st: And the more pity; that great folks should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves, more than their even christian. Come; my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profession.
2 Clo. Was he a gentleman?
I Clo. 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 answer'st me not to the purpose, confess thyself—
2 Clo. Go to.
i Clo. What is he, that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
2 Clo. The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
1 Clo. 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.
2 Clo. Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or a carpenter?
i Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.
2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio, at a distance. i Clo. Cudgel thy brains no more about it; for your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating: : and, when you are ask'd this question next, say, a grave-maker; the houses that he makes, last till doomsday. Go, get thee to Yaughan, and fetch me a stoup of liquor.
[Exit 2 Clown.
He digs, and sings.
Methought, it was very sweet,
O, methought, there was nothing meet.
Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business? 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 Clo. But age, with his stealing steps,
Hath claw'd me in his clutch,
[Throws up a scull.
Ham. That scull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: How the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first
murder! This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God, might it not?
Hor. It might, my lord.
Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, Goodmorrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord? This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais’d 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 knock'd about the mazzard 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 loggats with them? mine ache to think on't.
i Clo. A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade, [Sings.
For—and a shrouding sheet:
[Throws up a scull.
Ham. There's another: Why may not that be the scull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Humph! This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: Is this the fine of his fines,
and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more? ha?
Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.
Ham. They are sheep, and calves, which seek out assurance in that. I will speak to this fellow :Whose grave's this, sirrah?
i Clo. Mine, sir.
0, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
Ham. I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in't.
i Clo. You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is mine.
Ham. Thou dost lie in't, to be in't, and say it is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.
i Clo. 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 'twill away again, from me to you.
Ham. What man dost thou dig it for?
Ham. Who is to be buried in't?
i Clo. One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she's dead.
Ham. How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked, that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe. —How long hast thou been a grave-maker?
í Clo. Of all the days i'the year, I came to't that day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras.
Ham. How long's that since?
i Clo. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that: It was that very day that young Hamlet was born: he that is mad, and sent into England.
Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England?
i Clo. Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his wits there; or, if he do not, 'tis no great matter there.
1 Clo. 'Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.
Ham. How came he mad?
1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark; I have been sexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.