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i Clo. To't.
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.
Methought, it was very sweet,
0, 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. i 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! 116 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, Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord ? This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais'd my lord such-aone'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 "7; 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 118 with them? mine ache to think on't.
i Clo. A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade, (Sings.
For—and a shrouding sheet : 0, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet.
[Throws up a scull. Ham. There's another : Why may not that be the scull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now 119, 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 [Sings.
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.
Hum. 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 120, or equivocation will undo us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I have taken note of it; the age is grown so picked 12, 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?
i 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.
i Clo. 'Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he.
Ham. How came he mad?
i Clo. Why, here in Denmark; I have been sexton here, man, and boy, thirty years.
Ham. How long will a man lie i'the earth ere he rot?
i Clo. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he die, (as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in,) he will last you some eight year, or nine year : a tanner will last you nine year.
Ham. Why he more than another?
i Clo. Why, sir, his hide is so tann’d with his trade, that he will keep out water a great while; and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body. Here's a scull now hath lain you i'the earth three-andtwenty years.
Ham. Whose was it?
i Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was; Whose do you think it was?
Ham. Nay, I know not.
i Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! he pour'd a flaggon of Rhenish on my head once. This same scull, sir, was Yorick's scull, the king's jester. Ham. This?
[Takes the scull. 1 Clo. E'en that.
Ham. Alas, poor Yorick!-I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorr'd in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips, that I have kiss'd I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come;