Houses that last till doomsday

First Clown

What is he that builds stronger than either the
mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?

Second Clown

The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a
thousand tenants.

First 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 in: 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.

Second Clown

Who builds stronger than a mason, a shipwright, or
a carpenter?’

First Clown

Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.

Second Clown

Marry, now I can tell.

First Clown


Second Clown

Mass, I cannot tell.

First 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 that he makes last till

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, scene 1

I found another Shakespeare / architecture quote.  And a joke no less!  Tonight’s table read of Hamlet was the last hurrah of Bard-a-thon La Crosse 2012 and I am heartily sorry for it.  What a delight this week has been!  I could well wish for another.

2 responses to “Houses that last till doomsday

  1. If I don’t get to play Hamlet, at least let me play one of the gravediggers. I love the gravediggers. Shakespeare gives the clowns the best lines, ever.

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