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Come, sir, are you ready for death?

Come, sir, are you ready for death?
Over-roasted rather; ready long ago.
Hanging is the word, sir. If you be ready for
that, you are well cooked.
So, if I prove a good repast to the spectators,
the dish pays the shot.

I am merrier to die than thou art to live.

A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort
is, you shall be called to no more payments, fear
no more tavern bills, which are often the sadness
of parting as the procuring of mirth. You come in
faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too
much drink; sorry that you have paid too much,
and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and
brain both empty; the brain the heavier for being
too light; the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness.
O, of this contradiction you shall now be
quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up
thousands in a trice. You have no true debitor and
creditor but it; of what’s past, is, and to come, the
discharge. Your neck, sir, is pen, book, and counters;
so the acquittance follows.
I am merrier to die than thou art to live.
Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the
toothache. But a man that were to sleep your
sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think
he would change places with his officer; for, look
you, sir, you know not which way you shall go.
Yes, indeed do I, fellow.
Your Death has eyes in ’s head, then. I have not
seen him so pictured. You must either be directed
by some that take upon them to know, or to take
upon yourself that which I am sure you do not
know, or jump the after-inquiry on your own peril.
And how you shall speed in your journey’s end, I
think you’ll never return to tell one.
I tell thee, fellow, there are none want
eyes to direct them the way I am going but such as
wink and will not use them.
What an infinite mock is this, that a man should
have the best use of eyes to see the way of blindness!
I am sure hanging’s the way of winking.

 Enter a Messenger.

Knock off his manacles; bring your prisoner to the King.
Thou bring’st good news. I am called to be made free.
I’ll be hanged then.
 He removes Posthumus’s chains.
Thou shalt be then freer than a jailer. No
bolts for the dead.
 All but the Jailer exit.
Unless a man would marry a gallows and beget
young gibbets, I never saw one so prone. Yet, on my
conscience, there are verier knaves desire to live,
for all he be a Roman; and there be some of them
too that die against their wills. So should I, if I
were one. I would we were all of one mind, and
one mind good. O, there were desolation of jailers
and gallowses! I speak against my present profit,
but my wish hath a preferment in ’t.
 He exits.

Act 5
Scene 4
Line 154

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