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Samuel Becketts

CLOV (fixed gaze, tonelessly):


Endgame (1957) Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be
nearly finished.
(Pause.)
Bare interior.
Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day,
suddenly, there's a heap, a little heap, the impossible
Grey Light.
heap.
(Pause.)
Left and right back, high up, two small windows,
I can't be punished any more.
curtains drawn.
(Pause.)
I'll go now to my kitchen, ten feet by ten feet by ten
Front right, a door. Hanging near door, its face to
feet, and wait for him to whistle me.
wall, a picture.
(Pause.)
Nice dimensions, nice proportions, I'll lean on the
Front left, touching each other, covered with an old
table, and look at the wall, and wait for him to whistle
sheet, two ashbins.
me.
(He remains a moment motionless, then goes out.
Center, in an armchair on castors, covered with an old
He comes back immediately, goes to window right, takes
sheet, Hamm.
up the ladder and carries it out. Pause. Hamm stirs. He
yawns under the handkerchief. He removes the
Motionless by the door, his eyes fixed on Hamm,
handkerchief from his face. Very red face. Glasses with
Clov. Very red face.
black lenses.)
HAMM:
Brief tableau.
Me
(he yawns)
to play.
Clov goes and stands under window left. Stiff,
(He takes off his glasses, wipes his eyes, his face,
staggering walk. He looks up at window left. He turns
the glasses, puts them on again, folds the handkerchief
and looks at window right. He goes and stands under
and puts it back neatly in the breast pocket of his
window right. He looks up at window right. He turns and
dressing gown. He clears his throat, joins the tips of his
looks at window left. He goes out, comes back
fingers.)
immediately with a small step-ladder, carries it over and
Can there be misery
sets it down under window left, gets up on it, draws back
(he yawns)
curtain. He gets down, takes six steps (for example)
loftier than mine? No doubt. Formerly. But now?
towards window right, goes back for ladder, carries it
(Pause.)
over and sets it down under window right, gets up on it,
My father?
draws back curtain. He gets down, takes three steps
(Pause.)
towards window left, goes back for ladder, carries it over
My mother?
and sets it down under window left, gets up on it, looks
(Pause.)
out of window. Brief laugh. He gets down, takes one
My... dog?
step towards window right, goes back for ladder, carries
(Pause.)
it over and sets it down under window right, gets up on
Oh I am willing to believe they suffer as much as
it, looks out of window. Brief laugh. He gets down, goes
such creatures can suffer. But does that mean their
with ladder towards ashbins, halts, turns, carries back
sufferings equal mine? No doubt.
ladder and sets it down under window right, goes to
(Pause.)
ashbins, removes sheet covering them, folds it over his
No, all is a
arm. He raises one lid, stoops and looks into bin. Brief
(he yawns)
laugh. He closes lid. Same with other bin. He goes to
bsolute,
Hamm, removes sheet covering him, folds it over his
(proudly)
arm. In a dressing-gown, a stiff toque on his head, a
the bigger a man is the fuller he is.
large blood-stained handkerchief over his face, a whistle
(Pause. Gloomily.)
hanging from his neck, a rug over his knees, thick socks
And the emptier.
on his feet, Hamm seems to be asleep. Clov looks him
(He sniffs.)
over. Brief laugh. He goes to door, halts, turns towards
Clov!
auditorium.
(Pause.)
No, alone. (Pause.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
What dreams! Those forests! Apart from that, how do you feel?
(Pause.) CLOV:
Enough, it's time it ended, in the shelter, too. I don't complain.
(Pause.) HAMM:
And yet I hesitate, I hesitate to... to end. Yes, there You feel normal?
it is, it's time it ended and yet I hesitate to CLOV (irritably):
(He yawns.) I tell you I don't complain.
to end. HAMM:
(Yawns.) I feel a little strange.
God, I'm tired, I'd be better off in bed. (Pause.)
(He whistles. Enter Clov immediately. He halts Clov!
beside the chair.) CLOV:
You pollute the air! Yes.
(Pause.) HAMM:
Get me ready, I'm going to bed. Have you not had enough?
CLOV: CLOV:
I've just got you up. Yes!
HAMM: (Pause.)
And what of it? Of what?
CLOV: HAMM:
I can't be getting you up and putting you to bed Of this... this... thing.
every five minutes, I have things to do. CLOV:
(Pause.) I always had.
HAMM: (Pause.)
Did you ever see my eyes? Not you?
CLOV: HAMM (gloomily):
No. Then there's no reason for it to change.
HAMM: CLOV:
Did you never have the curiosity, while I was It may end.
sleeping, to take off my glasses and look at my eyes? (Pause.)
CLOV: All life long the same questions, the same answers.
Pulling back the lids? HAMM:
(Pause.) Get me ready.
No. (Clov does not move.)
HAMM: Go and get the sheet.
One of these days I'll show them to you. (Clov does not move.)
(Pause.) Clov!
It seems they've gone all white. CLOV:
(Pause.) Yes.
What time is it? HAMM:
CLOV: I'll give you nothing more to eat.
The same as usual. CLOV:
HAMM (gesture towards window right): Then we'll die.
Have you looked? HAMM:
CLOV: I'll give you just enough to keep you from dying.
Yes. You'll be hungry all the time.
HAMM: CLOV:
Well? Then we won't die.
CLOV: (Pause.)
Zero. I'll go and get the sheet.
HAMM: (He goes towards the door.)
It'd need to rain. HAMM:
CLOV: No!
It won't rain. (Clov halts.)
I'll give you one biscuit per day. How are your legs?
(Pause.) CLOV:
One and a half. Bad.
(Pause.) HAMM:
Why do you stay with me? But you can move.
CLOV: CLOV:
Why do you keep me? Yes.
HAMM: HAMM (violently):
There's no one else. Then move!
CLOV: (Clov goes to back wall, leans against it with his
There's nowhere else. forehead and hands.)
(Pause.) Where are you?
HAMM: CLOV:
You're leaving me all the same. Here.
CLOV: HAMM:
I'm trying. Come back!
HAMM: (Clov returns to his place beside the chair.)
You don't love me. Where are you?
CLOV: CLOV:
No. Here.
HAMM: HAMM:
You loved me once. Why don't you kill me?
CLOV: CLOV:
Once! I don't know the combination of the cupboard.
HAMM: (Pause.)
I've made you suffer too much. HAMM:
(Pause.) Go and get two bicycle-wheels.
Haven't I? CLOV:
CLOV: There are no more bicycle-wheels.
It's not that. HAMM:
HAMM: What have you done with your bicycle?
I haven't made you suffer too much? CLOV:
CLOV: I never had a bicycle.
Yes! HAMM:
HAMM (relieved): The thing is impossible.
Ah, you gave me a fright! CLOV:
(Pause. Coldly) When there were still bicycles I wept to have one. I
Forgive me. crawled at your feet. You told me to go to hell. Now
(Pause. Louder.) there are none.
I said, Forgive me. HAMM:
CLOV: And your rounds? When you inspected my paupers.
I heard you. Always on foot?
(Pause.) CLOV:
Have you bled? Sometimes on horse.
HAMM: (The lid of one of the bins lifts and the hands of
Less. Nagg appear,
(Pause.) gripping the rim. Then his head emerges. Nightcap.
Is it not time for my pain-killer? Very white face.
CLOV: Nagg yawns, then listens.)
No. I'll leave you, I have things to do.
(Pause.) HAMM:
HAMM: In your kitchen?
How are your eyes? CLOV:
CLOV: Yes.
Bad. HAMM:
HAMM: Outside of here it's death.
(Pause.) CLOV:
All right, be off. So it is.
(Exit Clov. Pause.) HAMM:
We're getting on. Every man his specialty.
NAGG: (Pause.)
Me pap! No phone calls?
HAMM: (Pause.)
Accursed progenitor! Don't we laugh?
NAGG: CLOV (after reflection):
Me pap! I don't feel like it.
HAMM: HAMM (after reflection):
The old folks at home! No decency left! Guzzle, Nor I.
guzzle, that's all they think of. (Pause.)
(He whistles. Enter Clov. He halts beside the chair.) Clov!
Well! I thought you were leaving me. CLOV:
CLOV: Yes.
Oh not just yet, not just yet. HAMM:
NAGG: Nature has forgotten us.
Me pap! CLOV:
HAMM: There's no more nature.
Give him his pap. HAMM:
CLOV: No more nature! You exaggerate.
There's no more pap. CLOV:
HAMM (to Nagg): In the vicinity.
Do you hear that? There's no more pap. You'll HAMM:
never get any more pap. But we breathe, we change! We lose our hair, our
NAGG: teeth! Our bloom! Our ideals!
I want me pap! CLOV:
HAMM: Then she hasn't forgotten us.
Give him a biscuit. HAMM:
(Exit Clov.) But you say there is none.
Accursed fornicator! How are your stumps? CLOV (sadly):
NAGG: No one that ever lived ever thought so crooked as
Never mind me stumps. we.
(Enter Clov with biscuit.) HAMM:
CLOV: We do what we can.
I'm back again, with the biscuit. CLOV:
(He gives biscuit to Nagg who fingers it, sniffs it.) We shouldn't.
NAGG (plaintively): (Pause.)
What is it? HAMM:
CLOV: You're a bit of all right, aren't you?
Spratt's medium. CLOV:
NAGG (as before): A smithereen.
It's hard! I can't! (Pause.)
HAMM: HAMM:
Bottle him! This is slow work.
(Clov pushes Nagg back into the bin, closes the (Pause.)
lid.) Is it not time for my pain-killer?
CLOV (returning to his place beside the chair): CLOV:
If age but knew! No.
HAMM: (Pause.)
Sit on him! I'll leave you, I have things to do.
CLOV: HAMM:
I can't sit. In your kitchen?
HAMM: CLOV:
True. And I can't stand. Yes.
HAMM: HAMM (anguished):
What, I'd like to know. What's happening, what's happening?
CLOV: CLOV:
I look at the wall. Something is taking its course.
HAMM: (Pause.)
The wall! And what do you see on your wall? HAMM:
Mene, mene? Naked bodies? All right, be off.
CLOV: (He leans back in his chair, remains motionless.
I see my light dying. Clov does not move, heaves a great groaning sigh.
HAMM: Hamm sits up.)
Your light dying! Listen to that! Well, it can die I thought I told you to be off.
just as well here, your light. Take a look at me and then CLOV:
come back and tell me what you think of your light. I'm trying.
(Pause.) (He goes to the door, halts.)
CLOV: Ever since I was whelped.
You shouldn't speak to me like that. (Exit Clov.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
HAMM (coldly): We're getting on.
Forgive me. (He leans back in his chair, remains motionless.
(Pause. Louder.) Nagg knocks on the lid of the other bin. Pause. He
I said, Forgive me. knocks harder. The lid lifts and the hands of Nell appear,
CLOV: gripping the rim. Then her head emerges. Lace cap. Very
I heard you. white face.)
(The lid of Nagg's bin lifts. His hands appear, NELL:
gripping the rim. Then his head emerges. In his mouth What is it, my pet?
the biscuit. He listens.) (Pause.)
HAMM: Time for love?
Did your seeds come up? NAGG:
CLOV: Were you asleep?
No. NELL:
HAMM: Oh no!
Did you scratch round them to see if they had NAGG:
sprouted? Kiss me.
CLOV: NELL:
They haven't sprouted. We can't.
HAMM: NAGG:
Perhaps it's still too early. Try.
CLOV: (Their heads strain towards each other, fail to meet,
If they were going to sprout they would have fall apart again.)
sprouted. NELL:
(Violently.) Why this farce, day after day?
They'll never sprout! (Pause.)
(Pause. Nagg takes biscuit in his hand.) NAGG:
HAMM: I've lost me tooth.
This is not much fun. NELL:
(Pause.) When?
But that's always the way at the end of the day, isn't NAGG:
it, Clov? I had it yesterday.
CLOV: NELL (elegiac):
Always. Ah yesterday.
HAMM: (They turn painfully towards each other.)
It's the end of the day like any other day, isn't it, NAGG:
Clov? Can you see me?
CLOV: NELL:
Looks like it. Hardly. And you?
(Pause.) NAGG:
What? (Nell does not move.)
NELL: Why don't you go in?
Can you see me? NELL:
NAGG: I don't know.
Hardly. (Pause.)
NELL: NAGG:
So much the better, so much the better. Has he changed your sawdust?
NAGG: NELL:
Don't say that. It isn't sawdust.
(Pause.) (Pause. Warily.)
Our sight has failed. Can you not be a little accurate, Nagg?
NELL: NAGG:
Yes. Your sand then. It's not important.
(Pause. They turn away from each other.) NELL:
NAGG: It is important.
Can you hear me? (Pause.)
NELL: NAGG:
Yes. And you? It was sawdust once.
NAGG: NELL:
Yes. Once!
(Pause.) NAGG:
Our hearing hasn't failed. And now it's sand.
NELL: (Pause.)
Our what? From the shore.
NAGG: (Pause. Impatiently.)
Our hearing. Now it's sand he fetches from the shore.
NELL: NELL:
No. Now it's sand.
(Pause.) NAGG:
Have you anything else to say to me? Has he changed yours?
NAGG: NELL:
Do you remember No.
NELL: NAGG:
No. Nor mine.
NAGG: (Pause.)
When we crashed on our tandem and lost our I won't have it!
shanks. (Pause. Holding up the biscuit.)
(They laugh heartily.) Do you want a bit?
NELL: NELL:
It was in the Ardennes. No.
(They laugh less heartily.) (Pause.)
NAGG: Of what?
On the road to Sedan. NAGG:
(They laugh still less heartily.) Biscuit. I've kept you half.
Are you cold? (He looks at the biscuit. Proudly.)
NELL: Three quarters. For you. Here.
Yes, perished, and you? (He proffers the biscuit.)
NAGG: No?
(Pause.) (Pause.)
I'm freezing. Do you not feel well?
(Pause.) HAMM (wearily):
Do you want to go in? Quiet, quiet, you're keeping me awake.
NELL: (Pause.)
Yes. Talk softer.
NAGG: (Pause.)
Then go in.
If I could sleep I might make love. I'd go into the Rub yourself against the rim.
woods. My eyes would see... the sky, the earth. I'd run, NAGG:
run, they wouldn't catch me. It's lower down. In the hollow.
(Pause.) NELL:
Nature! What hollow?
(Pause.) NAGG:
There's something dripping in my head. The hollow!
(Pause.) (Pause.)
A heart, a heart in my head. Could you not?
(Pause.) (Pause.)
NAGG: Yesterday you scratched me there.
Do you hear him? A heart in his head! NELL (elegiac):
(He chuckles cautiously.) Ah yesterday.
NELL: NAGG:
One mustn't laugh at those things, Nagg. Why must Could you not?
you always laugh at them? (Pause.)
NAGG: Would you like me to scratch you?
Not so loud! (Pause.)
NELL (without lowering her voice): Are you crying again?
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you NELL:
that. But I was trying.
NAGG (shocked): (Pause.)
Oh! HAMM:
NELL: Perhaps it's a little vein.
Yes, yes, it's the most comical thing in the world. (Pause.)
And we laugh, we laugh, with a will, in the beginning. NAGG:
But it's always the same thing. Yes, it's like the funny What was that he said?
story we have heard too often, we still find it funny, but NELL:
we don't laugh any more. Perhaps it's a little vein.
(Pause.) NAGG:
Have you anything else to say to me? What does that mean?
NAGG: (Pause.)
No. That means nothing.
NELL: (Pause.)
Are you quite sure? Shall I tell you the story of the tailor?
(Pause.) NELL:
Then I'll leave you. No.
NAGG: (Pause.)
Do you not want your biscuit? What for?
(Pause.) NAGG:
I'll keep it for you. To cheer you up.
(Pause.) NELL:
I thought you were going to leave me. It's not funny.
NELL: NAGG:
I am going to leave you. It always made you laugh.
NAGG: (Pause.)
Could you give me a scratch before you go? The first time I thought you'd die.
NELL: NELL:
No. It was on Lake Como.
(Pause.) (Pause.)
Where? One April afternoon.
NAGG: (Pause.)
In the back. Can you believe it?
NELL: NAGG:
No. What?
(Pause.) NELL:
That we once went out rowing on Lake Como. at the world
(Pause.) (Pause.)
One April afternoon. and look
NAGG: (loving gesture, proudly)
We had got engaged the day before. at my TROUSERS!"
NELL: (Pause. He looks at Nell who has remained
Engaged! impassive, her eyes unseeing. He breaks into a high
NAGG: forced laugh, cuts it short, pokes his head towards Nell,
You were in such fits that we capsized. By rights launches his laugh again.)
we should have been drowned. HAMM:
NELL: Silence!
It was because I felt happy. (Nagg starts, cuts short his laugh.)
NAGG (indignant): NELL:
It was not, it was not, it was my STORY and You could see down to the bottom.
nothing else. Happy! Don't you laugh at it still? Every HAMM (exasperated):
time I tell it. Happy! Have you not finished? Will you never finish?
NELL: (With sudden fury.)
It was deep, deep. And you could see down to the Will this never finish?
bottom. So white. So clean. (Nagg disappears into his bin, closes the lid behind
NAGG: him. Nell does not move. Frenziedly.)
Let me tell it again. My kingdom for a nightman!
(Raconteur's voice.) (He whistles. Enter Clov.)
An Englishman, needing a pair of striped trousers Clear away this muck! Chuck it in the sea!
in a hurry for the New Year festivities, goes to his tailor (Clov goes to bins, halts.)
who takes his measurements. NELL:
(Tailor's voice.) So white.
"That's the lot, come back in four days, I'll have it HAMM:
ready." Good. Four days later. What? What's she blathering about?
(Tailor's voice.) (Clov stoops, takes Nell's hand, feels her pulse.)
"So sorry, come back in a week, I've made a mess NELL (to Clov):
of the seat." Good, that's all right, a neat seat can be very Desert!
ticklish. A week later. (Clov lets go her hand, pushes her back in the bin,
(Tailor's voice.) closes the lid.)
"Frightfully sorry, come back in ten days, I've made CLOV (returning to his place beside the chair):
a hash of the crotch." Good, can't be helped, a snug She has no pulse.
crotch is always a teaser. Ten days later. HAMM:
(Tailor's voice.) What was she drivelling about?
"Dreadfully sorry, come back in a fortnight, I've CLOV:
made a balls of the fly." Good, at a pinch, a smart fly is a She told me to go away, into the desert.
stiff proposition. HAMM:
(Pause. Normal voice.) Damn busybody! Is that all?
I never told it worse. CLOV:
(Pause. Gloomy.) No.
I tell this story worse and worse. HAMM:
(Pause. Raconteur's voice.) What else?
Well, to make it short, the bluebells are blowing CLOV:
and he ballockses the buttonholes. I didn't understand.
(Customer's voice.) HAMM:
"God damn you to hell, Sir, no, it's indecent, there Have you bottled her?
are limits! In six days, do you hear me, six days, God CLOV:
made the world. Yes Sir, no less Sir, the WORLD! And Yes.
you are not bloody well capable of making me a pair of HAMM:
trousers in three months!" Are they both bottled?
(Tailor's voice, scandalized.) CLOV:
"But my dear Sir, my dear Sir, look Yes.
(disdainful gesture, disgustedly) HAMM:
Screw down the lids. (Clov stops chair close to back wall. Hamm lays his
(Clov goes towards door.) hand against wall.)
Time enough. Old wall!
(Clov halts.) (Pause.)
My anger subsides, I'd like to pee. Beyond is the... other hell.
CLOV (with alacrity): (Pause. Violently.)
I'll go get the catheter. Closer! Closer! Up against!
(He goes towards door.) CLOV:
HAMM: Take away your hand.
Time enough. (Hamm withdraws his hand. Clov rams chair
(Clov halts.) against wall.)
Give me my pain killer. There!
CLOV: (Hamm leans towards wall, applies his ear to it.)
It's too soon. HAMM:
(Pause.) Do you hear?
It's too soon on top of your tonic, it wouldn't act. (He strikes the wall with his knuckles.)
HAMM: Do you hear? Hollow bricks!
In the morning they brace you up and in the (He strikes again.)
evening they calm you down. Unless it's the other way All that's hollow!
round. (Pause. He straightens up. Violently.)
(Pause.) That's enough. Back!
That old doctor, he's dead naturally? CLOV:
CLOV: We haven't done the round.
He wasn't old. HAMM:
HAMM: Back to my place!
But he's dead? (Clov pushes chair back to center.)
CLOV: Is that my place?
Naturally. CLOV:
(Pause.) Yes, that's your place.
You ask me that? HAMM:
(Pause.) Am I right in the center?
HAMM: CLOV:
Take me for a little turn. I'll measure it.
(Clov goes behind the chair and pushes it forward.) HAMM:
Not too fast! More or less! More or less!
(Clov pushes chair.) CLOV (moving chair slightly):
Right round the world! There!
(Clov pushes chair.) HAMM:
Hug the walls, then back to the center again. I'm more or less in the center?
(Clov pushes chair.) CLOV:
I was right in the center, wasn't I? I'd say so.
CLOV (pushing): HAMM:
Yes. You'd say so! Put me right in the center!
HAMM: CLOV:
We'd need a proper wheel-chair. With big wheels. I'll go and get the tape.
Bicycle wheels! HAMM:
(Pause.) Roughly! Roughly!
Are you hugging? (Clov moves chair slightly.)
CLOV (pushing): Bang in the center!
Yes. CLOV:
HAMM (groping for wall): There!
It's a lie! Why do you lie to me? (Pause.)
CLOV (bearing closer to wall): HAMM:
There! There! I feel a little too far to the left.
HAMM: (Clov moves chair slightly.)
Stop! Now I feel a little too far to the right.
(Clov moves chair slightly.) CLOV:
I feel a little too far forward. Things are livening up.
(Clov moves chair slightly.) (He gets up on ladder, raises the telescope, lets it
Now I feel a little too far back. fall.)
(Clov moves chair slightly.) I did it on purpose.
Don't stay there. (He gets down, picks up the telescope, turns it on
(i.e. behind the chair) auditorium.)
you give me the shivers. I see... a multitude... in transports... of joy.
(Clov returns to his place beside the chair.) (Pause. He lowers telescope, looks at it.)
CLOV: That's what I call a magnifier.
If I could kill him I'd die happy. (He turns toward Hamm.)
(Pause.) Well? Don't we laugh?
HAMM: HAMM (after reflection):
What's the weather like? I don't.
CLOV: CLOV (after reflection):
As usual. Nor I.
HAMM: (He gets up on ladder, turns the telescope on the
Look at the earth. without.)
CLOV: Let's see.
I've looked. (He looks, moving the telescope.)
HAMM: Zero...
With the glass? (he looks)
CLOV: ...zero...
No need of the glass. (he looks)
HAMM: ...and zero.
Look at it with the glass. HAMM:
CLOV: Nothing stirs. All is
I'll go and get the glass. CLOV:
(Exit Clov.) Zer
HAMM: HAMM (violently):
No need of the glass! Wait till you're spoken to!
(Enter Clov with telescope.) (Normal voice.)
CLOV: All is... all is... all is what?
I'm back again, with the glass. (Violently.)
(He goes to window right, looks up at it.) All is what?
I need the steps. CLOV:
HAMM: What all is? In a word? Is that what you want to
Why? Have you shrunk? know? Just a moment.
(Exit Clov with telescope.) (He turns the telescope on the without, looks,
I don't like that, I don't like that. lowers the telescope, turns towards Hamm.)
(Enter Clov with ladder, but without telescope.) Corpsed.
CLOV: (Pause.)
I'm back again, with the steps. Well? Content?
(He sets down ladder under window right, gets up HAMM:
on it, realizes he has not the telescope, gets down.) Look at the sea.
I need the glass. CLOV:
(He goes towards door.) It's the same.
HAMM (violently): HAMM:
But you have the glass! Look at the ocean!
CLOV (halting, violently): (Clov gets down, takes a few steps towards window
No, I haven't the glass! left, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down
(Exit Clov.) under window left, gets up on it, turns the telescope on
HAMM: the without, looks at length. He starts, lowers the
This is deadly. telescope, examines it, turns it again on the without.)
(Enter Clov with the telescope. He goes towards CLOV:
ladder.) Never seen anything like that!
HAMM (anxious): Gray! Did I hear you say gray?
What? A sail? A fin? Smoke? CLOV:
CLOV (looking): Light black. From pole to pole.
The light is sunk. HAMM:
HAMM (relieved): You exaggerate.
Pah! We all knew that. (Pause.)
CLOV (looking): Don't stay there, you give me the shivers.
There was a bit left. (Clov returns to his place beside the chair.)
HAMM: CLOV:
The base. Why this farce, day after day?
CLOV (looking): HAMM:
Yes. Routine. One never knows.
HAMM: (Pause.)
And now? Last night I saw inside my breast. There was a big
CLOV (looking): sore.
All gone. CLOV:
HAMM: Pah! You saw your heart.
No gulls? HAMM:
CLOV (looking): No, it was living.
Gulls! (Pause. Anguished.)
HAMM: Clov!
And the horizon? Nothing on the horizon? CLOV:
CLOV (lowering the telescope, turning towards Yes.
Hamm, exasperated): HAMM:
What in God's name could there be on the horizon? What's happening?
(Pause.) CLOV:
HAMM: Something is taking its course.
The waves, how are the waves? (Pause.)
CLOV: HAMM:
The waves? Clov!
(He turns the telescope on the waves.) CLOV (impatiently):
Lead. What is it?
HAMM: HAMM:
And the sun? We're not beginning to... to... mean something?
CLOV (looking): CLOV:
Zero. Mean something! You and I, mean something!
HAMM: (Brief laugh.)
But it should be sinking. Look again. Ah that's a good one!
CLOV (looking): HAMM:
Damn the sun. I wonder.
HAMM: (Pause.)
Is is night already then? Imagine if a rational being came back to earth,
CLOV (looking): wouldn't he be liable to get ideas into his head if he
No. observed us long enough.
HAMM: (Voice of rational being.)
Then what is it? Ah, good, now I see what it is, yes, now I
CLOV (looking): understand what they're at!
Gray. (Clov starts, drops the telescope and begins to
(Lowering the telescope, turning towards Hamm, scratch his belly with both hands. Normal voice.)
louder.) And without going so far as that, we ourselves...
Gray! (with emotion)
(Pause. Still louder.) ...we ourselves... at certain moments...
GRRAY! (Vehemently.)
(Pause. He gets down, approaches Hamm from To think perhaps it won't all have been for nothing!
behind, whispers in his ear.) CLOV (anguished, scratching himself):
HAMM (starting): I have a flea!
HAMM: CLOV (hastening towards door):
A flea! Are there still fleas? I'll start straight away.
CLOV: HAMM:
On me there's one. Wait!
(Scratching.) (Clov halts.)
Unless it's a crab louse. Will there be sharks, do you think?
HAMM (very perturbed): CLOV:
But humanity might start from there all over again! Sharks? I don't know. If there are there will be.
Catch him, for the love of God! (He goes towards door.)
CLOV: HAMM:
I'll go and get the powder. Wait!
(Exit Clov.) (Clov halts.)
HAMM: Is it not yet time for my pain-killer?
A flea! This is awful! What a day! CLOV (violently):
(Enter Clov with a sprinkling-tin.) No!
CLOV: (He goes towards door.)
I'm back again, with the insecticide. HAMM:
HAMM: Wait!
Let him have it! (Clov halts.)
(Clov loosens the top of his trousers, pulls it How are your eyes?
forward and shakes powder into the aperture. He stoops, CLOV:
looks, waits, starts, frenziedly shakes more powder, Bad.
stoops, looks, waits.) HAMM:
CLOV: But you can see.
The bastard! CLOV:
HAMM: All I want.
Did you get him? HAMM:
CLOV: How are your legs?
Looks like it. CLOV:
(He drops the tin and adjusts his trousers.) Bad.
Unless he's laying doggo. HAMM:
HAMM: But you can walk.
Laying! Lying, you mean. Unless he's lying doggo. CLOV:
CLOV: I come... and go.
Ah? One says lying? One doesn't say laying? HAMM:
HAMM: In my house.
Use your head, can't you. If he was laying we'd be (Pause. With prophetic relish.)
bitched. One day you'll be blind like me. You'll be sitting
CLOV: here, a speck in the void, in the dark, forever, like me.
Ah. (Pause.)
(Pause.) One day you'll say to yourself, I'm tired, I'll sit
What about that pee? down, and you'll go and sit down. Then you'll say, I'm
HAMM: hungry, I'll get up and get something to eat. But you
I'm having it. won't get up. You'll say, I shouldn't have sat down, but
CLOV: since I have I'll sit on a little longer, then I'll get up and
Ah that's the spirit, that's the spirit! get something to eat. But you won't get up and you won't
(Pause.) get anything to eat.
HAMM (with ardour): (Pause.)
Let's go from here, the two of us! South! You can You'll look at the wall a while, then you'll say, I'll
make a raft and the currents will carry us away, far close my eyes, perhaps have a little sleep, after that I'll
away, to other... mammals! feel better, and you'll close them. And when you open
CLOV: them again there'll be no wall any more.
God forbid! (Pause.)
HAMM: Infinite emptiness will be all around you, all the
Alone, I'll embark alone! Get working on that raft resurrected dead of all the ages wouldn't fill it, and there
immediately. Tomorrow I'll be gone forever.
you'll be like a little bit of grit in the middle of the I love the old questions.
steppe. (With fervour.)
(Pause.) Ah the old questions, the old answers, there's
Yes, one day you'll know what it is, you'll be like nothing like them!
me, except that you won't have anyone with you, (Pause.)
because you won't have had pity on anyone and because It was I was a father to you.
there won't be anyone left to have pity on you. CLOV:
(Pause.) Yes.
CLOV: (He looks at Hamm fixedly.)
It's not certain. You were that to me.
(Pause.) HAMM:
And there's one thing you forgot. My house a home for you.
HAMM: CLOV:
Ah? Yes.
CLOV: (He looks about him.)
I can't sit down. This was that for me.
HAMM (impatiently): HAMM (proudly):
Well you'll lie down then, what the hell! Or you'll But for me,
come to a standstill, simply stop and stand still, the way (gesture towards himself)
you are now. One day you'll say, I'm tired, I'll stop. What no father. But for Hamm,
does the attitude matter? (gesture towards surroundings)
(Pause.) no home.
CLOV: (Pause.)
So you all want me to leave you. CLOV:
HAMM: I'll leave you.
Naturally. HAMM:
CLOV: Did you ever think of one thing?
Then I'll leave you. CLOV:
HAMM: Never.
You can't leave us. HAMM:
CLOV: That here we're down in a hole.
Then I won't leave you. (Pause.)
(Pause.) But beyond the hills? Eh? Perhaps it's still green.
HAMM: Eh?
Why don't you finish us? (Pause.)
(Pause.) Flora! Pomona!
I'll tell you the combination of the cupboard if you (Ecstatically.)
promise to finish me. Ceres!
CLOV: (Pause.)
I couldn't finish you. Perhaps you won't need to go very far.
HAMM: CLOV:
Then you won't finish me. I can't go very far.
(Pause.) (Pause.)
CLOV: I'll leave you.
I'll leave you, I have things to do. HAMM:
HAMM: Is my dog ready?
Do you remember when you came here? CLOV:
CLOV: He lacks a leg.
No. Too small, you told me. HAMM:
HAMM: Is he silky?
Do you remember your father? CLOV:
CLOV (wearily): He's kind of a Pomeranian.
Same answer. HAMM:
(Pause.) Go and get him.
You've asked me these questions millions of times. CLOV:
HAMM: He lacks a leg.
HAMM: CLOV:
Go and get him! Yes.
(Exit Clov.) HAMM (proudly):
We're getting on. As if he were asking me to take him for a walk?
(Enter Clov holding by one of its three legs a black CLOV:
toy dog.) If you like.
CLOV: HAMM (as before):
Your dogs are here. Or as if he were begging me for a bone.
(He hands the dog to Hamm who feels it, fondles (He withdraws his hand.)
it.) Leave him like that, standing there imploring me.
HAMM: (Clov straightens up. The dog falls on its side.)
He's white, isn't he? CLOV:
CLOV: I'll leave you.
Nearly. HAMM:
HAMM: Have you had your visions?
What do you mean, nearly? Is he white or isn't he? CLOV:
CLOV: Less.
He isn't. HAMM:
(Pause.) Is Mother Pegg's light on?
HAMM: CLOV:
You've forgotten the sex. Light! How could anyone's light be on?
CLOV (vexed): HAMM:
But he isn't finished. The sex goes on at the end. Extinguished!
(Pause.) CLOV:
HAMM: Naturally it's extinguished. If it's not on it's
You haven't put on his ribbon. extinguished.
CLOV (angrily): HAMM:
But he isn't finished, I tell you! First you finish your No, I mean Mother Pegg.
dog and then you put on his ribbon! CLOV:
(Pause.) But naturally she's extinguished!
HAMM: (Pause.)
Can he stand? What's the matter with you today?
CLOV: HAMM:
I don't know. I'm taking my course.
HAMM: (Pause.)
Try. Is she buried?
(He hands the dog to Clov who places it on the CLOV:
ground.) Buried! Who would have buried her?
Well? HAMM:
CLOV: You.
Wait! CLOV:
(He squats down and tries to get the dog to stand on Me! Haven't I enough to do without burying
its three legs, fails, lets it go. The dog falls on its side.) people?
HAMM (impatiently): HAMM:
Well? But you'll bury me.
CLOV: CLOV:
He's standing. No I won't bury you.
HAMM (groping for the dog): (Pause.)
Where? Where is he? HAMM:
(Clov holds up the dog in a standing position.) She was bonny once, like a flower of the field.
CLOV: (With reminiscent leer.)
There. And a great one for the men!
(He takes Hamm's hand and guides it towards the CLOV:
dog's head.) We too were bonnyonce. It's a rare thing not to
HAMM (his hand on the dog's head): have been bonnyonce.
Is he gazing at me? (Pause.)
HAMM: CLOV:
Go and get the gaff. A madman? When was that?
(Clov goes to the door, halts.) HAMM:
CLOV: Oh way back, way back, you weren't in the land of
Do this, do that, and I do it. I never refuse. Why? the living.
HAMM: CLOV:
You're not able to. God be with those days.
CLOV: (Pause. Hamm raises his toque.)
Soon I won't do it any more. HAMM:
HAMM: I had a great fondness for him.
You won't be able to any more. (Pause. He puts on his toque again.)
(Exit Clov.) He was a painterand engraver.
Ah the creatures, the creatures, everything has to be CLOV:
explained to them. There are so many terrible things.
(Enter Clov with gaff.) HAMM:
CLOV: No, no, there are not so many now.
Here's your gaff. Stick it up. (Pause.)
(He gives the gaff to Hamm who, wielding it like a Clov!
puntpole, tries to move his chair.) CLOV:
HAMM: Yes.
Did I move? HAMM:
CLOV: Do you not think this has gone on long enough?
No. CLOV:
(Hamm throws down the gaff.) Yes!
HAMM: (Pause.)
Go and get the oilcan. What?
CLOV: HAMM:
What for? This... this... thing.
HAMM: CLOV:
To oil the castors. I've always thought so.
CLOV: (Pause.)
I oiled them yesterday. You not?
HAMM: HAMM (gloomily):
Yesterday! What does that mean? Yesterday! Then it's a day like any other day.
CLOV (violently): CLOV:
That means that bloody awful day, long ago, before As long as it lasts.
this bloody awful day. I use the words you taught me. If (Pause.)
they don't mean anything any more, teach me others. Or All life long the same inanities.
let me be silent. HAMM:
(Pause.) I can't leave you.
HAMM: CLOV:
I once knew a madman who thought the end of the I know. And you can't follow me.
world had come. He was a painterand engraver. I had (Pause.)
a great fondness for him. I used to go and see him, in the HAMM:
asylum. I'd take him by the hand and drag him to the If you leave me how shall I know?
window. Look! There! All that rising corn! And there! CLOV (briskly):
Look! The sails of the herring fleet! All that loveliness! Well you simply whistle me and if I don't come
(Pause.) running it means I've left you.
He'd snatch away his hand and go back into his (Pause.)
corner. Appalled. All he had seen was ashes. HAMM:
(Pause.) You won't come and kiss me goodbye?
He alone had been spared. CLOV:
(Pause.) Oh I shouldn't think so.
Forgotten. (Pause.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
It appears the case is... was not so... so unusual. But you might be merely dead in your kitchen.
CLOV: Is it working?
The result would be the same. (Pause. Impatiently.)
HAMM: The alarm, is it working?
Yes, but how would I know, if you were merely CLOV:
dead in your kitchen? Why wouldn't it be working?
CLOV: HAMM:
Well... sooner or later I'd start to stink. Because it's worked too much.
HAMM: CLOV:
You stink already. The whole place stinks of But it's hardly worked at all.
corpses. HAMM (angrily):
CLOV: Then because it's worked too little!
The whole universe. CLOV:
HAMM (angrily): I'll go and see.
To hell with the universe. (Exit Clov. Brief ring of alarm offstage. Enter Clov
(Pause.) with alarm-clock. He holds it against Hamm's ear and
Think of something. releases alarm. They listen to it ringing to the end.
CLOV: Pause.)
What? Fit to wake the dead! Did you hear it?
HAMM: HAMM:
An idea, have an idea. Vaguely.
(Angrily.) CLOV:
A bright idea! The end is terrific!
CLOV: HAMM:
Ah good. I prefer the middle.
(He starts pacing to and fro, his eyes fixed on the (Pause.)
ground, his hands behind his back. He halts.) Is is not time for my pain-killer?
The pains in my legs! It's unbelievable! Soon I CLOV:
won't be able to think any more. No!
HAMM: (He goes to door, turns.)
You won't be able to leave me. I'll leave you.
(Clov resumes his pacing.) HAMM:
What are you doing? It's time for my story. Do you want to listen to my
CLOV: story?
Having an idea. CLOV:
(He paces.) No.
Ah! HAMM:
(He halts.) Ask my father if he wants to listen to my story.
HAMM: (Clov goes to bins, raises the lid of Nagg's, stoops,
What a brain! looks into it. Pause. He straightens up.)
(Pause.) CLOV:
Well? He's asleep.
CLOV: HAMM:
Wait! Wake him.
(He meditates. Not very convinced.) (Clov stoops, wakes Nagg with the alarm.
Yes... Unintelligible words. Clov straightens up.)
(He raises his head.) CLOV:
I have it! I set the alarm. He doesn't want to listen to your story.
(Pause.) HAMM:
HAMM: I'll give him a bon-bon.
This is perhaps not one of my bright days, but (Clov stoops. As before.)
frankly CLOV:
CLOV: He wants a sugar-plum.
You whistle me. I don't come. The alarm rings. I'm HAMM:
gone. It doesn't ring. I'm dead. He'll get a sugar-plum.
(Pause.) (Clov stoops. As before.)
HAMM: CLOV:
It's a deal. A little artery.
(He goes towards door. Nagg's hands appear, (Pause. More animated.)
gripping the rim. Then the head emerges. Clov reaches Enough of that, it's story time, where was I?
door, turns.) (Pause. Narrative tone.)
Do you believe in the life to come? The man came crawling towards me, on his belly.
HAMM: Pale, wonderfully pale and thin, he seemed on the point
Mine was always that. of
(Exit Clov.) (Pause. Normal tone.)
Got him that time! No, I've done that bit.
NAGG: (Pause. Narrative tone.)
I'm listening. I calmly filled my pipethe meerschaum, lit it
HAMM: with... let us say a vesta, drew a few puffs. Aah!
Scoundrel! Why did you engender me? (Pause.)
NAGG: Well, what is it you want?
I didn't know. (Pause.)
HAMM: It was an extra-ordinarily bitter day, I remember,
What? What didn't you know? zero by the thermometer. But considering it was
NAGG: Christmas Eve there was nothing... extra-ordinary about
That it'd be you. that. Seasonable weather, for once in a way.
(Pause.) (Pause.)
You'll give me a sugar-plum? Well, what ill wind blows you my way? He raised
HAMM: his face to me, black with mingled dirt and tears.
After the audition. (Pause. Normal tone.)
NAGG: That should do it.
You swear? (Narrative tone.)
HAMM: No no, don't look at me, don't look at me. He
Yes. dropped his eyes and mumbled something, apologies I
NAGG: presume.
On what? (Pause.)
HAMM: I'm a busy man, you know, the final touches, before
My honor. the festivities, you know what it is.
(Pause. They laugh heartily.) (Pause. Forcibly.)
NAGG: Come on now, what is the object of this invasion?
Two. (Pause.)
HAMM: It was a glorious bright day, I remember, fifty by
One. the heliometer, but already the sun was sinking down
NAGG: into the... down among the dead.
One for me and one for (Normal voice.)
HAMM: Nicely put, that.
One! Silence! (Narrative tone.)
(Pause.) Come on now, come on, present your petition and
Where was I? let me resume my labors.
(Pause. Gloomily.) (Pause. Normal tone.)
It's finished, we're finished. There's English for you. Ah well...
(Pause.) (Narrative tone.)
Nearly finished. It was then he took the plunge. It's my little one, he
(Pause.) said. Tsstss, a little one, that's bad. My little boy, he said,
There'll be no more speech. as if the sex mattered. Where did he come from? He
(Pause.) named the hole. A good half-day, on horse. What are
Something dripping in my head, ever since the you insinuating? That the place is still inhabited? No no,
fontanelles. not a soul, except himself and the childassuming he
(Stifled hilarity of Nagg.) existed. Good. I enquired about the situation at Kov,
Splash, splash, always on the same spot. beyond the gulf. Not a sinner. Good. And you expect me
(Pause.) to believe you have left your little one back there, all
Perhaps it's a little vein. alone, and alive into the bargain? Come now!
(Pause.) (Pause.)
It was a howling day, I remember, a hundred by the (Pause.)
anenometer. The wind was tearing up the dead pines and In the end he asked me would I consent to take in
sweeping them... away. the child as wellif he were still alive.
(Pause. Normal tone.) (Pause.)
A feeble bit, that. It was the moment I was waiting for.
(Narrative tone.) (Pause.)
Come on, man, speak up, what is it you want from Would I consent to take in the child...
me, I have to put up my holly. (Pause.)
(Pause.) I can see him still, down on his knees, his hands flat
Well to make it short it finally transpired that what on the ground, glaring at me with his mad eyes, in
he wanted from me was... bread for his brat? Bread? But defiance of my wishes.
I have no bread, it doesn't agree with me. Good. Then (Pause. Normal tone.)
perhaps a little corn? I'll soon have finished with this story.
(Pause. Normal tone.) (Pause.)
That should do it. Unless I bring in other characters.
(Narrative tone.) (Pause.)
Corn, yes, I have corn, it's true, in my granaries. But where would I find them?
But use your head. I give you some corn, a pound, a (Pause.)
pound and a half, you bring it back to your child and you Where would I look for them?
make himif he's still alivea nice pot of porridge. (Pause. He whistles. Enter Clov.)
(Nagg reacts.) Let us pray to God.
a nice pot and a half of porridge, full of NAGG:
nourishment. Good. The colors come back into his little Me sugar-plum!
cheeksperhaps. And then? CLOV:
(Pause.) There's a rat in the kitchen!
I lost patience. HAMM:
(Violently.) A rat! Are there still rats?
Use your head, can't you, use your head. You're on CLOV:
earth, there's no cure for that! In the kitchen there's one.
(Pause.) HAMM:
It was an exceedingly dry day, I remember, zero by And you haven't exterminated him?
the hygrometer. Ideal weather, for my lumbago. CLOV:
(Pause. Violently.) Half. You disturbed us.
But what in God's name do you imagine? That the HAMM:
earth will awake in the spring? That the rivers and seas He can't get away?
will run with fish again? That there's manna in heaven CLOV:
still for imbeciles like you? No.
(Pause.) HAMM:
Gradually I cooled down, sufficiently at least to ask You'll finish him later. Let us pray to God.
him how long he had taken on the way. Three whole CLOV:
days. Good. In what condition he had left the child. Again!
Deep in sleep. NAGG:
(Forcibly.) Me sugar-plum!
But deep in what sleep, deep in what sleep already? HAMM:
(Pause.) God first!
Well to make it short I finally offered to take him (Pause.)
into my service. He had touched a chord. And then I Are you right?
imagined already that I wasn't much longer for this CLOV (resigned):
world. Off we go.
(He laughs. Pause.) HAMM (to Nagg):
Well? And you?
(Pause.) NAGG (clasping his hands, closing his eyes, in a
Well? Here if you were careful you might die a nice gabble):
natural death, in peace and comfort. Our Father which art
(Pause.) HAMM:
Well? Silence! In silence! Where are your manners?
(Pause.) (Pause. Nagg sinks back into his bin, closes the lid
Off we go. behind him. Pause.)
(Attitudes of prayer. Silence. Abandoning his HAMM:
attitude, discouraged.) Our revels now are ended.
Well? (He gropes for the dog.)
CLOV (abandoning his attitude): The dog's gone.
What a hope! And you? CLOV:
HAMM: He's not a real dog, he can't go.
Sweet damn all! HAMM (groping):
(To Nagg.) He's not there.
And you? CLOV:
NAGG: He's lain down.
Wait! HAMM:
(Pause. Abandoning his attitude.) Give him up to me.
Nothing doing! (Clov picks up the dog and gives it to Hamm.
HAMM: Hamm holds it in his arms. Pause. Hamm throws away
The bastard!! He doesn't exist. the dog.)
CLOV: Dirty brute!
Not yet. (Clov begins to pick up the objects lying on the
NAGG: ground.)
Me sugar-plum! What are you doing?
HAMM: CLOV:
There are no more sugar plums! Putting things in order.
(Pause.) (He straightens up. Fervently.)
NAGG: I'm going to clear everything away!
It's natural. After all I'm your father. It's true if it (He starts picking up again.)
hadn't been me it would have been someone else. But HAMM:
that's no excuse. Order!
(Pause.) CLOV (straightening up):
Turkish Delight, for example, which no longer I love order. It's my dream. A world where all
exists, we all know that, there is nothing in the world I would be silent and still and each thing in its last place,
love more. And one day I'll ask you for some, in return under the last dust.
for a kindness, and you'll promise it to me. One must (He starts picking up again.)
live with the times. HAMM (exasperated):
(Pause.) What in God's name do you think you're doing?
Whom did you call when you were a tiny boy, and CLOV (straightening up):
were frightened, in the dark? Your mother? No. Me. We I'm doing my best to create a little order.
let you cry. Then we moved you out of earshot, so that HAMM:
we might sleep in peace. Drop it!
(Pause.) (Clov drops the objects he has picked up.)
I was asleep, as happy as a king, and you woke me CLOV:
up to have me listen to you. It wasn't indispensable, you After all, there or elsewhere.
didn't really need to have me listen to you. (He goes towards door.)
(Pause.) HAMM (irritably):
I hope the day will come when you'll really need to What's wrong with your feet?
have me listen to you, and need to hear my voice, any CLOV:
voice. My feet?
(Pause.) HAMM:
Yes, I hope I'll live till then, to hear you calling me Tramp! Tramp!
like when you were a tiny boy, and were frightened, in CLOV:
the dark, and I was your only hope. I must have put on my boots.
(Pause. Nagg knocks on lid of Nell's bin. Pause.) HAMM:
Nell! Your slippers were hurting you?
(Pause. He knocks louder. Pause. Louder.) (Pause.)
Nell! CLOV:
I'll leave you.
HAMM: What?
No! CLOV:
CLOV: Who do you mean, he?
What is there to keep me here? HAMM:
HAMM: Who do I mean! Yet another.
The dialogue. CLOV:
(Pause.) Ah him. I wasn't sure.
I've got on with my story. HAMM:
(Pause.) Crawling on his belly, whining for bread for his
I've got on with it well. brat. He's offered a job as gardener. Before
(Pause. Irritably.) (Clov bursts out laughing.)
Ask me where I've got to. What is there so funny about that?
CLOV: CLOV:
Oh, by the way, your story? A job as gardener!
HAMM (surprised): HAMM:
What story? Is that what tickles you?
CLOV: CLOV:
The one you've been telling yourself all your days. It must be that.
HAMM: HAMM:
Ah you mean my chronicle? It wouldn't be the bread?
CLOV: CLOV:
That's the one. Or the brat.
(Pause.) (Pause.)
HAMM (angrily): HAMM:
Keep going, can't you, keep going! The whole thing is comical, I grant you that. What
CLOV: about having a good guffaw, the two of us together?
You've got on with it, I hope. CLOV (after reflection):
HAMM (modestly): I couldn't guffaw again today.
Oh not very far, not very far. HAMM (after reflection):
(He sighs.) Nor I.
There are days like that, one isn't inspired. (Pause.)
(Pause.) I continue then. Before accepting with gratitude he
Nothing you can do about it, just wait for it to asks if he may have his little boy with him.
come. CLOV:
(Pause.) What age?
No forcing, no forcing, it's fatal. HAMM:
(Pause.) Oh tiny.
I've got on with it a little all the same. CLOV:
(Pause.) He would have climbed the trees.
Technique, you know. HAMM:
(Pause. Irritably.) All the little odd jobs.
I say I've got on with it a little all the same. CLOV:
CLOV (admiringly): And then he would have grown up.
Well I never! In spite of everything you were able HAMM:
to get on with it! Very likely.
HAMM (modestly): (Pause.)
Oh not very far, you know, not very far, but CLOV:
nevertheless, better than nothing. Keep going, can't you, keep going?
CLOV: HAMM:
Better than nothing! Is it possible? That's all. I stopped there.
HAMM: (Pause.)
I'll tell you how it goes. He comes crawling on his CLOV:
belly Do you see how it goes on?
CLOV: HAMM:
Who? More or less.
HAMM: CLOV:
Will it not soon be the end? (Gloomily.)
HAMM: And then we got into the way of it.
I'm afraid it will. (Clov stops the chair under window right.)
CLOV: There already?
Pah! You'll make up another. (Pause. He tilts back his head.)
HAMM: Is it light?
I don't know. CLOV:
(Pause.) It isn't dark.
I feel rather drained. HAMM (angrily):
(Pause.) I'm asking you is it light?
The prolonged creative effort. CLOV:
(Pause.) Yes.
If I could drag myself down to the sea! I'd make a (Pause.)
pillow of sand for my head and the tide would come. HAMM:
CLOV: The curtain isn't closed?
There's no more tide. CLOV:
(Pause.) No.
HAMM: HAMM:
Go and see is she dead. What window is it?
(Clov goes to bins, raises the lid of Nell's, stoops, CLOV:
looks into it. Pause.) The earth.
CLOV: HAMM:
Looks like it. I knew it!
(He closes the lid, straightens up. Hamm raises his (Angrily.)
toque. Pause. He puts it on again.) But there's no light there! The other!
HAMM (with his hand to his toque): (Clov pushes chair towards window left.)
And Nagg? The earth!
(Clov raises lid of Nagg's bin, stoops, looks into it. (Clov stops the chair under window left. Hamm tilts
Pause.) back his head.)
CLOV: That's what I call light!
Doesn't look like it. (Pause.)
(He closes the lid, straightens up.) Feels like a ray of sunshine.
HAMM (letting go his toque): (Pause.)
What's he doing? No?
(Clov raises lid of Nagg's bin, stoops, looks into it. CLOV:
Pause.) No.
CLOV: HAMM:
He's crying. It isn't a ray of sunshine I feel on my face?
(He closes lid, straightens up.) CLOV:
HAMM: No.
Then he's living. (Pause.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
Did you ever have an instant of happiness? Am I very white?
CLOV: (Pause. Angrily.)
Not to my knowledge. I'm asking you am I very white?
(Pause.) CLOV:
HAMM: Not more so than usual.
Bring me under the window. (Pause.)
(Clov goes towards chair.) HAMM:
I want to feel the light on my face. Open the window.
(Clov pushes chair.) CLOV:
Do you remember, in the beginning, when you took What for?
me for a turn? You used to hold the chair too high. At HAMM:
every step you nearly tipped me out. I want to hear the sea.
(With senile quaver.) CLOV:
Ah great fun, we had, the two of us, great fun. You wouldn't hear it.
HAMM: (Clov stoops. As before.)
Even if you opened the window? CLOV:
CLOV: Once only.
No. HAMM:
HAMM: The first time or the second?
Than it's not worth while opening it? (Clov stoops. As before.)
CLOV: CLOV:
No. He doesn't know.
HAMM (violently): HAMM:
Than open it! It must have been the second.
(Clov gets up on the ladder, opens the window. CLOV:
Pause.) We'll never know.
Have you opened it? (He closes lid.)
CLOV: HAMM:
Yes. Is he still crying?
(Pause.) CLOV:
HAMM: No.
You swear you've opened it? HAMM:
CLOV: The dead go fast.
Yes. (Pause.)
(Pause.) What's he doing?
HAMM: CLOV:
Well...! Sucking his biscuit.
(Pause.) HAMM:
It must be very calm. Life goes on.
(Pause. Violently.) (Clov returns to his place beside the chair.)
I'm asking you is it very calm! Give me the rug, I'm freezing.
CLOV: CLOV:
Yes. There are no more rugs.
HAMM: (Pause.)
It's because there are no more navigators. HAMM:
(Pause.) Kiss me.
You haven't much conversation all of a sudden. Do (Pause.)
you not feel well? Will you not kiss me?
CLOV: CLOV:
I'm cold. No.
HAMM: HAMM:
What month are we? On the forehead.
(Pause.) CLOV:
Close the window, we're going back. I won't kiss you anywhere.
(Clov closes the window, gets down, pushes the (Pause.)
chair back to its place, remains standing behind it, head HAMM (holding out his hand):
bowed.) Give me your hand at least.
Don't stand there, you give me the shivers! (Pause.)
(Clov returns to his place beside the chair.) Will you not give me your hand?
Father! CLOV:
(Pause. Louder.) I won't touch you.
Father! (Pause.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
Go and see did he hear me. Give me the dog.
(Clov goes to Nagg's bin, raises the lid, stoops. (Clov looks round for the dog.)
Unintelligible words. Clov straightens up.) No!
CLOV: CLOV:
Yes. Do you not want your dog?
HAMM: HAMM:
Both times? No.
CLOV: (he hesitates)
Then I'll leave you. ...why it was so long coming.
HAMM (head bowed, absently): (Pause.)
That's right. There I'll be, in the old shelter, alone against the
(Clov goes to door, turns.) silence and...
CLOV: (he hesitates)
If I don't kill that rat he'll die. ...the stillness. If I can hold my peace, and sit quiet,
HAMM (as before): it will be all over with sound, and motion, all over and
That's right. done with.
(Exit Clov. Pause.) (Pause.)
Me to play. I'll have called my father and I'll have called my...
(He takes out his handkerchief, unfolds it, holds it (he hesitates)
spread out before him.) ...my son. And even twice, or three times, in case
We're getting on. they shouldn't have heard me, the first time, or the
(Pause.) second.
You weep, and weep, for nothing, so as not to (Pause.)
laugh, and little by little... you begin to grieve. I'll say to myself, He'll come back.
(He folds the handkerchief, puts it back in his (Pause.)
pocket, raises his head.) And then?
All those I might have helped. (Pause.)
(Pause.) And then?
Helped! (Pause.)
(Pause.) He couldn't, He has gone too far.
Saved. (Pause.)
(Pause.) And then?
Saved! (Pause. Very agitated.)
(Pause.) All kinds of fantasies! That I'm being watched! A
The place was crawling with them rat! Steps! Breath held and then...
(Pause. Violently.) (He breathes out.)
Use your head, can't you, use your head, you're on Then babble, babble, words, like the solitary child
earth, there's no cure for that! who turns himself into children, two, three, so as to be
(Pause.) together, and whisper together, in the dark.
Get out of here and love one another! Lick your (Pause.)
neighbor as yourself! Moment upon moment, pattering down, like the
(Pause. Calmer.) millet grains of...
When it wasn't bread they wanted it was crumpets. (he hesitates)
(Pause. Violently.) ...that old Greek, and all life long you wait for that
Out of my sight and back to your petting parties! to mount up to a life.
(Pause.) (Pause. He opens his mouth to continue,
All that, all that! renounces.)
(Pause.) Ah let's get it over!
Not even a real dog! (He whistles. Enter Clov with alarm-clock. He halts
(Calmer.) beside the chair.)
The end is in the beginning and yet you go on. What? Neither gone nor dead?
(Pause.) CLOV:
Perhaps I could go on with my story, end it and In spirit only.
begin another. HAMM:
(Pause.) Which?
Perhaps I could throw myself out on the floor. CLOV:
(He pushes himself painfully off his seat, falls back Both.
again.) HAMM:
Dig my nails into the cracks and drag myself Gone from me you'd be dead.
forward with my fingers. CLOV:
(Pause.) And vice versa.
It will be the end and there I'll be, wondering what HAMM:
can have brought it on and wondering what can have... Outside of here it's death!
(Pause.) No.
And the rat? (Pause.)
CLOV: Pity.
He's got away. (Clov goes, humming, towards window right, halts
HAMM: before it, looks up at it.)
He can't go far. HAMM:
(Pause. Anxious.) Don't sing.
Eh? CLOV (turning towards Hamm):
CLOV: One hasn't the right to sing any more?
He doesn't need to go far. HAMM:
(Pause.) No.
HAMM: CLOV:
Is it not time for my pain-killer? Then how can it end?
CLOV: HAMM:
Yes. You want it to end?
HAMM: CLOV:
Ah! At last! Give it to me! Quick! I want to sing.
(Pause.) HAMM:
CLOV: I can't prevent you.
There's no more pain-killer. (Pause. Clov turns towards window right.)
(Pause.) CLOV:
HAMM (appalled): What did I do with that steps?
Good...! (He looks around for ladder.)
(Pause.) You didn't see that steps?
No more pain-killer! (He sees it.)
CLOV: Ah, about time.
No more pain-killer. You'll never get any more (He goes towards window left.)
pain-killer. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in my right mind. Then
(Pause.) it passes over and I'm as lucid as before.
HAMM: (He gets up on ladder, looks out of window.)
But the little round box. It was full! Christ, she's under water!
CLOV: (He looks.)
Yes. But now it's empty. How can that be?
(Pause. Clov starts to move about the room. He is (He pokes forward his head, his hand above his
looking for a place to put down the alarm-clock.) eyes.)
HAMM (soft): It hasn't rained.
What'll I do? (He wipes the pane, looks. Pause.)
(Pause. In a scream.) Ah what a fool I am! I'm on the wrong side!
What'll I do? (He gets down, takes a few steps towards window
(Clov sees the picture, takes it down, stands it on right.)
the floor with its face to the wall, hangs up the alarm- Under water!
clock in its place.) (He goes back for ladder.)
What are you doing? What a fool I am!
CLOV: (He carries ladder towards window right.)
Winding up. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in my right senses. Then
HAMM: it passes off and I'm as intelligent as ever.
Look at the earth. (He sets down ladder under window right, gets up
CLOV: on it, looks out of window. He turns towards Hamm.)
Again! Any particular sector you fancy? Or merely the
HAMM: whole thing?
Since it's calling to you. HAMM:
CLOV: Whole thing.
Is your throat sore? CLOV:
(Pause.) The general effect? Just a moment.
Would you like a lozenge? (He looks out of window. Pause.)
(Pause.) HAMM:
Clov. (Pause.)
CLOV (absorbed): HAMM:
Mmm. Have you the glass?
HAMM: CLOV:
Do you know what it is? No, it's clear enough as it is.
CLOV (as before): HAMM:
Mmm. Go and get it.
HAMM: (Pause. Clov casts up his eyes, brandishes his fists.
I was never there. He loses balance, clutches on to the ladder. He starts to
(Pause.) get down, halts.)
Clov! CLOV:
CLOV (turning towards Hamm, exasperated): There's one thing I'll never understand.
What is it? (He gets down.)
HAMM: Why I always obey you. Can you explain that to
I was never there. me?
CLOV: HAMM:
Lucky for you. No... Perhaps it's compassion.
(He looks out of window.) (Pause.)
HAMM: A kind of great compassion.
Absent, always. It all happened without me. I don't (Pause.)
know what's happened. Oh you won't find it easy, you won't find it easy.
(Pause.) (Pause. Clov begins to move about the room in
Do you know what's happened? search of the telescope.)
(Pause.) CLOV:
Clov! I'm tired of our goings on, very tired.
CLOV (turning towards Hamm, exasperated): (He searches.)
Do you want me to look at this muckheap, yes or You're not sitting on it?
no? (He moves the chair, looks at the place where it
HAMM: stood, resumes his search.)
Answer me first. HAMM (anguished):
CLOV: Don't leave me there!
What? (Angrily Clov restores the chair to its place.)
HAMM: Am I right in the center?
Do you know what's happened? CLOV:
CLOV: You'd need a microscope to find this
When? Where? (He sees the telescope.)
HAMM (violently): Ah, about time.
When! What's happened? Use your head, can't you! (He picks up the telescope, gets up on the ladder,
What has happened? turns the telescope on the without.)
CLOV: HAMM:
What for Christ's sake does it matter? Give me the dog.
(He looks out of window.) CLOV (looking):
HAMM: Quiet!
I don't know. HAMM (angrily):
(Pause. Clov turns towards Hamm.) Give me the dog!
CLOV (harshly): (Clov drops the telescope, clasps his hands to his
When old Mother Pegg asked you for oil for her head. Pause. He gets down precipitately, looks for the
lamp and you told her to get out to hell, you knew what dog, sees it, picks it up, hastens towards Hamm and
was happening then, no? strikes him violently on the head with the dog.)
(Pause.) CLOV:
You know what she died of, Mother Pegg? Of There's your dog for you.
darkness. (The dog falls to the ground. Pause.)
HAMM (feebly): HAMM:
I hadn't any. He hit me!
CLOV (as before): CLOV:
Yes, you had. You drive me mad, I'm mad!
HAMM: (He gets down, drops the telescope, goes towards
If you must hit me, hit me with the axe. door, turns.)
(Pause.) I'll take the gaff.
Or with the gaff, hit me with the gaff. Not with the (He looks for the gaff, sees it, picks it up, hastens
dog. With the gaff. Or with the axe. towards door.)
(Clov picks up the dog and gives it to Hamm who HAMM:
takes it in his arms.) No!
CLOV (impatiently): (Clov halts.)
Let's stop playing! CLOV:
HAMM: No? A potential procreator?
Never! HAMM:
(Pause.) If he exists he'll die there or he'll come here. And if
Put me in my coffin. he doesn't...
CLOV: (Pause.)
There are no more coffins. CLOV:
HAMM: You don't believe me? You think I'm inventing?
Then let it end! (Pause.)
(Clov goes towards ladder.) HAMM:
With a bang! It's the end, Clov, we've come to the end. I don't
(Clov gets up on ladder, gets down again, looks for need you any more.
telescope, sees it, picks it up, gets up on ladder, raises (Pause.)
telescope.) CLOV:
Of darkness! And me? Did anyone ever have pity Lucky for you.
on me? (He goes towards door.)
CLOV (lowering the telescope, turning towards HAMM:
Hamm): Leave me the gaff.
What? (Clov gives him the gaff, goes towards door, halts,
(Pause.) looks at alarm-clock, takes it down, looks round for a
Is it me you're referring to? better place to put it, goes to bins, puts it on lid of Nagg's
HAMM (angrily): bin. Pause.)
An aside, ape! Did you never hear an aside before? CLOV:
(Pause.) I'll leave you.
I'm warming up for my last soliloquy. (He goes towards door.)
CLOV: HAMM:
I warn you. I'm going to look at this filth since it's Before you go...
an order. But it's the last time. (Clov halts near door.)
(He turns the telescope on the without.) ...say something.
Let's see. CLOV:
(He moves the telescope.) There is nothing to say.
Nothing... nothing... good... good... nothing... goo HAMM:
(He starts, lowers the telescope, examines it, turns it A few words... to ponder... in my heart.
again on the without. Pause.) CLOV:
Bad luck to it! Your heart!
HAMM: HAMM:
More complications! Yes.
(Clov gets down.) (Pause. Forcibly.)
Not an underplot, I trust. Yes!
(Clov moves ladder nearer window, gets up on it, (Pause.)
turns telescope on the without.) With the rest, in the end, the shadows, the murmurs,
CLOV (dismayed): all the trouble, to end up with.
Looks like a small boy! (Pause.)
HAMM (sarcastic): Clov... He never spoke to me. Then, in the end,
A small... boy! before he went, without my having asked him, he spoke
CLOV: to me. He said...
I'll go and see. CLOV (despairingly):
Ah...!
HAMM: CLOV (turning sharply):
Something... from your heart. Ah pardon, it's I am obliged to you.
CLOV: HAMM:
My heart! It's we are obliged to each other.
HAMM: (Pause. Clov goes towards door.)
A few words... from your heart. One thing more.
(Pause.) (Clov halts.)
CLOV (fixed gaze, tonelessly, towards auditorium): A last favor.
They said to me, That's love, yes, yes, not a doubt, (Exit Clov.)
now you see how Cover me with the sheet.
HAMM: (Long pause.)
Articulate! No? Good.
CLOV (as before): (Pause.)
How easy it is. They said to me, That's friendship, Me to play.
yes, yes, no question, you've found it. They said to me, (Pause. Wearily.)
Here's the place, stop, raise your head and look at all that Old endgame lost of old, play and lose and have
beauty. That order! They said to me, Come now, you're done with losing.
not a brute beast, think upon these things and you'll see (Pause. More animated.)
how all becomes clear. And simple! They said to me, Let me see.
What skilled attention they get, all these dying of their (Pause.)
wounds. Ah yes!
HAMM: (He tries to move the chair, using the gaff as before.
Enough! Enter Clov, dressed for the road. Panama hat, tweed
CLOV (as before): coat, raincoat over his arm, umbrella, bag. He halts by
I say to myself sometimes, Clov, you must learn the door and stands there, impassive and motionless, his
to suffer better than that if you want them to weary of eyes fixed on Hamm, till the end.)
punishing you one day. I say to myselfsometimes, Hamm gives up:
Clov, you must be better than that if you want them to Good.
let you goone day. But I feel too old, and too far, to (Pause.)
form new habits. Good, it'll never end, I'll never go. Discard.
(Pause.) (He throws away the gaff, makes to throw away the
Then one day, suddenly, it ends, it changes, I don't dog, thinks better of it.)
understand, it dies, or it's me, I don't understand that Take it easy.
either. I ask the words that remain sleeping, waking, (Pause.)
morning, evening. They have nothing to say. And now?
(Pause.) (Pause.)
I open the door of the cell and go. I am so bowed I Raise hat.
only see my feet, if I open my eyes, and between my (He raises his toque.)
legs a little trail of black dust. I say to myself that the Peace to our... arses.
earth is extinguished, though I never saw it lit. (Pause.)
(Pause.) And put on again.
It's easy going. (He puts on his toque.)
(Pause.) Deuce.
When I fall I'll weep for happiness. (Pause. He takes off his glasses.)
(Pause. He goes towards door.) Wipe.
HAMM: (He takes out his handkerchief and, without
Clov! unfolding it, wipes his glasses.)
(Clov halts, without turning.) And put on again.
Nothing. (He puts on his glasses, puts back the handkerchief
(Clov moves on.) in his pocket.)
Clov! We're coming. A few more squirms like that and I'll
(Clov halts, without turning.) call.
CLOV: (Pause.)
This is what we call making an exit. A little poetry.
HAMM: (Pause.)
I'm obliged to you, Clov. For your services. You prayed
(Pause. He corrects himself.) (he unfolds handkerchief)
You CRIED for night; it comes ...let's play it that way...
(Pause. He corrects himself.) (he unfolds)
It FALLS: now cry in darkness. ...and speak no more about it...
(He repeats, chanting.) (he finishes unfolding)
You cried for night; it falls: now cry in darkness. ...speak no more.
(Pause.) (He holds handkerchief spread out before him.)
Nicely put, that. Old stancher!
(Pause.) (Pause.)
And now? You... remain.
(Pause.) (Pause. He covers his face with handkerchief,
Moments for nothing, now as always, time was lowers his arms to armrests, remains motionless.)
never and time is over, reckoning closed and story (Brief tableau.)
ended.
(Pause. Narrative tone.) Curtain
If he could have his child with him...
(Pause.)
It was the moment I was waiting for.
(Pause.)
You don't want to abandon him? You want him to
bloom while you are withering? Be there to solace your
last million last moments?
(Pause.)
He doesn't realize, all he knows is hunger, and cold,
and death to crown it all. But you! You ought to know
what the earth is like, nowadays. Oh I put him before his
responsibilities!
(Pause. Normal tone.)
Well, there we are, there I am, that's enough.
(He raises the whistle to his lips, hesitates, drops it.
Pause.)
Yes, truly!
(He whistles. Pause. Louder. Pause.)
Good.
(Pause.)
Father!
(Pause. Louder.)
Father!
(Pause.)
Good.
(Pause.)
We're coming.
(Pause.)
And to end up with?
(Pause.)
Discard.
(He throws away the dog. He tears the whistle from
his neck.)
With my compliments.
(He throws the whistle towards the auditorium.
Pause. He sniffs. Soft.)
Clov!
(Long pause.)
No? Good.
(He takes out the handkerchief.)
Since that's the way we're playing it...