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Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham. How chances it, they travel?* their residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.
Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed?
Ros. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it? Do they grow rusty? Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: But there is, Sir, an aiery of children, little eyases,t that cry out on the top of question, and are most tyrannically clapped fort: these are now the fashion; and so berattle the common stages, (so they call them) that many, wearing rapiers, are afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither.
Ham. What, are they children? who maintains them? how are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing? will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players, (as it is most like, if their means are no better,) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession?
Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.-You say right, Sir: o'Monday morning; 'twas then, indeed.
Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you. Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you; When Roscius was an actor in Rome,Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. Ham. Buz, buz!
Pol. Upon my honour,
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass,
Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoralcomical, historical-pastoral, [tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral,] scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men.
Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel,—what a treasure hadst thou!
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord? Ham. Why-One fair daughter, and no more, The which he loved pussing well. Pol. Still on my daughter. [Aside. Ham. Am I not i'the right, old Jephthah? Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well. Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows then, my lord? Ros. Faith, there has been much to do on Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot, and then, both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre¶ them on to controversy: there was, for you know, It came to pass, As most like it was, a while, no money bid for argument, unless-The first row of the pious chansont will show the poet and the player went to cuffs in the you more; for, look, my abridgment comes. question.
Ham. Is it possible?
Guil. O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Ham. Do the boys carry it away? Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.**
Ham. It is not very strange: for my uncle is king of Denmark, and those, that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little.tt 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
[Flourish of Trumpets within.
Enter Four or Five PLAYERS.
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all :-I am glad to see thee well:-welcome, good friends.-O, old friend! Why, thy face is valanced since I saw thee last; Com'st thou to beards me in Denmark?-What! my young lady and mistress! By-'r-lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven, than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.-Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en to't like French falconers, fly at any thing we see: We'll have a speech straight: Come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate speech. 1 Play. What speech, my lord? Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the general:++ but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgements, in such matters, cried in the top of mine,) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said, there were no sallads in the lines, to make the matter savoury; nor no matter in the phrase, that might inditess the author of affection: but called it, an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly loved: 'twas Æneas' tale to Dido; and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter: If it live in your memory, begin at this line; let me see, let me see ;
Guil. There are the players. Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. Come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony:-but let me comply with you in this garb; lest iny extent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outward, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome: But my uncle-father, and aunt-mother, are deceived.
Guil. In what, my dear lord?
Ham. I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw.
The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast, 'tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus. The rugged Pyrrhus,-he, whose sable arms, * Writing. + Christmas carols. + Fringed. Profession. § Defy. || Clog. **An Italian dish made of the roes of fishes. ++ Multitude. ‡‡ Above. Convict. Affectation.
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Bak'd and impusted with the parching streets,
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
1 Play. Anon he find him Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
Which was declining on the milky head
But, as we often see, against some storm,
Pol. This is too long.
Hum. It shall to the barber's, with your beard.-Pr'ythee, say on:-He's for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps:-say on: come to Hecuba.
1 Play. But who, ah woe! had seen the mobled||| queen
Ham. The mobled queen?
Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good.
With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head,
"Gainst Fortune's state would treason have pronounc'd:
But if the gods themselves did see her then,
Would have made milch the burning eye of And passion in the gods. [heuren, Pol. Look, whether he has not turn'd his colour, and his tears in's eyes.-Pr'ythee, no
Ham. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract, and brief chronicles, of the time: After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live.
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Ham. Odd's bodikin, man, much better: Use every man after his desert, and who shall scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I !
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, [do,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this?
Why, 'I should take it: for it cannot be,
Why, what an ass am I? This is most brave;
Fie upon't! foh! About my brains! Humph!
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
May be a devil: and the devil hath power
Out of my weakness, and my melancholy,
SCENE I.-A Room in the Castle.
Enter KING, QUEEN, POLONIUS, OPHELIA,
Ros. We shall, my lord.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and Guildenstern.
Her father, and myself (lawful espials,+)
Queen. I shall obey you:
And, for your part, Ophelia, I do wish,
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
Oph. Madam, I wish it may. [Exit QUEEN.
We will bestow ourselves :-Read on this
Your loneliness.-We are oft to blame in
King. O, 'tis too true! how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience'
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it, RO-O heavy burden! Than is my deed to my most painted word: [Aside. Pol. I hear him coming; let's withdraw, my lord. [Exeunt KING and POLONIUS.
King. And can you, by no drift of confer
Get from him, why he puts on this confusion;
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof,
Queen. Did he receive you well?
Ros. Niggard of question; but, of our deMost free in his reply.
Queen. Did you assay him To any pastime?
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain
Pol. "Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your
To hear and see the matter.
Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the ques-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
No more ;-and, by a sleep, to say we end
That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
King. With all my heart; and it doth much
To hear him so inclin'd.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
s sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
Oph. Good my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day? Ham. I humbly thank you; well.
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of
That I have longed long to re-deliver;
I never gave you aught.
Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well, you did;
And, with them, words of so sweet breath
Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest ?
Ham. Are you fair?
Oph. What means your lordship?
Ham. That if you be honest, and fair, you should admit no discourse to your beauty. Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?
Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness; this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did
love you once.
Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe
Ham. You should not have believed me: for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.
Oph. I was the more deceived.
Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck,t than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in: What should such fellows as I do crawl
ing between earth and heaven! We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us: Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?
Oph. At home, my lord.
Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him; that he may play the fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens! Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry; Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell.
Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him! Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, * Prayers. + Call.
you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance: Go to; I'll no more oft; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. [Exit HAMLET.
Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! [sword: The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould" of form, The observ'd of all observers! quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
King. Love! his affections do not that way tend; [little, Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a Was not like madness. There's something in his soul,
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
The origin and commencement of his grief
We heard it all.-My lord, do as you please;
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.
SCENE II-A Hall in the same. Enter HAMLET, and certain PLAYERS. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the ground
The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves
+ Alienation of mind. Reprimand him with freedom.
lings; who, for the most part, are capable of | She hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast
1 Play. I warrant your honour.
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing; A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and bless'd are Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your Whose blood and judgement are so well cothose, own discretion be your tutor: suit the action That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger [mingled, to the word, the word to the action; with To sound what stop she please: Give me that this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, That is not passion's slave, and I will wear [him end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to There is a play to-night before the king; As I do thee.-Something too much of this.-show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, One scene of it comes near the circumstance, his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, I pr'ythee, when thou seest that act afoot, Which I have told thee of my father's death. or come tardy off, though it make the unskill- Even with the very comment of thy soul ful laugh, cannot but make the judicious Observe my uncle; if his occulted* guilt grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of It is a damned ghost that we have seen; Do not itself unkennel in one speech, others. O, there he players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that high- As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note: And my imaginations are as foul ly not to speak it profanely, that, neither For I mine eyes will rivet to his face; having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of And, after, we will both our judgements join Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted, In censure‡ of his seeming. and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
1 Play. I hope, we have reformed that indifferently with us.
Hum. O, reform it altogether. And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the meantime, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villanous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
Enter POLONIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDEN
How now, my lord? will the king hear this
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho; Horatio!
Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter:
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp ;
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
If he steal aught, the whilst this play is play-
Danish March.-A Flourish.
dish: I eat the air, promise-crammed: You
Hamlet; these words are not mine.
played once in the university, you say?
Ham. And what did you enact?
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.-Be the players ready? Ros. Ay, my lord, they stays upon your patience.
Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by
Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more
Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the KING.
Oph. No, my lord.
Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap?
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Do you think,
meant country mat
Oph. I think nothing, my lord.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between
Oph. What is, my lord?
Oph. You are merry, my lord.
Oph. Ay, my lord.