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O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
Pol. It shall do well: But yet I do believe,
It shall be so:
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-A hall in the same. Enter Ham
let, and certain Players. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if pou 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 ac. quire and beget a temperance, that
may give it smoothness.
O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a
(1) Reprimand him with freedom.
robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings;' who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb show, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; itout-herods Herod:2 Pray you, avoid it.
1 Play. I warrant your honour.
Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action ; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature : for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.3 Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve: the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole thea. tre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play,--and heard others praise, and that highly, -not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, 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.
Ham. 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 spec
(1) The meaner people then seem to have sat in
tators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, 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.
(Exeunt Players. Enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the players make haste. (Ex. Pol. Will you two help to hasten them?
Both. Ay, my lord. [Exeunt Ros. and Guil.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord,
Nay, do not think I flatter:
flatter'd ? No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp; And crook the pregnant2 hinges of the knee, Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear? Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, And could of men distinguish her election, She hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been 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 those, Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled, That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger To sound what stop she please: Give me that man
(1) Conversation, discourse. (2) Quick, ready.
Well, my lord:
Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern,
Ham. Excellent, j'faith; of the chameleon's
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord, — you played
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar : I was killed i'the Capitol ; Brutus killed me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.—Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attractive.
Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the King
(Lying down at Ophelia's feet.
Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between maids'
Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry ? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
Ham. So long ? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables.2 O heavens ! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year : But, by'r-lady, he must build churches thén : or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse; whose epitaph is, For, 0, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.
Trumpets sound. The dumb show follows. Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the
(1) Wait. (2) The richest dress.