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SCENE II.

115

A Hall in the Same.

Enter HAMLET and certain Players.

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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 your 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 groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray

you avoid it.

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as 't

1 Play. I warrant your honour.

Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion 116 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 the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, were, 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. 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 theatre of others. 0! 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 Turk, 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. 117

Ham. 0! 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 mean

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time some necessary question of the play be then to be con-
sidered: that's villainous, 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.

[Exit POLONIUS.
Will you two help to hasten them?
Ros. Ay, my lord.

[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho! Horatio! | 118

Enter HORATIO.
Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.

Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.

Hor. 0! my dear lord,
Ham.

Nay, do not think I flatter;
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd ?
No; let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant 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
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
119 To sound what stop she please. | Give me that man

That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee. Something too much of this.
There is a play to - night before the king;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee, of my father's death:
I pr’ythee, when thou seest that act a-foot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe mine uncle: if his occulted guilt

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Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note;
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,
And, after, we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
Hor.

Well, my lord;
If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft.

Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle;
Get you a place.
Danish March. A Flourish. Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, 120

OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Others.
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?

Ham. Excellent, i' faith; of the camelion's dish: I eat the air, promise - crammed. You cannot feed capons so.

King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet: these words are not mine.

Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord, you played once in the university, you say?

[To POLONIUS. Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor. Ham. And what did you enact ?

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.
Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother, here 's metal more attractive.
Pol. O ho! do you mark that?

[To the King.
Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

[Lying down at OPHELIA's Feet. |
Oph. No, my lord.

121
Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap?
Oph. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Do you think, I meant country matters ?
Oph. I think nothing, my lord.
Ham. That 's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
Oph. What is, my lord ?
Ham. Nothing
Oph. You are merry, my lord.

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Ham. Who, I?
Oph. Ay, my lord.

Ham. O God! 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, 't is twice two months, my lord.

Ham. So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. 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 then, or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse; whose epitaph is, “For, O! for, 0! the hobby - horse is forgot."

122

Hautboys play. The dumb Show enters.
Enter a King and Queen, very lovingly; the Queen embracing him.
She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him.

He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck; lays him down upon a bank of flowers: she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in ayain, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts: she seems loath and unwilling awhile; but in the end accepts his love.

[Exeunt.

Oph. What means this, my lord?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallico; it means mischief.

Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play. | 123

Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they 'll tell all.

Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant?

Ham. Ay, or any show that you will show him: be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it

means.

Oph. You are naught, you are naught. I'll mark the play.
Pro. “For us, and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,

We beg your hearing patiently.”
Ham. Is this a prologue, or the poesy of a ring?

Oph. 'T is brief, my lord.
Ham. As woman's love.

124

Enter a King and a Queen.
P. King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground;
And thirty dozen moons, with borrow'd sheen,
About the world have times twelve thirties been;
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
Unite commutual in most sacred bands.

P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
Make us again count o'er, ere love be done.
But, woe is me! you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer, and from your former state,
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must;
For women's fear and love hold quantity,
In neither aught, or in extremity.
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know,
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so.
Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too;
My operant powers their functions leave to do:
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,
Honour'd, belov'd; and, haply, one as kind
For husband shalt thou
P. Queen.

0, confound the rest!
Such love must needs be treason in my breast:
In second husband let me be accurst;
None wed the second, but who kill'd the first. |

Ham. [Aside.] Wormwood, wormwood!

P. Queen. The instances, that second marriage move,
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love:
A second time I kill my husband dead,
When second husband kisses me in bed.

P. King. I do believe you think what now you speak,
But what we do determine oft we break.
Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Of violent birth, but poor validity;
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
Most necessary 't is, that we forget

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125

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