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and out-stretch'd heroes the beggars shadows ; Shall we to th’ Court? for by my fay, I cannot reason.
Both. We'll wait upon you.
Ham. No such matter. I will not fort you with the rest of my fervants: for to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended; but in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Ellinoor?
RS. To visit you, my Lord, no other occasion.
Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks ; but I thank you ; and fure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear 9 'at'a half-penny. Were you not fent for is it your own inclining? is it a free visitation ? come, deal justly with me ; come, come ; nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my Lord ?
Ham. Any thing but to the purpose. You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. I know the good King and Queen have sent for you. .
Rof. To what end, my Lord ?
Ham. That you must teach me ; but let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal ; be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for or no.
Rof. What say you?
Ham. Nay then I have an eye of you : if you love me, hold not off.
Guil. My Lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen noult no feather. I have of late, but wherefore I know not, loft all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercise ; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril promontory ; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this
majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how express and admirable ! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a God! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is this quintessence of duft ? man delights not me; nor woman neither, cho' by your smiling you feem to say fo.
Rof. My Lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, man delights not me?
Rof. To think, my Lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the Players shall receive from you ; we accosted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.
Ham. He that plays the King shall be welcome ; his Majesty shall have tribute of me, the adventurous Knight shall use his foyle and target ; the lover shall not righ gratis ; the humourous man shall end his part in peace ; and the Lady shall fay her mind freely, or the blank verse Ihall halt for't. What Players are they?
Rof. Even those you were wont to take 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 fame estimation they did when
Rof. No indeed, they are not,
Rof. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace ; but there is, Sir, an a Aiery of Children, little' 'eyas's,
that (a) Relating to the playhouses then contending, the Bankfide, the Fortune, &c.-play'd by the Children of his Majesty's chapel. Pope.
1 yafes, . . . old edit. Theob. cmend.
that cry out on the top of question, and are most tyran= nically clapt for't ; 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 'em ? 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 ?
Rof. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides ; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarr them on to controversie. There was for a while no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.
Ham. Is't possible ?
[too. Rof. Ay, that they do, my Lord, Hercules and his load
Ham. It is not strange; for mine uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mowes at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it our.
[Flourish for the Players, Guil. There are the players.
Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elfinoor ; your hands, come then ; the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony, let me * complement with you in this garbe, left my extent to the players (which I tell you nust thew fairly outward) should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome ; but my Uncle-father and Aunt-mother are deceiv'd.
Guil. In what, my dear Lord ?
Ham. I am but mad north, north-west: when the wind is foutherly, I know a hawk from a 3 'hernshaw. 2 comply 3 hand law.
s CE NĒ VII.
Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too, at each ear a hearer ; that great baby you see there, is not yet out of his swathling clouts.
Rof. Haply he's the second time come to them ; for they say, an old man is twice a child.
Ham. I will prophesie, he comes to tell me of the players, mark it ;
- you say right, Sir ; for on Monday morning 'twas so indeed.
Pol. My Lord, I have news to tell you.
Ham. My Lord, I have news to tell you.
Pol. The actors are come hither, my Lord.
Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy,
Ham. Why one fair daughter, and no more,
Pol. Still on my daughter.
Pol. If you call me Jephtba, my Lord, I have a daughiter that I love passing well.
Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Ham. Why, as by lot, God w01-—--and then you know, it came to pass, as most like it was; che first row of the
Pont-chansons * will thew you more. For look where my abridgments come.
Enter four or five Players. Y'are welcome, masters, welcome all: I am glad to see you well; welcome, good friends. Oh! old friend! thy face is valanc'd since I saw thee last : com'ft thou to beard me in Denmark? What, my young Lady and mistress ? berlady, your Ladyship is nearer heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chioppine. Pray God your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not crack'd within the ring.-Masters, you are all welcome; we'll e'en to't like French faulconers, Aly at any thing we see; we'll have a speech straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality ; come, a passionate speech.
i Play. What speech, my good Lord ?
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted: or if it was, not above once, for the play I remember pleas'd not the million, 'twas Caviar to the general; but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgment in such matters cryed in the top of mine) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember one faid, there was no falt in the lines, to make the matter favoury; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the author of 4'affectation, but call'd it, an honest method. One speech in it I chiefly lov'd ;. 'twas Æneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priamos Naughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line, let me see, let me see The rugged Pyrrbus, like th' Hyrcanian beast-It is not fo-- it begins with Pyrrhus.. The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose fable arms Black as his purpose, did the night resemble When he lay couched in the ominous horse ; Hath now his dread and black complection smear'd
With (a) Pont-chansons is the French word for Street-ballads, to fome col. le dion of which Hamlet refers Polonius after repeating some ferans of rhymes out of them..
Pope. 4 affcétion,