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Ros. Guil. We'll wait upon you.
HAM. No such matter : I will not sort you with the rest of my servants; 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 Elsinore?
Ros. To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
HAM. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear, a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation ? Come, come; deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.
Guil. What should we say, my lord ?
HAM. Why any thing—but to the purpose.* You * So, 4tós. were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in thing. But your looks, which your modesties have not craft pose, 1623, enough to colour: I know, the good king and queen have sent for
you. Ros. 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 eveno and direct with me, whether you were sent for, or no?
beaten way of friendship] Plain track, open and unceremonious course.
too dear a halfpenny] i. e. at a halfpenny; at so small, or, indeed at any price. If' valued as the return for any thing, such cost is beyond their worth.
rights of our fellowship and consonancy of our youth] Habits of familiar intercourse and correspondent years.
a better proposer] An advocate of more address in shaping his aims, who could make a stronger appeal.
even] Without inclination any way.
• So 4tos.
Ros. What say you? [To GUILDENSTERN.
HAM. Nay, then, I have an eye of you;'[Aside.] -if you love hold not off.
GUIL. My lord, we were sent for.
Ham. I will tell you why; so shall my anticipadiscovery of tion prevent your discovery, * and your secrecy to
the king and queen* moult no feather." I have of 2623, 32. late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my
mirth, forgone all custom of exercises: and, in• heavenly. deed, 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, • Armament look you, this brave o'erhanging,* this majes
tical roof fretted with golden fire, (24) 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 o and admirable! in action, how like an angel ! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragond of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.
Ros. My lord, there is no such stuff in my thoughts.
HAM. Why did you laugh then, when I said, Man delights not me?
• Nay then, I have an eye of you] Upon or after you, a sharp look out.
so shull my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king moult no feather.] Be beforehand with your discovery, and the plume and gloss of your secret pledge be in no feather shed or tarnished. The reading is from the 4tos.
• express] According to pattern, justly and perfectly modelled.
paragon] Model of perfection. See Two G. of V. Prot.
Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment (25
) the players shall receive from you: we coated them on the way; (26) and hither are they coming, to offer you service.
HAM. He that plays the king, shall be wel. come; his majesty shall have tribute of me: the adventurous knight shall use his foil, and target: the lover shall not sigh gratis ; the humorous man shall end his part in peace: * the clown shall make those laugh, whose lungs are tickled o’the sere; (27) and the lady shall say her mind freely, (2) blank verse shall halt for't.-What players are they?
Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the tragedians of the city.
Ham. How chances it, they travel ?" their re. sidence, both in reputation and profit, was better
Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation. (29)
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.
Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted
that cry out on the top of question, (32) and are most tyrannically clapped for't:133
) these are now the fashion; and so berattle * the com- beratled. mon stages, (so they call them) that many, wear. 1623. ing rapiers, are afraid of goose quills, and dare scarce come thither.
• The humorous man shall end his part in peace) The fretful or capricious man shall vent the whole of his spleen undis
travel Become strollers.
HAM. What, are they children? who maintains them ? how are they escoted ?" Will they pursue the quality no longer than* they can sing ?e will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves tod common players, (as it is like most, if their means are not better,) their writers do them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own succession ??
Ros. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to tarre them to controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.
HAM. Is it possible?
Ham. It is not strange: for my uncle (34) is king
escoted] Paid. From the Fr. escot, a sort of reckoning. JOHNSON.
pursue the quality] The calling. See Two G. of V. 1. Outl. IV. 1.
no longer than they can sing] Keep their voices. grow themselves to] Advance themselves, shoot up to. e like most] Most like, or likely, is the modern turn of the phrase.
exclaim against their own succession) By another sort of outcry traduce that profession, to which they must fook, as an inheritance or future provision.
8 to turre them] Set them on. See K. John, IV. 1. Arth. " throwing about of brains) Sharp and nice discussion.
i Hercules and his load too] Every thing before them. Mr. Steevens observes, “ the allusion may be to the Globe playhouse on the Bankside, the sign of which was lercules carrying the Globe; as for a time he did in ease of the labours of Adas."
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 littleb. [’Sblood,*] there is something in this more•So, 4tos. than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
[Flourish of Trumpets within. Guil. There are the players.
Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands. Come then: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony: let me comply with you in the* garb;° lest my extent to the "this, 4tos. players, which, I tell you, must show fairly outward, should more appearlike entertainment than then, O.C. yours, You are welcome: but my uncle-father, throughout. 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.(35)
Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen!
HAM. Hark you, Guildenstern ;--and you too; -at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swathing-clouts.
Ros. Haply, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.
HAM. I will prophecy, he comes to tell me of the
à make mowes at him] Use antic gestures, mockery. See Temp. II. 2. Calib. The quartos read mouths.
in little] In miniature. See III. 4. Haml.
comply with you in the garb] Compliantly assume this dress and fashion of behaviour. See Haml. of Osric, V. 2.
my extent to] The degree of courtesy dealt out. • entertainment] Acceptance of service, kind reception.