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• So 4tos.

(311, 1623,

32.

players; mark it, you say right, sir : for o’Monday morning 'twas so indeed.

Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.

Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you. When was, 4tos. Roscius (was*] an actor in Rome,

Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord.
HAM. Buz, buz !(36)
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 ; pastorical-comical, historical-pastoral; tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral; scene indivisible

or poem unlimited. Seneca cannot be too heavy, * light for nor Plautus too light. (37) For the law of writ and writ and the the liberty, these are the only * men.(58) liberty.

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 passing 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 ?

HAM. Why, As by lot, God wot,(39) and then, you know, It came to pass, As most like it was,- The first row of the Pons* Chanson will shew you more; for look, where my abridgments come. (40)

These &c. 0. C.

b

Then came each actor on his ass] This seems to be a line of a ballad. Johnson.

row of the Pons Chanson] Row is column or division: Pons Chanson, says Pope, the old ballads, sung on bridges. Hamlet is here repeating ends of old songs. Pans is the reading of the folio of 1632, and one 4to. Pious of the other.

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 valiant "*") since I saw thee last; Com'st thou to beard 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 choppine. (42) Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring. (43) 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,but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once: for the play, I remember, pleased not the million ; 'twas caviarie to the General: (45) but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments, 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 sallets in the lines,' to make the matter savoury; nor no matter in the phrase, that might indite the author of affectation : (46) but called it, an honest method [as

quality] Qualifications, faculty. Haml. to Rosencr. supra.

cried in the top of mine) Proclaimed not merely in addition to my voice and censure, but with a tone of authority, that mine could not sound. See Rosencr. supra.

Cried out on the top of question.”

as much modesty as cunning] As much propriety and de corum, as skill.

no sallets in the lines] Licentious jocularity, ribaldry. “ For junkets, joci, and for curious sallets, sales.' A Banquet of Jests, 1669. Steevens.

an honest method) Plain, subdued and sober.

• So, 4tos. to take geulles, 1023, 32.

. lord's
murder,
4tos.
vilde, 1623,
32.

wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than' fine."] _One chief speech in it I chiefly loved : (47

) '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;

The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast, 'tis not so; it begins with Pyrrhus.

The rugged Pyrrhus,-he, whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Now is he total gules;* horridly trick'd(45)
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons;
Bak'd and impasted(49) with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrunnous and damned light
To their vile murders: * Roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles ;' the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks ; [So proceed you.]

Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with good accent, and good discretion.

1 Play. Anon he finds him Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword, Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, Repugnant to command: Unequal match’d, Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage, strikes wide; But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword The unnerved father falls.d Then senseless Ilium, a and by very much more handsome than fine] With more of elegant and just form and proportion, than of superfluous ornament: and composed in the spirit and taste of the advice just given by Polonius to Laertes as to dress ; “ rich, not gaudy.”

o'er-sized] Covered as with glutinous matter.
carbuncles) Jewels, resembling coals. See P. Lost. IX. 500.
a Falls with the whiff and wind of his fell sword) Our author
employs the same image in almost the same phrase:

“ The Grecians fall
Even in the fan und wind of your fair sword.

Tr. & Cress, P. 3, TP.

b

* So, 4tos. bis 1623,32.

Seeming to feel this * blow, with flaming top
Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash
Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword
Which was declining (50) on the milky head
Of reverend Priam, seem'd ithe air to stick :
So, as a painted tyrant, * Pyrrhus stood;
And, like a neutral to his will and matter,
Did nothing
But, as we often see, against some storm,
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
As hush as death : anon the dreadful thunder
Doth rend the region: So, after Pyrrhus' pause,
A roused vengeance sets him new a work ;
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
On Mars's armour, forg'd for proof eterne,(51)
With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
Now falls on Priam.-
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
In general synod, take away her power;
Break all the spokes and fellies* from her wheel,(52) * fullies,
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
As low as to the fiends!
Pol. This is too long.

HAM, It shall to the barber's with Pr’ythee, say on :-He's for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, (55) or he sleeps :--say on: come to Hecuba. 1 Play. But who, O who * had seen the mobled* * ah woe!

inobled, HAM. The mobled * queen ? Pol. That's good ; mobled * queen is good. 1 Play. Run barefoot up and down, threatning

the flame With bisson rheum ; (55) a clout about * that head, upon 4tos.

1623, 32.

your beard.

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1623.

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* flames, 4tos.

His sword seem'd i the air to stick, 86.] As represented in tapestry hangings, the furniture of the age, in which, as Mr. Malone observes, their swords " stick in the air and do nothing."

the rack] The clouds or congregated vapour. See Temp. IV. 1. Prosp.

Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe,
About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins,
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pro-

nounc'd:
But if the gods themselves did see her then,
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs;
The instant burst of clamour that she made,
(Unless things mortal move them not at all,)
Would have made milch the burning eyes of hea-

ven,
And passion in the gods.

Pol. Look, whether * he has not turned his colour, and has tears in's eyes.- Pr'ythee, no

where, 0. C.

more.(57)

• of this, 4 tos.

port while

• much, 4tos.

HAM. 'Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest * 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 re

you

live. Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

HAM. God's bodikin, man, 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. Pol. Come, sirs.

[Exit Polonius with some of the Players. HAM. Follow him, friends : we'll hear a play tomorrow.-Dost thou hear me, old friend; can you play the murder of Gonzago?

1 Play. Ay, my lord. .

HAM. We'll have it to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech (58) of some dozen

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