« AnteriorContinuar »
Ros. My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, Man delights not me?
Ros. To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you: we coted 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 foil and target; the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous man shall end his part in peace; and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the 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 residence, both in reputation and profit, was better both ways. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city? Are they so followed?
Ros. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. It is not very strange: for my uncle is King of Denmark: and those, that would make mouths at him while my father liv'd, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a piece for his picture in little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. [A Trumpet sounds.
Guil. There are the players. Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore : your hands: 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 southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw. Pol. [Within.] Well be with you, gentlemen! Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern, and Rosencrantz,
that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swaddling-clouts.
Ros. Happily, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.
Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it. You say right, sir: o' Monday morning: 'twas then, indeed.
Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you. Ham. My lord, I have knews to tell When Roscius was an actor in Rome,
Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. ́
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, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light: For the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only
Ham. O, Jephtha, Judge of Israel,—what a treasure hadst thou!
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord?
Ham. Why,-One fair daughter and no more,
Pol. Still on my daughter.
Ham. Am I not i' the right, old Jephtha?
Pol. If you call me Jephtha, my lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well.
Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows then, my
Ham. Why, As by lot, God wot,--and then, you know, It came to pass, as most like it was,-The first row of the pious chanson will show you more; for look, where my abridgment comes.
Enter FIRST ACTOR, ACTRESS, and SECOND ACTOR.
You are welcome, masters; welcome, all:-0, old friend! Why, thy face is valanc'd 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 Heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine.-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 Act. 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, pleas'd not the million; 'twas caviare to the general: but it was an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. One speech in it I chiefly lov'd: '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;
The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,"Tis not so it begins with Pyrrhus.
The rugged Pyrrhus,—he whose sable arms,
Pol. 'Fore Heaven, my lord, well spoken; with good accent, and good discretion.
Ham. So;-proceed you.
1 Act. Anon, he finds him
Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
But, as we often see, against some storm,
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune !
Pol. This is too long.
Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard.Say on: Come to Hecuba.
1 Act. But who, ah woe! had seen the mobled
Ham. The mobled queen!
Pol. That's good; mobled queen is good.
1 Act. Run barefoot up and down, threat'ning the Aames;
A clout upon that head,
Where late the diadem stood; and, for a robe,
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
Ham. "Tis well; I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.-Good my lord, will you see the players well bestow'd? do you hear, let them be well us'd; for they are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time: After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live.
Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Ham. Much better. Use every m. 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, sir.
Ham. Follow him, friends: we'll hear a play tonight. Old friend,-.
[Exeunt POLONIUS, SECOND ACTOR, and ACTRESS. My good friends, I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN.
Can you play the murder of Gonzago?
1 Act. Ay, my lord.
Ham. We'll have it to-night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and insert in't? could you not? 1 Act. Ay, my lord.
Ham. Very well.-Follow that lord; and look mock him not.
-I have heard,
[Exit FIRST ACTOR.
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak