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c H A P.
HAM L E T's INSTRUCTIONS
TO THE PLAYERS.
PEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you,
trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town crier had spoke my lines. And do not saw the air too much with your hand thus; but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempeft, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robusteous periwig-pated fellow tear a pallion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb fhews and noise: I could 'have such a fellow whipp'd for o'erdoing termagant; it outherods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.
Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit. the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erítep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing; whose end, both at the firit and now, was and is, to hold, as 'cwere, the mirror up to nature; to fhew 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 of, though it make the vnskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve: the censure of one of which must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to
speak speak it profanely) that, neither having the accent of Chriftian, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, 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 fo abominably.
And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them that will themfelves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary queftion of the play be then to be considered :-- that's villainous: and shews a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
с н А Р.
THE PRESENT CONDITION OF MAN VINDICATED.
TEAV'N from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
From brutes what men, from men what fpirits know,
Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions foar;
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind
Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy Opinion against Providence; Call imperfection what thou fanciest fuch, Say, here he gives too little, there too much: Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Yet cry, if Man's unhappy, God's unjuít; If man alone ingross not heav’n’s high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there: Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Re-judge his juftice, be the God of God. In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies; All quit their sphere, and run into the skics.
Pride still is aiming at the bleft abodes,
C Η Α ́ Ρ.
ON THE ORDER OF NATURE.
Se , ,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
ftrike, Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
worm !Oh Madness! Pride! Impiety!
All are but parts of one ftupendous whole,
Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name: