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O’er which his melancholy sits on brood.
hold it fit, after the play,
mother all alone entreat him
King. It shall be so :
Enter the first Actor, and HAMLET. Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but, if you mouthe it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently : for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say,) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have
such a fellow whipp'd for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : 'Pray you, avoid it.
1 Act. I warrant your honour.
Ham. 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'erstep not the modesty of nature: For any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirrour up to nature; to show 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 off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.-0, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that neither having the accent of christian, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellow'd, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
1 Act. I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us.
Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villainous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
[Exit FIRST ACTOR.
Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.
Hor. O, my dear lord
Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter: For what advancement may I hope from thee, That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits, To feed and clothe thee? Should the poor be flat
ter'd ? No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp, And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee, Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
heart of heart,
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle : Get you a place.
A grand March.
Enter POLONIUS, KING, QUEEN, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, OSRICK, MARCELLUS, BERNARDO, FRANCISCO, GENTLEMEN, and LA
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?
Ham. Excellent, i' faith; of the camelion's dish: I eat the air, promise-cramm'd: you cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet ; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. once in the university, you say?
Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
My lord,-you play'd
Ham. And what did
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was kill'd i' the capitol; Brutus kill'd me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there. Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience. [Bell rings, and the Curtain rises for the Play. Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attrac
Pol. O ho! do you mark that?
[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet. Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
Oph. Nay, 'tis two months, my lord.
Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. Die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year : But, by-'r-lady, he must build churches then.
Oph. What means the play, my lord ?
Enter Second ACTOR, as the Prologue.
Here stooping to your clemency,
[Exit Second Actor.
Enter the Actress, and First Actor, as a Duchess,
and Duke. 1 Act. Full thirty times hath Phæbus' cart gone
Actress. So many journies may the sun and moon
1 Act. Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too ; My operant powers their functions leave to do: