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Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
Good my lord,
Ham. I humbly thank you ; well.
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours
No, not I;
Oph. My honor'd lord, you know right well, you did; And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd As made the things more rich : their perfume lost, Take these again; for to the noble mind, Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind. There, my lord.
Hamlet falls into a wild extravagance of speech, and then exito.
Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown !
Re-enter King and POLONIUS.
Pol. It shall do well; but yet I do believe,
It shall be so:
[Exeunt. SCENE H.-A Hall in the same.
Enter HAMLET, and certain Players. Ham. Speak 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 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 whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it.
1st Play. I warrant, your honor.
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 inot 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 mirror 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 Christians, 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 so abominably.
1st Play. 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 villanous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready
(Exeunt Players. Ham. What, ho; Horatio !
Enter HORATIO. Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord,
Nay, do not think I flatter:
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
Well, my lord.
Danish march. A flourish. Enter KING, QUEEN, POLONIUS,
OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others.
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet ?
Ham. Excellent, i'faith; of the camelion's dish:
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord,--you played once in the university, you say ?
To POLONIUS. Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor. Ham. And what did you enact ?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i’the Capitol ; Brutus killed 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.
[To the KING.
Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
[Lying down at OPHELIA's feet. Oph. You are merry, my lord. Ham. Who, I ? Oph. Ay, my lord.
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 twice two months, my lord.
Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens ! 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 Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow. Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
The play selected by Hamlet is performed before the court; in which the supposed murder of his father is exhibited.
The player Queen protests to her husband-that-Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife, f, once a widow, ever I be wife ! Ham. If she should break it now,
IT. OPHELIA. P. King. 'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while; My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain, And never come mischance between us twain !
[Exit. Ham. Madam, how like you this play? Queen. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Ham. O, but she'll keep her word. King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't ? Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest· no offence i’the King. What do you call the play?
Ham. The mouse-trap. Marry, how ? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the Duke's name; his wife, Baptista : you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free