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It shall be so : Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. (Exeunt.
SCENE II.-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 your players do, I had as lief the towncrier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much-your hand thus : but use all gently : for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to see 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 could have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it.
1 Play. 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'er-step not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, 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 the which one, must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. O, there he 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.
1 Play. I hope, we have reformed that indifferently a with us, sir.
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 tov; 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.
[Exeunt Players. Enter Polonius, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN. How now, my lord ? will the king hear this piece of
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the players make haste. (Exit Pol. Will you too help to hasten them? Both. We will, my lord.
[Exeunt RÖSENCRANTZ and GuilDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho; Horatio ?
Ham. Horatio, tbou art e'en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord,
Nay, do not think I flatter :
ter'd ? No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp; And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
* Indifferently -tolerably well.
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
Well, my lord :
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle:
CRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and other Lords at!endant,
Ham. Excellent, i' faith; of the cameleon's dish : I eat the air, promise-crammed: You cannot feed capons So.
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 I did, 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. Queen. Come hither, my good Hamlet, sit by me. Ham. No, good mother, bere 's metal more attractive. Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the KING. Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
[Lying down at Ophelia's feet. Oph. No, my lord. Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap? Oph. Ay, my lord. Ham. Do you think I meant country matters? Oph. I think nothing, my lord.
Ham. That 's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
Oph. What is, my lord ?
Ham. O God! 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, 't is twice two months, my lord.
carried awad unwilling av (Exeunt.
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 is hope a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: But, by'r-lady, he must build churches then : or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse; whose epitaph is, For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.
Hautboys play. The dumb show enters. Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen embracing him. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck; lays him down upon a bank of flowers ; she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner woos the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love.
Oph. What means this, my lord ?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho ;a it means mischief.
Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play.
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow : the players cannot keep counsel ; they '1] tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant ?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you 'll show bim: Be not you ashamed to show, he 'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I 'll mark the play.
* Miching mallecho. To mich is to filch ;-mallecho, is misdeed, from the Spanish.