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would have such a fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod :9 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 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,2 o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. O, 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.
1 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 them
9 Herod's character was always violent.
selves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary questions 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 POLOINUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and Guil
DENSTERN. How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
[Exit POLONIUS. Will you two help to hasten them? Both. Ay, my lord.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho; Horatio !
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord,
Nay, do not think I flatter:
flatter'd ? No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp;
3 Conversation, discourse.
And crook the pregnant + hinges of the knee,
Well, my lord :
4 Quick, ready. 5 Secret. 6 Shop, stithy is a smith's shop,
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be
idle : Get you a place. . 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: I eat the air, promise-crammed : You cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; ese ords 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
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 dear Hamlet, sit by me.
Ham. No, good mother, here'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. That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.
Oph. What is, 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.9O heavens ! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great inan'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, 0, the hobby-horse is forgot.
Trumpets sound. The dumb Show follows. Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen
embracing him, and he her. 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 of his crown,
9 The richest dress.