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knaves, all; believe none of us: Gothy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father? Oph. At home, my lord. Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him; that he may play the fool no where but in's own house. Farewell. Oph. O, help him, you sweet heavens ! Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry; Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; farewell: Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough, what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. Oph. Heavenly powers, restore him Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance:* Go to, I'll no more of"t, it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages: those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. [Erit HAMLET. Oph. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword: The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,” The observ'd of all observers! quite, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of his musick vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
make your wantonness your ignorance:) You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance.
3. The mould of form, The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves. Jo HN so N.
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
Re-enter King and Polonius.
King. Love! his affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, Was not like madness. There's something in his
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
Pol. It shall do well: But yet I do believe,
* - with ecstasy:] The word ecstasy was anciently used to
signify some degree of alienation of mind.
WOL. X. Q
King. It shall be so: Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. [Ereunt. 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 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'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 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'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 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 piti
6 periwig-pated—l This is a ridicule on the quantity of false hair worn in Shakspeare's time, for wigs were not in common use till the reign of Charles II.
7 the groundlings;] In our early play-houses the pit had neither floor nor benches. Hence the term of groundlings for those who frequented it.
s Termagant;] Termagaunt (says Dr. Percy) is the name given in the old romances to the god of the Sarazens; in which he is constantly linked with Mahound, or Mohammed.
9 out-herods Herod:] The character of Herod in the ancient mysteries, was always a violent one.
t pressure.] Resemblance as in a print.
2 the censure of which one,) The meaning is, “the censure of one of which.” s in your allowance,) In your approbation.
4. speak no more than is set down for them :]. The clown very often addressed the audience, in the middle of the play, and entered into a contest of raillery and sarcasm with such of the audience as chose to engage with him. It is to this absurd practice that Shakspeare alludes.
ful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.— [Ereunt Players.
Enter Polonius, RoseNcRANTz, and GUILDENSTERN.
How now, my lord? will the king hear this piece
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 host, but thy good spirits, To feed, and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'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? Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, And could of men distinguish her election, She hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing; A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards
the pregnant hinges of the knee,) I believe the sense of pregnant in this place, is, quick, ready, prompt. Johnson.