Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ham. You should not have believed me : for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it : I loved you not.

Oph. I was the more deceived.

Ham. Get thee to a nunnery ; Why would'st thou be a breeder of sinners ? I am myself indifferent honest ; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious ; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in : What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven! We are arrant knaves, all ; believe none of us : Go thy ways to a punnery 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 nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance :8 Go to; I'll no more oft; 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.

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 ! quité, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of his music vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and barsh ;

(8] You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance. 19 The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves. JOHNSON

(Exit.

That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstacy :' 0, woe is me!
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see !

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 soul,
O’er which his melancholy sits on brood ;
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose,
Will be some danger : Which for to prevent,
I have, in quick determination,
Thus set it down ; He shall with speed to England,
For the demand of our neglected tribute :
Haply, the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart;
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himself, What think you on't ?

Pol. It shall do well. But yet I do believe,
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love.--How now, Ophelia ?
You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said;
We heard it all.--My lord, do as you please ;
But, if

you

hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his griefs ; let her be round with him ;
And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference : If she find him not,
To England send him ; or confine him, where
Your wisdom best shall think.

King. It shall be so:
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. [Excunt.

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) wbirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that [1] The word ecstacy was anciently used to signify some degree of alienation of Vol. X.

C2

[ocr errors]

STEEVENS.

may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to bear 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 outherods 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'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 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. 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 jour. neymen 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 ;

[2! The groundlings—The meaner people then seem to have sat below, as they now sit in the upper gallery, who, nut well understanding poetical language, were sometimes gratified by a mimical and mute representation of the drama, previous to the dialogue. JOHNSON

In our early playhouses, the pit had neither floor nor benches. Hence the term of groundiings for those who frequented it. STEEVENS.

(3) Trimngant was a Saracen deity, very clamorous and violent, in the old moralities. PERCY.---The character of Herod, in the ancient mysteries, was always a

STEEVENS. Resemblance, as in a print. JOHNSON [5] Profanely seems to relate, not to the praise which he bas mentioned, but to the censure which he is about to utter. Any gross or indelicate language was called profane. JOHNSON.

(6] The clown very often addressed the audience, in the middle of the play, and entered into a contest of raillery and sarcasın with such of the audience as chose to engage with him.

MALONE.

vio ent one.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered : that's villanolis ; 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 work?

Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.

Ham. Bid the players make haste. [Exit Polon.
Will you two help to hasten them ?
Both. Ay, my lord.

[Exeunt Ros. and Guil. Ham. Whát, ho ; Horatio !

Enter HORATIO.
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? 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
Has ta’en with equal thanks : and blest are those,
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please : Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.—Something too much of this.
There is a play to-night before the king ;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance,
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
I pr’ythee, when thou seest that act a-foot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
[7] I believe the sense of pregnant in this place is, quick, ready.

According to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgment in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the bumours made a perfect character.

[ocr errors][merged small]

JOHNSON

JOHNSON.

Observe my uncle : if his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
It is a damned ghost that we have seen ;
And my imaginations are as foul
As Vulcan's stithy.' Give him heedful note :
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face ;
And, after, we will both our judgments join
In censure of his seeming.
Hor. Well, my

lord :
If he steal aught, the whilst this play is playing,
And scape detecting, I will pay the theft.

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; these words are not mine.

Ham. No, nor mine now.' My lord,-you play'd once in the university, you say?

(10 POLONIUS. Pol. That did 1, 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 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 feer. 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 ? 18]

Stithy is a smith's anvil.

A man's words, says the proverb, are his own no longer thran be keeps thema unspoken.

JOHNSON

JOHNSON

« PreviousContinue »