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HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
No traveller returns,----puzzles the will ;
Good my lord ,
Ham. l humbly thank you; well.
Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
No, not I;
Oph. My honored lord, you know right well, you
And, with them, words of so sweet breath composed
Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest ?
Ham. That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.
Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty ?
Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
2 Folio-away. 3 i. e. “your honesty should not admit your beauty to any discourse with her.” The first quarto reads, “Your beauty should admit no discourse to your honesty ;” that of 1604, “ You should admit no discourse to your beauty.'
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HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
transform honesty from what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness; this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.
Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.
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 wouldst 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. 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 nunnery. Where's
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!
Fam. 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.3 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 4 too, well enough. God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another; you jig, you amble, and you lisp,
1 “ Than I have thoughts to put them in.” thought,” is “ to think on it.”
a thing into
3 Folio-Go, farewell.
and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to ; I'll no more of 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.
Re-enter King and POLONIUS.
1 “ You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by
4 To disclose was the ancient term for hatching birds of any kind; from
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Pol. It shall do well; but yet, I do believe,
It shall be so;
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 it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the towncrier 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
1 See note on Act ii. Sc. 2. 2 The first quarto nas, “ I'd rather hear a town-bull bellow, than such a fellow speak my lines."
3 The first quarto reads, “ of the ignorant.” Our ancient theatres were far from the commodious, elegant structures which later times have
The pit was an unfloored space, in the area of the house, sunk considerably beneath the level of the stage; and it was necessary to elevate the head very much to get a view of the performance. Hence this part of the audience were called groundlings.
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noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant;' it out-herods Herod. 'Pray you, avoid it.
1 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 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. 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.
1 Play. I hope we have reformed that indifferently
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 4 of the play be then to be considered. That's
1 Termagaunt is the name given in old romances to the tempestuous god of the Saracens.
2 Pressure is impression, resemblance. 3 i. e. approval, estimation.
4 The quarto 1603, “ Point in the play then to be observed.” Afterwards is added, “ And then you have some again that keeps one suit of jests, as a man is known by one suit of apparel; and gentlemen quotes his jests down in their tables before they come to the play, as thus :Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge? and you owe me a quarter's wages ; and your beer is sour; and blabbering with his lips: And thus keeping
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