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365 berattle the common stages—so they call
them—that many wearing rapiers are afraid
of goose-quills and dare scarce come thither. Ham. What, are they children? Who maintains
’em? How are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing? Will they not say afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players,— as it is most like, if their means are no better,-their writers do them wrong, to make
them exclaim against their own succession? Ros. Faith, there has been much to do on both
sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to controversy. There was for a while
no money bid for argument unless the poet 380 and the player went to cuffs in the question.
Ham. Is't possible?
brains. Ham. Do the boys carry it away? 385 Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his
load too.] Ham. It is not very strange; for my uncle is king
of Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.
[F lourish of trumpets within.
Guil. There are the players.
Your hands, come then. The appurtenance
aunt-mother are deceived. Guil. In what, my dear lord? Ham. I am but mad north-north-west. When 405
the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
Enter Polonius. Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen! Ham. [Aside to them.] Hark you, Guildenstern,
and you too, at each ear a hearer, that great 410 baby you see there is not yet out of his
swadding-clouts. Ros. Haply he is the second time come to them,
for they say an old man is twice a child. Ham. I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the 415
players; mark it. [Aloud.] You say right,
sir. O'Monday morning; 'twas then indeed. Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome,
420 Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. Ham. Buz, buz!
at each ark you
Pol. Upon my honour,
Ham. “Then came each actor on his ass,—" 425 Pol. The best actors in the world, either for
tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoralcomical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical - comical - historical - pastoral,
scene individable, or poem unlimited; Seneca 430 can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light.
For the law of writ and the liberty, these are
the only men. Ham. O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a
treasure hadst thou! 435 Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord? Ham. Why,
"One fair daughter, and no more, . The which he loved passing well.” Pol. [Aside.] Still on my daughter. 440 Ham. Am I not i’ the right, old Jephthah? Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a
daughter that I love passing well. Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows, then, my lord? 445 Ham. Why,
“As by lot, God wot,” and then, you know,
“It came to pass, as most like it was,”—
The first row of the pious chanson will show 450 you more, for look where my abridgement Enter four or five Players. You are welcome, masters, welcome all. I am glad to see thee well. Welcome, good friends. O, my old friend! Thy face is valanced since I saw thee last; com’st thou 455 to beard me in Denmark? What, my young lady and mistress! By ’r lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be 460 not cracked within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome. We'll s'en to't like French falconers—fly at any thing we see; we'll have a speech straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate 465
speech. First Play. What speech, my good lord? Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but
it was never acted; or, if it was, not above
as sweet, and by very much more handsome
—'tis not so. It begins with Pyrrhus:
“The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms, 490 Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
So, proceed you.
accent and good discretion. 505 First Play.
“Anon he finds him Striking too short at Greeks. His antique sword, Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, Repugnant to command. Unequal matched,
Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide, 610 But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword