Imatges de pàgina

very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham. A dream itfelf is but a shadow.

Ref. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow.

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies; and our monarchs and out-stretch'd heroes, the beggars' shadows ; Shall we to th' Courc? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.

Pork. We'll wait upon you.

Hem. No such matter. I will not fort you with the rest of my servants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended : but in the beaten way of friend hip, what make you at Elinor?

& fi ro vilit you, my Lord; no other occasion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you ; and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear of a half-penny. Were you not fent for? is it your own inclining is it a free visitation i come, deal justly with me ; come, come; nay, speak.

Guil. What should we fay, my Lord?

Ham. Any thing, but to the purpose. You were fent for : and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. I know, the good King and Queen have sent

for you.

Rof. To what end, my Lord ?

Ham. That you must teach me ; but let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear, a better proposer could charge you withal ; be even and direct with me, whether you were fent for or no? RJ. What say you?

[To Guilden. Hain. Nay, then I have an eye of you : if you love me, hold not off.

Guil. My Lord, we were sent for.

Ham. I will tell you why; so fhall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no feather. I have of late, but wherefore

I kncw!


I know not, lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercise; and, indeed, it goes fo heavily with my dispofition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to nie a feril promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this inajeitical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving holy express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a God! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! and yet to me, what is this quinteffence of dult? man delights not me, nor woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so.

RS. My Lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.

Ham. Why did you laugh, when I said, man delights not me?

Roj. To think, my Lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players ihall receive from you; we accosted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.

tar. He that plays the King shall be welcome ; his Majesty shall have tribute of me; the adventurous Knight Mail use his fo;'le and target; the lover shall not figh fralli; the humorous man Thail end his



peace; and the lady fhall say her mind freely, or the blank verse fail halt for't. What players are they?

Roj. Even those you were wont to take delight in, the tragedians of the city.

Hin. How chances it, they travel their residence both in reputation and profit was better, both ways.

RS. I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the late innovation.

Han:. Lo they hold the fame estimation they did, when I was in the city ? are they fo follow'd?

Rof. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it? do they grow rusty ?
Kisi Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace ;


but there is, Sir, an aiery of children, little eyases, (30) that cry out on the top of question; and are most tyrannically clapt for't; these are now the fashion, and so berattle the common stages, (so they call them) that many wearing rapiers are afraid of gcose-quills, and dare scarce come thither.

Ham. What, are they children? who maintains 'em; how are they escorted ? 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 :) theit writers do them wrong to make them exclaim against their own succession?

Rof. 'Faith, there has been much to do on both fides ; and the nation holds it no fin, to tarre them on to controversy. There was, for a while, no money bid for argument, unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the question.

Ham. Js't possible ?

Guil. Oh, there has been much throwing about of brains.

Huin. Do the boys carry it away!
Rif. Ay, that they do, my Lord, Hercules and his

load too.

Ham. It is not strange ; for mine uncle is King of: Denn ark; and those, that would make mowes at him

(30) But there is, Sir, an aiery of children, little yases, that cry out on tbe top of question.] The Poet her steps out of his subject to give a Jaih at home, and sneer at the prevailing fashion of following plays performed by the children of the chapel, and abandoning the eltablith'd theatres. But why are they call'd little yafes ? I wish, some of the editors would have expounded this fine new word to us; or, at least, told us where we might meet with it. Till then, I hall make bold to suspect it; and, without overstraining sagacity, attempt to retrieve the true word. As he first calls 'em an aiery of children, (now, an aiery or eyery is a hawk's or eagle's nest) there is not the least question but we ought to restore-----little eyases; j. e. young neslings, creatures just out of the egg. (An eyus or nyas hawk, un viais, accipiter nidarius, qui recens ex oxo emerfit. Skinner ) So Mrs. ford says to Falstaffe's dwarf page. Fow now, my egas-mukker? What news with you?

Merry Wives.


G 5

while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.

[Flourish for ihe Players. Guil. There are the players.

Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elfincor; your hands : come then, the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this garbe, left my extent to the players (which, I tell you, muft new fairly outward) should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are wel. come ; but my Uncle-father and Aunt mother are deceiv'd.

Guil. In what, my dear Lord !

Ham. I am but mad north, north-west: when tire wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-law.

Enter Polonius.
Po'. Well be with you, gentlemen.

Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too, at each car a hearer; that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swathling-clouts.

Roj. Haply, he's the second time come to them; for they say, an old man is twice a child.

Ham. I will prophefy, he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it;-you say right, Sir; for on Monday, morning 'twas so, indeed.

Po!. My Lord, I have news to tell you.

Ham. My Lord, I have news. to tell you.,
When Roscius was an actor in Rome-

Pol. The actors are come hither, my Lord;.
Har. Buzze, buzze.
Pol. Upon mine honour.-
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass

Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy comedy, hiftory, paftoral, pastoral-comical, historical pastoral, scene undividable, or poem unlimited : Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of wit, and the liberty, these are the only men.

[ocr errors]


Hom. Oh, Jephtha, judge of Israel, what a treafure hadit thou !

Pol. What a treasure had he, my Lord?

Ham. Why, one fair daughter, and no morty:
The which he lived passing wello

Pol. Still on my daughter.
Ham. Am I not i'th' right, old Jephtha?

Pol. If you call me jepbeha, my Lord, I have di daughter that I love passing well.

Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pa'. What follows then, my.

Lord ? Him. Why, as by lot, God wot--and then you know;. it came to pass, as n.oft like it was ; the first row of the rubrick will new you more.. For, look, where my, abridgements come..

Enter four or five Players. . Y'are welcome, masters, welcome all. I am glad to see thee well; welcome, good friends. Oh! old friend !! thy face is valanc'd, since I saw. thee laft: com'ft thou to beard me in Denmark? What! my young lady and i mistress ? b’erlady, your ladyship is nearer heaven than. when I saw you latt, by the altitude of a chioppine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not crack'd within the ring:-Mafters, you are all welcome; we'll e’en to't like friendly faulçoners, fly at: any thing we fee; we'll have a speech straight. Come,. give us a taste of your quality ;; come, a. paflionate: fpeech

1 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 once.; for the play, I remember, pleas’d not the million, 'twas-Caviar to. the general; but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgment in such matters cried in the top ofi mine) an excellent play, well digested in the scenes,, fet down with as much modesty as - cunning.. I; re

G 6,


« AnteriorContinua »