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are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumtree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit; together with most weak hams. All which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet ! hold it not honelty to have it thus ser down; for your. self, sir, shalt be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could

go

backward. Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't. Will you walk out of the air, my Lord ?

Ham, Into my grave.

Pol. Indeed that is our o'th'air : “ How pregnant (sometimes). his replies are ? “ A happiness that often madness hits on, " Which fauity and reason could not be So prosp'rously deliver'd of. I'll leave him, And fuddenly contrive the means of meeting Between him and my daughter. My Honourable Lord, I will most humbly Take my leave of you

Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withat, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my Lord.
Ham. These tedious old fools !
Pol. You go to seek Lord Hamlet; there be is.

[Exit.
SCENE VI. Enter Rofincrantz and Guildenstern.
Rof. God save you, sir !
Guil. Mine honour'd Lord !
RS. My most dear Lord !
Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou,

Guildenstern ?
Ob, Rosincrantz, good lads? how do ye

both ? Rof. As the Indifferent children of the carth.

Guil. Happy, in that we are not over happy ; on Fortune's cap we are not the very button.

Ham. Nor the foals of her shoe?
Rof. Neither, my Lord.

Ham. Then you live about her waste, or in the middle of her favours ?

Guil. 'Faith, in ker privates we.

Ham. In the secret parts of Fortuneoh, moit true; The-is a strumpetWhat news ?

Rol: None, my Lord; but that the world's grown. honest.

Ham. Then is dooms-day near; hut your news is not true. Let me question more in particolar. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

Guil. Prison, my, Lord !
Ham. Denmark's a prison.
Roj Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one, in which there are maoy confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one o'th? worst,

Rol. We think not fo, my Lord.

Ham. Why, then, 'tis none to you ; for there is no. thing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

Rof. Why, then your ambition makes it one : 'tis too narrow for your mind.

Ham. Oh God, I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count myself a King of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham, A dream itself is but a shadow.

Rof. 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 outstretch'd heroes, the beggars? (hadows. Shall we to th'court: for, by my fay, I cannot reafun.

Both. We'll wait upon you.

Ham. No such matter. I will not fort you with the rest of my le vants; for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am molt dreadfully attended; but, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinoor ?

RS. To visit you, my Lord; no other occafion.

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear triends, my thanks are too dear of a halfpenny. Were you not fent for

ri

is it your own inclining? is it a free visitation ? Come, deal jully with me ; come, come, nay speak.

Guil. What should we say, 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 fellow thip, by the confonancy 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, whe. ther you were sent for or no? Rof. What say you ?

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

Guil. My Lord, we were sent för.

Hum. I will tell you why ; so thall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King and Queen moult no feather. so I have of late, but “ wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise and indeed it

goes to heavily with my difpofition, that this goo jy frame, the earth, “ seems to nie a steril promontory ; this most excellent

canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er hanging “ firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden '" fire, why, it appears no other thing to me, than a tout '" and peltilent congregation of vapours What a piece os of work is a man ! bow noble in reason! how infi“ nite in faculties ! in torm and acving how express " and admir bie' in action how like an angel! in ap

prehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, “ the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this

quirtellence of dutt? Man deights not me, nor wo. man neither ; though oy your limiling you seem to ROS. My Lord, there was no such ituff in my thoughts.

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

Roj. To think, my Lord, it you delight not in man, what lenten 'entertainment the players shall receive trom

fay io

you. We accosted them on the way, and hither are they coming to offer you service.

Ham “ He that plays the King, shall be welcome; « his Majesty shall have tribute of me; the adventurous

knight Mall use his foil and target; the lover shall " not sigh gratis ; the humorous man fhall end his

part in peace; the clown shall make those langh " whose lungs are tickled o’th' sere; and the lady thall

fay her mind freely, or the blank verfe shall halt for't. • What players are they?

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

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

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

Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was in the city ? are they so follow'd ?

Rof. No, indeed, they are not.
Ham. How comes it ? do they grow rusty?

Rof. Nay, their endeavours keep in the wonted pace: but there is, Sir, an aiery of children, little eyases : that cry out on the top of question, and are most tyrannically clapt for't. These are now the fashion, and fo berattle the common stages, (so they call them), that many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose-quills, and dare (carce 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 lay afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common players, (26 it is most like, if their means are no better), their writers do them wrong to make them exclaim against their own succession ?

Rof. 'Paith, there has been much to do on both sides; 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, Is't possible?

• Relating to the playhouses then contending the Bank side, the Fortune, &c. played by the children of his Majelty's chapel.

my

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

Ham. Do the boys carry it away?

Rof. Ay, that they do, my Lord, Hercules and his load too.

Ham. It is not strange; for mine uncle is King of Denmark; and those that would make mowes at him while my father lived, gave twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats apiece, for his picture in little. There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.

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

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

Guil. In what, my dear Lord ?

Ham, “ I am but mad north, north-west: when the " wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handfaw.

SCENE VII. Enter Polonius. Pol. Well be with you, Gentlemen.

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

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

Ham. I will prophery, he comes to tell me of the players. Mark it ;

-you say right, Sir; for 'on Monday morning 'twas so indeed.

Pol. My Lord, I have news to tell you.

Ham. My Lord, I have news to tell yoit.
When Roscius was an actor in Romei

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

Pol. “ The best actors in the world, either for tra. " gedy, comedy, history, paftoral, pastoral-cumical, * biftorical-paftoral, scene undividable, or poem un

VOL. VIII,

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